What’s the Consensus: Does Friends deserve the hype?

We’re all familiar with the show, but are we all on the same page about it?

Reader, I sense that this one is going to be more divisive than usual, but the question needed to be asked: how do we feel about Friends? One of the most popular television shows of all time, it has also received its fair share of criticism, and I want to know where we stand with it.

In its 10 seasons, Friends was nominated for over 60 Primetime Emmy Awards, suggesting that it was beloved by television viewers at that time, and, it would seem that love carried on: Friends: The Reunion, which aired in May of 2020, was watched by an estimated 29 per cent of U.S. streaming households on the first day of release.

Friends ran from 1994 to 2004, giving it a following of millennial viewers who probably made up a large part of that reunion audience. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug, after all. The thing is, a lot of good TV shows have been made since 2004. If we’re talking about sitcoms that can be compared to Friends, there are solid (and similarly beloved) shows like The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.

And, 30-minute comedies continued to evolve beyond that style of humour — single set sitcoms — even at the same time as Friends was airing: The Office, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, and Modern Family are all excellent comedies that have also stood the test of time.

When Friends was put on Netflix in 2015, it gained two things: a whole new generation of (younger) fans, and a whole lot of people left wondering, why did I ever like this show? Many felt that, through their older and more *refined* comedy lenses, the show just fell short of their memories — and was actually pretty problematic.

So, Concordians, whether you’re a first-year fresh out of CEGEP, or a mature student like myself who feels ancient in your classrooms, I want to know how you feel about Friends.

What’s the Consensus?

Click here to cast your vote:


The results from each poll will be published in the following edition of this column.

Last time, we asked readers if they think that smoking cigarettes is still cool. The results: 17% said yes and 83% said no.


Feature graphic by James Fay

Netflix’s dating shows have a sex problem

The streaming service’s roster promises raunchiness but delivers an antiquated scolding

Since the start of the pandemic, Netflix has been pumping out reality shows left and right. Once the place to go for high-concept prestige TV, with early titles like “The Crown” and “House of Cards.” In recent years, Netflix has cast a wider net, venturing into the murky world of dating shows. This move makes sense, as while in lockdown, many yearned to be able to go out and meet new people, with casual dating being risky at best. So, what could be better than absorbing the sexy, flirty, and even awkward experiences of strangers, right from the comfort of your couch?

Unfortunately, Netflix’s quarantine roster did not deliver on the fun raunch viewers have come to expect from reality dating shows. Instead, it doled out a heavy hand of sex-negativity and falsehoods on basic human attraction.

This trend is no more obvious than in the streaming service’s breakout hit “Too Hot to Handle.” In this show, so-called “sex-crazed singles” are lured to an island vacation on the false promise of all-night parties and uninhibited hookups. However, in what can only be described as a horror movie-esque twist, they soon realize that they are actually going to be judged on their ability to remain celibate, while under the pressure of a cash prize that decreases with every sexual indiscretion. The show’s Amazon Alexa-style robot judge posits this test as a way to force the contestants to foster “real” romantic connections with each other, rather than focusing on sex.

What results is a show with a perfectly serviceable amount of relationship drama, where the contestants learn to be “better people” through activities like wellness workshops, and break a few rules along the way. But, despite the moderate fun, always in the background is an impossible-to-ignore puritanical view that casual sex is somehow incompatible with a happy and fulfilling life.

“Too Hot to Handle” is not Netflix’s only show peddling this ideology. Both the recent “Sexy Beasts” and the early-quarantine smash hit “Love Is Blind” fall prey to similarly regressive views. In “Love Is Blind,” singles meet each other through an opaque wall, with only their conversations to connect them. The aim of the show is to foster relationships not built on physical attraction.

Similarly, in “Sexy Beasts” the romantic hopefuls can’t see each other. However, in this show, that is because the contestants are decked out in ridiculous animal and monster prosthetics for their dates. This renders them unrecognizable, and rather ugly. Both of these shows argue that when dating, physicality is the least important indicator of compatibility, and in fact, we should ignore it all together.

The issue is, this isn’t exactly true. For the vast majority of people, physical attraction is, if not very important, at least an influential factor in determining compatibility. While yes, there can be a point in which someone becomes vain or overly obsessed with looks in their partners, as humans, we generally experience sexual attraction as a fundamental fact of life.

With that, pairing couples up with either no clue what each other looks like or no experience with each others’ physical touch could lead to some awkward encounters later down the road when they realize they just aren’t compatible in that way.

But that shouldn’t be punished, right? Simply not being physically or sexually attracted to someone isn’t a moral lapse. All these shows try to convince viewers that the sheer desire to be with someone you find attractive is a non-sequitur to romance and we should try to learn to date differently.

While I think most of us would agree with the cliché that inner beauty is what really matters, and that there are some real issues with contemporary hookup culture, it’s impossible to take physicality out of the equation for the vast majority of people. It begs the question why Netflix’s shows need to demonize this fact of life.

Furthermore, on both “Sexy Beasts” and “Love is Blind,” once faces are revealed (spoiler alert), all the contestants turn out to be wildly conventionally attractive. So, if all the options were thin, young, clear-skinned, seemingly able-bodied people anyway, what sort of message is this even conveying? What are the stakes here?

These shows seem to have to convince the viewer that the show has a reason for existing. Rather than relying on the fact that many of us simply want to watch a bunch of hot dummies create drama with each other like we have for two decades on Bravo and E!, Netflix needs to convince itself these new dating shows are all “social experiments” made to uncover some hidden dirty truths about modern romance. Thus, no, a show where singles dress up in animal prosthetics to go on dinner dates can’t just exist for fun. It must now spoon-feed viewers a moral on the importance of inner beauty. This leads to a series of shows with convoluted rules and uninteresting storylines.  There’s obviously space in the culture for thought-provoking stories on love and relationships, but come on, can’t Netflix just throw us a bone for once?


Photo collage by Kit Mergaert


The end of Tim & Sid

Seixeiro will be the new co-host of Breakfast Television

Television and radio host Sid Seixeiro left sports fans speechless when he announced on air on Jan. 21 that he was leaving Tim & Sid.

Alongside Tim Micallef, Seixeiro has been the co-host of Tim & Sid since 2011. The show began on The FAN 590, Sportsnet’s sister radio channel in Toronto, and was then broadcasted on Sportsnet television from 2013. On air from 5 to 7 p.m. every weekday, it’s one of the most popular sports talk shows in Canada.

Seixeiro started in sports broadcasting at age 20. He has worked in the sports industry for 20 years, most of them on Tim & Sid. His last show with Micallef will be on Feb. 26.

Despite Seixeiro leaving, the show will continue with Micallef and rotating co-hosts. Seixeiro is joining morning show Breakfast Television on Citytv as co-host. He will begin in his new duties on March 10.

“That show is very important to the fabric of the Greater Toronto Area,” Seixeiro said on Tim & Sid. “It’s a part of people’s lives. It will give me the opportunity to do some stuff I could just not do right now, stuff that interests me.”

For tens of thousands of sports fans, Tim & Sid has been their daily evening rendez-vous for years. The way this show discusses sports — sometimes in a serious way and other times with more fun and laughs — has made it entertaining since it’s beginning. Micallef and Seixeiro have always been fun to watch, as they’ve complemented each other well as co-hosts.

Seixeiro will be missed on Tim & Sid, and despite the show still going on after Feb. 26, it will be different. It will take time for long-time followers of the show to get used to the new Tim & … we shall see.


Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion


Playing games in Hunters: who is served by on-screen violence?

Depicting violence on screen is a tricky line to walk, but its impact is incredibly important

Whether we want to admit it or not, everyone is looking to be represented on screen to some degree. When we see people who look, behave, and think like us on screen, it validates our own experiences of the world.

As a cis, white Jew, I feel fairly well-represented by mainstream media. I grew up on all the Ashkenazi classics like Fiddler on the Roof and Seinfeld, and as an adult, I have my “problematic faves” in Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Schmidt from New Girl. Yet, despite seeing a good amount of myself on screen, when I heard about the new Amazon Original, Hunters, I was immediately intrigued. 

Hunters chronicles a fictional ragtag gang of Nazi-hunters in 1970s New York City who are brought together in response to Operation Paperclip, the astonishingly real U.S. program which scrubbed the records of Nazi scientists in order to bring them to work on the space race. Many of the Nazi-hunters in the show are Holocaust survivors. And as the descendant of survivors, I have become so sick of survivors’ depictions only ever being helpless, feeble victims. Also, it had been over a decade since the release of Inglorious Basterds, and with the rise of the alt-right around the world, it felt like the perfect time for another piece of mainstream kickass anti-fascist media. Yet, sadly, I quickly realized Hunters would not be that.  

From the get-go, I was struck by an onslaught of intense depictions of Holocaust violence in Hunters. It seemed like every third scene was a flashback to the camps, and every one involving more stylized killing than the last. Very few of these scenes even served the narrative as a whole. Additionally, I was jarred by the now heavily criticized scene in which the show depicts a completely fabricated “human chess game” run by Nazi guards at a concentration camp. This scene was so gratuitous and removed from reality that the Auschwitz Museum tweeted that it was “dangerous foolishness and caricature.”

So, if this sensationally violent chess game never actually happened, why depict it in a show based on the true events surrounding Operation Paperclip?

In my opinion, the unnecessary use of violence in Hunters exists to convince viewers of why the gang is in the right for hunting Nazis. The perception is that non-Jewish audiences need to be reminded of the atrocities of the Holocaust in order to understand the anger felt by the Jewish and otherwise racialized characters in the show. That is a major problem that lies within this show and many other historical dramas. These narratives are expecting their viewers to be apathetic. The baseline feeling is indifference, and viewers must be moved to anti-racism, rather than anti-racism being the default.

While some effective anti-racist media can exist to “convert” people and bring them over from a bigoted point of view to understanding, that should not be the majority of the content that is being made. When mainstream film and TV narratives expect their audiences to be antisemetic, for example, it perpetuates the idea that people are by default antisemetic and must learn to be accepting, rather than the reality that antisemitism, racism, homophobia and so on are learned ideologies. Thus, antisemitism, racism, and homophobia are thought of as “making sense.” Audiences should not need to be convinced why Nazis are the “bad guys.” And by using so much gratuitous violence to make that point, it opens up the possibility of bad faith, “both sides” arguments.

How to properly depict historical violence on screen is a difficult line to walk. On one hand, you don’t want to sanitize history and belittle the real horror experienced by many. Yet, you also don’t want to use violence in a way that dips into the waters of fetishism and exploitation.

This has been an ongoing conversation most notably when it comes to depicting slavery in the United States on film. The response to the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave exemplifies this issue. As Katarina Hedrén writes for Africa is a Country, some critics believed the film to be a “horror show” and devoid of the history of slave revolt and others believed it white washed history through having a “happy ending.” The debate over the use of historical violence in film is not an easy one to maneuver, but it is an important conversation to have regardless.

Ultimately, when writers insert unnecessary violence into their projects, it makes it more difficult for viewers to connect to their characters. No one wants to see themselves as the victim time and time again. Once I finished Hunters, though I had absolutely no business watching past the first episode (but hey, COVID boredom), I recognized that even though Hunters was about Jews, it wasn’t for us. I know the terrible history of violence my people have been put under since, well, the written word. I don’t need to see dozens of depictions of it on screen to understand. I just wish there were more narratives that show a more empowered image.

Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion


We have to stop romanticizing serial killers

For decades, serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Jeffree Dahmer and Charles Manson have fascinated the minds of many people, but some take their interest in true crime too far.

Obsessed people often find themselves on Tumblr in a “True Crime Community,” an online space made up of mainly women who venerate killers and school shooters.

They show their obsession by creating collages of serial killer pictures in typical Tumblr style: pictures of them juxtaposed with flower crowns and transparent stickers that say “fab,” “okay wow” and other sayings that definitely do not go with men who murdered, raped, and hurt so many innocent people. These collages were very popular back in 2014-15, and this fandom has only grown and moved across different social media platforms over the years. It has recently invaded Tik Tok, with point of view videos where someone pretends to “kill” the viewer.

Last year, as reported by Kelly Weill in The Daily Beast, Brein Basarich, under the taking-lives username, was calling mass murderer Dylann Roof “precious” and threatened to kill bystanders at a club or bar – a public place she described as having a single entrance and exit. She was arrested following her threats, along with two other serial killer fans from Ohio. This proves how some don’t think of these people as criminals, but as heroes and rockstars; it shows that this extreme obsession is dangerous and harmful.

It has to end, for the sake of safety.

If you think that this is awful and not very normal or healthy, you’re not wrong. In fact, this sort of behaviour is known as hybristophilia, which is described as an “attraction to those who commit crimes,” according to the APA Dictionary of Psychology. This philia often pushes women specifically to reach out to incarcerated criminals – it is more common in women than men, according to Mark D. Griffiths on Psychology Today.

Fan mail was sent quite often to Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Jeffree Dahmer and Richard Ramirez, who were all famous killers during the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

There are two types of hybristophilia: passive and aggressive. Passive hybristophiliacs excuse the horrifying acts that the killer committed, believing that they can change those criminals, and that they would never hurt them despite being murderers. People who exhibit this type of hybristophilia often don’t have any desire to commit crimes. Aggressive hybristophiliacs are likely to commit horrendous acts along with their criminal significant other, who often manipulate them. 

One of the biggest issues with this twisted admiration for criminals is that hybristophiliacs forget lives were taken and destroyed as a result of those crimes. Sexualizing these monsters disrespects victims and their mourning families. Family members suffer enough following the loss of someone they love and deserve better than seeing people discrediting the wickedness of these men, and sexualizing them.

No, random person on tumblr, you can’t help someone who wants to kill another human being, unless you’re a psychologist, which I doubt you are. 

Next time, before sexualizing a serial killer, remember all of the lives they took and how many people they hurt during their lifetime. There’s a reason they went to jail and it wasn’t to receive your love letters.

Feature graphic by @sundaeghost


Just a sci-fi girl in an apathetic world

How attending Comiccon helped me find community

Anyone who’s spent a significant amount of time with me knows I’m a horror junkie. Even as a kid, I grasped onto any opportunity to feast my eyes on something that would permanently maim me. When I was just barely 10-years-old, I cherished sleepovers at my grandparents’ house because my grandmother would take me to the video store and let me pick out any DVD I wanted.

At home, I was never allowed to watch anything rated PG-13 or higher. I was sequestered while adults watched movies that all my friends had seen, like Titanic or Grease, until I hit double digits. My parents deemed Kate Winslet’s nipples and hickeys from Kenickie as content far too inappropriate for my prepubescent eyes.

My mom’s parents were never the sheltering type, though. Nor were they fond of enforcing strict bedtimes. The first horror movie I remember watching was in their basement, shortly after midnight, both of them fast asleep on the couch beside me. It was Child’s Play—often colloquially referred to as Chucky. The film is a 1988 Tom Holland slasher (the first of seven in the series) about a possessed doll who terrorizes a little boy and his mother. To an adult, it’s a fun, vulgar, slightly cheesy hour and a half. As a child, it was virtually my worst nightmare—and I couldn’t get enough.

Luckily, it wasn’t hard to find others that shared my dark taste in cinema, especially as I got older. From supernatural scares at seventh grade slumber parties, to ninth grade torture porn marathons, to Marble Hornets binges during senior year, I found that most of my friends shared this interest of mine (or at least tolerated it). I’m guilty of making a good handful of boys sit through the classics with me. My first relationship started in my family’s dingy basement, kissing on an old couch while the credits rolled on Friday the 13th. Our hearts pounded in our ears as a result of teen hormones, but mostly because of that insane shot where Jason Voorhees’ decomposing body shoots out of the water and totally wrecks Adrienne King.

The thing with horror is that, while it’s not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea, it’s become relatively accepted. It’s not hard to find people to bond over it with. Yes, an obsession with it might be off-kilter, but it still makes for good conversation, pizza night entertainment, and background noise for makeout sessions. Throughout my 20-something years, I never really considered my interest in horror to be “nerdy”. It was so vast and varied as a genre that I wasn’t forced to identify with a particular group. There was something in it for almost everyone. Before last summer, I hadn’t truly known what it was like to be into something that few people understood.

About a year ago, I discovered The X-Files—a sci-fi television show about two FBI agents who investigate cases that deal with the supernatural. I had always been generally aware of The X-Files. I knew it existed. Most people I knew had either tuned in occasionally when it originally aired in the 90s, or had seen an episode or two on Netflix and given up. One night, I came across it in my “Top Picks” and decided to give it a chance. It was one of those rare occasions where, from episode one, I knew I’d hit the jackpot. Everything about it screamed “me”. I promptly reached out to anyone and everyone I knew and was shocked to find that literally no one in my personal life thought anything of it. Not only did the show not stand out to them as special, but some people even admitted outright that they hated it.

Aside from a few other fans I found in real life who I texted during major plot twists, watching The X-Files was a completely solitary experience for me. I watched each of the 11 seasons and two films all by myself. Because of this, my experience of the show was very private in nature. It felt like my dirty little secret—an escape of sorts. I spent hours laughing, crying, and gasping in front of my television screen during popcorn-fueled binge sessions after the rest of my family went to bed. I became deeply attached to the characters. Unlike horror movies, it was the first time I had an obsession that I couldn’t share. It truly felt like the show had been created for me, and the fact that I had no one to experience it with was both entirely uplifting and mildly heartbreaking.

Up until this point, I had little-to-no experience with nerd culture. I’d never picked up a comic book, I didn’t really like anime, I’d seen only a handful of superhero movies, and I thought “gaming” was something that 30-year-old white guys with neckbeards did in their moms’ basements while double fisting Mountain Dew and Doritos. Plus, I had always associated nerd culture with sexism. In my mind, “nerdy” spaces were cesspools of male cliques firing off condescending remarks and participating in sexual harassment. I wanted no part of it.

Nearly every time I clicked into an online forum discussing The X-Files, my preconceived notions of these spaces were instantly validated. I simply didn’t feel welcome. This was jarring, especially considering the feminist tones of the show. I was annoyed and I concluded it was an interest I’d just keep to myself. But, it was lonely. I wanted so badly to be a part of a community I could share it with.

When I was first offered the opportunity to attend Montreal Comiccon as a member of the media this year, I was skeptical. I wanted to go to see if I could find fellow “X-Philes,” but I knew I’d have to write up something about the convention, and I didn’t want to have to write a scathing review about a toxic environment. Boy, were my preconceived notions ever wrong.

Montreal Comiccon completely shifted my perspective on what it means to be a nerd. It channeled what the true spirit of what being a “nerd” really is. I mean, where else on earth can you walk into a room full of strangers by yourself and instantly feel completely welcome and at ease? Where else can someone who is in love with an odd, campy, 90s television show about aliens find a thousand other people who feel the same way?

Walking into a room full of hundreds of “X-Philes,” I felt the most included and myself I had in a long time. It also made me realize that nerds weren’t all straight, white men in cargo shorts tweeting about #GamerGate and quoting The Big Bang Theory. Nerds were 10-year-old girls, drag queens, disabled people, gay couples, women of colour… I suddenly realized that this thing—this series that I had turned into such a private indulgence—was far bigger than just my secret obsession. These characters that I had developed one-sided relationships with weren’t just mine, they were ours. They helped us all relate to one another.

Comiccon takes a person’s private experience with art and makes it social. The main reason people attend is to meet other people and find those who love the same stuff they do. Making friends only gets harder as you age, so finding somewhere you can be yourself, express gratitude to the artists behind your favourite work, and meet people from different walks of life with shared interests is something pretty special.

There will always be cliques, fandoms, and rivalries. We will always be into different kinds of art. We’ll always experience that art differently from one another. Comiccon showcases that perfectly, but also reminds us that, at the end of the day, we’re all just huge freakin’ nerds. Together.

Graphic by Wednesday Laplante


Why is television important right now?

Television critic Emily Nussbaum discusses television’s impact and the not-so-certain future of the small screen

When compared to films and novels, it’s easy to look at television as the lesser medium of storytelling. Yet, Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic Emily Nussbaum argued for the importance of television due to its longevity and ability to connect with audiences in ways that movies and books can’t. Nussbaum took part in the “Future Small Screen – Talking Television” conference, Concordia’s second Thinking Out Loud event of the year held in collaboration with the Globe and Mail.

“It’s frustrating to hear that a TV show is ‘like’ a great movie or novel. As if television series aren’t as artistically ambitious as movies,” said Nussbaum. “They are episodic, they span over a few years, they have specific genres, and they have a unique relationship with their audiences.”

Nussbaum mentioned one formative series in her career as a television critic—Buffy the Vampire Slayer. “I really developed a fanhood about it. It was sad to me that nobody was talking about Buffy with the same seriousness as something like The Sopranos,” she said. “We tend to overvalue TV shows that don’t look like TV shows.”

The conference, held at Concordia’s D.B. Clarke Theatre, also featured Concordia media professor Joshua Neves, who had a completely different view of the subject. Rather than looking at television as an art form, Neves focused on the ways television is used as a medium and how those methods reflect society.

“I’m interested in how television is used in other media, like in art galleries and museums or in films when someone is watching TV or a film—the idea of a box within a box,” Neves said.

It’s impossible to talk about the importance of television today without mentioning the emergence of streaming services, or the option to pause and rewind. These new additions have not only changed the way people watch TV but they have also changed the way TV shows are made, according to Nussbaum.

“TV is not the underdog anymore,” said Nussbaum. “It began as a mass-commercial form where everyone would sit around the TV with your family, and you consumed what was on the screen and then you forgot about it afterwards. Now, TV series are stories that are really happening.” While Nussbaum expressed her nostalgia for the television of her childhood—when everything was live and less cinematic—she acknowledged that, especially within the last five to seven years, there has been a significant change in television as a medium. Series are now made knowing that people will pause and rewind, whereas before they were made with the idea that they would be viewed live and only once. She added that it will continue to ebb and flow in the years to come.

Photo by Ana Hernandez

Her biggest fear? “Self-driving cars, because then everyone will be watching TV all the time.”

Moderator—and Globe and Mail podcaster—Hannah Sung’s final question for Nussbaum and Neves was how they would describe the current state of television in the history books years from now.

“That’s if we make it through the next five years,” Nussbaum joked. She hesitated to answer the question, however, without bringing up the recent election of Donald Trump, who refuses to acknowledge climate change as a real issue. “[We] won’t get to describe television if we don’t make it through a global environmental crisis,” she said.

Nussbaum’s comments garnered several laughs from the audience, but most just nodded in somber agreement.

The conversation took a lighter turn during its final minutes when the audience members got the chance to ask questions. One member inquired about the everchanging fine line between film and television. Nussbaum gave a poignant answer:

“With movies and books, you make them or you write them and then you release them, and people see it and respond to it afterwards,” Nussbaum said. “But with television, you have more of a long-term relationship [with the audience] and the show changes in response to its audience.”

Nussbaum said the future will see more content creators star in their own shows, what she referred to as the “auteurist blend of creator and star” genre (see: Girls, Atlanta and the British dramedy Fleabag).

Should those shows be on cable networks or should seasons be released in full on Netflix? Nussbaum said that, while the latter is great for binge-watching, “Netflix makes television look more like film, and I think there’s a loss that happens in that.”

The aforementioned loss being that when episodes are released on a weekly basis, the wait between episodes allows more time for audiences to digest and discuss them. When a show’s season is released in full, the viewing experience becomes more singular and less about the community-feel viewers get when watching, or live-tweeting together.


Start your day with Breakfast Television

Aside from the modern studio and its new gadgets, the team officially became complete with the addition of three Concordia alumni: Catherine Verdon-Diamond, Laura Casella and Elias Makos. Photo by David Adelman.

David Adelman
It is no secret that the Montreal anglophone job market for television newscasters is quite limited and the competition to fill these positions is extremely demanding. However, some Concordia journalism graduates have found a home on City Montreal’s newest local morning show, Breakfast Television.
City’s Breakfast Television has had successful precedents in other Canadian cities, dominating morning television with its fast-paced, interactive segments. That’s why Rogers Media designed an exciting new studio inside its downtown Montreal headquarters built with state-of-the-art technology to broadcast new media. This will include an immense video wall that features nine flat-screen monitors and a 65-inch interactive touch-screen monitor that will give the audience a unique perspective to what’s happening worldwide through the lens of social media. To top it off, the live reporters on the team will be out in the field using a new broadcast technology called Dejero which relies on newer cellular systems and is more efficient when compared to older methods of transmission.
Aside from the modern studio and its new gadgets, the team officially became complete with the addition of three Concordia alumni: Catherine Verdon-Diamond, Laura Casella and Elias Makos. For the show’s executive producer and local content manager, Bob Babinski, this feels like “old home week”. A journalism professor at Concordia University for over 25 years, Babinski has worn many hats in the world of television, both on-camera and behind the scenes, which has led him to Breakfast Television alongside students he taught almost a decade ago.
“It just goes to show you how significant the Concordia journalism program has been in the city over the years, that any newsroom in the city is dotted with Concordia graduates. I’d like to think that it’s a tip of the cap to the success of the program,” said Babinski.
Montreal can be a tricky market because there are not always many opportunities in broadcasting, but for Makos, Breakfast Television’s new media producer and commentator, landing this position couldn’t have come at a better time. “You don’t get to work with this caliber of high-energy individuals all together very much in a career,” said Makos, who is more psyched about the team he’s working with than all the new gadgets he’ll get to play with. “My focus has always been around technology and everything new media, but one of the reasons why I am more excited to be here is this versatile team and fast-paced show… that will be unlike anything the Anglophone market in this city has seen,” said Makos, who can’t wait to operate the 65-inch monitor.

“For a long time I wanted to be on television, but I didn’t know how to go about it,” said Verdon-Diamond, who had originally planned on being an algebra teacher. Though she studied mathematics in university, she somehow found herself years later working behind-the-scenes at the CBC. “Then, all of a sudden this opportunity came up, my boss at the CBC suggested I try out reporting. I was doing weather for the 11 p.m. news and now I will be heading to work at 4 a.m. to prepare for this show,” laughs Verdon-Diamond, who will be Breakfast Television’s traffic and weather specialist.
For news reporter Casella, breaking into television has always been her dream. She started off in radio, but is delighted to have changed mediums. “I finally have visuals to work with!” She believes that for students who want to be broadcast journalists, learning to be confident enough in your ability takes a lot of time. She explains, “I laid out my path for myself, it was not easy and you have to strive for it, just because there are not as many jobs in this field as there are others.” When asked about Montreal’s media industry, Casella said, “I wouldn’t say the anglophone market is a struggle, but it’s something you really have to work hard for and chase …You know what? Just go for it, don’t be afraid to go for it … don’t give up.”
The morning show premiered Monday Aug. 26 and will continue to air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily and is available to local service providers.

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