Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

For the long weekend, how about some dynamic duos?

Chill. You're supposed to chill this long weekend. And go back to work on Tuesday all mellow and sweet-tempered.

And if you attend a Labour Day parade, which you should, you will be reminded that the right to chill on weekends, long or short, was hard-won by trade unions. People fought hard for your right to chill and party.

One suspects you're not expected to watch much TV. There is very little that's new, but plenty of sports events and repeats. You can watch six consecutive episodes of Big Bang Theory in prime time on Saturday (Comedy, 8 p.m.). The same night you can watch multiple Dateline: Real Life Mysteries (TLC, 8 p.m.) until you don't want any more mystery. A new special does air Sunday, one of those list things that is meant to have you gripped, in an idle sort of way.

Story continues below advertisement

TV's Most Dynamic Duos: Presented by the Paley Centre for Media (Sunday, ABC, 9 p.m.) has a windy title and a vaguely silly premise.

According to ABC, "Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts hosts a two-hour countdown of couples who have graced television with their amazing chemistry, hilarity, friendship and, in many cases, sexual tension. Whether it's Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon, Laverne and Shirley, Tony and Carmela Soprano, Homer and Bart Simpson, Mulder and Scully or Lucy and Ethel, there is no shortage of indelible duos on television."

I don't know about you but using the phrase "sexual tension" immediately before mentioning Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon seems a bit gormless. Still, the special is supposed to make you think fondly about TV duos and, of course, chill while you're doing it. Eventually the special will end by announcing the numero-uno duo decided by a poll conducted by Nielsen Media Research. No wagering, please.

There is a starting list to whet your appetite. And it includes Archie Bunker and Michael "Meathead" Stivic from All in the Family, Beavis and Butthead, Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, Cameron Tucker and Mitchell Pritchett from Modern Family, and Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock from Star Trek. I'm thinking that Kirk and Spock are already ahead in the list. Top 10 for sure. You know what Trekkies are like.

Obviously a good deal of deep thought has gone into the list. It is heavy on nostalgia. Ralph and Alice Kramden from The Honeymooners are there, plus Richie Cunningham and Arthur Fonzarelli from Happy Days. At the same time, it's possible that loads of people have very fond memories of spending time with Pat Sajak and Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune. And some people might be mystified that John Locke and Jack Shephard from Lost are on the same list.

Me, I like these particular duos – Dan and Roseanne Conner on Roseanne and Dana Scully and Fox Mulder on The X-Files. But nobody asked me.

If this sort of silly listing competition interests you, and yes it's probably better than making a list of things to do at work next week, try thinking up a Canadian version of TV's Most Dynamic Duos. I have. There's Pastor Mansbridge and meteorologist Claire Martin on CBC's The National. There's Brent Leroy (Brent Butt) and his dad Oscar Leroy (Eric Peterson) on Corner Gas. There's George Stroumboulopoulos and his red chair.

Story continues below advertisement

See, it's a great chill-out activity. Hardly any labour involved at all. Enjoy.


Doctor Who (Saturday, Space, 9 p.m.) is new. Yep, the first episode of season seven is on Space. What happens? "The Doctor and the Ponds must escape from a planetary prison and the dangerous convicts within." Crikey, that sounds like a lark.

Chasing Madoff (Sunday, 8:25 a.m., HBO Canada) is not new and is an interesting but over-ripe doc about Harry Markopolos who spent 10 years trying to get the SEC to pay attention to his detailed accusations against Bernie Madoff. Markopolos emerges as angry and deeply distrustful of the financial authorities and the media. And rightly so. He paints a picture of incompetence and greed that spreads far and wide. Canadian filmmaker Jeff Prosserman gives Markopolos a soapbox and much of what unfolds is gripping, but too many irritating tricks are used to make a doc about talking heads and financial statements visually arresting.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to