Friday, 19 December 2014

Doyle’s List 2014

John Doyle, the Globe and Mail’s acerbic TV critic, likes to publish an annual list of the ten most irritating people associated with Canadian TV.  John revels in the belief that everyone in the TV biz has him number 1 on their most irritating list. This ‘got me started’ on a list of the 10 biggest errors and contradictions in John’s column the last year or so:

1.     CBC now receives “much less” than $1 billion from the government. (nope, John, it’s still over $1 billion and projected to stay there for the foreseeable future)
2.     The #1 news show in Canada is CTV local news in Toronto. (John, you'll be accused of being Toronto-centric)
3.     CBC’s total budget is about $1 billion. (Sorry again, don’t forget ad and subscriber revenue, which brings it to $1.5 billion)
4.     Adaptations of novels don’t work on TV.  (Come again? Most of John's recs this year were based on books)
5.     CBC needs to be “cool,” no, I mean “different,” sorry, make that “smart,” hmm, no, “get off its high horse.”
6.     “CBC is ever more relevant,” no, make that “adrift, directionless.”
7.     “There is no adult in charge at CBC.” But, “CBC is not in terrible shape.”
8.     “What makes a hit?...Gotham’s debut of 22.2 million (viewers),” yet, “CBC’s Strange Empire which brings in about 300,000 viewers” is John’s pick of the year.
9.     “Our web site has 4.2 million unique visits a month.  Ezra Levant is talking to 5,000 people.” (Note: arrange briefing for John on difference between monthly reach and average minute audience.)
10. “CBC is our national neurosis--and that’s a good thing.” Hmm, sorry didn't I just say, “I don’t want to be one of those CBC bores.”

And one thing unrelated to TV:

1.     Germany really wants to win the World Cup, but won’t”.  (Hold that prediction for 2018)

John’s columns are often very witty, although he admits he may have written some of them more than once.  He gets into trouble when he tries to be serious and with numbers (and soccer predictions).  But many of his columns are funnier than the people and sitcoms he writes about and are a welcome relief in an industry that takes itself too seriously. So, apologies, John, you may be on everyone’s irritating people’s list but not number 1.