Please, make it stop.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

  • Sean Cullen

    Sean Cullen

It's hard to review the Gemini Awards Show without spinning off an a tangential diatribe about the state of Canadian television as a whole.

But I'll try...

I wish that I was a multi-millionaire. I wish this for one, specific, Elvis-esque reason: If I were a multi-millionaire, I would shoot...er... smash my television on an almost daily basis. An aluminum Louisville Slugger applied with deadly precision - smack dab in the middle of the screen - the ringing sound hanging in the air while the electricity pops and buzzes in chorus. In my dreams, it resembles the final home run scene from Robert Redford's "The Natural". Then I'd just head into the garage and grab another television and start all over again.

This review of the awards show is really just a de-construction of its host, Sean Cullen (with an accent over the "a").

Exactly where are the people that think this guy is funny? The ill-fitting suits, the faux British accent, the Bill Shatner delivery and those songs - sweet Jesus, those songs. One in particular, a "birthday" song for the Gemini's 18th called "Barely Legal", was ironically one of the most annoying and humourless five minutes in the last 18 years of Canadian television. With lyrics that could have spewed from the insecure kid in your geography class that disappeared after high school, it made me miss Mike Bullard. And that can't be good.

Another musical segment, where Cullen put words to famous Canadian TV themes like "The Beachcombers" and "Hockey Night In Canada", was so forced that I found myself reaching down beside the couch, fumbling for the painfully absent Louisville Slugger. Damn. (note to self: buy lottery ticket, become millionaire)

But the show came to a shrill halt when, dressed in drag as something called "Lady Sybill", Cullen mingled amongst the crowd, pointing out Michael Ironside (who pointed at his watch), Colm Feore (who looked, to borrow a Hunter Thompson phrase "like someone had sprayed him with shit-mist") and other disinterested celebrities. In fact, the funniest part of the "Lady Sybill" bit was Gordon Pinsent's introduction. This whole segment was extraneous. Not just because it was as funny as scabs, but also because the show was running over time and acceptance speeches were being cut short by the obligatory "ok, enough" music.

If it seems like Cullen is taking centre stage in this review, it's because the whole show revolved around him. The CBC, even after cancelling "The Sean Cullen Show" over non-existent ratings, keeps ramming this guy down our throats. As a matter of fact, Cullen won a Gemini for his hosting duties last year. And last year was even worse than this year. But we're Canadians, we're polite. The press will be kind to Cullen and he'll probably be back next year. He might even win another Gemini. Perhaps the most offensive aspect of his hosting is that, in his delivery, there is a constant derisive attitiude toward Canadian television and the Gemini's. A self-deprecation that he shoulders on the industry's behalf. Yes, this is the Canadian way. We don't want our TV "stars" to get too proud. But this is supposed to be a celebration. There was some great television over the last year.

"Don't you remember when Sean Cullen was funny in Corky and the Juice Pigs?", a friend of mine asked.

"No. No I don't."

If I may be allowed one short observation about Canadian TV as a whole; it speaks volumes about the Academy (whatever the hell that is) that the grotesquely boring "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" won "Best Comedy Ensemble" over "Trailer Park Boys".

Here's an investment tip, too. If I win the lottery, put all of your money into SONY and aluminum.

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