Peeling myself out of my overpriced sweatpants, I put on some human people clothes on a Tuesday night to go to the CBC premiere of Arctic Air at The Vogue Theatre. What was I expecting? Not much. I would have much rather watched Kevin O’Leary (a.k.a. Canada’s Donald Trump) and his new, ridiculous-yet-I-can’t-take-my-eyes-off-it-because-O’Leary-is-a-total-sociopath program Redemption Inc. Instead, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go with my friends and mock this new CBC shitstorm about “a maverick airline and the unconventional family who runs it.” I expect it to last a total of three episodes tops. From Arctic Air’s trailer, it looked like the show would be riddled with terrible clichés and cheesy dialogue—and the pilot did not disappoint.
As soon as my friends and I arrived at the Vogue Theatre, our wrists were ordained with red wristbands. We got to walk on not one, but two very fancy red carpets and although I didn’t see any, apparently the venue was overflowing with Canadian celebrities. We were also given free popcorn and diet sodas! This was some pretty classy shit.
After hearing some gushy speeches from CBC weather presenter Claire Martin and contributors to the show, I started to feel guilty for my poor attitude towards this television premiere. I was clearly being a bad Canadian with my pessimistic attitude and sarcastic wits. I am supposed to be much more polite than this. However, as soon as the show started, my plan to not criticize the fuck out of it flew right out the window (airplane pun!).
The problem with this first episode was the terrible writing. All the names they picked for the characters were mondo Canadian and I could not take it seriously: Jim McAlister, Bobby Martel, Ronnie Dearman, and a slutty mcslut named Candi Lussier. I’m also pretty sure the terrible acting was a side effect of the horrible script. First of all, nothing exciting happens for at least half an hour. When you think about a world-class TV show, like, say, Breaking Bad, the show starts with a bang every single episode and ends with a way to get the audience hooked.
This is how Arctic Air starts off: Martel (played by Adam Beach, an attractive man that looks as if Taylor Lautner and David Duchovny had a love child) comes to Yellowknife and we find out some uninteresting things about him, like how he was a ladies man in high school but never sealed the deal with his obvious upcoming love interest, Krista. Insert cheesy, clichéd dialogue [“And the prodigal son returns!”]. Insert horrible flirting with Candi [“You know which room to find me in.” *WINK*]. Insert climactic point where there’s a storm, but a baby needs to get delivered so they need to fly into dangerous conditions. Insert Terris’ thoughts of not caring if any of the characters die. Then, within minutes the conflict is easily resolved, the baby gets delivered safely in a cabin, and then everyone goes to a wedding for some characters I was too bored to pay attention to.
There wasn’t even a cliffhanger at the end of the episode! The episode ends all neat and tidy. I’m pretty sure the writer-producer Ian Weir does not understand how TV works. What reason could we possibly have for wanting to keep watching this show after everything has been resolved? It felt like I was watching a movie created by the slackers that were in my grade 12 video production class.
Then to make matters worse, we were forced to sit through the most tedious Q&A of all time. Beach is either the most relaxed person alive, or he was completely stoned. Every single one of his answers ended with “man” or “yeah, man.” Then again, I’d have to be pretty baked if I had anything to do with the production of Arctic Air.