Saturday, January 5, 2013

Archival documents and images from "The House Detective", my father's tv show.

TELEVIEWS by Bob Gardiner - Digging in
     There is one potentially interesting bloc of local programming on CJOH around noon hour on Sunday: Sunday Venture, an inspirational program of sorts, Civil Service Closeup and House Detective carry the station through from around 11 a.m. to "football time". Mahalia Jackson is one of the features of Sunday Venture but unfortunately about the time she's offering her musical praises, I'm doing the same thing from a pew down the street. The similarity ends there since, happily for all within earshot, I'm drowned out by the rest of the congregation. Under this schedule, the CS show is also lost to me.
     But House Detective I did catch, and as far as I can see it's just a sort of photo co-op, animated. The show's host, George Shaw, had a brief discussion with Mayor Oscar Perrier on the new status of Eastview and its effect on real estate. This was sound enough. But this was sandwiched between real-estate sales pitches which took the viewer haphazardly throughout the viewing area. There was no unifying factor in the program beyond the fact that every house shown had a roof and a list price. Anything you saw or heard about them you can read in the classified and display pages of any newspaper. There was very little to excite you on the show.
     There could be. People like looking at floor plans of homes and at the latest domestic style architecture. But not while their sales resistance is being assaulted. If Shaw can convince his collaborators - the real-estate firms in town - to relegate their sales pitches to their proper place - the commercial spot - he'd have a respectable television program.
     Then he should demand the freedom to examine styling, construction techniques and other related subjects with objectivity and candour. This way, he could become a real help to the sort of guy who's taken a large chunk of his life to salt away $2,000 to $3,000 for a down payment on his own house.
     Until then the show should drop that line about being a "service to the public."
(Note: See a 1962 picture of Peter Jennings interviewing Mahalia Jackson at CJOH - Google: "Photos: Looking back on CTV Ottawa's past 50 years -" ---savecfbrockcliffe.)

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