Now that the Canucks are out, what’s on the boob tube?
By Tony Wilson
Having written my first ever sports column for Canadian Lawyer last month (the Canucks had just been eliminated from Round One, sending many friends and colleagues into fits of depression that swiftly ended the moment Boston was knocked out), it struck me that now was a good time to become a TV critic and talk about what’s on the boob tube these days (because it sure won’t be hockey in my house).
The Republican TV Debates have ended, which is really too bad. It was fascinating to watch very rich white men talk endlessly about the need for government to be out of every facet of American life except women’s uteruses. It was enlightening to hear the debaters and their cabal of followers accuse President Obama of being a Socialist while a few breaths (and tweets) later, he was responsible for Wall Street fat cats making huge bonuses at the expense of working families.
If you want smart TV (smart being the new sexy), you should watch Benedict Cumberbatch play Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s modern-day “Sherlock,” with the equally amazing Andrew Scott as “Jim” Moriarty. I loved the line “please don’t feel the need to make conversation, it’s not really your area” and wished someone had used it in the Republican Debates. Alas, there would have to have been someone smart enough in that crowd to use it.
If you want garbage TV, you might catch the trashy Real Housewives of Vancouver, which strikes me as a four-word oxymoron. They aren’t all housewives, they don’t all live in Vancouver, and as for “real,” well, it seems there’s so much plastic, silicone and botox on the show, the girls aren’t even biodegradable anymore, let alone recyclable.
However, the good news is that Mad Men is back, sending me into a variety of time warps. The Draper’s family kitchen in the first few years of the show is so similar to the one in my parent’s Victoria home in 1962, it gives me the willies.
Over many drinks with a few lawyer friends last year celebrating 25 years at the Bar, we argued over which series best reflected the “Mid-1980s Articling Experience.” One said Mad Men, (despite the 20 year temporal difference), citing the office politics and the shenanigans that (allegedly) went on in those days. Another said that because articling was more class structured in the 1980s (students being very servile way back then), Downton Abbey was the best comparison. I disagreed with both of them and said that articling was more like “Game of Thrones,” but without all the murder, sex, war, decapitation, dismemberment, dragons, and English accents.
Martin Scorsese’s documentary “Living in a Material World” is well worth watching for everyone who thought they knew the late George Harrison. Good old George mortgaged his house to finance Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” when EMI Films pulled out over fears that someone might have been offended. George simply wanted to make sure the iconic film was completed so he could see it, resulting in (in Eric Idle’s words) the most expensive movie ticket ever.
A colleague of mine in Toronto was a junior lawyer on the other side of a deal with George some years before all things passed. A stack of documents as high as Bentall 3 was placed in front of the Quiet Beatle to sign, but he refused. “I sign one document and only one document,” George said. “Why not?” they asked, incredulously (I could say they were crying “Wah-Wah,” but that’s way too obscure). George explained that every original Certificate of Incumbency, Directors Resolution, or other document that bore his original signature would end up being sold for collectively more than the deal’s legal fees.
Isn’t it a pity Marty Scorsese didn’t put that gem in his film.
Vancouver Franchise Lawyer Tony Wilson practices at Boughton Law Corporation, is a regular columnist with the Globe and Mail and is an Adjunct Professor at SFU. His views do not reflect the views of the CBABC, the Law Society of BC or any other organization.
This article was published in the June 2012 issue of BarTalk. © 2012 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.