As already illustrated by many of my previous post on this blog I love two things with an intense passion. Visual media and recurring segments. Oh how I love my recurring segments. But believe it or not there are things I love more and one of them is my country. My majestic, immense, sparsely populated country with its inferiority complex and immense dearth of artistic talent. So imagine my joy when I realized I could meld these three loves together! How none of you are asking? Through the magic of Can-Con! Can-Con, short for Canadian Content, is a legal requirement placed on almost all broadcast media within Canada. In my country a government agency, the Canadian Radio-Television And Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) oversees the aforementioned broadcasts. Their primary mission is to ensure the continued survival of Canadian media and arts in the face of the immense entertainment juggernaut south of the 49th parallel. As such they have mandated that all radio or television stations air a certain percentage of programs (25-30% for radio and 50-60% for television) which are identifiably Canadian in content or production. It’s a novel concept though admittedly not unique to Canada. Australia, the UK, the EU, New Zealand, South Africa and a whole host of other countries have similar programs. Some have even suggested that the CRTC mandate be extended to cover movie theatres as well, in order to ensure that Canadian cinema gets a fair shake in its own country. Presently many of the Canadian theatre are subsidiaries of larger American chains and thus have little time for smaller and far less advertised domestic productions. Many of which are actually pretty good. Usually to fulfill the requirements of Can-Content many producers simply pump out current affairs programs or mind numbingly boring knock-offs of American programs (I.E. Canadian Idol, So You Think You Can Dance Canada and Canada’s Next Top Model) but occasionally a Canadian production company will come up with an interesting idea or a foreign company will include Canadian content to satisfy the baying government hounds. For example if you see a character that looks like this:it’s a good guess you’re looking at Can-Content. In the spirit of this nationalistic legislation I’ve decided to create a recurring segment which allows me to fulfill my patriotic needs. This is KICK ASS CAN-CONTENT! Let us lay out some ground rules. In order to qualify as Kick Ass Can-Content a show or character has to fulfill a minimum of two of the following criteria:
1. The story is set or takes place in Canada at least 50% of the time
2. The performer of a character is a Canadian/the majority of the cast is Canadian
3. A Character is Canadian/most of the characters are identifiably Canadian
4. The show is shot in Canada and/or is at least partially produced by a Canadian company
Also fair warning, I may get pretty obscure with my references so if you don’t know about the character or show I’m highlighting, hopefully you’ll check it out and give Canadian media some much needed support and exposure. So without any further delay, let’s get cracking. For the first edition of KACC (huzzah for acronyms!), it’ll be a double dose. We’re going to be listing the top twenty Canadian badasses of the small and silver screens respectively. For too long we Canadians have been seen as a collection of limp wristed, overly polite peacekeepers who are terrified of offending anyone. This is complete and utter horseshit and luckily we have twenty Can-Content badasses to prove the naysayers wrong. First up the Can-Con badasses of the small screen.
Imagine trying to keep a village full of heavily armed ancient enemies from unleashing a big can of ethnic cleansing upon each other with only a stern talking to, a UN mandate (ha) and a snazzy blue beret. A monumental task to say the last, made all the more monumental by the fact that half of your co-workers are either crazy, corrupt, totally uninterested, inexperienced or grade-A Albertan assholes (seriously! That last one is actually a plot point). Luckily one woman is up to the soul crushing job. Canadian unarmed UN observer Sean Kuzak smokes like a chimney, flips off trigger happy Bosnian snipers, cusses like a sailor and most important of all, actually cares about what she is doing! All after experiencing a brutal rape no less. That takes balls…er…eggs of steel.
Imagine this as the premise for a show: an ancient vampire who has spent years doing horrible things has come to regret his past and now only searches for a way to become mortal again. In order to wipe away some of his massive Karmic debt he decides to fight crime by night in a bustling metropolis. If that sounds like the plot to Joss Whedon’s Angel you and he can go do something unpleasant to yourselves with a sharp stick. What I have just described is the long running early 1990s Canadian/German television series Forever Knight. The titular character Nick Knight is a hard-boiled detective working the mean streets of Toronto who just happens to be a motherfucking vampire! To make sure he doesn’t burst into flames his first day on the job, he has a doctor friend come up with the excuse that he is allergic to sunlight. Apparently buying that ludicrous explanation (something which I suspect would have immediately disqualified anyone before they even reached basic police training) he is permanently assigned to the night shift. When he isn’t taking down run of the mill criminals he is forced to deal with the ghosts of his past, mainly in the form of the devious Lucien (played to a villainous tee by Halifax resident Nigel Bennett)