No Such Nonsense

A little of this, that and... what was I talking about again? It's TV, sports, pop culture and politics - all the stuff that really matters in life.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

So Can Canada Dance?

I've made no secret of my deep and abiding love for So You Think You Can Dance. So I was a little worried about the Canadian version - especially when I heard that deeply annoying Leah Miller would be filling my beloved Cat Deeley's stillettos.

Turns out I needn't have worried. While I wouldn't go as far as The Star's Rob Salem, who said the Canadian version is actually better than the original, it isn't so bad after all. Clearly, Miller is no Deeley, but she's actually a lot less annoying than she ever is on Much Music - and she is charmingly invested in the dancers; she has actually sobbed as some of them left the show. I'd have to say that the judges, by and large, don't stand up to the U.S. version. The loss of Mary Murphy is a blessing, but regulars Jean-Marc Generoux and Tre Armstrong have next to nothing insightful to say. Thank heavens for the rotating guest judge slot, which has brought us actual insights from Rex Harrington, the brilliant Mia Michaels and a range of Canadian choreographers. The choreography has been strong - notably from Melissa Williams, Blake McGrath and Luther Campbell. No Wade Robson sightings yet - but Michaels did one of her oddball group numbers earlier in the season.

It really all boils down to the dancers - and they're pretty great. Even Nigel Lithgoe has said so, so it must be true. The finale is tonight so check it out. Then vote for Nico!

The nastiest little man in hockey

It used to be Harold Ballard - angry and mean and pinched. Now, though, the most vile man in hockey is pesty sometime-Vogue-intern Sean Avery. This guy is an complete ass on the ice. And off.

This week, Avery tried to fire up some press for himself with the following little quip to TSN: "I am really happy to be back in Calgary, I love Canada. I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about. Enjoy the game tonight."

That charming comment would be in reference to his ex-girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert and her new (Calgary) flame Dion Phaneuf. Now Cuthbert's a big girl - and she does have a bit of an Alyssa Milano rep when it comes to hockey players - but to speak of her publicly, as trash talk, says a lot more about Avery than it does about her. It is asshatty.

The NHL jumped on this one pretty damn quick - Avery's suspended with a hearing to come.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Strange Sundays

I had the strangest experience on Sunday. After watching Troy Polamalu pick off Matt Cassel in painful game for Pats fans, I didn't experience the usual giddy glee that occurs whenever the Pats do poorly.

Thing is, it's awfully hard to feel good about cheering against a guy like Cassel, a back-up who is clearly in over his head (no matter what the pundits seem to think about his future prospects - this guy is middling QB at best).

Is it possible that I actually miss Tom Brady?

Political Leanings

I've voted Liberal in every single election since I was 18. When I went to Queen's, I joined the Young Liberals and I worked on the federal election campaign. I voted Liberal even when Chretien's arrogance turned my stomach. The closest I came to voting another way? In the next-to-last election, when I learned that the Liberal incumbent in my riding voted against same-sex marriage. Ultimately, though, what choice did I have?

Because the Tories have always been the even worse alternative. If Chretien was smug, he still couldn't hold a candle to the arrogance of Brian Mulroney. My alternative to the anti-equality Liberal in my riding? A Tory who actually put his opposition to gay marriage in his campaign literature. (As Keith Olbermann so eloquently put in reaction to the victory of Prop 8 in California, honestly "what is it to you?")

So the events on Parliament Hill this week give me a strange and giddy (but slightly guilty) glee. While it bothers me that Stephane Dion, so repudiated by voters just weeks ago, might become Prime Minister anyway, I can't help but relish the reason for his strange, small victory. It's that Stephen Harper- who called a useless and expensive election to quench his own thirst for power, who used a worldwide economic crisis as the backdrop for yet another power grab, who should have had clear sailing for at least 18 months as the Liberals elect a new leader - ultimately sank his own battleship. What amuses me most is that a politician who clearly relishes the bloodsport aspect of the political game far above the policy-making part - has been bloodied by his own mis-step.

But even I have to admit that Dion as Prime Minister is deeply undemocratic. I have nothing against coalition governments - they function well in countries around the world - but Dion was clearly never Canada's choice for Prime Minister. Surely, the Liberals could have found another custodian to keep the seat warm for Ignatieff for a few months. It's a notably strange marriage - Dion and the Bloc Quebecois. But at least it gives us something interesting to watch on Canadian TV.