Last night’s episode of The Simpsons, where they go to Vancouver, was not a bad episode but didn’t provide a lot to comment on. (It did demonstrate that Skinner’s origins have been completely whitewashed from the show, as the episode had him talk as if Agnes actually gave birth to him. Though you could argue that when Armin Tanzarian replaced the real Seymour Skinner, he agreed to take the blame for everything Skinner did, including his difficult birth.) It did continue my favourite Canadian TV tradition, the tradition of inept Global Television promos.
In this case, Global had not over-hyped the episode quite as badly as they did in 2002 when the Simpsons went to Toronto, and Global ran “THE SIMPSONS GO TO TORONTO!!!!1!” clips every five seconds. (Then the episode aired, the Toronto trip lasted about two minutes in the third act, and everyone in the country was P.O.’d.) The promo itself was fairly decent. But they continued to run the promo even after the episode was already in progress. And then, when the episode was over and they’d moved onto that show that rips off Family Guy and The Simpsons at the same time, Global ran the same promo, telling us to watch for the Simpsons’ trip to the Olympics, “tonight at 8 p.m. eastern!”
Now, I could make an argument that by telling us to watch out for 8 p.m. eastern after 8 p.m. eastern is already over, they’re making some broad point about the nature of time itself. But I don’t think the argument would stick.
As I said, Global’s bad promos — or in this case, badly-placed promos — are a tradition; any time they make their own promos instead of getting them from the U.S. parent network, they seem to come up with something just a little off. Ever since I was a child, I would see these Global promos where the creator either had never watched the show or didn’t have access to enough episodes to make up a good segment, so they’d take random clips from one episode (two at most) and let the voice-over guy try to make sense of it.
My favourite Global promo of all time, which I have never been able to find online (I know it was real; I saw it at least twice), was a King of the Hill promo consisting of one clip from the show and a voice-over announcement that was (exact quote) as follows:
Someone’s doing something on King of the Hill! Find out what! Tonight on Global!
Now that’s a promo.