Assembly Required has that old Home Improvement magic

Tim Allen and Richard Karn return to TV with reality series Assembly Required, where they show they remain a dynamic comedic duo

Assembly Required has that old Home Improvement magicSituation comedies – sitcoms – have been a crucial component of television for decades. Everyone has their favourite shows. My list includes The Jack Benny Program, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, M*A*S*H, All in the Family, Cheers, Night Court, The Cosby Show, Newhart, Frasier, Father Ted and others. In particular, I’ve always had…

We can’t just laugh off unidentified aerial phenomena

The observers of these phenomena are sober professionals who seek to understand what it is that has been detected and recorded

We can’t just laugh off unidentified aerial phenomenaThe venerable television program 60 Minutes aired a segment recently focused on a topic that has been examined before, but not with the same widespread receptivity and credibility. It had to do with UAPs. And the Pentagon, directed by the United States Congress, recently released its file on UAPs, or unidentified aerial phenomena. These sightings…

Uncovering the myths and celebrating the reality of André the Giant

Bertrand Hébert and Pat Laprade’s book, The Eighth Wonder of the World: The True Story of André the Giant, helped unlock this Giant mystery

Uncovering the myths and celebrating the reality of André the GiantProfessional wrestling has had many great performers with athletic prowess and an ability to engage – or, at times, enrage – audiences. Yet one pro wrestler was always in a class of his own: André René Roussimoff, better known as André the Giant. Inside the ring, André was a massive, near-invincible foe with seemingly unlimited…

HGTV personality takes from Canadian taxpayers to build Bahamian resort 

Government intervention in films and television is both expensive and unwarranted

HGTV personality takes from Canadian taxpayers to build Bahamian resort The much-anticipated Island of Bryan (Season 3) started on HGTV a few weeks ago. The series follows well-known builder and entrepreneur Bryan Baeumler and his family as they try to rejuvenate an abandoned resort in the Bahamas. Baeumler is a successful TV personality from Ontario. And clearly, many Canadians enjoy his shows. But here’s the…

TV series shines a light on Norway and its war

As historically-inspired dramas go, the eight-part PBS series Atlantic Crossing is unusually authentic

TV series shines a light on Norway and its warWe’ve just finished watching the eight-part PBS series Atlantic Crossing. It’s an excellent drama that shines a light on an interesting aspect of Norway’s Second World War experience. The main focus is on the relationship between Crown Princess Martha of Norway and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In addition to his own anti-Nazi leanings, Roosevelt…

Don’t turn news conferences into Hollywood productions

The camera doesn’t doesn’t lie. The stuffed characters behind the head of government in COVID news conferences are always on

Don’t turn news conferences into Hollywood productionsWho are those people standing behind the newsmaker at press conferences? I see them in the hallways of legislatures when the party leader is making an announcement. I see them in a studio behind the head of government during a COVID-19 news conference. “Oh,” you say, “they’re showing that governing is a team effort and…

Why can’t politicians manage press conferences?

Isn’t it time politicians learned to simulate a real-life encounter with people who have questions?

Why can’t politicians manage press conferences?Head of government: “… and so stay safe.” (Long pause.) Robotic voice: “Our next caller is Scoop Notepad from the Daily Planet.” Scoop: “Hi.” Head of government: “Hi Scoop.” (Pause. Sometimes the greetings are reversed.) Scoop asks a question, head of government responds and then we hear the oddball, robotic voice again. Who is that?…

Everything I know about the U.K. I learned from TV

I’ve developed a real affection for British TV, even when the accents are so gumbo-thick that I’m forced to turn on subtitles

Everything I know about the U.K. I learned from TVIn my TV-besotted youth, we had precious little exposure to British television. There was Dr. Who, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and The Avengers. The Avengers starred the curvaceous, recently departed Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, every teenage boy’s fantasy figure (tied with Julie Newmar’s Catwoman on Batman). Otherwise, that was about it for exposure to British…

Terrifying (and satisfying) true tales of customer service

One day, you’re an unshakable fan of a company; the next day, you’re warning complete strangers to stay away

Terrifying (and satisfying) true tales of customer serviceThe relationship between customer and company is a delicate thing. One day, you’re an unshakable fan of a company; the next day, you’re warning complete strangers to stay away. Here are three examples of customer service and how it can go so right – or so wrong. Many years ago, my Telus internet went out.…

Beware of Twitter – it will bite you in the ass

Examples of tweets destroying careers are numerous. Commit your thoughts to Twitter and you're forever setting your opinions in amber

Beware of Twitter – it will bite you in the assLast week, I got a notice from Twitter that I was ‘celebrating’ 12 years on the social media platform. What an accomplishment. Here are my Twitter stats after 12 years: I have sent out 3,475 tweets. I’m following 50 accounts, one of whom claims to be a graduate of ‘Bovine University.’ Bafflingly, I have 431…
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