Join Greg and Diane every Monday as we debate what’s on our minds. This week, we pillage the polls at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s Fanzone for some silly summer fodder.
The poll that caught my eye was “Which Orphan Black clone do you most identify with?” because come on, how can you watch that show and not think about whether you’re a Sarah, Alison, Cosima, or — god forbid — Helena or Rachel? (I love that one of the options in the multiple-choice poll is murderously unhinged Helena but not heartless power-hungry Rachel.) After all, how many brain cells did women burn discussing whether we were Carries, Samanthas, Charlottes, or Mirandas? (I’m totally a Miranda.)
I’m way too sane to identify with Helena, much as I adore her, and my overdeveloped sense of guilt means Rachel is not in the cards. If she had any sense of guilt she’d have poked her own eye out long ago.
Alison was my least favourite clone at the beginning, but she’s grown to be a favourite as her defenses have dropped and the twerk-ready soul behind her starched appearance emerged. But identify with her? No, just an admiration that someone so seemingly straight-laced and OCD could be such a hot mess.
Cosima in all her quirky, brainy glory was always one of my favourite clones, but her hardcore-geek puts my geek-like tendencies to shame, and I could never pull off that hairstyle.
I’d love to be more like Sarah — tough as nails, never met an ass she wouldn’t attempt to kick, yet caring and vulnerable too — but I’m nowhere near as brassy and ass-kicky. Still, she’s the clone I most identify with partly because we’ve seen so much of the story through her eyes, but also because she has the strength to be the heroine of her own story while constantly being knocked off course by forces beyond her control. Her derailments just happen to involve a few more corporate conspiracies and homicidal villains than your average woman’s.
I decided to answer the pretty timely “Who’s your favourite Reality TV host?” because The Amazing Race Canada rolls out for another season on Wednesday. To judge the four in this category is a lot like what Diane went through to get to the bottom of the Orphan Black clone she most identifies with. Like the Leda clones, each of these hosts has a different personality to fit with the shows they head up.
Jon Montgomery would be my homer pick, a likeable dude who won an Olympic gold medal and then drank from a pitcher of beer to celebrate. He brings that affable attitude to The Amazing Race Canada each week, calmly and playfully explaining each challenge before and welcoming the pairs to the mat at the end of each episode. He even looks sad when a squad is eliminated. Jon’s job isn’t to command the stage, but to serve as a bridge between series and contestants.
Arisa Cox is big and brash, all smiles and personality. It’s a tough gig — she has to balance hosting Big Brother Canada with interviewing the eliminated players and playing to a live audience — but she pulls it off. I’m not a huge fan of BBC, but I appreciate with Arisa brings to the table every week.
Like Arisa Cox, Jessi Cruickshank has a lot to do as host of Canada’s Smartest Person. She has to interact with the contestants — most of them sporting huge egos — mug for the live audience, throw to stats man Jeff Douglas and talk straight into he camera at those playing the game at home. She has an infectious personality that can be a little overbearing — and her wardrobe causes me to scratch my head sometimes — but you need a high-energy person to handle the three-ring circus that is Canada’s Smartest Person.
My favourite? Andrew Younghusband, host of Canada’s Worst Driver. Worst Driver is just one of three Discovery shows Younghusband hosts (Don’t Drive Here and Canada’s Worst Handyman), but he’s at his best here. Equal parts TV host, therapist and no-nonsense friend, Younghusband doesn’t just revel in bad, bad drivers but goes lengths to educate them in what they’re doing wrong. Yes, Andrew gets frustrated with lunkheads to the point he’ll berate them on camera. Sure, those sidelong glances he makes at the camera is a silent mockery between he and the viewer. But he does it all with Newfoundland charm and you can’t help but love him for it.
That’s why he’s my favourite reality TV show host.