Top Canadian TV picks during a couch-locked winter
Published on January 12, 2024 by David Wylie
As temperatures dip deeper into minus numbers, sitting cozy and high under a blanket in front of the TV sounds like heaven.
Here are five viewing options across different platforms. All have strong Canadian connections, and a few of them also tie-in to cannabis celebrities and culture.
Doing pot—tery with Seth Rogen
The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down
(CBC Gem, premieres Feb. 8)
Vancouver stoner Seth Rogen is passionate about more than just smoking weed.
He also loves pottery! Rogen’s Instagram channel is filled with his clay creations, including an array of ashtrays.
So he’s the perfect guest judge for CBC’s upcoming reality show, The Great Canadian Pottery Thrown Down.
The first season features eight 60-minute episodes that revolve around (yes, that was a pottery wheel pun) Canada’s most talented potters, who are competing to be crowned No. 1 potter.
The show is upbeat and filled with clever challenges, beautiful creations and personal stories between layers of humour and discovery.
The Great Pottery Throw Down is an original British format created by the same company that devised and produced the global smash-hit The Great British Baking Show. Five seasons of The Great Pottery Throw Down have aired in the UK on BBC.
Jennifer Robertson (a.k.a. Jocelyn Schitt in CBC’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning comedy series Schitt’s Creek) is the host.
Getting lit with the Fire Nation
Avatar: The Last Airbender
(Netflix, premieres Feb. 22)
One of the most anticipated shows of the year, Avatar: The Last Airbender premieres on Feb. 22.
It features a well-known Canadian actor as one of the key characters, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Kim’s Convenience), who plays the beloved, Uncle Iroh.
The adventures of Aang and his gang in their Nickelodeon cartoon, which premiered in 2005, quickly captured the hearts of viewers young and old. While we don’t speak of the live-action movie spinoff, this Netflix adaptation already has high hopes.
“VFX technology has advanced to the point where a live-action version can not only faithfully translate what had been done in animation — it can bring a rich new visual dimension to a fantastic world. We’ll be able to see bending in a real and visceral way we’ve never seen before,” says executive producer and writer Albert Kim.
“It also wasn’t lost on me that this was a world that drew from Asian cultures and legend, which is a rarity to this day and something I appreciated as an Asian-American father. That my daughter was able to see characters who looked like her on screen was more than just entertaining. It was a gift.”
By the power of Grayskull!
Masters of the Universe: Revolution
(Netflix, premieres Jan. 26)
Legendary degenerate Kevin Smith—a.k.a. Silent Bob (an alias he will never shake)—is behind this revival of a 1980s classic.
Master of the Universe: Revolution is the sequel to the original 2021 reboot of the Master of the Universe Series that ran from ’83-85.
He-Man once again does battle with his nemesis Skeletor.
This latest instalment stars Mark Hamill (Star Wars) as Skeletor, Melissa Benoist (Supergirl) as Teela, Chris Wood (Clerks III) as He-Man, and Canada’s own Captain Kirk, William Shatner (Star Trek) in a mystery role.
To be fair… all good things must end
Letterkenny Season 12
(Crave, now streaming)
Who knew a show based on small-town Canadian life would be such a big hit?
Letterkenny, a hilarious comedy loosely based on Jared Keeso’s own experiences in Ontario, is wildly quotable: “Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er,” “Wish you weren’t so fuckin’ awkward,” “”You’re 10-ply, bud,” “There’s nothing better than a fart; except kids falling off bikes, maybe,” and, “Got any more of that electric lettuce? These darts aren’t doing it.”
Keeso started posting Letterkenny Problems on YouTube in 2013, and the shorts went viral, leading to the 2016 show.
For those who love this brand of humour, there’s still the show’s spinoff, Shoresy.
Oh, the good ol’ hockey game
Hockey Night in Canada
(CBC, TSN, Sportsnet)
This could be the year that a Canadian team finally brings the Stanley Cup home.
There are currently four Canadian NHL teams well-positioned to make the playoffs—Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Edmonton Oilers.
A Canadian team hasn’t won the cup in 30 years, since 1993 when the Montreal Canadiens beat the Los Angeles Kings to hoist Lord Stanley’s mug.
But first, there’s All Star Weekend. The flashy display of hockey prowess is in Toronto this year from Feb. 1-3. It’s like the NHL Globetrotters with the league’s top talent competing in skills competition and culminating in the All Star Game. There is also a focus on the new professional women’s league, the PWHL.
The playoffs begin in mid-April.