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Poll: What TV show best defines Canada?

There’s a subreddit for Canadian TV where some kindred spirit recently posed the titular question, looking for “examples of Canadian iconic shows that contributed to the Canadian identity.” Sounds like a poll to me!

How would you answer the question: What TV show best defines Canada? Pick one or leave your write-in vote in the comments:

What TV show best defines Canada?

  • Corner Gas (58%, 1,313 Votes)
  • Little Mosque on the Prairie (6%, 146 Votes)
  • Hockey Night in Canada (5%, 122 Votes)
  • Rick Mercer Report (5%, 118 Votes)
  • Trailer Park Boys (5%, 104 Votes)
  • Red Green Show (3%, 76 Votes)
  • Hinterland Who's Who (3%, 63 Votes)
  • Degrassi (2%, 50 Votes)
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes (2%, 46 Votes)
  • SCTV (2%, 43 Votes)
  • Due South (2%, 40 Votes)
  • Beachcombers (2%, 39 Votes)
  • Kids in the Hall (2%, 39 Votes)
  • Littlest Hobo (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Heritage Minutes (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Road to Avonlea (1%, 13 Votes)
  • North of 60 (0%, 10 Votes)
  • Slings & Arrows (0%, 8 Votes)
  • This Hour Has Seven Days (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,264

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Diane Wild

Diane is the founder of TV, eh? She loves books, movies, TV, science, space, traveling, theatre, art, cats, and drinking multiple beverages at the same time.
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34 thoughts on “Poll: What TV show best defines Canada?”

  1. Murdoch Mysteries is the TV show that best defines Canada. Soon to be in its 9th season most certainly qualifies it as iconic.

  2. Murdoch Mysteries should be included. It’s going into it’s 9th season and still people disregard this “GEM” of a TV show!

  3. I know you don’t like Murdoch Mysteries, for some crazy reason, it is clearly the best show on tv. But that’s still no reason to NOT include them in your poll.
    This poll is rigged due to your bias. NOT cool

    1. This poll is not about my personal preferences or a lot of other shows would have been included. The only current shows included were from the subreddit, and I added a few old shows to give a bit more choice. Murdoch Mysteries has been a choice in several of our other polls and a winner, too. Not all polls will be about current shows.

  4. Murdoch Mysteries. Totally agree! Especially what with historical figures and actual historical events they include.

  5. I’m U.S. Citizen but my mom grew up in a very small town in Saskatchewan. We’d visit every other summer growing up. Corner Gas reminds me so much if those visits. Aside from that it’s also one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen regardless of country of origin.

  6. My Wife and I grew up in Detroit. Always with one foot in Canada. Windsor is the only Canadian City that is Due South of an American City. Better Beer, more space per person, CKLW actually PLAYED Motown in it’s day! When I discovered Brent Butt and Corner Gas on YouTube I felt like I was visiting home. I’ve bought DVDs and Tshirts and the Movie (Thanks BTW!) There has got to be a series Brent could write that blends a Canadian Attitude with American Overindulgence Paradox to create more fun entertainment for us all. There are only so many SVU shows those fools can make for our Criminal Based Culture down here!

  7. Where’s heartland?? If This isn’t about preferences, then why wouldn’t a show that describes day to day living in rural canada be on this? I love hockey but that isn’t a great snap shot of Canadian life!

      1. You better put Motive on that list or I will murder you and everyone you know.

        Wait, I think I just came up with an episode idea…

        Okay, we’re cool.

          1. Better than me. My corpse skills were critiqued as “sub par” and “why all the flailing?”

  8. I realize *all* shows can’t be included in this poll, but it still seems a shame to leave Murdoch Mysteries out of the running for this type of question. This show epitomizes Canadian history!!

    1. It’s also the BEST show on TV right now. It has something to interest a very wide range of people. Not may shows can say that.

  9. How can you do a poll like this and NOT include Murdoch Mysteries? I’ve learned more about Canada than I ever knew before watching this show; so much so, I planning a visit from LA!

  10. How about YOU GOTTA EAT HERE! celebrating real Canadian cooks & chefs in their restaurants across the country?

  11. “Yes it’s too bad the post doesn’t specifically say to write in your vote for a show that’s not on the list. Oh wait it does.”

    Murdoch Mysteries. There. Adding my vote just like the poll says. It’s a shame we’re allowed to add our vote but we’re not allowed to express our opinions when doing so without being slapped on the wrist by snarky tv writers.

    1. I find it a shame commenters feel the need to berate me, imply I have ulterior motives, then consider themselves victims over a poll they didn’t seem to have read. You give snark, you get snark back. Response choices came from the original post on reddit, which I had nothing to do with, supplemented by shows like Hinterland Who’s Who and Littlest Hobo. Murdoch has been a top contender in at least 3 of our recent polls. I like Murdoch more than I like Corner Gas. Vote without attitude or don’t complain about snark.

      1. I can confirm that Diane snarks mostly when snarked at. Also, fandom for a show is supposed to be an empowering, inclusive, joyous thing. Why make it about being constantly aggrieved. I hate murdering Dennis Heaton. He has a dog and a wife. Why does no one think about the wives and dogs?

  12. I voted for Rick Mercer Report. Rick Mercer goes to all kinds of corners in the country and embraces so many different kinds of people. No other shows do that. We are such a regionally diverse country and most shows are regional in focus more than national.

  13. Cheers, Diane, for taking on a poll and the blow-back that apparently goes with it. ;) My “write-in vote” would be, (perhaps no surprise) for Strange Empire, at least for what it was reflecting in CDN thought about our history during during its run (2014-2015). The Indigenous and multi-gender viewpoints, not to mention the quality of acting & writing, marked a step forward for the CBC network, in my opinion.

    Time may prove that this show was CBC at one of its most interesting (and important) points. The network is, unfortunately, a little less on both fronts now, with their abrupt and less-than-forthright cancellation of the show.

    All the best,
    Chad
    http://westernsreboot.com/

  14. After much reflection on all the shows on the list, many of them top quality, and reflective of Canadian values, I must give my vote to the new sketch comedy series Sunnyside. I’m a co creator of the show and I’m really only voting for my self interest. Other serious contenders for my vote would be Corner Gas, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Ron James Show, That’s So Weird and The Kids in the Hall, all of which, I also worked on. I understand people who are voting for Murdoch, Rick Mercer and some other great shows, but in the end, I’ve never worked on those programs, never picked up a single cheque from them, so I just can’t give them my vote.

    1. Damnit. Gary Pearson made me laugh with his self servingness. Why do I have to add him to the murder list? Why? Damn you Canadian TV. I shall never be clean.

  15. I would add “Intelligence” to the list. Not because it is the best (which it arguably is) but because it reflects that Canadian siege mentality when dealing with Americans; it is un-self-consciously multi-racial; and, it was obviously set in Vancouver.

  16. In part because of for how long it ran, one could make the argument for Wayne & Shuster. A few years ago I found myself watching a lot of W&S reruns and it was intriguing feeling like I was observing Canadian society evolve before my eyes in terms of the jokes, the topical references, etc. – almost like a cultural version of a time-lapse documentary.
    .
    And though not perhaps realistic, in terms of an idealized dream-version of Canadiana it’s hard to beat The Forest Rangers!
    .
    Canada is such a complex and diverse country no one series could represent it all (maybe the question could be “What 10 series, together, define Canada?”) But seeing this piece makes me think someone could put together a Canada Reads-style debate, only about TV. Y’know, a bunch of celebrity pundits could each champion a different series, arguing over which better exemplifies the country. After all, in a discussion like this, it’s the debate, rather than the conclusion, that would be interesting.
    .
    But given all the irate posters here, maybe another topic could be: which better defines Canada? The Murdoch Mysteries…or The Great Detective? :)

  17. #HockeyWives because let’s face it, pro or not, every woman in Canada is a “hockey wife”.

  18. Howabout Wayne Rodstad’s “On The Road Again”?? That was real reality TV! Of the current shows I’d vote for 19-2, and I loved Strange Empire!!! Now, has there been a primetime drama that did represent the entire nation? (not just one region of it) Seems an almost impossible task, unless, say, you put that in an appropriate context, like, say a Canadian celebrity living down in the U.S., who reminiscences about the “homeland”. Though even then, that individual person will have roots in one region or another. Imagine, for example, Robbie Robertson, who has toured all over the world at one time or another, what it might be like for him to “come home”, which he usually does when he has to do the rounds for publicizing a project of his, or something related to The Band. Although that’s real, I wouldn’t mind watching a fictionalized version of that story. I know that’s not what this discussion is originally about, just putting my two pennies in the pot here.

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