Wedgie then and now

The ever-changing moods of the imperious critic we just can’t get rid of, Robert Fulford.

Then: Intelligence anti-American

Low-life bad guys may shoot each other on the mean streets, but the really bad guys are sitting behind desks [and]we know precisely who those bad guys are: Americans. […] It sounds like the darkest fantasy of a Canadian nationalist. Mary may be devious and greedy for power, but she’s still a patriot. She throws all her resources into the struggle against the American empire. […]

[W]hen it comes to Washington’s power, [Chris Haddock is]addicted to the conventional wisdom of hysterical nationalism. On the question of water rights, for instance, he assumes we all agree that fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly and Americans gotta steal our water. It’s their nature.

In the old days, paranoid anti-Americanism at the CBC appeared mostly in news shows and documentaries. That was enough to infuriate some of us. But in recent seasons it’s seeped into drama as well. There’s no question that the CSIS heroes on Intelligence consider the Americans our most dangerous enemies. […]

Conspiracy theorists will say that all this indicates a plot devised by latte-lapping leftists among the filmmakers in Toronto and Vancouver. Unlikely. Their motive is probably pure calculation. Their shows appeal to the anti-American mood that Liberal and NDP politicians, as well as a few editorialists and TV critics, have done their best to foment. They also, I imagine, attract nods of approval from grant-giving Ottawa bureaucrats who consider their product “relevant.” Our TV drama producers have learned at least one rule from American TV: Success begins with an appeal to prejudice.

Now: Intelligence almost “the most convincing drama ever produced in Canada”

Haddock’s next series, Intelligence, about a B.C. marijuana magnate and his Byzantine connections with the forces of law, didn’t go the distance from primitive to decadent. While at times it seemed the most convincing drama ever produced in Canada, it died quickly when viewers realized they needed almost scholarly concentration to follow the plot.

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