Saturday, December 12, 2009

an arbitrary number of Canadians Shows you Should check out

Road to Avonlea

Based on L.M. Montgomery's books, this show followed the life of Sarah Stanley, who is sent to live with her mother's family on Prince Edward Island after her father gets himself in some financial hot water and various legal troubles. The show eventually focuses less on Sarah (played by Sarah Polley) and more on the King family and other residents of Avonlea. This show was a sunday night staple in my family and a great period piece. I give special note to Michael Mahonen who played Gus Pike - one of my personal favorite characters.




Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi High

It was often referred to as the anti-90210. Meaning, the kids were not glamorous, not rich, and most importantly, Not in their 20s. Name an issue, and these kids faced it. Drugs, teen pregnancy, AIDS, abortion, child abuse, eating disorders, they were all over it. The stars of the show were local kids and the show's producer, Kit Schuyler was previously a school teacher I believe. The Series finale, a full length tv movie titled "School's Out" has been compared to "The Empire Strikes Back" as far as having one of the best 'Downer endings'. I won't ruin it for you though. It also has the distiction of featuring the first and second actors to say Fuck on the CBC.

Vid includes wicked fight scene between Erika and Liz, who was mostly a cool character but was unusually self-righteous and bitchy when right-to-life issues came about.


Corner Gas

This show just ended its run on CTV after about 6 seasons. I think out of the whole series, my favorite scene is still the very first scene of the first episode of the first season, which pretty much sets the tone for for the series. This is definitely one of those shows where you have to know the characters to get it. However, if you can find them, be sure to check out 'Hook Line and Sinker' and 'World's Biggest Thing' from season 1, and 'Doc Small' from season two.



Kids In The Hall

Sketch comedy at it's very-near finest. Often cited as our Generation's Monty Python, the Kids (unlike other Canadian sketch comedies such as This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Royal Canadian Air Farce) shied away from political humor and focused on more absurdist humour. Some of my favorite regular characters include the Chicken Lady and Sir Simon Milligan and Hecubus.




The shows mentioned above are my personal favorites but some others worth mentioning include:

The Littlest Hobo - Airing in the late 60s up until the mid-80s, the littlest hobo was a German shepard that wandered the country helping people in need, then moving on to the next place.

This Hour Has 22 Minutes - Political/current events based news satire. Launching pad for Rick Mercer, who is often cited as Canada's answer to Jon Stewart (until he started whoring for the goverment during the 1-ton challenge.

The Hour - Weekly celeb/politico interview show, starring one of my very favorite ex MuchMusic veejays EVAR. One day, I will marry George strombolopoulous and have little strombobabies.

The Beachcombers IMDB synopsis - "The adventures of a professional lumber salvager and his friends in Gibson, British Columbia, Canada." Honestly, my parents used to watch this when I was a kid, and I never 'got it'.. but it just seems wrong to leave it off the list. It'd be like going to Paris and not visiting the Louvre.

There is an episode of the cartoon Kevin Spencer called Bruno Gerusi Must Die that I wanted to post a clip of, as it involves a hostile takeover of American network television as hatched by Beachcombers star Bruno Gerusi, who has been living in the Spencers wall. Alas I couldn't find a good clip, so I leave you here.

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