Islanders Illustrated on MSG Plus Premier 6-18-08

Dee KarlSenior Analyst IJune 18, 2008

*Updated 7/26/08:  Episode 2 of II is also very entertaining and well produced.  The sit down with Islanders prospect Josh Bailey will quell any die-hard Islanders fans' dissapointment about moving down in the draft.  But my favorite part of the show will always be the segment with the Islanders announcers, Bill Jaffe, Chris King and Steve Mears.
No one is more enthusiastic or hockey smart than Bill Jaffe.  He makes you yearn for the season to start RIGHT NOW.  Also of note is the brand new Islanders commercial with Okposo and Comeau.  It's so intense and sharp, I thought the NHL had produced it themselves.  But nope.  It too (like Bruno) is "home grown."  It's the best commercial for the team I've seen in years.
So catch Episode 2, sit back and enjoy, and plan for next season!
Shaky called him “Hollywood.” He may be living up to the name as Josh Bernstein and his staff have just finalized the first installment of Islanders Illustrated TV production, a slick ½ hour news and entertainment gem premiering tomorrow night at 6:30 pm on MSG Plus.

On Tuesday morning, at a Lowe’s theater, a group of Islanders’ staffers and a handful of guests were witness to the “world premier” of show number 1 of probably 18, or 24 if they make the playoffs next season. “Where are the sponsorship guys who are supposed to be selling this show?” asked Chris Dey as he surveyed the room. But then he smiled as I think he was just trying to rattle Josh just a little.

When the ITV staff was established, they probably never thought they’d be producing a full blown TV show. But as Josh said “We can, we did, and we will continue to.” The finished product is far better than MSG standards and they’re very excited about it. (We’ll see.)

Shawna Ryan is the host of the show, conducting certain interviews and introducing segments. I can’t tell you anything about her because I don’t have a face book account. She’s blond, she’s pretty, and she’s a cross between a reporter and a flight attendant. She’s perfect for the gig.

The show that airs tomorrow covers the draft possibilities, the year in review and the I.C.E. tour. Steve Mears hosts a spot with Bill Jaffe and Chris King where Billy was clearly on fire discussing what he believe the direction for the team next season should be. Garth, take note as it was a lot of fun to watch.

Some of the content has been stolen from previous ITV productions, but not much of it. If Bernstein doesn’t garner another Emmy for this series, Billy Guerin just may. He’s quite the actor. There is also the Hungry, Hungry Hippos Two Man Advantage segment with Kyle Okposo, Blake Comeau and Jeff Tambellini which will give you a few laughs and a little bit of insight into Kyle.

But the draft day segment that everyone is looking for right now with Friday fast approaching basically recaps what we already know. Ms. Ryan conducts a brief interview with Garth Snow regarding his thoughts on this year’s draft and his memory of last season’s. There’s some combine footage of the draftees that is always good for a girlish giggle. But what will bring a tear to any die hard Islander fan’s eye is the year in retrospect which relived all the great moments (and yeah… there were a FEW) from last season.

The look and feel of the show is very youthful with its stencil lettering font, splashes of color and almost comic book graphics. For the rabid Internet fans, there is even an IslanderMania Minute from their “official message board” which literally is a minute. If you blink, you may miss it.

All in all, it’s a good production from a really great staff. Check it out, but don’t forget that for all your Islanders draft day coverage for Friday and Saturday, it’s ITV on the web all the way. Also check out and Tiger Tracks as Mike and Tom will be on the floor in Ottawa with their first-hand accounts of the day. The rest of us Blog Box bunch will be at the draft party or live blogging, so you never know what tidbits we may come up with.

So congratulations “Hollywood” on a job well done.  And to all you Islander fans out there who have so often felt slighted by MSG and their announcers, LISTEN UP!  EMAIL THEM about the SHOW!  Let them know that Islander Country is proud of their team and we want the coverage.  Otherwise we will be buried in MSG obscurity.

2 Minute Minor: Actually more like 12 minutes as those in attendance had to actually sit through SIX movie previews. The Love Guru, Rocker, Wanted, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Hancock and Step Brothers. Now I know why I don’t go to the movies.