Whoa-man: Canada Sucks at Reality TV

From Honey Boo Boo to the House of Commons, Whoa-man explores pop culture and politics from a woman’s perspective. Hey, there’s at least half of us — am I right, ladies?

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I fucking love reality television. From a young woman’s strange addiction to cheesy potatoes all the way to day-drunk housewives and manic pageant toddlers. One man’s trash is Amil Niazi’s TV treasure. I could watch those Kardashians sniff each other’s vaginas all day long!

At its best, reality programming gives us insight into the other. It lets us experience a lifestyle or culture that we normally wouldn’t have access to. Sometimes it’s zoological — gazing in twisted fascination at a woman who eats couch cushions or laundry detergent every day. Or it’s educational, in a sense, taking us behind the struggle of addiction, letting us see the domino effect drugs and alcohol can have on users and their families. And then, of course, there is the pulling back of the fantasy curtain — yes, these women are rich says a show like Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but underneath they are plastic-peeling boozehounds who hate themselves so much it manifests in infinite pool parties where everyone botox yells about etiquette. Eeesh, how can you NOT watch?

Unfortunately for the patriotic viewer, this is almost always an imported treat. Canada has a shoddy track record when it comes to its own kind of so-bad-it’s-good programming. It’s not really our fault, of course, we just don’t have a lot of Basketball Wives or Toddlers & Tiaras. But we do keep trying, because what greater Canadian television tradition is there than ripping off American culture?

So, what’s our best shot at a Storage Wars- or Duck Dynasty-style reality renaissance?

Sorry, Border Security: Canada’s Front Line? Are you kidding? I’d rather watch a show about the people waiting in line at the border panicking about what they’re going to do about that extra wheel of cheese they bought in Spokane or frantically checking their purse to make sure they didn’t leave the remnants of any marijuana cigarettes behind.

Obviously, you can see the problem with trying to create excitement and buzz around a show that looks at the real lives of border police whose main job, as far as I can tell, is keeping foreign oranges out of our blessed country.

So, to sidestep the problem of being inherently unwatchable, this reality show began filming immigration raids on undocumented workers COPS-style, all approved by Safety Minister Vic Toews.

WAIT WHAT? You filmed raids of illegal immigrants as you rounded them up to be deported — without notifying their families? This is your attempt at creating engaging and lighthearted television? Are you fucking crazy? The genre itself may be littered with misery, but this speaks to an entirely new low. Exploiting the true human suffering of the disenfranchised and exiled for your garbage TV show about border cops is without question the most repulsive thing I’ve ever heard in regards to the state of reality TV, and I have seen all 10 episodes of Pretty Wild. For a country that prides itself on compassion, that brags of its multicultural makeup around the world, I am floored that this is how we would treat some of our most vulnerable residents. It is beyond comprehension that this project would be okayed, let alone green-lit by the head of public safety. Even Jersey Shore took a more subtle brush to the painting of the human spectrum.

Jesus Christ. Everyone involved in this bullshit should deport themselves back to the fucking womb. Start again, you didn’t do so great this time!

I want this show cancelled, and as punishment for Toews, who has clearly lost his bald mind, I want him to spend the remainder of his political term living in Calabasas with Kris Jenner, helping her find a way to re-brand her new line of vaginal moisture wipes.

Call me when the Real Hipsters of Vancouver is on though, because I may have to revise this punishment to include that cast and crew, as well.


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Amil Niazi is a writer, producer, dreamer and schemer currently based in Toronto. Laugh with her on Tumblr and get to know her on Twitter.