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Get It Watched! highlights some of the unsung heroes of the small screen; the lesser known programs that people often overlook. I’ll be looking at shows not just from the US but also from the UK, Canada, Australia and other English speaking countries and each edition will feature a different recommendation and rundown of what you are missing. Please, please recommend your own picks for shows you feel are the orphan children of broadcasting, because I am only one guy (albeit one with stunning good looks and incredible intellectual insight).
A different take on the post 9/11 ‘War on Terror’ and its effects on global security and diplomatic relations; The Border follows the drama, action and diplomatic manoeuvrings of Canadian Immigration and Customs security (ICS). The focal character, Mike Kessler (James McGowan), is the head of this department and his personal life proves to be almost as colourful as his day job. As the episodes progress, the central characters are explored in great detail and it is this depth and quality of story-telling, that provides an excellent dynamic in which to contrast the action and suspense; something which shows such as 24 have often lacked. But make no mistake, there is action a-plenty, with each instalment focusing on one of the myriad of situations the ICS team has to deal with as they police the vast expanse that is the US/Canadian border. Terrorism, drugs and people trafficking are all dealt with, along side whatever personal crisis’s the team may be experiencing.
What is interesting about this take on the ‘War on Terror’ and the huge crack down on border control, is that it highlights some of the effects on diplomatic relations between allies, as well as any developing resentment of US measures among less powerful nations. When so many shows such as The Unit, act as what is arguably often conservative propaganda, The Border isn’t afraid to paint the many shades of grey that exist in global politics, and in doing so, delivers an intelligently written piece of television that is as insightful as it is exciting.
I will admit that I was dubious of how entertaining the show was going to be before I sat down to watch it. Customs and Immigration conjures up images of fluorescent jackets and memories of butch women with fat fingers who enjoy performing cavity searches (I still feel her breath on the back of my neck when I close my eyes… but that‘s a story for another time). However, that preconception was merely down to my ignorance over what the job entails, especially in the higher echelons. I enjoyed the fact that current global developments are worked into the script and including the influences of the US, Canada and also Britain, creates this political and jurisdictive tug of war that adds real depth to the shoot-outs and drug busts.
A definite recommendation from me and just remember, if you disagree with me, then it’s probably because you’re wrong.
Show – The Border
Broadcaster – CBC
Country – Canada
First Aired – 01/07/08
Seasons – 3
Cancelled? – Yes
Have you any recommendations for shows you think people are missing out on? Let me know in the comments section and I will feature them in the weeks to come.