To many in the US, Canadians are known for their strange bacon, odd way of pronouncing about, and politeness. But Canada also produces some of the best television around (see Slasher). Don’t believe me? Well, this post is all about the great film and TV made in our great neighbor to the North.
Now heading into its fifth and final season, Orphan Black is a Canadian-produced science fiction series that airs on BBC America and is also available on Amazon Prime. Orphan Black is difficult to talk about without spoiling anything. Emmy-winning lead actress, Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah Manning, a streetwise Brit who finds out she has twin sisters all over the world. Sarah learns along the way that she’s part of a larger conspiracy between forces seeking to push human evolution to new heights.
Video Game High School
What began as a web series grew into an hour-long drama-dy which follows the students at the fictional Video Game High School (VGHS) where all the best players go. VGHS is ripe with gamer jokes but is also surprisingly full of character moments that really make the series something special. No longer in production, the series comes to a satisfying conclusion that is available on Netflix.
Todd and the Book of Pure Evil
Canada took Scooby-Doo and merged it with Buffy and sprinkled on some crack-cocaine. Todd and the Book of Pure Evil aired for two seasons on Space channel. Based on a short film, the series’ follows the antics of four high school kids as they deal with the dark wishes granted to students who encounter the book of pure evil. Proceed with caution; Season 2 ends on an epic, unresolved cliffhanger for the now-cancelled series.
Continuum, Lost Girl, Bitten, Dark Matter, and Killjoys are all Canadian produced television that airs (or aired) on SyFy channel. Continuum is a time-traveling series about future cops and the future of humanity. Lost Girl follows Bo as she learns about her destiny as a Fae (a magical being) and a secret supernatural society. Bitten revolves around the daily lives of werewolves and their battle to stay hidden and not eat each other. Dark Matter features the crew of starship who wake up with no idea how they got there or who they are. Killjoys features three bounty hunters trying to do their job while staying alive in a star sytem full of danger.
Author’s Note: Essentially, if you like any show on SyFy then it’s likely produced in Canada.
I could go on and on. There’s an incredible amount of television (and film) is produced by Canadian production companies. Why so much filming love for Canada? First, it’s probably the incentives. Second, the country promotes the creation of entertainment since it provides a significant number of jobs for each production. Why is so much of it interesting? My guess would be because Canadian production companies take chances and don’t fear pushing the envelope. A lot of US television focuses on playing it safe; that’s why there are 1000 different “villain of the week” procedural shows like Bones, CSI, and weird ones like Houdini and Doyle.
Make no mistake; this isn’t an article about Canadian TV being better than US television. This article is about exposing shows that are great and exciting in their own right but get buried by the tons of other content out there that gets over-promoted, and frankly, over-hyped. *Cough* Stranger Things *cough*