The title line for my post has been a frequent line in my home these days. For the last couple of weeks, while American television has most of their shows in hiatus, my family and I have ventured into Canadian television, as we watched what seemed (I wish!) endless episodes of a couple Canadian shows. We took on the newbie Continuum, a time-travel/police procedural, and the three seasons old Rookie Blue, a sort of dramaish police not quite-procedural, which is commonly known as “the Grey’s Anatomy” of Cops. The two shows don’t have all that much in common: the plots are completely different, one with anarchists/liberationists (depending on how you look at it) trying to save the world from a corporation dictatorship, the other the daily life of cops as they took on the job, the badge and sleep with half of their co-workers (hey, I’m not judging! It really was love at first time! Great show!). The pace is also completely different. Continnum is fast and full of action — my brother joked it seemed like a Jack Chan (or maybe it was Bruce Lee, or someone else like them!) movie — while Rookie Blue alternates between romance, conversations and a few fight scenes. What the two shows have in common, I mean, they it’s almost weird, is that everyone is REALLY, REALLY nice. EVERYONE.
You know when people are creepily nice? Like, you get to school or work in the morning in a really bad mood, because, well, it’s morning and you’re awake, and there’s someone smiling at you, offering you a drink or a hand? Yeah, that’s the Canadians for ya. They’re the morning people of the world or something. It’s not only that everyone is polite in every situation, nor that they’re respectful, mostly law-abiding, it’s that when they’re not, they’re still equally nice. And that really surprised me.
Maybe it shouldn’t. It probably says more about me than it says about them. Obviously, I’m not criticizing them. They’re more than right being the way they are. And I say that, because I know television reflects the society itself. What I see when I watch Canadian television is completely different from when I watch American television.
In the many episodes I’ve watched, not ONCE I’ve seen anyone intimidating a suspect into talking. Not once. And that was something my family and I really talked about, “If they were Americans, they’d be down their throat.” Instead, they would come up with, “Let’s see how they act when they’re not threatened.” And that’s something that we don’t see on American tv.” Americans are down with force and noise, while Canadians go down with arguments. That’s a HUGE difference.
In one of the episodes, this guy was a suspect of shooting at one of the officers. A COP. Had it been in any of the American shows I’ve watched for years, they’d be down their throat, about to kill him. He shot at her, and hit her on her vest. She was fine. Her fiancé was a bit nervous, and, while they calmed him down, another officer took the suspect to another room, and offered him a cup of coffee. COFFEE. TO A SUSPECT.
While my family and I looked at each other dumbfounded, we just said our new most said line while watching tv, “Well, they’re Canadian.” as if that explained everything. Maybe it does.
I haven’t met any Canadians in person lately. Last time I was very young to remember, if they’re really those nice of people. But as someone who’s been raised by a mother who’s a communications professor who specializes in globalization, I firmly do believe that the television programs of a country reflect their habits, their culture. And, man, did I start to admire Canadians, if I didn’t before.
So, do you guys know any Canadians? Do you think they’re really, super nice? Do you think a country’s television programs reflect their culture? And, lastly, have you seen Continuum or Rookie Blue and are you as obsessed as me? You should, they’re soo good!