The other day I was reading an article about the growing Popularity of Danish television (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/01/07/130107fa_fact_collins). It talks about how Denmark’s state television makes excellent shows and is on par with HBO. This got me to thinking why is Canadian television so bad. We have nothing similar to HBO and would be happy to settle for the WB or ABC.
On occasion something worthwhile comes out of Canada like Corner Gas but that the exception not the rule — though the Food Network is solid gold. At best we can boost Degrassi and One Girl Five Gays, both of which I love and adore but aren’t exactly the epitome of culture. We have Carly Rae Jepsen and Bieber, but what about something serious and oh actually worth watching.
We are pleased to boost Canadian actors and writers who work for American programs or to point out that Toronto is frequently used as a stand in for New York but that’s not really Canadian television, it’s American television that Canadians are a part of. I have no problem with American television, in fact most of my favourite shows are American. I just wish that Canadians could produce a show worth being proud of, or maybe if we want to be really ambitious a whole slew of shows that we can be proud of. We are satisfied to just watch lots and lots of American television and let everything worthwhile happen abroad.
In “Danish Postmodern” Lauren Collins discusses how Danish television contributes to and reflects a Danish sense of identity. It is about Denmark and is a reflection of the way Danes live. It is their expressions, their ideas, and their cities and landscapes. Canadian television doesn’t reflect what it means to be Canadian, and doesn’t do much to help reflect our sense of identity and culture which is a terrible shame. There is so much potential for Canada to do something so much better. Canada has produced so many good musicians and writers it’s about time that Canadian television caught up. I would love it if I wanted to watch even one of the shows that CTV is advertising but I don’t.