Despite what Culture & Community Spirit Minister Lindsay Blackett may have said at the recent Banff World Television Festival, it is hard to dispute the quality of the classic Canadian-filmed televison like Viper (filmed in Calgary and Vancouver from 1996 to 1999).
In all seriousness, I do not necessarily disagree with Minister Blackett’s comments when taken in context. There are some good Canadian television programs that have been produced and there are many of less than stellar productions. I expect that we will soon hear the protectors of haute-cutur poo-poo Minister Blackett’s comments as un-Canadian or those of a backwards Albertan, but as rude as it may have been at the time, the comments might be what Canadians needed to hear. And the sentiment is probably shared by a wide swath of Canadians.
I love the CBC (and listen to CBC Radio each day), but as a western Canadian, I have a gag reflex each time I hear about another cheesy CBC television program about life in Prince Edward Island in the 1890s or a characterization of what a person in Toronto thinks life in the West is like. Other than the occasional episode of Mantracker and the clever and quirky jPod (which is now cancelled), Canadian television has not given me much to get hooked on.
18 replies on “lindsay blackett and canadian television.”
Hmm.. how was that on the air for three years in my formative years, and I have absolutely no recollection of it?
Ummm, what about Wild Roses, Dave? Best Canadian Show ever!
having worked on some truly horrendous canadian tv shows, i agree! tv here is terrible (with the occasional exception). i personally blame how heavily government subsidized it is. shows tend to get made by bureaucrats or people who know how to work the system, not people with good ideas.
that said, and jeff’s going to make fun of me for this, but i went nuts for republic of doyle on cbc last season. SO GOOD!
The Wildrose Alliance has called for an end to all Canadian content. Nice to see Blackett agrees.
“Freedom is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear” . . . “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” – George Orwell
Everyone should give Being Erica a chance. It’s a solid Canadian drama that’s had two really good seasons. I was concerned that it was going to end there given the budget cuts at the CBC but it will be back. I think we should be supporting Canadian talent like Erin Karpluk and I’m glad she didn’t leave us when her show was in limbo. You can watch full episodes online for free (and legally) because it’s the CBC. Here is a short video blog post from the first season http://www.cbc.ca/beingerica/blog/2008/12/day-2—this-is-what-im-dealing-with-here.html
Or Dragon’s Den??
I bet Blackett couldn’t name three Canadian shows.
I have a lot of gripes with Blackett but this is not one of them. There is a lot of bad Canadian television out there. There has been some good stuff too and some analysis needs to be made of where the good shows came from.
My good list:
Trailer Park Boys
What It’s Like Being Alone – Short lived CBC dark comedy in claymation.
The Kids in the Hall
Kenny vs Spenny
Slings and Arrows
My wife really liked the various Da Vinci shows.
There are decent shows out there.
Then I want MORE politicians “crossing the line” as Blackett did. Enough with the sacred cow of “culture” funding by the billions, with no satisfying results. Saying what he and a vast majority of people think is not “crossing the line”. It’s just being honest.
Actually Elaine the only good thing about Wild Roses was the thorough and insightful coverage that the show received from a dedicated and now-defunct blog.
This Blackett thing was kind of like when David Swann’s assistant inadvertently tweet “FML” from Swann’s twitter account. People thought it was awesome for a few hours when they thought it actually was Swann, before they cleared up the mix up.
I wish we got more FMLs and “why do I fun all this shit?” stuff from our politicians. Real people think that way and real people talk that way. Who doesn’t think “FML” from time to time?
On reflection I actually watch quite a few Canadian tv shows. In addition to The Rick Mercer Report, Kenny vs Spenny, Mantracker, and Survivorman, I also watch a lot of guilty pleasure Canadian shows, like The Shopping Bags, At The End of My Leash, Last Ten Pounds Bootcamp, ‘Till Debt Do Us Part, etc.
They’re not the best shows ever but I like them a lot better than most American ‘reality’ tv. ‘Good’ tv (or tv that’s not ‘crap’ I suppose) doesn’t have to only include fiction.
oh yeah, mentioning dramas reminded me! Degrassi! (I haven’t watched it since I was 14…but it’s a good Canadian show!)(the new one is popular in the States too, and one of the biggest hip hop stars in the world right now is a Degrassi graduate!)
Blah blah blah “I’m Joe Albertan” blah blah blah, go away loser, Joe Albertan does not post on this website, it’s posted right at the top of his blog.
I think I saw a couple of Alberta Sheriff vehicles equipped like viper.
Most here are probably too young to remember the really good Canadian TV shows. The Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada was trying to restore some of those old TV shows and films. The government cut the funding for that organization in 2008. 👿
Recently I heard, though, that the private sector is going to help fund the A/V Trust again.
I am the real Joe Albertan. Someone hacked my account. A fake person posts at joealbertan.blogspot.com. Pay no attention to the imposter behind the curtain.
Science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon got tired of defending science fiction and to the argument that 90% of science fiction was crud, he responded that 90% of EVERYTHING is crud.
We have some good shows in Canada. The US has some cruddy shows. What’s the proportion? Probably 90% of crud everywhere.