Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Deux Nations: The Reality Show

CBC’s fall television lineup is set and it looks like it’s more of the same. That means more Rick Mercer, more "Little Mosque on the Prairie" and, in keeping with current trends, more reality shows.

Sadly, though, most Canadian reality shows are nothing more than copies of American or British shows. The only new truly Canadian-themed reality offering this fall appears to be "Battle of the Blades" featuring competing teams of figure skaters and hockey players. Rumor has it, however, that the CBC hopes to rectify this deficiency by airing one or more of the following uniquely Canadian reality shows currently under consideration:

The Week the Politicians Went

Based on the popular reality-documentary series "The Week the Women Went", this new show takes a look at what happens in the nation’s capital when all the politicians are called home. Will the local bureaucrats be able to survive without the expertise and guidance of their political masters? Or will anyone even notice?

Deux Nations

Loosely based on the "Big Brother" series, "Deux Nations" features six anglophones, six francophones and one aboriginal person living on the same territory. Drama and comedy ensue as the participants battle it out to see whose language predominates, who gets which piece of land and which of the many possible ways the aboriginal person ultimately gets screwed.

Who Hates Toronto More?

Teams from every province and territory compete to see who hates Toronto more. Each week, a different team is eliminated by viewers voting to indicate which one they feel was insufficiently anti-TO. Ironically, the final competition between the last surviving three teams will be held at Toronto’s Massey Hall.

Constitutional Wrangling

Groups of Canadian politicians, academics and political commentators are holed up in the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa to hammer out a new constitution for Canada. Every week, each group presents its proposed replacement for a different current constitutional bottleneck like the amending formula or the notwithstanding clause. The final episode will feature any remaining Canadian viewers voting on their preferred new Canadian Constitution.


Environment Canada weather guru David Phillips hosts a new weekly quiz show in which Canadians compete to guess when summer will arrive and for how long. Hours of sunshine with above 25 degree temperatures will be tracked for upwards of two months to see who can come closest to identifying an actual Canadian summer. Contestants from Windsor and the southeast mainland of British Columbia are disqualified from competing.

Canadian Content, Eh?

Canadians value their Canadian content in everything from dance to music to drama. But how many of us know what actually qualifies under the arcane rules of the CRTC? Well here’s a chance to find out. Contestants will compete in a quiz show format. They’ll get to watch or listen to different productions and then guess whether they qualify as "Canadian content" and explain why. The entertainment promises to be non-stop.

Minority House

Four teams of ideologically distinct contestants are forced to live 24/7 in a cramped common house in Ottawa. The teams battle one another for an elusive majority yet somehow never seem to attain it. In the end, however, all the residents do have one goal in common: to live in the house at least six years in order to win the ultimate prize - a gold-plated, parliamentary pension.

Seal Club

Inspired by the movie "Fight Club", this show pits Newfoundland sealers against celebrity animal lovers in a weekly no-holds-barred competition. Armed only with their wits and the occasional club, each camp tries to outlast the other and avoid being voted "off the ice floe." Weekly guest stars like Paul McCartney, Brigitte Bardot and Pamela Anderson ensure "Seal Club"will be a ratings winner for the people’s network.

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