There’s nothing quite like the rush of pride we get when we learn that one of our favourite TV shows is set in Canada.
The sense of familiarity allows us to watch—and appreciate—these TV shows through a new lens. Canadian cities have always been in the background of US-produced shows, and though it is quite fun to spot bits of our cities in these shows, it’s time to shine a spotlight on Canadian TV shows. Here’s a list of fan-favourite Canadian TV shows:
Anne With An E
Anne with an E has captured its audience’s hearts since it premiered in 2017 on Netflix. The series—a reimagination of the classic book, Anne of Green Gables— is set on Prince Edward Island in the late 1890s. It follows Anne (with an E!), a 13-year-old orphaned girl, who, after a tough and abusive childhood, is mistakenly sent to live with a pair of siblings, Marilla and Matthew. As the young girl comes of age, she transforms the lives of Marilla, Matthew, and her friends at school. She finds love, acceptance, and her place in the world. The series discusses some triggering topics such as sexual harassment, alcoholism, and abusive families.
If you need a sign to watch this twisty thriller series, this is it. When Sarah witnesses the suicide of Beth, a woman who looks exactly like her, she decides to steal her identity in an attempt to forge a new life for herself. Slowly, Sarah finds herself as the target of a deadly conspiracy, and must detangle herself from this web of mystery to save herself. The show is set and filmed in Toronto, and contains several triggering topics. It is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
The underrated mini-series follows a young woman, Grace Marks, in Upper Canada during the mid 1800s. Grace is a poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant who, along with a stablehand, is convicted for the murder of her employer. A psychiatrist weighs whether Grace should be pardoned of the crime due to insanity. The show is available to stream on Netflix, and discusses topics such as violence.
Corner Gas is a sitcom set in the sleepy town of Dog River, Saskatchewan. Although Dog River is in the middle of nowhere, its residents still adore their town. The show follows the life of the owner of the only gas station in the town—which coincidentally becomes a hub of comedy and drama in the town. The series is a beloved comfort show for many Canadians, and has even made its way onto the favourites lists of American viewers. It is available to stream on Apple TV.
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Hulu original is set in a dystopian, totalitarian society named Gilead, where women are treated as the property of the state. Some women, the Handmaids, are forced into sexual servitude due to the plummeting birth rates. Offred—literally, ‘Of Fred’—is a Handmaid who is determined to survive in this world and reunite with the daughter she was separated from.
Some other fan favourites include Kim’s Convenience (a sitcom set at a Toronto convenience store), Schitt’s Creek (a sitcom about a couple going from riches-to-rags), Being Erica (following Erica, who uses time travel to change her past decisions, and thereby solve her regrets), and Murdoch Mysteries (a dark academia murder-mystery set in Toronto during the late 1890s).
Published by HOLR Magazine