Upon Further(er) Review with JoeSportsFan
Last week, news finally broke of several organization shifts within the Post-Dispatch sports department. Both Joe Strauss and Derrick Goold will embrace enhanced roles while Bryan Burwell, previously the #2 sports columnist, moves onto driving an online video series entitled, “Upon Further Review.”
As an entity that’s always had passion for creating compelling video, this news excited us and continues to do so. The intersection of old school talent with new school media is fascinating and the bar for uniquely-produced video in St. Louis needs to be pushed. We’re excited for the industry ramifications, but cynical of the short term execution of Burwell’s endeavor. Since Dan Caesar, the Post-Dispatch’s own media critic, is unlikely to document the evolution of this series, we’re taking it upon ourselves to do so.
Released: December 5th, 2012 (link)
Cast: Bryan Burwell, Noah Coslov
Although it was labeled as the official unveiling, we’re unsure if we can count this as the first “official” episode since it’s only about two-minutes in length and achieved very little. This seemed more like the public release of Bryan Burwell’s demo tape to the Post-Dispatch brass. Nevertheless, we learned several things this episode.
1.) Hokey sports news sets are apparently still cool
If Vegas placed betting lines on what a traditional media outlet’s video set would look like, “Host positioned between frosted glass and a desk of whacky sports memorabilia” would have been a 3:2 favorite.
Frankly, the transparent, live background isn’t all bad. Searching for a CRT computer monitor or one of Deb Peterson’s fifteen cats scampering across the Post-Dispatch newsroom will always keep us engaged. It’s like a video version of “Where’s Waldo”.
2.) You will learn to love Noah Coslov, dammit
Even though this was Bryan Burwell’s big unveiling, a man named “Noah Coslov” popped onto your computer screen. No, he’s not an out-of-work Blues player, he’s the managing editor for a company called CineSport.
Noah (and CineSport) was involved in previously video installments on STLToday.com. You probably don’t remember because, like the rest of St. Louis, you didn’t watch the videos. CineSport’s grand idea is a split-screen toss between “host” (Noah) and “expert” (Burwell). Any teenager with Skype can pull this off, but apparently CineSport has developed a profitable business model around it. Good for them.
Anyway, we were excited to see a locally-produced and staffed show. Even if CineSport is involved in the production, we’re unsure why Noah Coslov needs to be jammed down our throats (including a 25-second introduction with him sitting there, nodding his head like a jackass). If the purpose is to forcefully toss softballs back to Bryan Burwell so he can use fancy words scrolling across the teleprompter, we’d rather have that be an out-of-work hockey player.
Even so, who is the damn host?
“Hi, I’m Bryan Burwell, the host of this show. Now, let me welcome Noah Coslov into the action. Noah, what questions would you like to ask me today?”
3.) Burwell’s first interview will be with a Steven Jackson imposter
It was revealed that Burwell will get out of the studio every now and then to conduct interviews. That’s good news, although this town isn’t exactly lacking athlete interviews with about 15 substandard sports talk stations conducting them all day.
Burwell’s first “official” video interview will be released this Thursday, with a Steven Jackson.
Actually, upon further review (hiyo!), that’s not even Steven Jackson.
No lip fuzz, no Steven Jackson.
Seriously, has anyone EVER seen him without a thin mustache and/or goatee? This just looks like a beefy man, wearing a Steven Jackson Halloween costume. Maybe that’s what the interview is about. But then again, doing the interview at Rams Park seems a little over the top.
Granted, this is the first episode and we didn’t expect the Post-Dispatch to boil the ocean in its inaugural attempt. That being said, the underlying arc of this entire endeavor confuses us. Is this video series going to be out about Bryan Burwell’s resonating opinion/personality…or the stories that are being told? Frankly, we’re hoping it’s about the stories. Bryan Burwell talking down the barrel of a camera is basically a disappointing visual regurgitation of his written word, only without the asinine reader comments. And that’s no fun.
This episode did nothing to explain the vision. The presence of a “host” to lead Burwell into forced diatribes only muddied the water more. Most inaugural episodes (whether they’re major network premiers or internet webisodes) lay the groundwork for subsequent chapters.
We’re still confused, but still intrigued.
This episode avoided an “F” simply because the Post-Dispatch actually executed *a* video after promising to do so. Unfortunately, that mediocrity actually earns you points in this market.