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D.K. Latta

Pop Culture Blogger

When not trying to earn a real living, D.K. Latta occasionally writes SF and fantasy stories, and has written pop culture opinions on everything from comic books to radio drama. But long ago he adopted as his primary hobby Canadian film & television with his website: The Great Canadian Guide to the Movies (& TV) -- making him either nobly patriotic or just plain nuts.
Eric Schnakenberg via Getty Images

Canadian History is Going Hollywood

It's great to see storytellers embracing Canadian culture as grist for daring spies, gun-totting cowgals and sweeping epics. But when even professional journalists have never heard of spy schools or know much about early black history, it gives you an idea of how much damage has been done by generations of Canadian film and TV makers cravenly setting stories in "Generica" -- and how much farther there is to go.
02/22/2015 11:18 EST
Space

Hating Canadian TV Is No Longer That Funny

There are people within the Canadian entertainment biz (as well as their fans) who feel the industry is so fragile it behooves critics to "get on-side." And that you have to like particular shows or movies to be considered Canadian. Which is complete and utter balderdash.
12/31/2014 05:35 EST
CTV

Mohawk Girls and Other Canadian TV and Film Notables

In the last couple of years Canadian TV programmers have gone nuts for comedy -- specifically so-called "American-style" sitcoms. So far it hasn't really worked out too well with a lot of cancellations and even those series that continue often receiving mixed reviews. So maybe it should come as no surprise that one of the best comedies to come along on Canadian TV is out of left field -- APTN's Mohawk Girls!
12/21/2014 11:02 EST

The Horror of Science Fiction Movies

I recently saw a Canadian-made movie called Debug. It's kind of a "meh" movie (as I once saw an online reviewer define something not good enough to praise, but not bad enough to disparage). If you're predisposed toward the sub-genre, you'll probably find it a passable waste of 90 minutes. And if you're more ambivalent, you probably won't. And therein lies today's rub.
11/13/2014 01:09 EST

<em>Strange Empire</em> Just Isn't Strange Enough

Strange Empire is arguably intended as the jewel in the crown of the CBC's fall season. Yet its ratings were around 300,000 and, according to some reports, have actually dipped below 250,000. Why is it struggling? And can something be done?
11/06/2014 05:15 EST
Jupiterimages via Getty Images

Is Canadian TV Stuck With 1970s Attitudes?

It seems to me I've been noticing that a lot lately on Canadian TV. Particularly recent sitcoms that seem as though the scripts are decades old -- including with a leering sexism I don't necessarily associate with modern American or U.K. sitcoms. Maybe the 21st century really did just happen to other people.
10/09/2014 05:30 EDT
Lubs Mary./Flickr

We're Asking the Wrong Questions About Canadian Television

The only time people aren't complaining about government regulation is when they are complaining about the lack of regulation! When Netflix speaks against regulations, they do so out of two motives. One, as a corporate entity that wants nothing to interfere with their profits. But secondly, as an American company.
09/26/2014 12:35 EDT
Reel Canada

Canadians Should Be Making Fewer Films

Canadian films struggle -- most people acknowledge that. The films struggle to get made, to get distributed, to get promoted, to be seen, and to be accepted by viewers. Maybe instead of producing a 100 low-budget films we need 50 moderate budget films. Or 25 decently budgeted films.
08/10/2014 11:50 EDT
Davies and Starr via Getty Images

This Website Could Help Canadian Television

Hopefully the new TV, Eh? -- assuming it gets going -- won't fall into the trap of just being a cheerleader, of seeing its sole purpose to do PR for any and all Canadian productions. That should certainly be part of it, of course. But a healthy industry is one where issues can be discussed, opinions can be traded back and forth, and sacred cows tipped over.
07/27/2014 10:15 EDT
Prince Williams via Getty Images

Should Canadian Celebrities Welcome Controversy?

It seems like you can barely turn around without some celebrity or public figure saying something racially or sexually offensive. But it's unusual when it involves a Canadian entertainer. Recently there was a minor explosion when Canadian TV executive Brent Piaskoski sent out a series of comical tweets ridiculing the behaviour of some Asian commuters at an airport.
07/18/2014 05:34 EDT
ABC

Canadian TV Shows Are Slowly Creeping on to American Networks

In recent years there has been a slight, but noteworthy, incursion of Canadian TV series onto American TV. Cable series like Bitten and Orphan Black and even primetime network programs like Rookie Blue and Motive. But there has been grumbling about these and other shows.
06/06/2014 12:30 EDT
CP

Why Is the CBC Trying To Crowdsource Its Own Vision?

I'm all for the CBC brass stepping out of their ivory towers and walking among the people, but I'd also like a sense they have a vision themselves. A vision that can be shaped by public feedback, perhaps -- but a vision nonetheless. Because if you ask a hundred people what they want from the CBC, you'll get a hundred different answers.
05/30/2014 12:38 EDT
Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images

The Trouble With Canadian Sitcoms

Working the Engels started out tepid, but is improving week-by-week. With the most recent episode (the one about the sister dealing with her divorce) I found myself chuckling pretty consistently. I'd argue the secret weapon in their comedy quiver might be Less Than Kind's Benjamin Arthur who injects a sympathetic innocence into the brother.
04/06/2014 01:22 EDT