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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Throwing Stones, Part Two: Now we know why the CBC didn't pick up this show

If the pilot of "Throwing Stones", broadcast last night on CBC, was supposed to reflect the experience of grassroots curlers, it hogged. Badly.

First, it was silly. Enough said.

Second, it's hard to believe that the supposed club champions could have such lousy deliveries and sweeping technique. (And I'm sure that hair brush burned the rock in one shot...)

Third, a winning team that celebrates by taunting the losers and marching off the ice without shaking hands or sitting with their opponents to share a drink after the game would be drummed out of any club in the country. And that includes the losing team member who threw her gloves on the ice and stomped off in anger.

OK, this show may have been juiced up for television, but it was hard to watch.Which is too bad.

But way to go, CBC: you made a good call.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Throwing Stones: More drama on the ice

It's long overdue: a television show about people who curl. Not elite curlers, not famous curlers, not crazy male curlers (think Men With Brooms). With the huge numbers of Canadians who curl, watch curling, and attend curling events every year, it's amazing that it's taken this long.

Unfortunately, the show was turned down by the CBC (send letters!) but at least curling fans get to see the pilot on Wed July 15. It stars Patty Duke (yes, that Patty Duke), Canadians Lolita Davidovich and Caroline Neron, as well as curling extras from the Winnipeg scene. Connie Laliberte served as a curling advisor for the series.

Canadian champion curler Jill Officer writes about her experiences as an extra on the show for The Curling News , which is worth a look, especially the part about trying to find curling clothes that are not black, red, white or adorned with logos.

Although the show was not picked up by the CBC, at least there's an effort being made by artists in Canada to let curling expand beyond the rink and into our culture. Men With Brooms was entertaining - pretty silly and unrealistic, of course, but entertaining. Curling kids in Canada and the United States have been reading my novel, Abby and the Curling Chicks. And a recent festival of short films in Toronto promoted the on-ice zombie feature, Deadspiel.

Let's hope the winds of change are blowing curling into the cultural - not just the sporting - landscape of Canada.