Monday, April 25, 2011

Canadian vs. American TV



Ed Lane

-white, male, 40s
-main character of the episode viewed
-stereotypical "tough guy", loves risk
-after shooting the killer, he doesn't admit how it has affected him
-doesn't want others to see his emotions, sees them as a sign of weakness
-wife at home worried about him
-has to miss son's rehearsal, family comes after work

Jules Callaghan
Amy Jo Johnson
-female, brunette, petite, unfeminine, 30s
-stereotypical female police officer; tough, manly
-drinks beer with the guys
-unafraid in hostage mission
-talks back to guys
-single and appears uninterested in relationship

Sergeant Greg Parker
Enrico Colantoni
-leadership role
-bossy but still friendly
-looks out for members of his team
-good at thinking on feet
-supports Ed in shooting decision

Sam Braddock
David Paetkau
-blonde, short hair, early 30s
-new to the force
-smooth talker
-likes Jules and flirts with her
-sarcastic, smart-alec, self-assured


-does not speak english
-violent, agressive
-stereotypical scary look; dark hair; dark eyes, long baggy coat


Jarek Wysocki
Jason Clarke stars as Detective Jarek Wysocki in The Chicago Code.FOX/Justin Stephens - Tuesday, February, 1, 2011, 8:1 PM
-white, male, late 30s
-loves sports
-serious about his job
-looks to superintendent to control other officers
-sees himself as superior to others

Teresa Colvin

-female, brunette, petite, unfeminine, 30s
-tomboy, tough
-ambitious in job which lead to high rank of superintendent
-in danger due to high position and needs to be guarded all the time

Ray Bidwell

-blonde, short hair, early 30s
-new bodyguard for Teresa
-connection between them, but flirting is not obvious
-very protective of Teresa and works overtime to look out for her

Caleb Evers
Matt Lauria stars as Detective Caleb Evers in The Chicago Code.FOX/Justin Stephens - Tuesday, February, 1, 2011, 8:1 PM
-young, nerdy, hard-working
-sports rivalry with Jarek
-Jarek and him work together on case
-makes mistake of promising to find killer
-works extra hard to prove he could keep the promise

 Main Criminal
-black, 20s, deadlocks, tattoos
-killer found to have murdered ice cream truck owner
-not much personality is revealed, but stereotypical racially by appearance

As you can see, though the shows styles (lighting, pace, graphicness) were very different, one element The Chicago Code and Flashpoint shared very closely was their characters. Each show seems to have a matching pair of identical people (both in terms of physical appearance and personality), such as Teresa and Jules, tough police tomboys, or Ray and Sam, young blonde guys noticed for their smooth flirting. These common types of characters give into the stereotypes that we think of when imagining a police team; a tough older leader, an arrogant or bossy guy, a hardcore no-nonsense tomboy, and a cute good-looking blondie - all found on both shows. This shows that even though the shows are made and star people from different countries, the people are still the same, and that stereotypes are things that are cross-cultural, and unfortunately, universal.

Another way that these shows both play into stereotypes is in their racial choices. Both police task forces were comprised entirely of white males, both with the exception of one female. This is very unrealistic because both Toronto and Chicago are multi-cultural cities and it is highly unlikely that all police officers there are really white. This decreases the shows believability and the amount of the audience that can self-identify with characters. The Chicago Code did feature one black main character, a politican, but he was a not a member of the police force or main character in the episode viewed, and is later found out to be corrupt. Another racial problem was in the ethnicity of the criminals. On The Chicago Code, they dealt with many crimes in the episode, and in every one the criminal was black or hispanic! This is a terrible generalization and even though there is a large black population in Chicago, it does not mean there are no white criminals in these low-income neighbourhoods. With Flashpoint, there was only one crime in the episode, but again it played into a cultural stereotype. The man holding a victim hostage was a white male, but of course he was made out to be foreign, not speaking a word of English. He was aggresive and violent while yelling in a Slovak language, which added to his "crazyness" and the fear the audience had towards him. Both shows give the oppositional reading that white people are the "ideal race" and create the feeling that criminals are "different from us". Even when a white person was the criminal in Flashpoint, they had to do something to isolate and differentiate him from the typical white population, because god-forbid a criminal be white and Canadian, which would hit too close to home. This says a lot about North American culture and our inability to recognize the potential of criminals in any race, and as well as how the media forms in and out groups that only lead to negative and unrealistic stereotypes.

Image Sources:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Canadian Content

The following is my playlist for a two hour radio show on 94.7 - Rock & Roll Canada
Canadian Songs are highlighted in red.

1) Completing this assignment was (suprisingly) not too difficult. In class, when we compared our favourite forms of media to those that were Canadian, music was the type with the most overlaps, because there are definitely some great Canadian bands and artists. In addition, since we live in Canada, and have the CanCon rules for radio, the songs that are Canadian on my playlist are well-known ones. Lastly, since the regulations for radio are only 35% Canadian songs per week (7 out of my 20 song playlist), there is still a lot of room for acts from other countries and all the songs that are loved and popular today.

2) To ensure my playlist was engaging I wanted to use songs I like and would enjoy hearing on the radio, because I think I have similar taste to a lot of radio-listeners. Since I like rock music, I made the station "Rock & Roll Canada," so that the people listening to it would know it plays rock music and it would therefore attract the audience it appeals to. It would attract Canadians specifically because it features some of the all-time best Canadian rock groups, as well as classic rock songs that appeal to people from any area. Also, I made sure to give the regulated air time to Canadian bands, but only chose those that are considered famous in our country.

3) I think CanCon regulations are necessary because they are a huge part of keeping our culture separate from that of the United States. Since the US has a much larger population and therefore more talent, the CanCon rules ensure that the talented people, both performers and behind the scenes, of our country get their chance to share their gift. Our music, television, and movies are an important part of what makes us Canadian, because these forms of media are all around us and have an influence on who we are. CanCon is necessary to ensure that we distinguish our nation as one with a specific talented and well-known media scene, leading to a good sense of nationalistic pride.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Motorcycle Drive By

summertime & the wind is blowing oustide
Love the crowd singing along. One of music's best kept secrets.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teen Representation on TV

I wake up to the sound of my beeping alarm clock. I hit the snooze button at least three times before I crawl out of bed and into the shower. The water is freezing because my brother has decided to take an unnecessary twenty minutes to cleanse his body. I hate cold showers, yet somehow find them a part of my daily morning routine. Blair Waldorf, on the other hand, has probably never heard of them. In her Upper East Side condo she is awoken by her maid and served a well-balanced breakfast in her silk bathrobe before climbing into her  steamy shower. Oh, how I envy the luxury of warm water.
I leave my house with dripping wet hair and quickly walk my fifteen minute stroll to York Mills C.I., just as Blair is being chauffered in her limosine up the block to Constance Billard Academy. I run to my small and messy locker, grab my books and -trying to squeeze past thousands of students - race off to first period, math. Math; such a basic name compared to Blair's Speech and Debate class, or her Italian Literature class, and let's not forget the ever-popular Introduction to Japanese, all of which she is perfectly on time for seeing as the voluminous hallways of Constance never seem to be filled by their mere one hundred students.
Finally, it's lunch, and I make my way to the crowded cafeteria, as Blair takes a seat in the garden courtyard. For Blair, the lunch hour is time for drama. She has her "minions" bring her a low fat yogurt or lightly-dressed salad - no sign of carbs here. She deals with the scandal of Serena's much-older boyfriend, the shocking death of Chuck's dad, and of course, banishing little J from the school steps, Blair's throne of queendom. Me? I'm just muching on my tuna sandwich, listening to my friends complain about their upcoming biology test or whatever rom-com is playing this weekend.
The school day is finally done. I arrive home and plunk myself down on the couch in time to watch Ellen before starting my homework, just as Blair is off to her world renowned designer mother's fashion show. My oh-so-average parents arrive home from work around six, and along with my me and my brother, eat a low-key family dinner - something along the lines of chicken and rice. Blair meets up with her cute boyfriend at a New York cafe for a quick bite - something along the lines of caviar and creme brulee. Later that night, we both climb into our beds, curl up to our pillow, and fall asleep. A typical day in the lives of two teenagers seemingly from two different planets.
Okay, so that was slightly exagerrated...but c'mon, whose life wouldn't pale in comparison to the great Blair Waldorf's, queen of the Upper East Side on the CW's Gossip Girl? I guess now's the part where I'm supposed to say I would still choose my boring life over that of Blair Waldorf's; but no - the honest truth is I'd rather be her. Maybe she's assertive and spoiled and controlling and selfish, but above all that, she knows who is she and who she wants to be, breaking the stereotype of the rich New York City socialite. And for me, that confidence is worth giving up the simple pleasures of my everyday suburban life. Not to mention I'd be dating Chuck Bass...

Image Sources: