Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Live with Kelly! Pandering to Americans



Watching the heavily government-sponsored Live with Kelly! this week, I couldn't help but feel embarrassed.

Might as well call it Pandering to Americans, the Lowest Common Denominator Edition.

The show was chock-a-block full of cliches. There was the RCMP color guard -- which I believe is owned by Disney -- which escorted the diminutive little Ripa. Guess they don't have anything better to do now that we've taken away their tasers.

There were the obligatory fiddlers and pipers. Sojourns up and down the mountains. There were toques-laden tossers who were participating in something called The Canadian Word of the Day. One of them was "ginch" which apparently refers to mens' undergarments. Funny, I thought the word was "gotch". I didn't know most of the other words.

Every day of the shoot, the hosts made fun of Regina. One of the American hosts, the ignorant Peter Facinelli, actually asked if Regina was a real place and not a cooter. Really? I don't think the Queen -- Regina's namesake -- would be overly impressed when Kelly hauled out a beaver hat.

Ugh.

The stereotypes were nearly unbearable.

This land being showcased to Americans is very foreign to land in which I live. I live near a shopping mall filled with big box stores. In fact, Marshall's has just arrived from the great hot south! Yippee! My son used to work at Walmart, another American box that is ripping the Canadian retail industry a new one, my husband works for the Japanese and I work for the French.

I've never danced a jig in my life and I wouldn't know which end of a bagpipe to blow in.

Our lives are very different from the one displayed on Live with Kelly. In my world, people carry briefcases and take the bus, like most Americans. People do ski here, but not in April.

I don't like the fact that millions of Canadian dollars are being spent to promote something that looks like bad CBC. Americans who come here are bound to be disappointed when they can't buy snow shoes at the airport in July. And try finding a fiddler when you want one in Mississauga!

Most Canadians aren't stereotypes and I think shows like this one do a disservice to the national identity. We're individuals, we're not trained bears.

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