In praise of Canada’s APTN.

Old habits die hard, it would seem…

Though I willingly gave up my cable television service last October I still, from time to time, feel the urge to park my ass on the sofa and stare into the idiot box for a few minutes. Or an hour. It doesn’t help that I still receive a trickle of channels via my cable Internet cable. Thankfully, one of them is Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

Wait, what?

It’s true… I learned more about the Ipperwash Crisis in five minutes than I did in five years at The Second City — and I was a member of the resident company in the mid-1990s right when it was happening.

On the subject on Second City, two famous alumni of that theatre, Dana Andersen and Bruce Pirrie, have been tapped for APTN’s sketch comedy show CAUTION: May Contain Nuts. Though I’m no longer a fan of that particular genre, this series can hold its own with any other sketch comedy show on Canadian television — and if that sounds like I’m damning it with faint praise, at least it looks like APTN has thrown some decent money at it.

And for those occasional Sunday nights when I really want to turn my brain off and relive the heady days of 20th-century style media consumption APTN usually delivers, in the form of Hollywood fluff with some tenuous connection to North America’s indigenous peoples. Or if I’m lucky, something more directly related.

I don’t watch it religiously (I gave up cable, remember?) but when I do I’m grateful that there’s an altogether different perspective on the country where I live, just a few clicks on the remote away.


  1. I gave up cable too, much longer ago… going on 4 years I think. No trickle here. That means I’m late to seeing things, but generally I don’t just watch “stuff” but instead I have to choose. Buying 5 seasons of House in one shot is a lot cheaper than cable. I will confess to bazillions of DVDs… $2 Cab Calloway from No Frills, “The Arrow” in the $5.99 bin at Walmart … pretty much any DVD i want used & cheap within 2 weeks from my regular DVD store. The only thing I regret is that WKRP hasn’t released more than season 1 due to onerous copyright costs. (At least my kid got to see the Turkey episode.)

    The only time it’s at all an issue is when I’m sick and just want to be a TV zombie 🙂

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