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CBC's Wild Roses


kimmy

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CBC debuted a couple of new shows this week. I missed the debut of "Being Erica", which judging from the previews appears to be a comedy in which a woman's psychiatrist uses hypnosis to allow her to revisit her past and examine why her life is such a trainwreck. It sounds like an idea with plenty of potential, although I was unable to watch on Monday.

I did, however, watch the other new entry, "Wild Roses", which aired last night. Call it curiousity, I suppose. I am not generally interested in soap operas in any form, but a CBC soap opera set in Alberta struck my fancy for some reason. I couldn't help but think that CBC executives conceived of a set-in-Calgary drama as some sort of desperate scheme to convince Stephen Harper from cutting their funding.

Wild Roses is a prime-time soap-opera which presents the lives of two different but intertwined families. The McRich family are wealthy oilmen. The Hugs family are financially struggling women just trying to keep their ranch. Which is a challenge, because they owe money to the McRiches, and J.R. McRich has coveted their land for many years. Complicating matters is romantic feelings between two generations of McRich men and Hugs women.

The Hugs family...

Katie Hugs - the devoted daughter, who has struggled to keep Happyland Ranch operating since the death of their father.

Lucy Hugs - the free spirit, an aspiring musician who is preparing to take her rock band to Europe. She spends the first half of the show on a drug trip after popping some of Joey's aspirins to cure her hangover. Those weren't aspirins...

Charlotte Hugs - the shy teenaged sister. We're reminded several times that Charlotte is adopted, and a native. We probably wouldn't have to be reminded so often that she is a native, except that the producers cast this role with an actress who has medium brown hair, fair skin, and startling blue eyes.

Maggie Hugs - the matriarch of the Hugs family; her late husband was given the land on which Happyland Ranch sits as a gift from the father of J.R. McRich.

Joey Slackerson - Joey is a member of Lucy's band, and allegedly her boyfriend.

The McRich family...

J.R. McRich - the sexy, gravelly-voiced patriarch of the McRich family is a wealthy oil baron. He bears a grudge against Maggie's late husband for the gift of the land that he believes should have been his. But his romantic feelings for Maggie Hugs complicate things.

Chip McRich - J.R.'s #1 son, a successful Calgary businessman who is trying to swing a huge deal with some perpetually surprised Japanese businessmen. Chip and his brother are close friends of the older Hugs girls.

Scooter McRich - J.R.'s "other" son seems to be an irresponsible drunk layabout living off the family money. Loses Chip's Porsche in a poker game. Scooter obviously has strong feelings for Lucy Hugs.

Becky McRich - she is "the blonde". She is probably moreso "the blonde" than any character we've seen since Jaime Pressley's performance as "the Nasty Cheerleader" in Not Another Teen Movie. When we first meet her, she is pitching a diva-tantrum as preparations for her engagement party are falling short of her expectations. Later, when the native girl storms out of the party after a guest makes racist comments, Becky defends the racist and complains that the dirty hippy is ruining her party. When J.R. tells her that he is taking back Happyland Ranch from the Hugs family, she is overjoyed and assumes he is giving it to her as a present, and later proclaims that she couldn't care less what the Hugs girls think. And just hours after her engagement party, she sneaks away from her fiance to have sex with a ranch-hand. She swears a lot, and displays a lot more bare skin than viewers are used to seeing on network TV. Overall the character is kind of like Paris Hilton, except more spoiled, more ignorant, and less sensitive.

Anyway, it's ... well, it is what it is. It's a soap opera, and the genre demands certain things. Over-the-top characters, contrived situations, romantic triangles and other romantic polygons, less-than-subtle acting, and generally a tolerance for all of this sort of silliness. In its favor, it does have some very attractive scenery, and very attractive people. I don't really pay any attention to this sort of program in most cases, so I can't really say if it's good or not good by the standards of the genre. I think someone with a well developed sense of sarcasm might enjoy the show, perhaps if there were some sort of a drinking-game involved. Personally, I would probably only watch again to find out what ridiculous thing they have Becky McRich doing next... I expect that within a few episodes we'll see her bragging about her new conflict-diamond earrings, demanding that daddy buy her a panda-fur coat, or attempting to purchase homeless-people as servants.

Over the years, some of Canada's most successful and memorable programs have been those set outside of "the big city". Perhaps Canadian urban settings just don't stand out sufficiently from their American counterparts and so suffer from the comparison. Or perhaps truly unique settings appeal to people. "The Beachcombers", "North of 60", "Corner Gas", "Trailer Park Boys", and "Little Mosque" all provide viewers with a setting and a premise that they have not seen anywhere else and perhaps not coincidentally have all had tremendous success. With "Wild Roses", CBC gives viewers a setting they've seen plenty of times... CBC already had "Heartland" on their schedule, which is practically the same show except intended for a juvenile audience.

I would think there are dozens of potentially great settings and premises for Canadian TV programs and see little need for another ranch drama which seems rather recycled. A couple of ideas that I think would be neat would be something set in a diamond-mine boomtown in the far north, or some sort of chronicle of the lives of Maritimers transplanted to Fort McMurray. I have no idea whether there'd be a big audience for such programs, but it would certainly be unique and would portray some aspect of the country that most Canadians aren't familiar with... which it seems to me is closer to the CBC's mandate than another ranch drama.

-k

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I didn't watch The Wild Roses....from what I had read I didn't care for the sounds of it...sounding and looking like a Canadian 2009 version of Dallas...J.R you say....

Being EWrica on the otherhand I watched....not bad....whether her therapist hypnotizes her or is some sort of TV Land Shaman is hard to say....but it was well produced and funny and, the lead is good looking in a down to earth Ivory soap Toronto girl next door way which works well with me...

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It sounds like an idea with plenty of potential, although I was unable to watch on Monday.

It re-airs on Sunday.

I miss Intelligence. It was one of the more finely crafted dramas in many a year.

Funny thing is that if they kept it on another year, it might have seen the same jump in ratings that a show like Dragon's Den has shown. In its first year, DD was around 200,000 viewers. This year it is way up there.

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It re-airs on Sunday.

I miss Intelligence. It was one of the more finely crafted dramas in many a year.

Funny thing is that if they kept it on another year, it might have seen the same jump in ratings that a show like Dragon's Den has shown. In its first year, DD was around 200,000 viewers. This year it is way up there.

It also helps when Dragon's Den is a totally original concept.

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It also helps when Dragon's Den is a totally original concept.

Originally Japanese, you mean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon%27s_Den

Dragons' Den is a venture-capitalist television programme that originated in Japan where the format is owned by Sony. The format, which now airs internationally, consists of entrepreneurs pitching their ideas in order to secure investment finance from business experts — the "Dragons"

It takes a while to build an audience sometimes.

Dragon's Den could have been cancelled after the first or second year based on so-so ratings. It takes some faith.

The CBC should have some patience for some of its shows like Intelligence. It is often in the second or third season that a show can really find an audience.

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Originally Japanese, you mean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon%27s_Den

It takes a while to build an audience sometimes.

Dragon's Den could have been cancelled after the first or second year based on so-so ratings. It takes some faith.

The CBC should have some patience for some of its shows like Intelligence. It is often in the second or third season that a show can really find an audience.

Intelligence did have two seasons.

A shame but not surprising that CBC didn't have the wit to renew.

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I might not have got all the names right...

There should be no need for anyone to retain legal counsel.

-k

I wouldn't be so sure.

If Wayne and Schuster appeared on my TV, I would be obliged to empty my (unregistered) weapon into my Panasonic to stop the banality of it all.

Legal counsel could help with my defence, which would be 'justificed homicide'.

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I wouldn't be so sure.

If Wayne and Schuster appeared on my TV, I would be obliged to empty my (unregistered) weapon into my Panasonic to stop the banality of it all.

Legal counsel could help with my defence, which would be 'justificed homicide'.

They were brilliant is their hayday (B/W era). I still remember theri Julius Caesar murder mystery..

I say let's bring back Canada's Pet, Juliette...

http://archives.cbc.ca/economy_business/th...dia/clips/6609/

Edited by M.Dancer
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