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Better Days After Barris Print-ready version

by Frank Penn
Ottawa Citizen
November 5, 1968
Original article: PDF

You can chalk up to Monday's Show of The Week the fact that it offered something to soothe the suspicions of those CBC viewers who have begun to believe that Canadian variety is dead, with Alex Barris appointed to permanent position or Keeper of the Ashes.

But despite the presence of Joni Mitchell, in Our Kind of Crowd, along with those arithmetical misnomers, the 3's a Crowd, and American comedian Roger (sic) Pryor, the hour was a here-today gone-today affair, leaving none of that tingle that turns last night's television into today's coffee-break conversation.

It was pleasant enough, and if it had all been just another TV show from the video factories, we could have said fine, fine, and waited to see what the next hour would bring.

But while earlier performances of the 3's a Crowd had led us to expect a special effervescence, Monday's performance was lacking in anything but professional spirit.

Miss Mitchell's melancholy guitar and sad songs of love gone wrong came out with what I can only describe as comfortable anguish.

And Mr. Pryor, normally an inventive, quicksilver wit, seemingly under the impression that Canadians don't see U.S. shows, treated us to a rehash of his mossier material.

Still, with Canadian TV variety clinging by its fingernails for survival this season, it bears repeating that Our Kind Of Crowd failed to live up to high expectations rather than as a piece of TV entertainment.

And there's always the chance that after Monday's senseless film insert (a collection or chiched production gimmicks featuring 3's a Crowd), Canadian producers will decide it's time to chuck out this overworked device.

And that'll be a major bonus for that shining future when Canadian variety doesn't mean Alex Barris.

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Added to Library on February 27, 2021. (376)

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