Shows I Also Watch: Canadian TV Part One – Rabbit Fall

Originally this feature was going to be in two parts, one for Canadian shows and the other for “foreign” content.  I then read this article, realized how right it was, and will take the article’s advice in order to alleviate the lull between URBMN posts.  It doesn’t make for a nice segue into Rabbit Fall discussion, but I’m not a fan of segues.

I’m also not fond of the promotion Space has given Rabbit Fall.  It reran the entire twelve-episode run of the show earlier this year, not doing much to advertise that fact.  Space did promote the second season when in first run, but I thought Space would big up the first-season episodes for the newbies.  Not everyone is in love with Battlestar Galactica, so say we few.

Andrea Menard is Constable Tara Wheaton, a Métis cop transferred from Toronto to Rabbit Fall via “professional indiscretion.”  She’s a fairly decent actor in a straightforward supernatural crime drama.  Rabbit Fall is decidedly generic, which doesn’t surprise me as four networks (SCN, VisionTV, Space and APTN) have had their hands on it over two seasons.  Still, the quality of this show is better than I expected.

I don’t understand the show’s comparison to Twin Peaks*Rabbit Fall does not have Killer BOB, log ladies or backwards-speaking gnomes.  The X-Files is a good reference point, since Rabbit Fall shares the same conspiratorial MO.

While Rabbit Fall‘s second season is much better than the first production-wise – Rabbit Fall looked badly lighted its first year – the show does have its problems.  Some of the acting is atrocious, while the supernatural element can be a bit cartoonish at times.

For instance, main antagonist Simon Blackhorse turns into a crow while in a police car.  Sure, his distraction of Sergeant Stanton Martinsky leads to a crucial plot development in Rabbit Fall‘s second season premiere, but it looks silly in execution.

Another thing I don’t understand is why the show’s being a half-hour drama is sold as unique.  The half-hour drama is a concept dating back to The Twilight Zone, early Gunsmoke and Dragnet, and these are just obvious examples.  Hour-long dramas are the norm for modern episodic television, so Rabbit Fall is just bucking the trend.  I can’t see how Rabbit Fall would benefit from expanding to an hour, as that would just force padding on its meat-and-potatoes story structure.

In the end, Rabbit Fall‘s positives outweigh its negatives.  If nothing else, it shows that Saskatchewan can produce decent television.  I’d like to see more Saskatchewan-based television shows in the near future.  Toronto moonlighting as Generican/Genadian City can get a bit tiring after a while.

*As an aside, Twin Peaks wasn’t the weirdest David Lynch television show.  It’s amazing how many people have forgotten or suppressed On the Air, which the YouTube link will soon rectify.  If you watched it, you can’t unwatch it!

C. Archer
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