So it’s old news now that This Is Wonderland and DaVinci’s City Hall are getting the axe from the corporation but as Kate Taylor pointed out in Saturday’s Globe the reasoning is a touch odd. In summary, “the CBC plans to be more popular by being more popular.” But in the end Taylor isn’t sure whether Wonderland deserves saving, because asking someone what’s good Canadian TV is like asking someone to define what it means to be Canadian.
Well Torontoist certainly thinks Wonderland is worth saving. 600,000 viewers, what Wonderland pulled in some nights, is healthy and as supporters of the show argue the CBC moved the show around repeatedly which undoubtedly hurt ratings. CBC Television’s Head of Programming Richard Strusberg is axing the series and trying to find instead dramas that are “are emotional, fast-paced, escapist and accessible rather than drab, boring, depressing and elitist.” Torontoist has seen a few episodes of Wonderland and found that it quite easily meets the first three adjectives and the last three? Well, we prefer to describe TIW as gritty rather than drab and depressing. After all, it is often shot on location, so if the sets look bad, maybe we should blame the court system. Elitist? Hardly, the dialogue and plotlines are no more complicated than any other legal drama (hello Law and Order!) and keep in mind that for the last few years the number one drama on TV has been about a bunch of geeky yet hot scientists using genetics, test tubes and bugs to solve grisly murders. If hard science isn’t elitist then what is?
Also, what endears us to TIW is the fact that it’s set here in Toronto. The lawyers hang out at Nathan Phillips Square, get harrassed by street people around Allen Gardens, take the TTC to work, and capture some of the craziness of the city’s courtrooms. Torontoist also will admit to finding Cara Pifko utterly charming as the young Alice De Raey.
As of last night some 2500 people have signed the Do Not Cancel TIW petition circulating online, well we strongly encourage Torontoist readers to think about signing it. Because frankly, the last thing this country needs is another reality show or comedy about a rural prairies gas station.