Though the rebranded station launched on Aug. 31, Dumont’s show made its premiere a week later (ironically, on Labour Day, when most people with weekday jobs would take the day off) with Dumont introducing himself.
The critics’ analysis: It could have been a lot worse (updated Sept. 9 with more links).
- Richard Therrien expected disaster, but it wasn’t.
- Josée Legault had lukewarm criticisms.
- Michelle Coudé-Lord thought it was too long.
- Mario Asselin was disappointed.
- Projet J is neutral.
- Hugo Dumas pointed out that reporters’ V-branded microphones gave the impression that V is doing journalism again, when the news reports are still being outsourced to ADN5.
- Christiane Charette had a panel debate Mario’s performance (skip to 2:55 of the clip for the judgments).
Dumont 360 is basically a 60-minute talk show with Dumont as the moderator of a panel discussion. He’s joined by Ève Couture, who chips in with news, man-on-the-street interviews and other stuff with the help of the giant touch-screen wall:
A five-minute segment of headlines is the closest the new TQS comes to having a newscast.
Rather than spend the hour on a bunch of different topics, Dumont picks one topic and sticks with it throughout the show. On Monday, it was the Olympic Stadium. On Tuesday, school dropouts. Serious, debatable issues, at least.
There’s also a short segment in which Dumont gives his opinion (which I guess means the rest of the show is not-opinion). The segment is only a minute long, but he manages to get a good point in there.
Dumont and his producers weren’t perfect in the debut, but that’s understandable. The errors will lessen as they get more comfortable.
What struck me most about this show is how good an orator Dumont is. Perhaps it shouldn’t have – this guy had been single-handedly running a political party for almost two decades – but he seems to speak to the camera better than Claude Poirier or Richard Martineau on LCN.
Nevertheless, I have a few humble suggestions for improving the show:
- Decrease the length of those bumbers. They slow down the show. If you need them to keep viewers occupied while you walk from the desk to the giant wall, consider rethinking that and either staying put or cutting to something else in the meantime.
- Giant touch screens seem to be all the rage in TV today, probably because of CNN. But they have a tendency to fail on camera, they’re patently unnecessary, and they don’t even look cool. You have a director who cues the videos, let that person do their job. Keep the giant screen, but don’t touch it.
- Your table (actually three tables) looks very Toutlemondeenparle-ish with Dumont at the centre. It’s huge, and when you have guests it looks like you’re sitting across the room from each other. If you have to get up to hand your guest a piece of paper, you’re sitting too far from each other. Find a comfortable distance so that you can interact without getting squished.
- I know you’re a populist, but I honestly don’t care what some moron on the street thinks of the issue of the day. Let your audience comment, but keep the streeters to a minimum.
- V should allow us to embed videos into blog posts and elsewhere, so we can better share the stuff we see.
- Cool it with the hands. Gestures are good for public speaking or accusing the opposition of nastiness, but they just get in the way when you’re hosting a TV show. Don’t tie them behind your back, but don’t use them unnecessarily.
You can get more comments from Twitter users (#d360 seems the official hashtag, but #Dumont360 is more popular, or just search “Dumont 360“), or hear them straight from the horse’s mouth: Dumont was the guest on V’s Le show du matin Tuesday morning and asked what he thought of his premiere (Part 1, Part 2)
I’d make a suggestion about the news segment, but I’m hoping the powers that be recognize the viewer-attracting power of a proper newscast and bring back a news department some time over the next year.
Any other suggestions for Mario? Add them below.
UPDATE (Sept. 11): Patrick Lagacé says we should wait a bit before passing judgment. I agree that we shouldn’t evaluate the show completely based on a single episode or two. But I don’t think it’s ever too early to offer suggestions on how Dumont could improve his show. Besides, first impressions are very important.