Tuesday, June 1, 2010

No TV 4 U and ME

I am not normally a political person. I don't think that I should have any chance to say how or why someone should live their life. I can make suggestions and opinions, but all in all, I feel I am thoroughly incapable of telling someone how they should live their life.
However, there is one thing that lately I have become rather adamant about. I am Canadian. This is a statement that I am proud of. I believe Canadians are just, intelligent and capable. I believe that Canada as a whole needs to stop kneeling down to the other countries that believe themselves to be superior for no other reason then the almighty dollar. Nothing solidified my Canadian national pride better then the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. We won. Canadians went from the meek, unassuming country to the proud, boisterous party animal that we deserve to be. I'm not saying we should flaunt and brag that we're the best country in the world, after all a wise man did once tell me that pride can be as ugly as shame, (although I am proud to say that in my mind, there is no other place I would prefer to be) but I do think at some point we have to stop apologizing for wanting to be heard.
What has really been grinding my gears lately is the fact that our major Canadian broadcasting companies import nearly all of their shows. Think of your favorite shows: Lost, Grey's Anatomy, House... Why are all of our shows imported from the States? If anything shows like Flashpoint, Little Mosque and Corner Gas have taught us that we can do quality television here in Canada so why are these still the only shows that Canada seems to produce?
My idea is radical, but why don't we find a large scale Canadian broadcasting company that actually produces, airs and promotes Canadian shows?
The idea is so radically opposed by people who are already up in arms at one idea: Whats wrong with the shows that are already on these stations?
And the answer is: Well, nothing. House is amazing. Lost was one of the weirdest and most creative television shows to come out... ever really. Women love Grey's Anatomy (even though I may not...) Many of these shows are quality programs.
The problem lies in the simple fact that Canada is being treated a lot like a sucker. Our money, which we are gladly giving to these broadcasting companies, is going to pay for programs from the States.
Why is this a problem? Well to put it bluntly, it means that Canada once again is allowing the world to treat Canada like it's second best. They're allowing our money to be spent on products that may entertain us, but do not benefit us in any way shape or form down the line.
So what? So what's the big deal anyway? Americans make good programs. Shouldn't they deserve the money?
Well yes, some of the programs deserve to be on television. But not Canadian television. Think about it, many American broadcasting channels are now broadcasting in Canada. It's not uncommon with the advent of satellite dishes to be able to pick up a show from many, MANY different channels at the same time. Why do Canadian stations CHOOSE to share their ratings with these shows while bold new Candian drama like Shattered (which despite being ANOTHER Canadian cop drama, actually sounds somewhat interesting) is shoveled into the Friday night death slot?
The main problem with this is that money that could be used to fuel Canadian television, to put a face and a voice to Canadian culture and to allow us to yell our voice far and wide and broadcast it to the world, is being sequestered and is left dying and dehydrated in the corner. If we don't produce Canadian television, and Canadian films, how can we be expected to grow an industry? How can we prosper when we know that even if we pull a Midas, it'll be shoveled into a death slot and ignored.
We need to start producing Canadian works. We need to start promoting Canadian works. We need to start watching Canadian works. But perhaps the most important piece is the fact that we need to start DEMANDING Canadian works. If we don't demand it, and support it, then it will fail. But at least you'll be able to comfort yourself with quality American reality shows. Survivor season 21 anyone?

1 comment:

steve said...

I am going to have to definitely agree with you on this one. I am from the states but when i was a kid we use to go to Canada a lot. And it was exciting. Different money, different candy bars, different TV, basically different everything. But now a days it does seem that it is now all the same as we have here. Oh one difference though does still remain - Canadians are the nicest people on earth. Later Steve