Saturday, April 19, 2008

So Not Trailer Trash

Reading this prompted me to reply:

I have become most disenchanted with American Television and I was very proud that such a brilliant show like jPod was Made in Canada.

Considering jPods' younger demographic, alot of people watched it online. The biggest reason being it was aired on Friday Nights when people certainly were not staying in and watching television. People are also busier than they have ever been and are watching TV on Demand at their own convenience on DVR's and it is fast becoming the norm. The Traditional Ratings System is ancient in today's tech-savvy world and online viewings should be counted.

jPod is one of the first shows in Canadian TV that I can remember that has launched a Fan Campaign to save a show. Unfortunately the CBC is covering their ears to the pleas of fans to bring it back for next season. Even Seinfeld barely survived its freshman year and needed a little time to gain its audience. If you combine jPods' television viewers and their online viewers, it is surely pulling in as many people as Heartland, probably more even. I dismiss the CBC's argument that there is no business case regarding revenue made through web casts. Fans don't mind embedded advertising, we understand it is necessity. NBC's site "Hulu" just sold out their entire online ad space, and they offer their shows for free.

If given the option to watch exceptional Canadian productions over most American drivel, I think you would see a "If you broadcast it, we will watch it" attitude take place. Have confidence in Canadians and don't just assume that we are all "Big Brother" and "The Hills" watching sheep. In regards to the CBC, I think all of their content should be Canadian, after all, it is the "Canadian Broadcasting Corporation". People can watch Coronation Street on BBC Canada.

You would think the CBC would have more "Intelligence". I grew up watching The Beachcombers, The King of Kensington, Bizarre and Second City, and it makes me sad that my own kids are not getting the same uniquely Canadian influence. My teenager has boycotted the CBC for ignoring him and his generation, we get Leafs TV and don't need HNIC. We feel forgotten and unless more people like Robb Wells and the Canadian Tax Payers who fund the CBC to the tune of $950 Million a year, stand up and let it be known that we want more Canadian Content. As it stands, the future of Canadian Television is on Life Support.



I know alot of what I have written about jPod is repeated in the above, but I just can't seem to help myself. What started out as just me being upset over the shows' cancellation by the CBC, has apparently evolved into an awakening of the deeper workings of Media in Canada. Maybe it's because I was a part of the 80's Generation, the first to ever receive the spoils of a prosperous, modern society. Footloose and Fancy-Free we were, watching the best Saturday Morning line-ups, ever, on Colour TVs. We drank in every commercial that beckoned to us. And when we begged our parents to buy us all that crap, they actually did. No one flinched twice while we professed our love to one of the guys from Degrassi, or that we would perform our own Bob and Doug Mackenzie "Great White North" skits in the schoolyard at recess.

One of the highlights of my young life was when my friends' uncle(?) came to our school - with the Littlest Hobo Huskies. About 5 different dogs played Hobo, and I was so excited - I couldn't believe I was actually seeing the Littlest Hobo! You can't deny it, TV had that kind of effect on us, it means something to us - I am a product of my environment. When the escape to the Tube is a wonderful experience, we embrace it. We look forward to seeing the familiar cast of characters, and when they are dismissed by executives, we miss them. It's not cheesy, it's human.

I hadn't noticed that compared to when I was a kid, the amount of Canadian Content that I regularly watched had dwindled to almost non-existent. It's been so long since anything on the CBC was worth my while. Yes, I watch it for my man Don Cherry, and The Rick Mercer Report, but they're not a Series. The first CBC show I watched regularly since probably The Edison Twins was The Tournament, and that was cancelled too.

I didn't mean it, honestly. Somewhere around the age of 15 the CBC failed to offer me anything meaningful. Maybe that's why jPod's cancellation is stinging me more. Unless you're a kid watching The Doodlebops, or Auntie Martha watching Heartland, there is nothing. Nothing for us who grew up loving the weekly sitcom and drama. And please, I don't want to hear the argument of Sophie and MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives. Stick each of those shows in American settings and they will blend right in.

So this is me waking up. Waking up to the fact that my own Teenager does not watch one Canadian show. Waking up to the fact that if things don't change now, Canadian TV will be ultimately lost, drowning in a Sea Of American Fluff. Don't get me wrong, I tune into a few, Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, face it, you can't go wrong with Joe Mantegna and Anthony La Paglia, but for the most part I could live without programming from south of the border. I tend to not get too attached to American television, after Joss Whedon's Firefly was cancelled I lost faith in networks, they are all about ratings, quality be damned. Was I crazy to believe that the CBC should be different than FOX?

I'm busy, immersed in the lives of my kids and husband. "Me Time" is rare and I am thankful that I can escape the whirlwind of my days to a really great show. My DVR records them so I can watch whenever it is convenient for me. We can't ignore that Entertainment is an important part of our lives and who we are. And if mostly everything we watch is not Made in Canada, then, just who are we? Really.

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