You’ve been missed, Ovechkin back tattoos.
A lot went down. Teows went to the quiet room, Trotz got in a spat with Devorski, Ovi’s back tattoos came back, and the Caps wiseguys stole the show. Come relive the memories with me and Ian, who almost agree about it.
Peter Hassett: Ian
Ian Oland: Yeah?
Peter: What’d you think of Road to the Winter Classic episode 1?
Don’t worry about saying something dumb. I’ll just edit it out.
Ian: I knew it wasn’t going to be as good as what HBO did. But even with that lowered expectation, I was disappointed. I thought it was boring for an all-access show, there were few memorable moments, and even when they were, the show didn’t go deeper with them. Everyone was presented as awesome and perfect. It just felt like a little bit more than a highlight show to me.
Peter: Yeah, and I think that feeling of being underwhelmed is the majority. I wonder a little bit if they’re trapped by their own structure. There were bits in that episode that could have sustained 5-minute segments rather than 20-second spots.
But even if it won’t live up to the Liev-voiced HBO series, there was still some interesting stuff in there for me. Toews’ head injury, Trotz’s relationship with Devorski, everything with Korn. What’d you dig?
Ian: I’m all about personality. I loved the Ward and Chimera bits. CSN does those regular segments with them and it feels forced. But they just aired those two in the locker room, with Wardo reading a paper. The first thing a hyperactive Chimera says to him is: “You reading the pictures? You reading the pictures?” Ward’s response, hilarious, was “I have a four-year college education.” That was natural and really captured their relationship.
The stuff with Wilson and Latta. Talking about how they protect their dad, Nick Backstrom on the ice. That was priceless too.
Peter: Yeah, that’s one of the best parts of the show. They don’t seem to contrive the setups, so the stuff they get seems more organic. I think it’s a little suspicious that Wilson and Latta were playing ping pong, but I loved this quote from Wilson:
“We’re young, and it’s fun to be young for a while.”
Tom Wilson is living the freaking life. He better enjoy it.
Ian: Yeah, those parts were memorable and captivating because it was natural and organic. Which is important with these kinds of shows. It wasn’t like that inane introduction that made me want to hurl myself into a fire pit of dragons.
Peter: What’s the deal with the voiceover? The writing seems so stilted, overwrought.
Ian: Peter, THERES THIS THING ABOUT ROADS…
Peter: Haha. Like, I get the “HOCKEY IS EPIC” angle. It’s good. But that well has been tapped dry.
There is so much more. Hockey is fun. It’s the most fun. Go with that. We don’t need some kind of dumbed-down Cormac McCarthy spiel with overbaked metaphors.
It just occurred to me that this was a play on the name of the show. “ROAD to the Winter Classic.”
Ian: NO WAY
GET THE [bleep] OUT OF HERE
Peter: Yeah I just checked.
(Totally editing out your curse word)
Ian: I think the person who got the most airtime tonight was Blaine Forsythe.
Peter: Mister personality, running the video sessions.
As low key as he is, he owns that power play.
Ian: He sure does.
What did you think about that Korn feature in the middle?
Peter: I want to know what it is about his conscience that doesn’t allow him to keep a hotel room during a 4-day road trip. I think the transactional time costs of moving all his shirts probably erases the savings, but that’s just me. I love the guy; tons of respect for his career.
Ian: He just is so damn down to earth. He feels like he’s you or me in that position. Just a big nerd, who loves hockey and who is super smart. I have so much respect for the man. Moving out of a hotel room because he feels guilty about wasting the money, just says so much about who he is. I really wish they could have spent more time on him, because he’s probably one of the most interesting guys on the team.
Peter: Yeah. For whatever problems the team has, they seem like a good group of people. Korn is genuine, Trotz has a big heart, Chimera and Ward are adorable, and Wilson and Latta are a ton of fun. I think the show did a good enough job to capture that.
Ian: That’s true. I just hope we get away from the glorifying of guys and we get to just covering what’s really going on. Do we really need three minutes of defending Alex Ovechkin? Do we need lines like this? “No owner wants a team to win a Stanley Cup more than Ted Leonsis.”
Peter: Bingo. That stuff should be self evident. We don’t need a vignette dedicated to it.
Ian: I don’t need Not-Liev Schreiber cutting a promo for how awesome Barry Trotz is. Just present what he’s doing at practice and let me make up my own dang mind about it.
Peter: Closing thoughts? Because I think this is a very interesting time to have this show. Remember four years ago? That was the worst time period for the Caps up until that point– switching to the trap, essentially damning the Boudreau!Caps even if it would take 11 more months. These Caps are actually winning games, and it’s a totally different vibe.
Ian: Yeah, it had much more of a story arc in a sense. They presented the Penguins as such a happy team, everything going right. Then you have bumbling Boudreau with BBQ sauce, the team losing and it feeling like this David vs Goliath Winter Classic. WHICH WE WON BY THE WAY.
I don’t know, as an artist, I’m just disappointed. I know in this day in age, everyone is so protective of who they are and what they stand for. But just let the professionals do their thing. The EPIX video work was brilliant and there were great moments. But I just feel like this could have been so much better. I think it’s going to be mostly a highlight show in a sense, and that kind of disappoints me. I wish that metaphorical road showed me those interesting dents and scrapes in it. Not the mile markers passing by.
Peter: Well, we’ve got three more episodes. If I recall, the latter episodes were the best in the previous series. I’m looking forward to Backy’s hat trick and the longest shootout in NHL history captured for EPIX. It’ll get better because how could it not?!
Ian: Exactly. In the words of Barry Trotz, “Everyone pulling the rope, feeding the right wolf.” I have no idea what that means, but it feels right to end on it.
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