Saturday, September 24, 2005

CORNER GAS

They're doing a special on CTV tonight, Beyond Corner Gas, all about Corner Gas, the hit sitcom about life in the small Saskatchewan town of Dog River. The special kind of chronicles all the fans of the show, who are obsessed with the series and Saskatchewan.

It's bringing back a lot of memories. You know, there are hundreds of small towns in Saskatchewan that are just like Dog River. They all have the gas station with the restaurant, they have your insurance agencies that double as a liquor store, and the big grain elevator and so on. I find the show amusing because I grew up in Saskatchewan and know all about these small towns, though I must say I was certainly an urban individual and could never live in one of these places. There was a town outside of Saskatoon, Dundurn, that has a lot of the same qualities as Dog River; had a gas station on the side of the highway, etc. There was another one to the east, Elstow, that was quite similar. I also remember the town of Chamberlain, right on the highway between Regina and Saskatoon and a perfect place to rest and go to have a bite to eat to and from the 'Rider game. There are hundreds of Dog River-type places all across Saskatchewan and life has got to be the same as what's depicted on the show.

They film the Corner Gas show in Rouleau and that small place is now booming with tourists, all wanting to see "Dog River" for real. They actually do "Corner Gas" tours where they bus people from Regina to Rouleau to see the Corner Gas set, with the actual gas station and so on.
I don't know why Corner Gas is so popular. Maybe there's a demand out there from the public for down-home types of shows. This show reminds me of The Andy Griffith Show which was about life in Mayberry, North Carolina. That was a simple show with a down-home type of feel to it and it ran on TV in reruns forever. It was hugely popular in rural America. Corner Gas has a similar quality and that's one reason why the fans of this show are such die-hards about watching it. I think the show is helped by being set in Saskatchewan; it's not yet another set-in-Toronto show. They show rural Saskatchewan with all its quirks, and how life is so different there from Toronto and these cities they see on Canadian TV all the time.

Anyway, this is all good. It's one more good thing to make life interesting in Saskatchewan, this show. If not for the 'Riders and Corner Gas, life in Saskatchewan would be pretty dull.

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