CMF Employees Pick Their Top 5 Canadian TV Series for 2020
To kick off the new year, we asked CMF staff for their thoughts on their favourite Canadian TV series for 2020. Their recommendations for discovering or rediscovering some of the many nuggets on Canada’s audiovisual landscape are below.
The No. 1 employee pick for top Canadian series for 2020 was no surprise. Schitt’s Creek, created by the father-son duo of Eugene and Dan Levy, was a favourite with many CMFers in its sixth and final season. Originally broadcast on CBC in Canada and Pop TV in the US, Schitt’s Creek became one the most popular series in North America after Netflix acquired streaming rights in 2017. The story about the many ups and downs of the once wealthy Rose family was hugely successful in building and expanding a loyal following as the seasons went by.
Executive assistant to CMF management Emmanuelle Carrière explains why she’s a big fan:
“I liked Schitt’s Creek from the very first season. But reflecting back on its six-year run, it’s plain to me now why it was always such a hit. On top of being a fresh, funny and entertaining show with an all-star cast, it effortlessly weaved in all of the important themes being considered by society today, and did it ahead of its time no less! To me it was more than just a comedy, it was an eloquent and thoughtful masterpiece that the entire production team should be proud of, and I cannot wait to see what Daniel Levy’s genius births next! Chapeau on this.”
New for 2020, Joseph Kay’s Transplant series instantly made its mark on CTV where it quickly became the most watched drama series in Canada, and then in the US, where it’s been broadcast since September 2020. With an average of 5.2 million viewers per episode, Transplant is now the most watched television series in the US during its time slot. According to CMF president and CEO Valerie Creighton, it’s the show’s compelling storyline and strong interesting characters that are the key to Transplant’s standout success. It’s also a lot more than just another hospital drama series. The show follows the journey of a young Syrian doctor, a refugee in Canada, caring for his sister while redoing his residency in Toronto. His Syrian civil war experience provides him with some unique and extraordinary abilities for handling emergency situations. Fascinating!
C’est comme ça que je t’aime (in French)
One of the favourites with our francophone colleagues is the Quebec series C’est comme ça que je t’aime, written by François Létourneau and directed by Jean-François Rivard. Set in the 70s in Québec, the show follows the unlikely journey of two suburban couples. It certainly got the nod from CMF director of industry and market trends Catherine Mathys:
“I love everything about this series…the time period, the furniture, the cars, the music, the costumes, and the shaggy-dog story about suburban couples who become the greatest criminals in Quebec history. The characters are delightful and beautifully played. I’m generally a fan of any series written by François Létourneau (Les invincibles, Série noire). I love his sense of humour, the archetypes, and the crazy punch lines that make his writing so great. Huguette Delisle is my favourite character by far. A pregnant woman turned killer who never misses her target. Let me tell you, she really earns her “eye of the tiger” nickname. Simply marvellous!
Ah, those brave women going back to work after maternity leave...We expect them to work like they’re not really mothers and to be always there for their kids like they’re not really working. At long last, we finally get a series that deals with the reality of the working mother in the best way possible, with a healthy dose of humour. Workin’ Moms spills the beans – without being fake news or a parody – on postpartum depression, the difficulties of working while you’re still expressing milk, the non-existence of the mythical maternal instinct, and the intimacy problems that can trouble couples with a baby in the house. As proof of that successful approach, CBC renewed for a fifth season, scheduled to start in February 2021.
De garde 24/7 (in French)
Another favourite hospital series…but this one is the real thing! Now in its sixth season on Télé Québec and filmed on location in Montreal’s Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, the De garde 24/7 documentary series plunges viewers into the day-to-day life of the medical staff at work, including segments filmed during the pandemic. No wonder it keeps so many CMF employees glued to the screen. Employees like CMF special projects manager Sabrina Dubé-Morneau, who’s deeply moved by the compassion of the hospital staff:
“The hospital is a mysterious place. This stunning documentary series helps us to better understand what’s what and the amazing dedication of those who make it all work. EVERY EPISODE literally brings tears to my eyes.”