Okay, it’s early November, and I’m not getting it, yet. Men with Brooms, I mean.
The actors: I like. Mostly. I especially like Brendan Gall, our hero (although it took me a couple of weeks to remember that his character’s name is Gary, and that can’t be a good sign). He gets down to throw, resembling a praying mantis – or a giraffe, I’m not sure yet – and actually looks not too bad. A typical club curler and guy with a job that requires him to wear work clothes. Sense of humour. Sometimes cranky. Knows how to hold a beer bottle. Okay, this is real life.
The other actors? Well, their appeal is closely tied to the writing. I’m trying hard, CBC, I really am. But that Corner Gas feel just isn’t there yet. Paul Mather is a good writer. Unique. Subtle, you might say. So subtle that it’s just not connecting – well, not with me, anyway.
The cranky club manager, Bill. The buddy (is he stupid or just acting stupid?), Matt. The new girl in town, non-curler April, who might or might not be Gary’s crush (still not clear). The whiny, non-meat-eating donut shop owner, Pramesh, whose wife, Rani, seems ten times smarter than he is. The wily bartender, Tannis, who walks out on to the ice in (check them out, here) street shoes. Really? Fail!
But then all-star Canadian actress extraordinaire Fiona Reid showed up the other night, playing Gary’s mother, a tough Ladies’ League skip with a team of cesar-guzzling Ladies’ League players in tow. There was actually some curling humour in among the jokes about emasculated men. Some of the action took place on the ice. The funny lines (most delivered by Reid) were – funny!
There’s hope. I hear Kevin Martin is making an appearance in an upcoming episode, and Paul Gross will show up in a later episode as well. The latest issue of The Curling News (first issue of the 2010-2011 season) features a full-page spread of stories and pictures from behind the scenes, thanks to TCN editor George Karrys who was, of course, the consultant on Gross’ 2002 trend-setting film. There’s certainly buzz. The show is getting viewers. The Globe and Mail reported on October 22: “In less than one month, more Canadians have watched this show than the movie on which it's based. The new comedy series has been generating a half-million or so viewers each week, even against tough opposition from House, Dancing with the Stars and other Monday-night staples.” That’s got to be a good sign, right?
I’m not sure yet, but I’m willing to hang around and see how this show shapes up, because I think it might be sort of kind of getting there, maybe.