Telling it like it is
June 17, 2010
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Alberta’s culture minister recently found himself in hot water after he made some harsh comments about the state of Canadian television.
“Why do I fund so much crap?” asked Minister Lindsay Blackett, presumably speaking rhetorically.
Sadly, the guy’s got a point. I can’t even tell you the last time I watched a Canadian television series. Corner Gas seemed to be the last big deal we had, and that show was tolerable for about five minutes.
That’s not to say that US TV is necessarily better. There’s just more of it. Throw enough crap at the wall, and some of it’s bound to stick eventually. But you’d think Canadian channels would produce something decent once in awhile. American networks have great shows like Mad Men, House, Dexter, plus about a million sitcoms (some of which, like the Big Bang Theory are actually funny). Canadian television is just a vast sea of nothing.
It’s hard to say where the problem lies. Enough Hollywood productions get filmed in Toronto or Vancouver these days. So if Hollywood can do a good job of making American movies in our cities, why can’t we do a good job of making Canadian movies in our cities?
The real problem is although Blackett is right, people aren’t going to concentrate on what he said, just how he said it. He’s already started to back down a little. In a later statement, he said, “We’ve got some great stuff, but we can be better.”
But he was right the first time. Sometimes the truth hurts.