Friday, April 27, 2007

The Dobranos Season 17, Episode 2


As we saw in last season's finale of the Dobranos, the writers stretched credibility to the breaking point when they made it clear that the show's top Capo was in fact very busy lobbying himself. Just in case you missed it, here's our synopsis, from the archives:

Let's see if we've got this straight.

Mr. Dobell is fixing/working for the premier, Mr. Campbell.

And Mr. Dobell is also fixing/working for the City of Vancouver in at least two capacities. And in those capacities part of his job is to lobby Mr. Campbell who makes decisions based on his (ie. Mr. Dobell's) recommendations as a consultant.

Additionally, let's not forget that Mr. Dobell is also chair of the finance committee of VANOC that is dealing with the City of Vancouver to build the massive, developer-friendly, Olympics-oriented entertainment and information "venue".

And who is Mr. Dobell and VANOC going to be dealing with at City Hall when he negotiates the terms of the building of the "Venue"?

Why, none other than Mr. Dobell, of course.

But a funny thing a happened on the way to the hiatus because this season of the show opened not with a bang but with a whimper when the Directors leaked a diversionary, loop-back storyline of no real consequence that allowed the TV Guide crowd (see: Global/NewsDivsion) to discount pretty much the entire thing (see: Baldrey, Keith). Luckily, not all the critics were buying it:

The question is not WHEN did Ken Dobell register to be a lobbyist.

Instead, the real question is WHY?

Why can somebody who's working for the Premier of this Province even register as a lobbyist to lobby the Premier of this Province?

Luckily though, just as the ratings were beginning to sag, things really started to heat up in Episode 2, which runs in three acts as summarized by one of our finest theatrical critics, a fellow named Palmer:

Act 1, March 2005: Dobell, in his capacity as deputy minister to the premier, visits Vancouver's civic theatres board. In response to concerns about cultural funding, he advises that money may be available in the coming year from the provincial budget surplus.

Act 2, March 2006: Dobell has moved from the deputy post to serve as special adviser to the premier. And the province does indeed deliver $5 million in funding for Vancouver's "cultural precincts."

Act 3, April 2006: Dobell is hired by Vancouver to lobby the province. The city will later disclose that his contract was funded out of the province's cultural precincts grant.

Of course, this is all just following the usual screenwriters' formula. Because no matter the protaganists' occupational veils, be they Pols, Capos, or operatives that copulate with rodents, it always comes down to money.

Especially when you follow it.


And just so that other TVGuidegeist knife in the Ledge drawer, who may, or may not, be as sharp as Mr.Palmer, knows.... The point of this episode's alternative Watergate storyline had nothing to do with the public's ability to grasp the significance of the parallels between the actions of The Dobranos' foot soldiers and those of original generation rat f*ckers like Donnie Segretti. Instead, it was written to hook people like you. And, clearly, this time at least, it worked.


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