You simply can’t fake chemistry on television. Viewers catch on when folks don’t click. It’s the reason networks recast roles during pilot season; if co-stars don’t connect with each other, they simply won’t with an audience.
The Goods explodes with chemistry and makes for a wild daytime ride. Debuting Monday on CBC and marking Steven Sabados’ return to television, The Goods combines lifestyle, food, relationships and home and design into a fun package. Yes, the daytime market is packed with such U.S. fare as The Chew, The View and The Talk while Canadian rival CTV offers The Social, but The Goods is a welcome addition thanks mainly to its cast.
Surrounding Sabados on the panel is style maven Jessi Cruickshank, relationship and wellness expert Andrea Bain and Levetto chef Shahir Massoud covering all things culinary. Earlier this week, I was invited down to watch a taping of The Goods and experienced a well-oiled machine despite having just seven episodes already in the can.
“You always feel, on some other shows, as if people are trying to take away airtime,” Sabados says after the three-hour taping in front of a studio audience of just over 100 concluded. “There is that battle of, ‘You said that, so I have to say this,’ … Shahir didn’t have a segment today, but it’s all good because he’s still part of the show. We’re all here, so it’s all good.” It’s true. While Massoud didn’t contribute content-wise, he was still front and centre in a comedic role both unintentionally during Sabados’ decor quiz when he asked how to spell “teak” and on purpose during Cruickshank’s style bit when he walked the runway decked out in overalls, a baseball cap propped rakishly on his head.
Massoud explains he and his co-hosts come up with what their individual segments will contain with their own producers. Once that’s decided, the producers and hosts compare notes and figure out who will be interacting with who. Yes, The Goods is scripted when it comes to what segments make up an episode, but the interaction itself is done on the fly. That came into play Tuesday when Cruickshank dashed off to the control room and requested a hula hoop challenge be re-cut and slowed down for broadcast. The result was a very funny replay of Bain’s facial expressions and body language as she owned the hula segment (“I will never Iive that down,” Bain says with a laugh.) Cruickshank set herself up for criticism during her style portion, suggesting that sometimes socks can be worn with sandals. She was met with a chorus of good-natured boos from the audience.
“Where else can you get an audience who feels comfortable enough to boo the host?” Cruickshank asks. “There is this feeling of being in the round and we make sure people know they’re supposed to yell. They’re part of the show.”
The Goods airs Monday to Friday at 2 p.m. on CBC.
Images courtesy of CBC.