Join Greg and Diane every Monday as we debate what’s on our minds. This week, a look back at some Top Moments for TV, Eh?
When Greg suggested we take a look back at this past year of TV, eh? 2.0 (it was one year ago this month that the site came back from the dead), I wasn’t sure what to say. And then I remembered what an amazing year we’ve had.
I can’t say enough about how grateful I am to Greg for suggesting we partner to bring the site back after I had retired it six months previously. I was burned out, wanted more of my life back, and felt the Canadian TV world was well served by TV Guide Canada among other publications and websites. And then, so much for that. When TV Guide Canada went under and Greg joined TV, eh?, I was able to take a step back and do more behind the scenes activity while popping up now and then to vent my Canadian spleen or analyse the shows I wanted to watch.
Beyond the cop show
A few years ago a running joke here was that Canada’s GDP relied on the export of cop shows. Even many of our non-cop shows used some sort of investigation as the story engine. This year we’ve had Strange Empire, Book of Negroes, the announcement of other shows with creative premises, and the average Canadian series is more likely to be science fiction or fantasy than a procedural. OK we also have our requisite cop shows and hospital dramas, but even our main networks are branching out.
Proof is in the pudding
And that pudding is our Indiegogo campaign to revive the site (to the tune of more than $20,000), and the auction of Canadian TV memorabilia and experiences (more than $8400), plus our dedicated readers, commenters, and engaged social media followers. Canadians watch Canadian TV, they love Canadian TV, and they put their money toward Canadian TV. Dismissing an entire industry because 100% of the shows aren’t winners is the argument of an idiot.
I admit this list may get a little schmaltzy—and less than a list of moments and more of just thoughts—but to heck with it.
Love for Canadian TV
I knew, when I was writing for TV Guide Canada, there was support out there for homegrown television, but it was tempered somewhat because of our need to cover U.S. shows as well. Now that I’m fully immersed in CanCon, I’m able to see first-hand the passion and love viewers—and those working in the industry—have for this product. From sold-out screenings of Heartland‘s wedding episode to packed theatres for Murdoch Mysteries and X Company Q&As, people are proud of these homegrown projects and aren’t afraid to show it.
I’m fiercely proud of the unique ideas that are being committed to the small screen in this country. Networks are taking gambles, and while they don’t always pay off—sorry, Strange Empire—I think there is more creativity being shown here than in that big country south of the border. Lost Girl, 19-2, Still Standing, Sunnyside and Young Drunk Punk are current examples of unique ideas getting on-air, with fall series like The Romeo Section, Letterkenny, What Would Sal Do?, Slasher and This Life representing the new guard.
Support for TV, Eh?
Diane laid the groundwork for the support of this site, and I’ve been lucky enough to witness it first-hand over the past year. It’s humbling to have showrunners, writers, crew and talent shake my hand and thank me for devoting my days to writing about and championing Canadian television, and it’s overwhelming to have fans support the industry and Kids Help Phone with our charity auction. So, thanks!