While most of the world only knows Canadian sensation Degrassi: The Next Generation." And while Canadian TV often flies under the radar, some of the best shows around come from our neighbors to the north. Here are five that are worth checking out -- and they might just be the humble beginnings of the next pop sensation.
'Schitt's Creek' (2015 - )
"Schitt's Creek" is the brainchild of father-son team Arrested Development," part "SCTV" -- is a master class in comedy.
'Orphan Black' (2013 - )
"Orphan Black" is a fast-paced, hard sci-fi show -- think "Alias" or "The Prisoner" -- featuring Tatiana Maslany as a woman who discovers she is one of many clones. While the show is mainly driven by the concept of human cloning, it's Maslany's performances as multiple versions of the same character that really sells it: She transforms herself so completely, it's easy to forget that each one of the clones is actually the same actress. "Orphan Black" answers questions each episode as it presents new mysteries, creating a pace that's just right for fans -- but as each season ends, expect an epic cliffhanger or two.
'Being Erica' (2009 - 2011)
"Being Erica" is a hidden gem that puts a unique spin on time travel -- Erica (Erin Karpluk) is a dissatisfied 30-something who is given the opportunity to revisit her biggest regrets from her past. What makes "Being Erica" so compelling is that it focuses on the emotional impact of time travel, rather than simply being another show with a hero trying to get home. While parts of it are a bit campy, most of the plots find ways to surprise the audience, and as Erica alters her past, the biggest changes are always to her perspective on the present.
'Trailer Park Boys' (2001 - )
"Trailer Park Boys" started as a low-budget mockumentary series -- often described as "'Cops,' but from the point of view of the criminals." The show was massively popular in Canada for seven seasons, and it later exploded in the U.S. after finding a home on Netflix, which bankrolled an additional three seasons (so far). The adventures of Ricky (Robb Wells), Julian (John Paul Tremblay), and Bubbles (Mike Smith) -- three petty criminals with hearts of gold in a Halifax trailer park -- also spawned three movies, countless live shows, and a subscription-based video network dubbed "Swearnet." "Trailer Park Boys" is definitely not family-friendly, but it is wildly entertaining: Each episode, the boys create an illegal scheme with good intentions, but ultimately end up in a comedy of errors (and sometimes jail).
'Letterkenny' (2016 - )
A spiritual successor to "Trailer Park Boys," "Letterkenny" follows rural farmers Wayne (Jared Keeso), Daryl (Nathan Dales), and Squirrelly Dan (K. Trevor Wilson) as they live life in the tiny town the show is named after. "Letterkenny" is based on the trio being straight shooters in a town full of hicks, hockey players, crazies, and meth addicts -- all side characters that are each hilarious -- while trying to protect Wayne's title as the toughest guy in town. The show is a bit of an acquired taste -- the dialect alone takes a few tries to understand completely -- but is well worth being patient for, as the story line develops into thoughtful, if somewhat raw, comedy.
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