Why Angry Birds are angry

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Screenshot looking down at Thanksgiving parade during broadcast. (CBS)

You think the three television networks are the same? Not so! Last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was broadcast by NBC and this year CBS got the job. What a difference a network makes!

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Angry Birds float at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (CBS)

So yes, the Angry Birds have every reason to be angry. Last year, NBC shot the parade on Broadway against the backdrop of its great traditional skyscrapers (see my “Thanks for this parade“). This year, CBS placed its anchor booth to assure that glass-box modern architecture was the primary backdrop. How boring! Hope the Angry Bird float did not show its anger by pooping on the crowd!

The Angry Bird should defecate on the NBC producers. Although the anchors expostulated repeatedly that the weather for the parade was fine, it looked gray to television viewers. This was no doubt because the glass boxiness of the backdrop played such havoc with reflected sunshine that the producers forced the cameramen to use filters that grayed out the beautiful blue sky (if we can believe the anchors).

Of course, there was very little parade on the CBS broadcast of the parade. It was mainly interviews with boring stars of CBS shows, or cutting away to bad music by bad singers filmed off site or studio commercials for other bad CBS shows. And of course cutting to the regular commercials. I fast-backwarded to the Angry Bird float segment because my little boy, Billy, who was dutifully viewing the parade with me, is an Angry Birds fanatic. Then I fast-forwarded back to where we were in the parade. When you “roll the tape” fast you see more clearly how much of the broadcast is fluff. Like the cutesie actress who informed us that she grew up with a photo of Tom Selleck over her family toilet. More than I want to know; maybe more than Tom wants to know!

Ah, those CBS producers. Maybe they’ll get a Pritzker Prize for this year’s parade broadcast. Aargh! Thanksgiving indeed. Tonight I’ll give thanks that this year’s CBS broadcast of the Macy’s parade is over and pray that next year it will be back in the reliable hands of NBC. Happy Thanksgiving!

(News flash: Later this afternoon I discovered that NBC had also aired a broadcast of the parade, starting at around 4 p.m. I had thought CBS had somehow got the gig this year. Both networks did. NBC’s broadcast this year had the same backdrops as last year. And now I learn from Kristen Richards of ArchNewsNow.com that NBC’s afternoon broadcast was a rerun of its live morning broadcast of the parade. And now Will Morgan informs me that the top screenshot is not Broadway but 6th Avenue.)

[Thanks to Gayle Gertler for correcting my erroneous citation of Burt Reynolds as the actor whose picture graces Actress X’s family toilet.]

[This post was originally sent around noon on Thanksgiving. It has been delayed because my email server suddenly believes, in its wisdom, that my bulk delivery is spam. I hope you will get it, late being better than never.]

About David Brussat

For a living, I edit the writing of some of the nation's leading architects, urbanists and design theorists. This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. My freelance writing and editing on that topic and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to invest your prose with even more style and clarity, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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3 Responses to Why Angry Birds are angry

  1. kristen says:

    NBC was live in the morning in front of Macy’s, then a re-run in the afternoon. CBS was totally lame…and picked a lousy spot to broadcast from. every year I swear I won’t watch, and every year I do…

    Like

  2. sjo2346@aol.com says:

    NBC broadcast the parade this year. Hosts were Matt Lauer and Savannah…whatever. I never watch NBC or CBS.

    Sent from my Sprint phone.

    Like

    • I saw that NBC broadcast from the same place as last year with the same buildings as backdrop, but in the afternoon. Billy and I watched the CBS broadcast in the morning. I thought maybe they traded off each year.

      Like

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