Secret of their success

My fingers got a workout today adding to the TV, Eh? site all the 1,001 (give or take) links to praise-filled news articles about Intelligence, which debuts tonight on CBC. That doesn’t count the couple I saw that were behind subscription-only barriers. It’s gratifying to see that the Canadian media will write articles on Canadian TV shows. The key to success seems to be … be Chris Haddock.

If you can’t manage that, I’m sure having any successful show in your past helps. But also, not having to rely solely on network publicists is probably key, as is having a sexy subject (“sex, drugs and espionage” – what reporter can resist that?), especially one that hits on current events and issues. And while I’ve said I don’t know what makes a show quintessentially Canadian other than the fact that it’s by Canadians, and I don’t care where a show is set, and it’s often the indefinable things that make it resonate as Canadian for me (well, I might not have said that last part, but I’m saying it now), this show is Canadian.

Of course it’s particularly cool for me since I live where it’s set, but even if I were still in Alberta or New Brunswick or wherever, I’d recognize the beauty and seediness that coexist in Vancouver, and the very BC-ness of Jimmy Reardon’s business. Plus it touches on the issue of Canadian over-reliance on American intelligence and what that means to our country, and that isn’t something you’re going to see much of on US television. All great fodder to inspire Canadian journalists to write about the show, I’m sure.

The only non-Intelligence item I posted today is actually related, if you squint. The ratings are out for Sept. 25 – Oct. 1, and House is #2 in the country. It’s always done better in Canada than the US (the secret to Canadians’ niceness – we’re all repressed Dr. Houses?) but #2 is better than I’ve noticed before. That means the last episode before baseball hiatus beat Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, and the lesser CSIs.

New episodes of House will air Tuesdays at 9 when it returns. When does Intelligence air? Tuesdays at 9. So while I love House and would like it to air 52 weeks a year, since I have no power to make that happen, I’ll be grateful there are no new episodes for the next three weeks to allow Intelligence to build an audience without it as competition. I won’t be in a Sophie’s Choice position anyway, since I can watch House on the Eastern feed, but very, very occasionally, things aren’t all about me.

Speaking of new CBC shows, I watched Rumours last night, and … well … maybe it’s because I was in a funk after being sick for the long weekend, maybe my brain was still zombie-like after spending most of the day in bed sniffling and feeling sorry for myself, but good lord was that an unfunny comedy. It didn’t even make me smile inwardly, not once. The sparring male-female leads is a classic set up, but aren’t they supposed to be trading funny banter? “You’re a jerk!” “No you are!” is not quite Tracy-Hepburn-esque. Yes, I’m paraphrasing, but still.

I’m going to guess the Quebec version is better executed, or this might be one of those two solitudes examples. Or maybe it’s just me. For CBC’s sake, I hope so.

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