Battle of the network iceblonds

Sixth and last in a series. Regrettably, we have a winner.

David Paetkau in an untucked shirt and suit vest jauntily holding his hand behind his head

What is the deal here?

There’s a Cold War underway between the Borg and humanity. We’ve put our house iceblond out there over and over again – on Jonnovision, on Live at 25:00, on a bunch of things – and it’s just not getting us anywhere. It isn’t for lack of sincerity: The one time I passed Jonathan Torrens in a Fort Dork hallway (consistent with lore, yes, I was lost), he looked at me with intensity and brooding confusion, or something similar. (I think it’s well known he has giant feet, at least size 13. This at least I can confirm.)

He’s really putting in the effort to act. He almost stole the show in Beefcake, a movie that holds up shockingly well.

Shirtless Jonathan Torrens lying in bed stroking a rooster
Jonathan Torrens in a leather jacket reading ‘Physique Pictorial’

Torrens adds novelty to a derivative character, J-Roc on Trailer Park Boys. (“More than a wigger… less than a chav!”) J-Roc gave us a whole new word: muh-fuh. (Did you see the Christmas special? He wasn’t J-Roc yet! I barely recognized him.) Some of Torrens’s shows have been “flops,” I’m told. Well, aren’t most shows? Especially Canadian ones? At least he’s trying. They put him on at 0100 in Halifax (from the Seahorse – it’s still there?) hosting a musical-variety-comedy show. It’s sadly deplorable, but again: Effort.

I think that words like “workman” or “journeyman” are not pejorative here. J-Tor started from nothing and isn’t giving up.


If we’re putting someone sincere on the Publics, then what do you think the Privates are gonna retaliate with? Someone cuter. Introducing David Paetkau, a forgettable lovely iceblond on a forgettable unlovely series, Flashpoint. I got through three episodes. I don’t love Hugh Dillon enough to endure more. I really do love him, though. With a book under his arm and with nearly a full head of hair, one day he walked into a restaurant on Bloor during a rarity for me, a business luncheon. He blazed blue eyes at me for ages, with great interest and cheer and a grin. I couldn’t leave to go chat him up. I suppose I haven’t been leading much of a life if a long knowing glance from Hugh Dillon is a highlight. But it is. He’s omnivorous and he has a drug addict’s knowledge that every day is a gift, so it costs him nothing to be so kind and glowing. I have to say the business after he shoots the crazy in the début Flashpoint is the best physical acting I’ve seen all year.

Right. Paetkau. Strange name. Perhaps the Yahoo fan forum could explain its origins. (Danish?) Curious how many of the screencaps in that forum are uploaded by members with male names. I can barely begin to imagine the slash fiction – well beneath Dillon’s dignity.

His voice is too high and his lips are too narrow, but Paetkau is a nice chunk of divinity fudge and that’s the kind of saccharine the Privates are peddling to an overweight public. He’s high-fructose corn syrup and Jonathan Torrens is, at best, organic Sucanat. Paetkau’s gonna kill us in the ratings, but we should use Torrens more. Isn’t he the right kind of lifer?

(Photo credits, incidentally: 1CBC Nova Scotia; 2CTV; 5 – IMDB; current – Yaletown Magazine.)


  1. Fake Ouimet
    Posted July 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Because it isn’t.

  2. Kev
    Posted July 30, 2008 at 1:53 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Surely “Fake Ouimet” implies that you’re at least going to try to emulate them on some level?

    I only ask because I don’t exactly recall the blog as being predominantly about Joe Clark’s taste in small-screen crumpet, with a side of captioning.

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