Whistler's slopes are often featured on TV, plastered on news stations and sports networks as the Olympics inch closer and closer. But next week, our little town of 10,000 is making its debut to a whole new audience: the MTV generation.
Grant Fraggalosch is the creator and executive producer of a new "docudrama" series, Peak Season . Fraggalosch and his crew were in town two winters ago shooting the pilot, which was eventually picked up by MTV. Now, a full season of the series is ready to air. On Monday, the series kicks off in a big way, with back-to-back half-hour episodes at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., followed by The Aftershow, a half-hour live dissection of the episodes, complete with hosts and a live audience.
While the show has been touted by many as the real mountain version of the popular American docudrama The Hills , Fraggalosch feels that Peak Season takes a more refreshing approach.
"The Hills has been sort of quite maligned in the last few years for maybe not being quite so real anymore and that may be an issue that we get into down the road, as well, if the series is lucky enough to continue. But I think that viewers will find that it feels more real, right off the bat, and that's a big credit to our cast because the camera is turned on and they just put it all out there," Fraggalosch said. "You don't really see the wheels turning."
Fraggalosch lives in Vancouver and has been coming to Whistler for years, all the while observing the young, international and adventurous crowd that congregates here, season after season.
"I would just start to imagine what that would be like for a young person to travel to another part of the world and to be there for that season, which is really a long enough period of time where you're not on vacation. You have to have a life, you have to find a job, a place to live, new friends, you might fall in love. And so it's like this whole new life starts, which is sort of interesting, unto itself. But then it ends, at the end of the season, for a lot of people."
He wanted to take a closer look at the cyclical nature of the transient population that is drawn to Whistler, focusing on a core cast of seven young people - Lauren, Dre, Amanda, Matt, Elle, Ian and Steph Just - and what their lives are like in Whistler.
"I wanted to get the whole spectrum of the experience and type of people who go there into the show and we obviously have locals that are born and raised in Whistler, we have the Australians that came just for the season," Fraggalosch said.