Published in El Pais, February 11th 2020.
As a Canadian I am often confused with being an American and I feel it is an understandable mistake. We both speak English (except for Quebec) with a similar sounding accent and a limited amount of slang. American’s coming to Canada do not exactly experience a culture shock when they come here and vice versa as we have similar foods and enjoy doing many of the same things. It should come to no surprise that many of the shows and movies we like to watch here are from the United States as it is much cheaper for networks to simply purchase the rights rather than to produce their own programs. It is because of this we have a law that requires said networks to produce Canadian content, so our culture is not completely eroded by our neighbors to the south. Producing these shows used to be the cost of doing business but now thanks to Netflix Canadian programing has reached a worldwide audience.
Canadian shows like Schitt’s Creek and Working Mom’s has become a hit around the world with many Argentinians telling me the later is one of their favourite shows. My country is not the only one to benefit from streaming services. La Casa de Papel had produced two seasons prior to Netflix acquiring the rights yet for most of us the show did not exist until then. The streaming service has also produced popular shows from around the world with the Mexican series Club de Cuervos becoming the first non-English series to be produced by Netflix. I feel it is time for other countries to start to look at these success stories as a model to expand their own culture as the world is no longer limited to what Hollywood has to offer. No longer do countries have to look at their own countries as the target market as a worldwide audience seems more possible. Hollywood will always rein supreme, but we are now open to watching programing from outside of Los Angeles. It is time they take advantage of this.