The Couch Potato Report

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The Couch Potato Report – November 13th, 2006
This week The Couch Potato Report shines the spotlight on hockey and a squad of inept police.
On Sunday evenings this past September and October many Canadians gathered around their television sets to watch HOCKEY: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY.
The ten-part HOCKEY series traced the history of the game in Canada with re-enactments, rarely seen footage, and the voices and words of some of the pioneers of the game.
It was a superb series that is now available on DVD in a superb six-disc box set.
HOCKEY: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY tells the story of the game’s inventors, innovators and the people who built the teams, and the rinks.
I enjoyed watching the series when it first began, and now that I have seen it a second time on DVD, I still enjoyed it, but I have to admit that I do have a few reservations.
Those reservations come from the fact that I wanted more!
Yes, I completely enjoyed what I got, but I wanted a fully comprehensive documentary about hockey, in the same manner as Ken Burn’s BASEBALL.
That series looks at the game of baseball as a whole, from inception onward, as does the HOCKEY series, but even though BASEBALL was an American series, it still featured the Canadian team who won the championship.
(Way to go Blue Jays!!!!!)
Meanwhile HOCKEY: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY is only a comprehensive look at Canadian hockey, and while that is the hockey we know and the hockey we love, there are also some American based teams who have been quite successful over the years that are part of hockey history as well, and they are ignored in the series.
For instance, the New York Islanders, a team that won four Stanley Cups in a row from 1980 – 1984, yet they are not mentioned at all in the series.
There also should have been more done on and with Bobby Orr, Steve Yzerman, Guy Laflleur, Peter Statsny, just to name a few players, and the winningest coach in hockey history – Scotty Bowman, who isn’t featured at all in the series. Instead he only shows up in an interview on the Bonus disc in the set.
But I happily digress, because while I do have a few reservations about the series, I still think that HOCKEY: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY is superb and it accomplishes what the producers set out to do – to make a series that is a comprehensive look at hockey in Canada, and the parallels between the birth of our nation and the game.
The game that is played by men, and women.
No, HOCKEY: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY isn’t perfect, but it is a well written, well produced and superbly entertaining series.
I am pleased to own it and I will keep it on my shelf alongside my box set for Ken Burn’s BASEBALL.
HOCKEY: A PEOPLEĆ­S HISTORY did leave me wanting more, but I am still quite pleased that it is now available on DVD.
I am also quite pleased that POLICE SQUAD is also now available on DVD!!
After the success of the movie AIRPLANE! Leslie William Nielsen, a member of the Order Of Canada who was born on February 11th, 1926 in Regina, was cast by the same filmmakers as Sgt. Frank Drebin, a police officer who always gets his man, but doesn’t always get why.
POLICE SQUAD is possibly the funniest, short-lived TV show in history. It only lasted 6 episodes, but everyone of them was full of wit, sight gags, and incredible writing.
POLICE SQUAD was a TV show that was a parody of all of the ultra serious police shows that came before it.
Only a few people actually watched it, including me. I loved it and when they made THE NAKED GUN films after the cancellation of the series, I was more than pleased.
And now that POLICE SQUAD is finally available on DVD, I am over the moon!!
Ah yes, I am quite pleased as the hilarious POLICE SQUAD is now available on DVD, and is HOCKEY: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY, a great box set, even if it did leave me wanting more.
Coming up on the next Couch Potato Report
SCTV – THE EARLY YEARS looks back at the origins of the classic series, LEONARD COHEN – I’M YOUR MAN is a documentary on the legendary Canadian, with performances by those musicians he has influenced; SOPHIE SCHOLL is the film about one courageous young woman who stood up to the Nazis in 1943 Germany; and WORDPLAY takes an in-depth look at crossword puzzles and the people who do them.
I’m Dan Reynish.
I’ll have more on those, and some other releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next time on The Couch!