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Notes from the back row

The non-reality TV show



Okay, admit it, you watched it. You watched it last Sunday and you’re gonna watch it again this week. I’m talking about CTV’s latest all-eggs-in-one-basket attempt at entertaining television, Whistler , the show.

Now generally I don’t like television, but since it’s a slow week at the theatres, hell, why not?

Whistler is not a very good TV show, the last half hour was substantially less engaging than watching grass grow – and I know because I’m a hay farmer now. The fact that most of the dramatic sequences are filmed in Maple Ridge with the fakest looking snow I’ve ever seen doesn’t help either. Yes, as a representation of our quiet mountain town, Whistler is an utter failure.

But who says they wanted an accurate representation? Honestly if true-to-life was their goal every episode would be the same. We’d all wake up, hit the hill and have the best time ever. Rip down, hit a patio or the GLC, pound a few, rip home, shit/shower/shave and roll into work just late enough that no one says anything. We’d do what has to be done before heading out for a night of hard boozing/drug abuse topped off by some slobbery sex with one of our friends’ ex-whatevers. Just before bed we’d call it a perfect day and in the morning we’d happily do it all again. True Whistler life would make for a pretty repetitive show, with little or no character arc. As it is the show is based around the mysterious death of a local golden-boy snowboarder.

Now if you lived in Prince George, had never been here and were 17, I could see how a person might be into this Whistler . It’s edgy, they’ve even got tourists doing cocaine and some sick-gnarly 40-foot airs (called Suicide Drop).

The one thing I wish Whistler had done their research on was the funeral/wake scene. Real Whistler wakes are unique. People up here get it. In the show the wake was a subdued, yawn-inducing scene with misty-eyed actors speaking in hushed tones. I kept looking for the clouds of weed smoke, the DJs, the band, the 300+ friends all on the exact same level (probably acid). The missing-what-you’ve-lost-but-appreciating-what-you’ve-still-got, the hugging each other on the dance floor and the "hey man, if you’re gonna go, go doing what you love." Of course the show’s wake didn’t have Johnny Thrash naked either, but that’s a hard thing to dramatize.

All in all, it’s unrealistic to expect any of us to like this show, because it uses our name to sell itself and then paints a false picture of who or what this place is. Perhaps this is the way things are going for our little resort, perhaps not. All I know is that even if Whistler is a shitty TV show, the people that live here are still top notch. Having said that, of course I’ll tune in next week. I mean, we live in Whistler, we need something to complain about.

Oh yeah, that slow week at the theatres I was talking about is actually pretty good – Al Gore’s global warming movie, An Inconvenient Truth, is playing at the Village 8. Go see this movie and ask yourself how you can do more to solve this problem. Global warming is gonna screw us the most – we kind of rely on the cold to pay our bills and keep snow in our faces.

Plus, for all you Sex and the City fans, The Devil Wears Prada opens and it’s got that witty tone and snappy style you like so much, plus Meryl Streep proves why she’s the best damn old lady on the screen today. She’s pure class and highly entertaining. Just like Whistler, the people not the show.

AT VILLAGE 8 June 30-July 6: Superman Returns; Devil Wears Prada; An Inconvenient Truth; Cars; Fast and Furious 3; Nacho Libre; The Breakup; Lake House; Davinci Code; Click.