Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Top Ten Canadian Television Shows of all Time

On the international stage Canada is known and respected for many things such as:
  • peace
  • order
  • good government
  • groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting, tightly scripted television shows with impressive production values and expressive performances
I made that last point up. For those unfamiliar with the Canadian televsion landscape, it really does suck (with the exception of some proposed science fiction cartoons)

Some people may argue that it's gotten better in the last 10 years or so.

Those people are idiots.

This pre-amble bores me, so without further ado, here are the top ten Canadian television shows of all time.
Bear in mind that by "top ten" I mean "worst travesties ever committed to video".


Corner Gas is the result of someone thinking people wanted more Northern Exposure starring Rob Morrow.

No one wants more Northern Exposure starring Rob Morrow.

I initially thought I could handle a little more Northern Exposure starring Rob Morrow in my life, then I realized I was confusing it with Twin Peaks starring Kyle MacLachlan.

My bad.

Although that's an idea that works. Let's put the cast of Corner Gas in Twin Peaks...


YOU: Wait, the above opening credits promise action, fist fights and helicopter jumps... are you sure this is bad?
ME: Yes. And you are an idiot.

Generally each episode of Danger Bay would involve a baby dolphin or puma or something being injected with pure pollution by an evil industrialist. Then these kids would work with this doctor guy to save the animal. Also the show sucked.

The problem is there was no danger in Danger Bay. There was, however, a bay, so the title is 50% correct. At least I think it was a bay. It could have been an inlet and/or fjord, which would mean this title is perhaps the most bald-faced lie in television history.


Flashpoint is flat out unwatchable, yet is lauded by many Canadian critics because of it's "success" in the USA. It's "success" is the result of the 2008 Hollywood writers strike. The fact that no new American shows were being written is what planted this flaming turd filled paper bag of a show right on CBS's doorstep.

A little known fact about Flashpoint: if you enjoy it you're an idiot.

A point about Flashpoint that gets dragged out everytime an article is written about it: it stars the pink Power Ranger

The worst thing about Flashpoint:

It turned this guy:

*I swear a friend of mine once saw this guy dragging a human body down Kingston Ontario's Division Street in a hockey bag

Into this guy:

"Hello, I'm a douchebag"


This show was about a bunch of nerd children who used science to solve mysteries.
What do kids like more than solving mysteries?
FYI - Kids really don't like solving mysteries. And they hate science. Here's proof:

The theme song to this masterpiece contained the iconic line "when you use your head you always win."
Hey, Edison twins, I just used my head.
It told me not to watch your shitty show.
I win!

And before I forget, this is the show that turned Corey Haim to crack:


What's worse than crappy Canadian television shows? Crappy ANIMATED Canadian television shows.

I remember the Saturdays of my youth. Cartoons would be awesome until about 1pm, at which point said awesomeness would end. After 1pm the only there was NOTHING on TV suitable for a young child except this show. And the local livestock report.
Because of that I still remember the going rate of Feeder Cattle and Pork Bellies. 
Because I refused to watch this show. 
Get it?

The worst thing about Rocket Robin Hood is that it recycled the same footage over and over and over. 
And over and over. 
In fact the creators of this turd loved recycling footage so much that they flat out lifted scenes from this show and dumped them into the Spider-man cartoon, which they're also responsible for. 


Really? This is what passes for humour in this country?

Look, I'm as much a bleeding heart liberal as the next guy, and yeah, I live in the GTA so am kind of a Toronto guy.
And I know that this show was spawned of CODCO, a Newfoundland comedy troupe.
But god damn it, this show oozes that smug "CBC-left wing-we are smarter in Toronto than the rest of Canada-holier than thou" vibe that I hate so much.

And Rick Mercer, you are a smug asshole.


This show is almost saved by it's theme song, which sounds like what I imagine the Decemberists would play if asked to perform at a bar mitzvah on the show Party Mamas.

Of course the show itself sucks. I vaguely remember it being about a pyschic private eye or something. I think he solved crimes. It doesn't really matter.

My favorite part is how the opening credits announce to the world "Louis Del Grande, starring in".

Really?? THE Louis Del Grande? Canadian legend Louis Del Grande?

Seriously, if anyone out there knows who Louis Del Grande is, please let me know.


This show oozes high Canadian production values. It's like the CBC realized that L.A. Law was popular. And they had $20,000 of taxpayer's money to waste making their own show that would be just like L.A. Law.
Except L.A. Law took place in L.A. 
And L.A. Law's cast was attractive.
And L.A Law was good. 

Check out this thrilling promo for one of their season finales:

Best quote ever: "There are four possible verdicts"

Yes, and three of them are "this show is guilty of being crap."

And the fourth one is that also.


Imagine a bunch of people sitting in a room, congratulating each other on how great it is that Canada is multicultural.
Imagine they have money AND talent to burn, and decide to honor Toronto's West Indian population by creating the greatest sitcom ever made.
Now imagine they get a young Russell Peters onboard.
And then they get respected (and 100% awesome) Native American character actor Gary Farmer to sign on.
The rest of the cast is then filled with experienced, talented actors and comedians, young and old.

Now imagine they make this show. And it is fucking horrible.

I mean come on, the thing looks like it was shot with a handicam.
I swear to God the sets for this show were made of bristol board, and I think it only ever aired on Canada's Christian Television Network.

There was, however, one thing that almost saved this show, and that's this man right here:

Dennis "Sprangalang" Hall, I love you.

I had never heard of you before this show. I haven't heard of you since. But you speak truth my man.

Trinnies do make the best roti.

Wiser words have never been spoken.


  1. I have to disagree with you. The Best Quote Ever from 'Street Legal' was "You have an ego the size of Montreal!"

    Oh, but I do agree that Trinis make the best roti (and curry).

  2. You forgot (or repressed the memory of) The Trouble with Tracy, The Beachcombers, and Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui.

  3. Great catch! Friday Night with Ralph Benmergui was a classic

  4. Its like you took the top 10 worst shows ever and started with #1. Im surprised any CFL game wasnt on this list of the crappiest of the crap.

  5. The Mike Bullard Show or Sonic Temple (hosted by Carla Collins) could also make this list.

    1. Oh god... I forgot all about Carla Collins.
      I was really hoping to keep those memories repressed, but what can you do?

  6. The ENTIRE CBC "Go Public" campaign of 1992 NEEDS a place on this list. The most smug, "we're better than everyone else so we deserve your support" BS ever shown on TV. It also spawned Friday Night With Ralph Benmergi, the most expensive flop in Canadian tv history.

    Honorable mention: The Rene Simard show.

    1. I hate to admit it, but I'm drawing a blank with the "Go Public" campaign; which is frustrating because if there's anything I love, it's when CBC gets smug. Haven't had much luck finding any remnants online - any idea where or if anything exists?
      Having said that, Ralph Benmergi & the CBC's confused, ham-fisted attempt to capitalize on the buzz of the Letterman/Leno late night wars really did deserve a spot on this list.