Canadians call Alberta "the Texas of the North," because everything's bigger in Canada. And they've got a point. Canada isn't just known for its extremely polite people, it's also got enormous national parks, the biggest mall in North America, and, the world's largest Easter egg. True facts.
But some things from Canada are a little more compact, like these easy-to-binge Canuck TV shows that you can easily watch over the course of a lazy weekend. Once you've gotten through all 10 seasons of "Trailer Park Boys," that is.
'Across the River to Motor City' (2007)
When Canadian TV network City threw its hat into the gritty murder-mystery ring, it did something a little different. An award-winning six-episode miniseries, "Across the River to Motor City" flashes back and forth from 1963 to the present day, following two bizarrely linked cases -- insurance investigator Ben Ford's fiancée disappears on the day of the Kennedy assassination, and her body shows up out of the blue 40 years later.
Post up on the couch in your coziest Maple Leafs jersey and pop over the Detroit River into Windsor, Ontario. You're in for a trip dark enough to make you forget how nice Canadians are.
'Young Drunk Punk' (2015 - )
Time to get in on the ground floor. "Young Drunk Punk," based on the play of the same name by Canadian comedy maestro Bruce McCulloch, just ran its first season in 2015, so you can catch right up with a solid binge.
And a binge of any sort would do hopeless young punks like Tim Carlson's Ian McKay proud, as "Young Drunk Punk" follows him and his hopelessly, ridiculously punk-rock ally Shinky through very-Canadian teen tribulations, like vying to meet a local hockey star or desperately trying to catch the Clash in Calgary. It's about the closest you'll get to being a punk in 1980s Calgary without a time machine and a handmade Minor Threat T-shirt.
Maybe Canada is obsessed with the year 1963, because "Ascension" also starts off then. But instead of JFK-centered conspiracy theories, this six-episode sci-fi drama supposes that '63 is the year a nuclear-powered spacecraft started sending people on centuries-long voyages into unknown solar systems -- with lots of mid-century-appropriate booze and baubles on their ships.
"Ascension" deals with the interpersonal drama of second-generation astronauts who've been born into a journey they never signed up for, hurtling through the stars with early '60s culture as their only reference point. If you ever wanted to mix "Battlestar Galactica" in a spaceship-shaped tin can and watch them explode, "Ascension" will grant that wish.
'The Book of Negroes' (2015)
Did you know that they call miniseries "limited series" in Canada? Well, now you do. And you can expand your knowledge of the True North's pop culture even further if you watch the 2015 mini -- er, limited -- series, "The Book of Negroes."
You'll be expanding a lot more than your pop-culture smarts too. This CBC mini, which hit the states by way of BET, adapts Canadian writer Lawrence Hill's historical novel into a hard-hitting dramatic six-parter. "Book" follows Aunjanue Ellis' Amanata Diallo as she's sold into slavery from West Africa to South Carolina, eventually becoming a freedom fighter in Nova Scotia during the Revolutionary War. It's sobering, soulful TV done Canadian style.
- From Mountains to Malls, Everything's Bigger in Alberta
- 'Young Drunk Punk': Bruce McCulloch Elevates Canadian Comedy Again
- 'Ascension' Review: No Future
- Book of Negroes