So, a little show called Schitt’s Creek swept the Emmys. We know that Canadians make great TV, but does the rest of the world? Schitt’s Creek proves that they do. Here are a few more shows that made the rest of the world sit up and take note of Canadian TV talent.
This comedy-drama about a woman who can be sent back in time by her therapist to relive moments causing her present-day regret succeeded thanks to the charisma and charm of Erin Karpluk, who played the titular Erica. The show got picked up by BBC World Service and became popular both south of the border and in Europe.
Who else would put 30 Helens in a field and have them lecture us?
Two sketch comedy shows on this list? Beauty, eh? Canadians are hilarious and the world knows it. SCTV gave the world such comedy heavy-weights as John Candy, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, Martin Short, Dave Thomas, and more. What would comedy look like without those names? Oh, and they’re also responsible for a little thing called Bob & Doug Mackenzie, Canada’s hosers-in-chief. Protip: their song “Take Off” with Geddy Lee is pretty great.
Wait, did we say two sketch comedy shows? Well here’s a third. Baroness Von Sketch has so many classic bits, from the women who get stuck at the last table at a wedding to the woman who uses dry shampoo to its absolute limit to the interrogation scene where the two interrogators just leave their mark out of a conversation until she confesses.
Alternatively witty and profane, Letterkenny follows the antics of skids, hockey players, and natives who live in (and around) fictional Letterkenny, Ontario. It’s become a surprise hit south of the border on Hulu, and Canadians visiting the States might find themselves asked if slang from the show is real in Canada. Fair question: even the stars of the show find themselves answering questions about slang too. That kind of commitment to Canadian authenticity is what we appreciate about them, bud.
Okay, we’re cheating a bit, because Degrassi isn’t just one series. It’s an entire franchise. The five main series are The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, Degrassi: The Next Generation, and Degrassi: Next Class. Oh, and there’ve been a bunch of made-for-TV movies and specials along the way too. Why is it so popular? Well, we think it’s because these shows offer something for everyone. There are more serious episodes about divorce and teen pregnancy (shout out to Spike!) and more fun fare like cursed chain letters and awkward dating. Plus, ranking different characters was always a good discussion topic, as we aged from recess to after-school study hall to late night university dorm conversations. Did we grow up with Degrassi? We did, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.