A while ago, I wondered what I’d be watching if the US writers’ strike were to continue much longer. British TV? Don’t be daft. How self-loathing do you think I am?
The obvious answer was to give Canadian TV a try. Okay, not necessarily the most obvious, but far less painful than Australian TV, even if you occasionally do get a reasonable show like The Surgeon.
Now Canadian TV had something of a bad rep for a while. After messing up shows like Airwolf during the 80s, most of its original output hasn’t got any further than Canada’s borders, unless it’s been about vampires (cf Forever Knight, Blood Ties) for some reason. Yes, Canada has pretty much been the shooting location for every low budget US TV show of the last two decades, but shows made by Canadian networks with Canadians not pretending to be Americans? Less common.
That has been changing over the last couple of years, though. As well as co-financing shows such as Doctor Who, Canada has also started to make shows intended to appeal to the rest of the world as well as Canada, that have high production values and quality scripts.
The first real hint of this was Intelligence, which came out in 2006. A sort of Canadian Miami Vice about an undercover cop, it had moody lighting, decent direction and some good scripts. Unfortunately, in common with most Canadian TV, it also starred that bloke who played Huck Finn back in the 80s so I didn’t watch much.
Now though, there’s a bumper crop of world-worthy Canadian shows, some of them good, some of them… not so good. For your consideration: JPod, The Border, The Guard and Sophie.
Continue reading “Adventures in Canadian TV”