Being an immigrant to Canada I am often overly enthusiastic about the country we call home and take every opportunity to extol the virtues of all things Canadian. This month, after our great nation celebrated another birthday, I made a point to seek out as much Canadian content as I could on Netflix.
Canadian programs for little kids
Based on the books by Hélène Desputeaux, Caillou is about a 4-year-old boy who lives with his mom, dad, and little sister, Rosie. When he is not making discoveries about friendship at daycare or learning about the world around him with his parents, he often goes on adventures in the neighborhood with his grandma and grandpa.
Gabriel was always a big fan of Caillou and I was really quite sad when he began to grow out of it because it is such a nice, gentle show for pre-schoolers.
The program follows Whyatt and his friends Red (Little red riding hood), Pig, Princess Pea, and Woofster and their adventures in Storybook Village. Every episode features a problem to be solved. Whyatt and the gang (collectively known as the super readers) all go to the book club where they select a book, go through the story and apply the lesson from the story to the ‘Super Big Problem’.
The entire program is very interactive. The viewer is referred to as “Super You” and they must track down ‘super letters’ from the story book to make a word. This word is the solution to the problem.
We watched so much Super Why when our youngest two were little that I can still sing the theme song and recite many of the catch phrases! Even now, if the older boys ask what veggies are for dinner and I say ‘peas and carrots’
In each episode, Justin encounters a real-world problem that viewers might experience. Justin and his imaginary shape-shifting friend Squidgy then solve the problem by addressing them in imaginary adventures. In every adventure, Justin and Squidgy meet their best friend Olive, who always lives in the place and time they are visiting, and who usually needs their help to accomplish a task. In actuality Olive, much like Squidgy, is merely a figment of Justin’s imagination. Together, the three of them encounter the same problem that Justin faces in the real world, and together they solve the problem before Justin’s parents call him back to the real world.
In each adventure, Justin and Squidgy meet-up with their friend Olive (also imaginary), who is always in the place and time they are visiting. Together, the three of them encounter the same problem that Justin is experiencing, and they solve the problem before Justin’s parents call him back to the real world.
Canadian programs for big kids
Degrassi – Next Class
Degrassi – Next class tells the stories of a new generation navigating high school drama with groundbreaking stories such as cyber-bullying, mental illness, dysfunctional families, sexuality, online harassment, feminism, racism, racial discrimination, life-threatening diseases and drug use.
There are three plots per show and they carry over through several episodes. We find the show a great tool for introducing difficult to discuss subjects.
Project Mc2 is a live action series about four teenage girls who use their science know-how to be secret agents and save the day. All four girls love STEM subjects and are highly intelligent in their own way. Camryn is a mechanical engineer who has created a suped up skateboard and a police surveillance device. Bryden is more into hacking and electronics, taking apart old smartphones to create a spy/selfie pen. Adrienne specializes in culinary chemistry, using science to make deliciousness and McKeyla is more well-rounded in her skills, studying a variety of deduction and scientific topics to be the best.
It’s a great show that doesn’t single out any one girl as ‘the smart one’ and it focusses on the girls abilities, not their clothes or on make-up. For this reason we love it!
Some Assembly Required
14-year-old Jarvis Raines (Kolton Stewart) is an average teenager who becomes a boss overnight after he sues a toy company over a defective chemistry set that blows up his house. Jarvis’ first act as CEO of Knickknack Toys is to recruit a diverse group of kids from his high school to help him run the company. Usually something backfires when they are trying to develop a new toy. Before the end credits there are usually advertisements showing Knickknack Toys’ newest products, which are shown or often invented in said episode.
Canucks to watch
We have a great deal of amazing talent here in Canada and Netflix has plenty of TV and movies to showcase it, including;
A gambler mired in debt thinks another cardsharp might just be his good luck charm as the head to New Orleans to buy into a high-stakes poker game.
A dying tycoon has his consciousness transplanted into the body of a healthy young man, only to make a troubling discovery about the body’s origins.
At the age of 21, Tim is told an incredible family secret by his father – that all the men in his family have the ability to travel in time. He can relive any moment in his life to try things differently until he gets them perfectly right.
One of my favourite films of all time – it is a must watch for everyone!
Raised in the African bush country by her zoologist parents, Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) thinks she knows about “survival of the fittest.” But the law of the jungle takes on a whole new meaning when the home-schooled 15-year-old enters public high school for the first time and falls prey to the psychological warfare and unwritten social rules that teenage girls face today.
Other Netflix content with our outstanding Canadian talent