Canadians love entertainment from around the world. They all wish they could have the same dry humour as the British or the same cool attitudes as the Americans. But they don’t. The kind of shows that are produced in Canada about Canadians are shows like Anne of Green Gables and Degrassi. It’s not exactly blockbuster entertainment.
So, to deal with this problem and avoid having to think up too many original ideas, Canadians have taken to having “Canadian Versions” of their favourite shows.
Do you like American Idol? That’s great! You’ll love Canadian Idol! Are you a fan of Deal of No Deal? Well wait until you see Deal or No Deal Canada!
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Canadian Edition, So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Project Runway Canada. They’re all there and they’re all trying to be like their international counterparts.
But it doesn’t stop with shows. No, Canadians take entire networks and create Canadian versions. Ever watch MTV Canada? Neither has anyone else. (Except maybe the writers of 30 Rock.)
Of course these networks are nothing but bastardized versions, created to calm the Canadians down before they riot through the igloos of Toronto, brandishing snow shoes and screaming for more poutine. They’re not any good. MTV Canada doesn’t even have a license to play music (not that the actual MTV plays any music these days.)
But Canadians, in their quest to be something more than maple syrup-loving dog sledders, have taken it a step further. They’ve created “rip off channels” that pretend to be like famous international stations.
Canadians don’t get Showtime but they can watch Showcase. In Canada you can’t watch Comedy Central but you can spend as long as you want tuning into The Comedy Network. And so it goes on.
This disturbing trend has even moved out of the realm of television and into other forms of entertainment. Canadians can get their Internet services provided to them by AOL Canada which, yes, stands for “America Online Canada.” It doesn’t make sense to anyone so don’t ask.
Those Canadians are definitely a confusing bunch, which is why it is often so difficult to spot them.
Using the knowledge you just learned, however, will give you an advantage.
If you suspect someone of being Canadian just sit them down and have them watch substandard versions of international programming. A true Canadian will feel right at home and maybe even give you a “This show’s pretty good, eh?”
Then you will know that you’ve found a Canadian.