Toronto Star

A 2014 television time capsule

Transparen­t, the best new show that Canadians can’t see, would be among the greatest of the year


The year 2014 was, in some ways, the year of the TV anniversar­y. It marked the 50th anniversar­y of the Beatles conquering North America on The Ed Sullivan Show, the 45th anniversar­y of the launch of Sesame Street and 22 years of This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

Fifty years from now, when archeologi­sts pry open the lid of a TV time capsule from 2014, what will they discover? Will television even be around in 2064? Here are some items I’d put in it. Something transparen­t to signify the best new show this fall (that Canadians still can’t see): Transparen­t. The hourlong drama is a twisted, searing and yet hilarious look at one weird California­n clan. Jeffrey Tambor ( Arrested Developmen­t) will win an Emmy for his fearless and nuanced portrayal of the transgende­r head of this wacky family. It originates on Amazon Prime, a digital platform not available in Canada, although somebody here has bought the rights. A tossed leafs jersey to represent Rogers’ $5.2-billion, 12-year NHL rights deal. HBO and CBS logos reminding folks this was the year those two networks took the bold step of offering their entire content on digital platforms. A skeleton with a mohawk to salute the departure of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. An accordion to mark the return, to Hamilton’s CHCH, of Tiny Talent Time. An empty recycling bin to represent Utopia. It promised a year of lofty ideals and adventure as random citizens got together to build the society of the future. Instead, it was basically Big Brother gone camping. A porn tape to help explain, in the words of Marg Delahunty (Mary Walsh), what the words “Crave” and “Shomi” really bring to mind. Canned laughter to explain why several attempts to breathe new life into Canadian sitcoms found little momentum in 2014. A battered Bro code book to mark the worst TV finale ever: How I Met Your Mother. Apiece of really thin skin to commemorat­e the TV critics’ press tour session last January where the folks behind Girls went postal over suggestion­s Lena Dunham walks around naked too often on her sitcom. A pair of socks to salute Bertram Cooper (Robert Morse), who went out on a high note in the season finale of Mad Men. A Mark Messier trading card to salute the omnipresen­t ex-Edmonton Oilers captain who, instead of simply shilling for Rogers hockey bundles, should have been asked to host the new Hockey Night in Canada. A Rob Ford bobblehead to remind Torontonia­ns of how their city became world famous for something other than being clean as Jimmy Kimmel and all the late-night U.S. talk-show hosts feasted on Ford’s follies. An in deepest sympathy card to mark the passing of what seemed like a steady parade of TV greats, including Don Pardo, Knowlton Nash, Harold Ramis, Sid Caesar, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Dave Madden, Ann B. Davis, Casey Kasem, Shirley Temple, James Avery, James Garner and Annette Funicello. A DVD box set OF The Cosby Show. Either that or a battered box of Jell-O pudding. It may take till 2064 to sort out Cosby’s legacy. Bill Brioux is a freelance TV columnist based in Brampton, Ont.

 ??  ?? Jeffrey Tambor stars in Transparen­t.
Jeffrey Tambor stars in Transparen­t.

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