I get it: Tax breaks are good, taxes are the devil. Everyone knows that. Hollywood likes to take advantage of any and every money-saving tool in the movie and TV magic toolbox. This includes shooting features and shows in Canada. Shows such as Fringe, Psych, and Being Human are set in U.S. locations but filmed in Canada — the first two in Vancouver, and the Syfy show in Montreal. Canada also has a healthy film and TV industry, including many shows set and shot in America’s northern neighbor that gain U.S. distribution such as Degrassi and Rookie Blue.
Canadian-shot series have varying degrees of success in transforming the Great White North into the Home of the Brave. The Killing manages to pull off making Vancouver look like Seattle, as both are in the Pacific Northwest, whereas Being Human‘s “Boston” is laughably inauthentic, as the series is actually shot in Montreal. (Montreal is a cool city! Why don’t they just set the series in Montreal? The fact that the Syfy series is set in Boston manages to be the most baffling part of a show in which a vampire, werewolf, and ghost are roommates.)
What is even more baffling and exasperating are Canadian-set shows that refuse to acknowledge whether they take place in the U.S. or Canada. Instead, these series are set in Ambiguous North America, a state of limbo that avoids any definitive landmarks, all the while completely and utterly infuriating me.
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