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Monday, March 10, 2008

Carl Monday’s back, and he’s not better than ever, which makes us sad

Posted By on Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 8:14 AM

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Ah, the goold ole days, when Carl tricked unsuspecting Buckeye fans into admitting they crank it in the library.
In late January, we questioned whether Carl Monday had gone soft. He hadn’t done a Carl Monday Investigation worthy of that title in two months, instead wasting his valuable time and even more valuable moustache on two boring Cleveland Clinic stories that didn’t even require a trench coat. Monday, apparently, reads C-Notes. And he’s heeded our call. Like Picasso’s Blue Period, the last month and a half may go down as the most prolific epoch of Monday’s career—he’s aired four investigations. ... The natural concern, of course, is that Monday will choose quantity over quality. Will his microphone be long enough; trench coat grey enough; his moustache as sprightly as we remember? Will there be enough front-yard showdowns? Will Monday be escorted by security from a satisfactory amount of private properties? What we want to know is, Will Carl Monday be Carl Monday enough? Well, we watched them, and the answer, sadly, is no. Monday seems to have permanently lost some Monday-y-ness since the glory days of Channel 3—and fans are questioning whether his cushy new Chanel 19 contract has anything to do with it. But even a small amount of Monday is more Monday than non-Carl Monday investigative reporters can produce, so we’re glad to have him back. We’ve summarized his newest work, in the order that the videos have aired: Local Talent Agency Not Paying Up: Monday totally destroys a child-modeling agency that hasn’t paid its models in a year. Highlight: Two of the models are little girls adopted from China, which gives Monday a sweet opportunity to play some Oriental music and grainy sweatshop footage in a tangent only he could pull off. Verdict: A confrontation with agency owner where Monday doesn’t let him defend himself is textbook Monday. This also features one of the more pointless uses of undercover reporting in TV history, which is a big plus. Score: Four out of five Mondays. Aaron’s Attempts to Cheat System: I have no idea what this is about, and I watched it 12 times. Aaron’s furniture store did some complicated trick to save $2 million dollars on insurance premiums, says Monday. I think he overestimated his audience’s intelligence on this one, which is definitely a first. Highlight: After a fraud investigator says this is the first time he’s heard about this, Channel 19 cuts for one second to the bad-ass shot of Monday posing with his mic. Verdict: Is he even carrying a microphone in this one? If so, he’s definitely not stuffing it in anybody’s face. 1.5 Mondays. Has a Local Pastor Soul-ed Out?: A pastor puts a church’s house in his name, borrows money against the house, argues for a raise to pay back the money, doesn’t get the raise, pays back the house anyways, and then Monday chases him around. Channel 19 uses a church-appropriate Gothic font throughout. Highlight: Chasing the pastor across a yard, yelling, “Hold on, where ya running to, huh, hold on!” and then getting a screen door slammed in his face. Verdict: Any Monday episode that ends with a woman weeping, “What he did to me crushed my soul,” as harp music plays, meets our very high Monday standards. 3.5 Mondays. Was Massive Water Main Break Preventable? Monday was given one day for this investigation, which is like asking Peter Jackson to create a trilogy in a week. Only worse. Monday resorts to his mastery of circular logic in covering the Public Square water main break. The pipes were recently inspected by a hired company, but how long ago were they inspected by a city agency? Not since 1996, which sounds like a long time ago, except it’s not—the pipes were re-lined then, and they have a life of 50 to 100 years. But shut up about all that. Highlight: Monday interviews an unidentified guy in a hard-hat, asks him who should’ve inspected the pipes, and then takes the guys shoulder-shrugging guess as the basis for the investigation. Monday’s on a deadline, baby! Verdict: A master can’t be rushed. N/A Mondays. -- Gus Garcia-Roberts
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