TVPB Lexicon: The Canada Problem

Clearly, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know we at MTV, MPB have no problem with our neighbors to the North.  In this case the “problem” belongs to Canada (and others, but we saw it with Canada first, so they got the name).  This particular “problem” continues to amuse us.  It has to do with their film and tv industry and it’s made all the more obvious by the amount of shows here in the US that are made in Canada:

You keep seeing the same people.

Seriously, if you’ve seen The X-Files?  You’ve seen the bulk of the available acting force in Canada.  If you’ve  seen X-Files and also Stargate, BSG and Anne of Green Gables?  I think you’ve got at least 99.9% of them.  If you’re watching Psych these days, you get to reap the benefits of going, “Dude that was so and so on Stargate AND he was in the X-Files.”  Then you get one-upped by someone who points out the person was in a brief scene in Anne of Avonlea.

It’s become a game with us.  In fact, it probably ought to be a drinking game.  1 drink if you saw them in Stargate SG1.  Two if they were in X-Files.  Three if they were in the X-Files twice (it happened!)….

It’s not strictly something that happens in Canada.  It appears the Canada problem also exists in Mexico.  I watched one telenovela and it’s allowed me to bounce up and down in my seat and squeal upon recognizing multiple actors in every single Mexican movie and TV show I’ve watched since.  Mexico?  Has a Canada problem.

I’m sure by now you’re trying to think of other countries with a Canada problem.  Britain seems to come to mind for people who are first experimenting with the term “Canada Problem” but this really isn’t correct.  Britain does have some significant faces you see repeatedly, but proportionally speaking, it’s not really that great.  You have to watch a lot of different British TV, movies and miniseries before you can really say you’ve seen the bulk of their actors, and they seem to churn out new ones (really good new ones) with amazing regularity.

I’ve got an eye open for others myself.  Colombia may be a candidate.  I’ve only sampled part of two telenovelas and one movie.  The telenovelas seem to have some overlap, but my sample size is too small to make a judgement at this point (it’s certainly not overwhelmingly clear as it was with Mexico).  India’s Bollywood scene begs for examination as well, but for reasons that will be illuminated in another post, my statistical sampling of India’s offerings has been thrown off.

If you’ve got other potentials, feel free to share in the comments.  We’re always eager to know where this problem has spread (we’re also eager to hear about other foreign film and tv)….

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