Forwarded by Susan Bunting

Originally transcribed and posted by M.J. Heal


The Editor's View - TV Guide April 22-28
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It is fashionable in some circles to denigrate Due South as a Canadian
TV show designed entirely with an American audience in mind.  The mere
fact that it is running in prime time on a US network raises
nationalist ire.  If the Americans like it, the argument goes, it
is either not really "Canadian" or it is not really any good.
It is also criticized for producing an insulting stereotype of
Canadians, and of ridiculing the Mounties.

In fact, Due South is probably the best series to come out of Canada
in a long time, if not the best ever.  Far from ridiculing Canadian
values, Due South celebrates them.  There is a self-confidence and a
pride in Benton Fraser, the Mountie played by Paul Gross, not often
associated with our national character.  Canadians tend to define
themselves more by what they are not - Americans - than by what they
are, but Due South presents a national character to be envied.

Of course the premise of the show is pretty silly.  We are supposed to
believe that a Mountie attached to a Canadian consulate would
moonlight as the partner of a not-very-successful Chicago detective,
and often in full dress uniform.  The fact is we do.  It gives the
show a quirky sense of humour without detracting from the
action.  Whether Fraser is rescuing a baby from an unwanted adoption
or talking a desperate ex-con out of immolating himself in pools of
gasoline, his style and values are what we admire.

It is not simply that Fraser is civil, good-mannered and
deferential; he also uses quick wits and physical prowess to win the
day.  His leap from second floor windows has become almost a trademark
stunt.  Sure, Fraser is clean cut, but he is not innocent.  His
worldliness comes from equal exposure to Inuit legend and urban decay.
Fraser the Mountie is to our culture what the cowboy is to the US - a
man whom the outdoors has honed better than the city ever could.

None of this would get an audience without superior writing
(particularly from executie producer and creator Paul Haggis), great
photography and editing and first-rate music (featuring Canadian
artists like Sarah McLachlan).  Due South has been struggling lately
on CBS in the US, where it is up against NBCs Mad About You, and
there are fears it might not get renewed.  With a better time slot it
could be a major, offbeat hit.  We all need to keep our fingers
crossed.

By Nicholas Hirst