There’s a comedian named Jeremy Woodcock who got slightly famous for considerably less than fifteen minutes this summer with a video about finding Bessarion station, the least-used stop on the Toronto subway. I was working at the Toronto Star at the time, so I did a story about him and I can report that he’s the same sort of winning, low-key guy he appears to be.
He’s got a new video online now, this one about finding the eastern border of Toronto in a grassy ravine off a highway near Pickering. Sounds unpromising, I know, but it’s whimsical and funny and poignant, just like its antecedent.
Best of all, it’s only seven minutes long. The Urbane Explorer—that’s the name of what Woodcock says will be a five-episode web series produced by CTV—exemplifies all the best traits of its form: tightly edited, unfussy, warm and approachable, with none of the boring exposition or cloying anxiety-to-please of big budget productions.
The seven-minute web video is to the network TV episode what the blog post is to the newspaper column: a more intimate, casual version of the original thing, with 90 per cent less throat-clearing. And therefore often much better.