Saturday, August 27, 2011

Unicorns & Roosters: The Good Old Days of Canadian TV

There was just something so Canadian about growing up in Canada in the 60s and 70s, before cable TV became part of our landscape. Sure, we had Sesame Street, just like the Americans, but we also had non-Henson puppets on Mr. Dressup and The Friendly Ghost. No one was cooler than Jerome the Giraffe grooving on his mouth organ.

The Forest Rangers provided plenty of adventure to balance out more educational fare. So what if the show propagated the myth that Canada was one big wilderness stretch? We tuned in each week to see what kind of trouble those brave kids would get into.

We heard plenty of music, too, thanks to Tommy Hunter
, Don Messer and The Carlton Show Band. Whenever the Irish Rovers, "Them unicorns looked up from the rocks and they cried", I cried, too. No matter how many times I heard "The Unicorn Song," I prayed for a different ending.

Over the past few years, we've started seeing a resurgence of Canadian programming. Da Vinci's Inquest
proved that a successful Canadian show could be set in Canada, and Flashpoint has continued that premise and gained a strong following south of the border.

That's good. But none of the new shows can recapture the magic of watching Rusty the Rooster pull a library out of his bag.

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