APTN Pilot Burn-Off Time | Wolf Canyon 1.1

Wolf Canyon (APTN: Really Real Films, 2009) is a bit too generic to be on APTN.  The show is set on a reservation, and Lorne Cardinal plays a role on the show.  Despite this, Wolf Canyon feels like you could rip the “native” decals off and still have the same show.  This is Kevin Sorbo’s show, pure and simple.

Sorbo plays Rick Denham, a washed-up alcoholic actor.  Denham replaces former star Johnny Wilkes, who has found “greater” success as the star of an independent film.  Denham is also director Quincy Paul’s (Matty Finochio) estranged father.

Lorne Cardinal plays Hoyt Talbot Jr., the out-of-it stuntman.  Diane Wesson-Smythe (Nikki Payne) is the executive producer/Amy Poehler soundalike.  Carol Van Gleason (Barbara Tyson) and Samantha Hollis (Jessica Harmon) are the female cobreasts.

Denham and the other crewpeople try to stave off boredom while shooting on the Horse Head Lake First Nation reserve.  Wolf Canyon sets up a troubled production, somehow remaining in syndication despite itself.  Executive producer Allan Harmon cameos as a production executive who has technically cancelled Wolf Canyon, although the cancellation order is buried by the end of the pilot.

Wolf Canyon is a confusing mix of Corner Gas and 30 Rock.  It’s not as funny or biting as it should be, going for a broad gag every so often.  Sorbo playing a drunk asshole is surprisingly effective casting, but Wolf Canyon lacks a distinctive voice.

I’d rather see a full-on pisstake of cheap, syndicated Canadian television.  Shows like Beastmaster, Painkiller Jane and Blood Ties deserve the Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire treatment.  Wolf Canyon‘s show-within-a-show deserves more air time, as the pilot barely scratches its surface.

Wolf Canyon‘s second episode is currently being written, as APTN mulls whether the show will earn a full season.  Kevin Sorbo has his cadre of fans, so this show’s a lock.  I’m not sure if failed pilots even exist on APTN.

C. Archer
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