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Why won't shows like Rookie Blue and Flashpoint just acknowledge that they are Canadian? No other country's TV shows besides Canada's could possibly hide the fact that they are from that particular country, nor would they want to. What does this say about our culture?

Just look at the cop outfits on Rookie Blue, they look very distinctly American as opposed to Canadian, and the actors also all strive to use as neutral of an accent as possible. On American shows you often see a variety of accents, like a New York or Texas accent here and there, but on these "Canadian" shows you only see completely neutral accents... no Prairies accents or Newfie accents to be seen.

I think shows like these are what continue to peel away from whatever distinct culture Canada might have had. If all of our "Canadian" shows merely emulate a generic and bland America, doesn't that mean our culture in general emulates theirs as well? How is this affecting our younger generations? Just look at Justin Bieber, he's a perfect example of what it's doing. He is the definition of a “Generic American pop icon”.
 

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I have never watched Rookie Blue, but I think Flashpoint does a fair enough job of showing its Canadian. I've seen the CN Tower multiple times, as well as other Toronto landscapes. The season 3 finale (episode 9) "Behind the Blue Line" quite obviously takes place in Maple Leaf Gardens, and it is obvious to any hockey fan, Canadian or American. They don't call it Maple Leaf Gardens, just The Gardens or something.

I'd personally prefer that Bieber is identified as anything but Canadian.
 

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They should all be more like Republic Of Doyle! No doubt where that's at!! ;)

I have to wonder about the market for shows that show too much Canadianisms. Selling into the US market has to be huge, as complared to what can be done at home.
 

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Flashpoint has Maple Leaf insignia's on the actual uniforms and uses real Toronto neighbourhood names. It is set in Toronto and does not attempt to hide it.

For other shows ... fair comment.
 

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CrazyInSane said:
Why won't shows like Rookie Blue and Flashpoint just acknowledge that they are Canadian?
It's a fair criticism, and to me it has its basis in the U.S. TV industry's collective mindset. The "locale" vacuum applies on a bigger scale there, in that almost all cop shows take place in NYC or LA. with very few exceptions (yes I know about Homicide, Cold Case, Hill Street Blues, etc.). Since the Americans cannot seem to get a grip on the idea of mainstream U.S. cop shows being set in such cities as Detroit, Cleveland, or Denver, it is tough to see them buying into the concept of Toronto. As such, Flashpoint's references to Toronto are rather oblique and far from direct to those not familiar with Toronto.
 

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I was somewhat surprised to see that they did actually use Canadian money in the second episode. It was quite obvious at one point where someone was counting out a stack of $20s.
 

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does rookie blue really try and hide it? i mean they mention local streets, local landmarks etc. i recognise the cruisers but can't recall whether they've had TORONTO removed from the decals...

my biggest problem with rookie blue is that it's far too safe. how many times has a cop show done that whole 'cop pretends to be a hooker' thing?

I don't know what I want from a Canadian show, but I find them far too lame, safe, obvious, pandering, unremarkable and trite. I could care less how canadian the locale is or isn't, as long as the dialogue and story is there.

I guess it being a co-production with ABC has something to do with trying to make the locale softer and more generic?
 

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xtrawidth said:
I find them far too lame, safe, obvious, pandering, unremarkable and trite
Cop shows from both sides of the border don't tend to stray far from the established procedural formulae. The truly innovative, gritty, realistic Canadian shows like Intelligence and the last 3 or 4 seasons of Cold Squad were buried by CBC and CTV respectively due to lack of support. DaVinci's Inquest had all the right stuff and had very good ratings. In the U.S., NBC's Homicide: Life On The Streets was adored by hard core fans and critics, but the network and the public didn't take to it. NBC also killed Southland, but thankfully it was rescued by Cable TV, where shows such as The Wire have been able to flourish without network meddling.

So, my point is that Canadian cop dramas need not be as soppy and formulaic as we've seen so far in Rookie Blue. Flashpoint has had some very good story lines in some episodes, but it is still a procedural.
 

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I agree with the comments on how formulaic police procedurals have become, so I think the Canada/USA issue is secondary - no one needs another police procedural, whether it looks Canadian or not.

I can't watch them anymore. I even found The Shield hard to watch because it seemed to be a formulaic approach to doing an 'edgy, urban, indie (insert remaining cliches here)' show....the same old, same old. Did have one of the most powerful endings I've ever seen, though.

But look what happens when a break out of the box is attempted - we get The Wire, which lasts for five miraculous seasons, and gets not a shred of critical recognition (never mind great ratings). No Emmys.

Does the market and the industry really want something different, or do they just say they do?
 

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Why won't shows like Rookie Blue and Flashpoint just acknowledge that they are Canadian? No other country's TV shows besides Canada's could possibly hide the fact that they are from that particular country, nor would they want to. What does this say about our culture?

Just look at the cop outfits on Rookie Blue, they look very distinctly American as opposed to Canadian, and the actors also all strive to use as neutral of an accent as possible. On American shows you often see a variety of accents, like a New York or Texas accent here and there, but on these "Canadian" shows you only see completely neutral accents... no Prairies accents or Newfie accents to be seen.

I think shows like these are what continue to peel away from whatever distinct culture Canada might have had. If all of our "Canadian" shows merely emulate a generic and bland America, doesn't that mean our culture in general emulates theirs as well? How is this affecting our younger generations? Just look at Justin Bieber, he's a perfect example of what it's doing. He is the definition of a “Generic American pop icon”.
New show Covert Affairs is supposed to be based in Washington D.C., yet is actually filmed in Toronto. They have the odd library shot of the tourist attractions but everything else is quite clearly Toronto; Allens & Dora Keogh's pubs, the Gardner & Lakeshore, Queen Street East. But the show is clearly trying to pass itself off as being in DC.

And what I have seen of Flashpoint, it doesn't hide the fact that it's Canadian.
 

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"The Listener" show that got canceled last year, the one about the ambulance driver who had psychic abilities , was filmed in Toronto. You clearly saw the CN Tower and other Young St. staples all the time. But again, it never came out clearly and said "We're a Canadian Show". It had that emulated American feel to it to a point where at times it made you feel it just might succeed if it weren't being so cheesy at the same time. The studios won their TV Tax (*cough* Bailout money *cough*) from the Cable Providers on the guise we need to support Canadian Culture on Canadian TV...so...get busy and make some shows that identify our culture and society rather than trying to emulate another. Why should these shows be ashamed? If it's good, people will watch it irregardless of whether it is about cops in Toronto or any other joe-shcmo town.
 

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The tendency to avoid placing shows in cities other than the largest and best known American cities is really a North American thing. As someone here pointed out even many larger American cities have never been the setting of a show. Taking it a step further how many US shows/movies are ever set anywhere but New York/LA/SF? The movie Fargo used Minneapolis as did Mary Tyler Moore. WKRP was obviously in Cincinatti. CSI has added a few other locales. Overall however North American TV shows do seem firmly rooted in either New York or Los Angeles. That may be because the studios/talent/equipment are there or maybe because the writers know those cities better than others. This bias carries over to any Canadian-US coproductions since they're all made with the US market in mind.
 

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The Border came out around the same time as Flashpoint. It was definitely a Toronto show. They said Toronto, talked about Canada and American/Canadian issues, and got cancelled. I've only seen Flashpoint a couple times, but it struck me as a typical American show filmed in Canada. We recognize the scenery, but they don't actually say they are here. I do understand from others this changed somewhat in season 3, with more direct Toronto references.
 

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Why won't shows like Rookie Blue and Flashpoint just acknowledge that they are Canadian? No other country's TV shows besides Canada's could possibly hide the fact that they are from that particular country, nor would they want to. What does this say about our culture?

Just look at the cop outfits on Rookie Blue, they look very distinctly American as opposed to Canadian, and the actors also all strive to use as neutral of an accent as possible. On American shows you often see a variety of accents, like a New York or Texas accent here and there, but on these "Canadian" shows you only see completely neutral accents... no Prairies accents or Newfie accents to be seen.

I think shows like these are what continue to peel away from whatever distinct culture Canada might have had. If all of our "Canadian" shows merely emulate a generic and bland America, doesn't that mean our culture in general emulates theirs as well? How is this affecting our younger generations? Just look at Justin Bieber, he's a perfect example of what it's doing. He is the definition of a “Generic American pop icon”.
I don't personally feel that Rookie Blue hid or somehow veiled the fact that it was based in Toronto. I mean, let's get real. The CN Tower is a prominent feature in most of their opening scene shots.

Also, the person who stated that the accents are "neutral" has perhaps not been to Toronto (or anywhere else in Ontario). As someone who lives here, I can't hear ANY type of accent, because that's the dialect and the accent that's used here. The only people in Ontario who have "newfoundland accents" are people who are from Newfoundland (note: might be advantageous to look at a map - Newfoundland is geographically nowhere near Toronto). Just sayin'...
 

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My problem with Canadian shows is that the best talent seems to move to the US shortly after they make a name for themselves in Canada. Can't blame them since the big paychecks are in the US or working for US production companies in Canada. This has been an issue for all talent for many years but it is most visible in the arts. TV series departures tend to kill ratings and then network commitment to Canadian shows. Canadian shows have, at best, 1/10 the viewers and budget of US shows. That kills budgets and production values. There has been the occasional successful Canada-US co-production but they are relatively rare.

The over familiarity of Canadian actors and locations is easy to spot so pretending otherwise makes it even worse. Doing a bad job of faking location is even worse. The other part of the issue is familiarity itself. Watching drama is an escape and requires some suspension of disbelief. That's a lot easier if it's in a land long ago and far away or even in a foreign city that we rarely, if ever, visit. Seeing an outlandish plot that's supposed to be happening now in a location just down the street just seems much less believable.
 

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I think that when we think of Canadian programming, we shouldn't just focus on drama shows.

I travel a lot, and you wouldn't believe how many people all over the U.S., UK, Australia, and other countries watch our home improvement shows like anything Mike Holmes, Bryan Beuamler, Scott McGilvary, (may of spelled some names wrong) and all those deck and garden shows on HGTV Canada. Also, some House Hunters shows like Island Hunters are Canadian shows. Everyone I meet knows most of these shows as being in and around Toronto.

If you look at international channels like HGTV US, Lifestyle in Australia, various DIY channels in Europe, it is full of Canadian shows on the schedule.

Our sports coverage for NHL and CFL is widely carried in other countries as well on various local sports networks.

We also produce a lot of children's programming/cartoons that are carried all over the place.

I agree our dramas are not great - the only one I can think that I watched in the last 10 years was Orphan Black, which is more of a co-production - but one may break out one day.

I guess my point is that international viewers don't care if a show is distinctly filmed in Canada - the only impression they get is our real estate is out of control in Toronto!
 

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Due South was a break out drama that was syndicated and aired in the US for many years. I guess we're all a bunch of horse riding mounties up here. Then there are blatant rip-offs of decent Canadian shows like Cold Case which was a copy of Cold Squad, a decent show until it's lead character left.

I would have to agree that Canada does much better with DIY reality shows and sports than it does with dramas. Unfortunately, the US has co-opted the NHL and it is now more of a US enterprise than it is Canadian. I'm not sure the CFL stands up very well compared to the NFL or even US college football.
 
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