Dear Canadian reality TV apologists,
How are you? Are you working hard? You must be working hard. Thanks for working so hard during the sunlight hours of the day. You help the world! When you get home you must be exhausted. I would be. Maybe you want to flop into your favourite fancy chair that doesn’t look like a La-Z-Boy but actually is a La-Z-Boy. Maybe you can’t wait to have that beer, that wine, that whiskey when you get home. Right on, you deserve it.
So now I gather you would subsequently turn on your 100″ flat panel LCD plasma laser ecobamboo ultra pixel television. Those look really nice. And that Sunday football looks amazing on it. It’s like you’re in the 300 section or something! Really you’re saving money by not ever having to go outside and be with people and go to a game. Bonus. Convenient.
I was just curious about something. When you turn on that lovely television, why do you turn to the most unfortunate, sad, derivative, no-merit, ultra formaggi heartless programming? I know what you’re thinking – some artsy pretentious snob is judging me. Someone who doesn’t appreciate unabashed innocent fun. A bohemian tightass, perhaps. You’re right, who am I to judge? I try not to, but it always ends up happening. And you’re judging me too, so bygones. I know all you want to do is watch something you don’t have to think about. Tune out, turn off, auto pilot, fake drama. No harm no foul.
But there is harm – millions agree with you. The masses will be heard! And so you should. Your pens and your swords and your sitting bums are mighty. But what I want you to know is that this fully brings out worst in Canadian creativity and culture. For me, for better or for worse, our television programming is a direct reflection of our culture. I can qualify this. Picture if you will, an easily concluded sentence in the CBC executive office in Toronto: “Let’s copy something America does but make it with iiiiice. Ice is so Canadian! It’ll be exactly like Dancing with the Stars but much more derivative and much worse! Or better yet, a direct copy of an awful movie made in 1992!” You know it, I know it. The best we can come up with is America… with ice. And you just made me cry.
We can do better than this, Canadian reality TV apologists. This is exactly the same as when America thought Paul Blart : Mall Cop was the best movie in North America for many weeks. You guys are nice people, and you have great heads and thirsty brains. Don’t be afraid to quench with something meaningful, dare I say important. It won’t hurt, I promise. I know that when times are tough, bacon sales go up, beer sales go up, High School Musical DVDs and buddy bandz go up, and so do shitty television ratings. We want campy comfort ingestables. But babies and boomers – please don’t run away. We need you to care about non-entertainment things. We also need you to have an educated view on these non-entertainment things. We all need a release, just make sure you think about what it does.
Lots of love.
p.s. See you in the car.