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Morpheus took the red pill – and a treatise on Canadian Vs. American television promotion

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(His head is pastede on, yay!)

(His head is pastede on, yay!)

Laurence Fishburne, who is set to join CSI next season, claims that before he was hired, he’d never seen an episode.

Now I know not everybody is like me and seeks out CSI reruns when there’s nothing else on, but COME ON, Morpheus! Are you going to tell me you’ve never flicked on a TV before? Because at any given time a television is on, it’s 50/50 you’re going to come across either a CSI rerun or a Law & Order rerun. And one cannot live on Sam Waterston alone. No, sometimes, one must inject a little “Warrick doing experiments in a wifebeater”  into one’s life.

The actor will be playing a new character that is only known so far as “The Professor,” a college lecturer and former pathologist who also possesses a chromosome also found in serial killers.

After his introduction to the series in early 2009, The Professor will join the team as a level one CSI — not as the team’s leader. His storyline will cross over with Grissom’s, who this season will face personal turmoil and reevaluate his life among the CSI ranks.

I see we’re going down the “this new guy could be a serial killer” line we once could’ve gone down with Grissom. All I can say is: SIGH. I am seriously giving this show one more season before every original cast member is on to other things. Liam the lab tech included.

****

I remember when CBS first started airing Due South. Everybody and their dog wanted to hump a mountie. Particularly mounties who looked like Paul Gross. Then CBS dumped the show after two seasons. But in an effort to prove that we love us some stereotypes, Canadian network CTV picked up the show and ran it for two more seasons with a new “Ray.” And if you are old enough to remember the “Ray Wars” of this fandom, then you have my undying sympathy. I myself am a Ray Kowalski kind of girl. Largely because the homoerotic subtext present in all buddy-cop formats rapidly became text. I mean, *SPOILER ALERT* the final episode has the two male lead characters running off together on a dogsled to have “an adventure.” CTV seemed to be on board with this. And that’s when I realized the differences between America and Canada when it came to promoting shows.

It’s a strange dichotomy that still exists. Take the new show Flashpoint. It’s filmed in Toronto. And it’s not just masquerading as Chicago or New York. The show about a task force of elite cops who handle difficult situations like bombs, gangs and hostage situations actually takes place in Toronto. It airs on both CTV and CBS and the way each network’s website chooses to promote the cast is telling.

The show stars a few people you might recognize if you are a consumer of pop culture. Emphasis on the cult. Its three main characters are played by Enrico Colantoni (Canadian), Hugh Dillon (Canadian), and Amy Jo-Johnson (Original Pink Power Ranger). There are three other dudes on the team and every one of them is as white as the Canadian snow in which they were raised. They’re bland, unmemorable muscled dudes with close-cropped hair and rugged good looks. You’d do them, then immediately forget about them. But we’re going to concentrate on the main three.

According to CTV, Enrico Colantoni is likely most-recognized for his roles as a womanizing photographer on Just Shoot Me, the detective father of a teen PI on the cult favourite Veronica Mars and as an alien commander in Galaxy Quest. According to CBS, he’s most known for the Just Shoot Me role and, oddly, a recreation of John Belushi’s death on A Current Affair. It also lists a bunch of guest starring shots he did in 1994. I find it odd that CBS neglected to mention the Veronica Mars role, since CBS is the parent broadcaster of the CW. Neither site mentions his more-recent guest role on CSI.

CBS claims Hugh Dillon is best known for his “starring role as Mike Sweeny in the Canadian television series ‘Durham County.’ ” I’m from Canada. I watch a lot of Canadian programming. I had no idea what Durham County was. Apparently, it’s up for a Gemini (Canadian Emmy). Still, I had to look it up. And I just don’t remember it. I do remember Hugh Dillon, though. Most people with a passing knowledge of the Canadian film and music industry do. He’s about as famous as a Canadian can get without leaving the country. He was the lead singer for the Headstones and starred as punk rocker Joe Dick in Bruce McDonald’s mock documentary Hard Core Logo. He was also featured in McDonald’s Dance Me Outside and a couple episodes of Canadian cult favourite Twitch City. CTV’s site mentions all of the above. To be fair, CBS does mention Dillon’s bit part on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Sigh. Americans.

Then we come to Amy Jo-Johnson. She is, as I mentioned previously, mostly famous for originating the role of “Pink Ranger” on the kids TV sensation Might Morphin Power Rangers. Think back. Remember when kids were kicking each other in the face and TV was to blame? No. Not as Ninja Turtles. Too far back. Go forward a couple of years. Yes. THOSE power rangers. Right. She was the pink one. I’ll forgive the blatant sexism because she kicked asses of giant, ugly alien creature… things. Um. I think. Not that I watched it. While babysitting. With children. LEAVE ME ALONE! I WATCH WHAT I WANT! Ahem. The CBS site mentions that role. CTV? Not so much.

So I’ve been watching this show because it’s summer and there’s not much else on. Here’s what I would say to each of these main three actors:

Enrico: I loved you so much as Keith Mars. I wish you were MY dad. Yeah. A lot. You’re great. Here’s to hoping Rob Thomas creates a TV show half as awesome as Veronica Mars and casts you in it. Pro-tip: Avoid Paula Marshall like the plague. I love her, but she’s a show killer. Just ask Jeremy Piven. That’s right. Piven. There’s a road you don’t want to go down. I know, I know. Emmys. But also: ugly hair plugs. Trust me.

Hugh: Man, the last time I saw you, there was hair on your head and glass in your eyes. You were almost too loaded to sing, but not quite. Good on you, though, because it was a rowdy concert in a shithole bar, just the kind of thing we should all experience before we die. You know those sequels that Bruce McDonald is talking about? Yeah. I know. Sounds sketchy. Sounds cash-grabby. Sounds like all integrity could easily be lost. But just do it. If your fans know all the words to Son of a Bitch to the Core, they’re probably wishing there’d been more. Who are you to deny them? Joe Dick. That’s who.

Amy: Sigh. You’re actually not as bad as I thought you’d be. That’s all the faint praise I can muster. Sorry. Pray for a Power Rangers reunion.

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About Tanis

Badass, smokin' hot and overall nice to come home to.

3 responses »

  1. Please remember that not every Due South fan sees the “homoerotic subtext” between Fraser and the second Ray as “text.”

    I don’t, and I know that I’m not the only one who shakes her head at Fraser/Kowalski shippers who insist that the two are flirting most of the time that they’re together on screen. I have not seen anything on screen to indicate they are closer than Fraser and Ray Vecchio, have a better friendship than Fraser and Ray Vecchio and are any more flirty with each other than Fraser and Ray Vecchio. And the ending? It wasn’t the original one – Paul Gross changed it to please the F/K shippers, completely forgetting about the rest of us who don’t see F/K on the show. And I think Fraser chooses Canada – not Kowalski. Kowalski just tags along on the adventure. There’s nothing to indicate that they spent the rest of their lives together; I imagine Kowalski couldn’t handle the cold for very long (because he didn’t earlier in the series) and returned to Chicago alone after a few weeks. He and Fraser remain friends – but Fraser is also close friends with Ray Vecchio. Fraser didn’t choose one Ray over the other!

    Reply
    • Like I said, MY UNDYING SYMPATHY.

      Reply
      • You’re acting very condescending. It’s just your opinion that the subtext is text. Tortiecat has some good points, so who’s to say that you’re right and he or she is wrong? And if you take that attitude toward others’ opinions, then it’s no wonder that the Ray Wars aren’t quite over. Those who don’t think that the subtext is text are sick of you and others insisting that Fraser and Kowalski are lovers who hid out in Canada, away from RayV and all of Fraser’s other friends (Kowalski didn’t seem to have any other friends except for Fraser, which makes him emotionally stunted and so not a good partner for Fraser).

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