Saturday, 23 February 2013

Seeing Things for the 21st century reporter

"Dreams are for the night time
Days are wide awake
Visions are for a crazy man – not me for goodness sake…
'Cause I'm seeing things"
-from the opening credits to "Seeing Things"

Seeing Things in the 21st century
What would it be like to read a person's mind, or foresee the future? Given that I am the editor of a small-town newspaper, I sometimes wonder if it would make my job easier, or just more complicated. Beyond knowing if someone was lying, or knowing in advance of some event, I think it would be a case of "too much information" in the truest sense.

The other day I was thinking about "Seeing Things". Do you remember it? Sunday nights on CBC for six years. It starred Louis Del Grande as Louis Ciccone, a reporter for a Toronto newspaper who one day has a fragment of a psychic vision about something he is investigating. As the investigation proceeds, the vision gets clearer and more detailed until he solves the case. Through it all, he grapples with his wife who keeps kicking him out and taking him back, the fact he can't drive, and he keeps getting in the way of the police and Crown attorney Heather Redfern. Oh, and no one can seem to pronounce his name.

It was a great show, one that was uniquely Canadian. The plots were set in Toronto, and there were constant references to Canadian culture, be it sports, politics, or the occasional dig at the CBC. Del Grande had been a writer for American network TV who came north. His real life wife Martha Gibson, played his beleaguered wife Marge, and Janet Laine Green played Redfern. They fashioned some sort of bizarre triangle, that was amusing but not that tense.

The show ran its course, and it was one of the first shows I recall that had an actual final episode. Unfortunately, Del Grande could never replicate this success. Still, it was one of the better Canadian dramas about Canada.

And you know, after recalling what kind of a shambles Louis Ciccone's personal life was, and how he ended up using his own wits, intelligence, investigative instincts, and powers of deduction to solve cases anyway, I'm pretty sure I never want to be psychic.

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