Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Preview of CBC's Exciting Midseason Television Line-Up

So if you've read this blog before, you're probably aware of my opinion of Canadian television.

Long story short, there are three major problems with Canadian TV:

  1. "Little-man syndrome" a.k.a. "Hey Canadian television viewers: look at us, look what we can do. We're as cool as U.S. network television, right? Please?"
  2. Shoddy production values
  3. Derivative concepts, plot lines, characters, etc...
So with that in mind, I'm going to take a look at three of the most exciting new or returning shows hitting Canadian airwaves this winter, thanks to the publicly funded CBC.

1. REPUBLIC OF DOYLE (a.k.a. "little-man syndrome")

Wow. Russell Crowe is guest-starring on Republic of Doyle.

I'm not going to lie, I've caught a couple of episodes of this show and it wasn't too bad. 
And Crowe has held a special place in my heart ever since I first saw The Quick and the Dead.

But this whole Russell Crowe stunt is the most pathetic "using-guest-stars-to-drum-up-interest-in-a-faltering-Canadian-television-show" scheme I've ever seen.

Well, okay... it's not as bad as this.

I know Crowe is friends with a few of the stars of the show. And, I admit that if I was in their shoes, I'd want him on the show as well. 

It's just the way this is being sold to the audience... It's not quite... I can't put my finger on it but something about this rubs me the wrong way... 

2. ARCTIC AIR (a.k.a. shoddy production values)

North of 60 is back, bitches!!*
It's about time, as I've been jonsing hard for the new adventures of Charlie Muskrat. 

Wait, it's not North of 60, but a show that looks almost identical to North of 60, except with planes? 

Maybe I'm being too hard on this one. 
Given the CBC's impeccable record when presenting high-end special effects and jaw-dropping action set-pieces I can't see how having large scale, aerial action sequences could backfire. 

One of these images is an actual screenshot from Arctic Air. Both have obviously high production values, but if you look closely, Graham Greene is in the cockpit on the left, so I'm saying it's that one. 

 3. BEING ERICA  (a.k.a. derivative concepts, plot lines, characters)

It's back! The one show on Canadian television I actually tolerate is returning for it's fourth season this January. 

Wait... it's not returning? Wait... it's last episode aired December 12th 2011? DAMMIT WIKIPEDIA, you guys got to update your Being Erica data. 

But in the last episode, she was forced to finally say her goodbyes, after turning her life around thanks to her time travel therapist. 

Is it too late to win? I like pizza. 
Hold on... What the fuck is this shit?

I'll be honest, I've never watched this show. 
And I guess the idea of a time-traveling therapist is kind of unique. 

But the story of a someone who's granted a magical second chance to do their life over is not. It was done first and better herehere, and god-knows how many other times. 

And judging by the shipper fan-fic and apparently "romantic" and/or "sensitive" mash-up vids I've found while scouring the internet for something, anything, to post about it, I doubt I ever will.

I guess I am disappointed, however, that I won't have the chance to win that guest-starring-McCain's-frozen-pizza-eating-walk-on-role. 

* note that I mean no disrespect to North of 60. It was one of the few Canadian show that didn't try to be something it was not, and was actually pretty good at maintaining relatively high quality writing and performances. I do mean disrespect to Being Erica, Arctic Air, and Russell Crowe.

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