We continue to be bombarded with graphically depicted messages that either romanticize suicide in terms of simplistic Romeo and Juliet dreck, or unfairly portray those in the midst of a mental illness crisis as "mad." We start believing falsehoods that keep perpetuating negative stereotypes and stigma.
Twenty sixteen was a year of collective loss and sorrow. A year that spanked us. A year when the news made the news. And so it is fitting that many of my most memorable TV moments came straight from newscasts. Yes, we're tired of hearing about Trump. But alas, we don't get to fast-forward through his presidency.
The crux of the problem is that the same companies who control the distribution of television in Canada also create or licence programming, giving them a stranglehold on the medium AND the message. This means they have zero incentive to break up the cable bundle or go beyond the letter of CRTC regulation to actually provide or promote options that fit the lifestyle of today's consumers.
There are those who argue that reality shows are an affront to culture, but if it is something that is enjoyable and brings people together, I would argue it is not something we should feel guilty about. In today's divided world we should be looking for more things to unite people, which is why reality TV should be brought into the open.
As someone who's been a working journalist and video content creator for more than a decade, I want to take my storytelling to the next level, particularly when it comes to telling the stories of black women. I want to be someone who helps change the narrative. The 20th anniversary of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) seemed like the right place to cultivate creative inspiration.
My mother is visiting this week. Last night, after putting my son to bed, I lowered my pregnant self onto the sofa and revved up the DVR. Mom said she didn't care what we watched. So I clicked on the newest episode of AMC's "The Walking Dead." As the credits rolled, she stared at me in horror. "This is your favorite show? Isn't it about, like, zombies? How could you possibly relate to or enjoy a show about zombies?" Quite easily, in fact.
Rooming houses and cheap basement apartments in my neighbourhood are full of people like that. One day, some of them just don't get up. This happens. Every day. But I made a choice a long time ago. I'm not going down without a fight. This past year I've tried to re-invent myself as a writer of a TV drama series.
I've been binge listening to Sarah Koenig riveting podcast "Serial" and it's got my wheels turning about interview tactics. Sarah is a phenomenal interviewer. She has a subtle way of making everyone she speaks to feel like a buddy, like she's on your side, even when she's asking very tough questions. So how the hell does she do it?
Watching the news in this year's last trimester, you got the sense the world was going down in flames. Terrorism, mass-shootings, ludicrous presidential candidates, diplomatic malaise. The aftermath of some of these ailments gave way to memorable television moments. Here, some of my most noteworthy television moments for 2015.
I always thought that if I were faced with impossibly adverse circumstances that I would be a fighter right up until the bloody death. I would go out raging against the enemy until I was victorious or until I couldn't possibly fight another second. Last year I found out that who I thought I would be was exactly the person I was. I fought the enemy and I was victorious.
Blackstone is a character-driven drama about the people who are members of the fictional Blackstone First Nation. It is set on a reserve in rural Alberta, about an hour or so drive from "the city" (presumably Edmonton, where the show is filmed). There's coming of age, coming home, coming to grips, and coming apart. It's about death and life and survival.
The CBC is facing significant challenges. There is the continued rise of the Internet and digital services like Netflix that are changing the broadcasting landscape. More and more content is consumed online. There are also long-standing challenges of competing against the U.S. entertainment giant to our south. With these challenges in mind, here is what I propose. It is important to have a strong and vibrant CBC, to tell our stories, to entertain and inform us as Canadians.