With the 13th season of Canada’s Worst Driver arriving Monday night on Discovery, I can’t help but wonder if the series can do more for the driving industry. Like Mike Holmes has done uncovering bad builders and lax rules in the housing industry, should Canada’s Worst Driver do the same for driving schools?
On its surface, Canada’s Worst Driver—back at 10 p.m. ET with Andrew Younghusband behind the wheel—continues to spotlight drivers from across the nation who shouldn’t be on the road in the first place. These are folks with bad habits all the way to the downright dangerous and I’ve gone from solely blaming those drivers to the including the people who have taught them. For me, Canada’s Worst Driver ceased to be fun to watch years ago because the contestants seem to be getting worse rather than better. Over 500 names were submitted for Season 13 before producers whittled the group down to eight who are ensconced in the CWD facility.
Once there, they go through a bevy of tests designed to not only entertain (or in my case frighten) viewers but also present the correct way to perform each tested task. The group includes Breanna, a 19-year-old who is, thanks to being involved in a car accident when she was younger, is convinced she’s going to die behind the wheel of a car; Joe, a reckless lad who has floors it at every opportunity and keeps his lawyer employed solely to defend his tickets; Ashley, who can’t drive without crying and was nominated by former CWD contestant Jillian; Shayne, who drives half the posted speed because he was hit by a car while walking; Melanie, who is convinced she can’t do anything; Adam, whose love of driving was derailed by one accident; Julie, who has been in 16 accidents thanks to distracted driving; and Travis, the most timid man behind the wheel of an automobile. All are determined to be better, safer drivers.
Clearly, some of this season’s contestants have major stress issues because of past traumas and are, hopefully, addressing those with a doctor. But all are shown simply not knowing what the rules of the road are. Again, how were they given licences to be behind the wheel of a vehicle that can kill themselves or others if they don’t know what to do at a stop sign?
Much more enjoyable for me is Season 2 of Tougher Than It Looks? which finds Younghusband taking on some of the oddest, strangest tasks in the world.
Monday’s back-to-back instalments, like in the first go-round, put Younghusband’s brain and body up for injury at our expense as he spends 24 hours trying to master something. Learning to ride the waves or a skateboard leads to the usual bumps and bruises on the road to success but being a rodeo clown (in Episode 2) could get you killed. But, unlike Canada’s Worst Driver, Tougher Than It Looks? puts the onus on Younghusband to do the work and, usually, get hurt. The Newfoundland native is game to do anything and it’s his positivity and sense of humour that makes Tougher Than It Looks? so easy to watch.
It’s entertaining to observe Younghusband learn how difficult it is to master balance, first in the controlled environment of a wave rider to the February chill of surfing the surging waves of Lake Huron. As for dropping into a skateboarding half-pipe? Let’s just say concrete and wood are harder than water.
In advance of Canada’s Worst Driver and Tougher Than It Looks? is the debut of Last Stop Garage at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET. The program spotlights the men and women who operate CRB Automotive, a family-owned garage in North West River, Labrador. Using the backwoods resourcefulness needed to get things done far away from the big city, the crew fix and build just about anything for anyone in their remote town of 553 residents.
Last Stop Garage airs Mondays at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET on Discovery.
Canada’s Worst Driver airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery.
Tougher Than It Looks airs Mondays at 11 and 11:30 p.m. ET on Discovery.
Images courtesy of Bell Media.