Why Are The Only Reality T.V. Shows About Toronto So Awful?
Despite having the World's Greatest Mayor, Toronto has a whole lot of problems, including its absolutely terrible output of reality T.V. on the internet.
Full disclosure: This article is about a couple of god-awful Canadian, YouTube reality shows that I forced myself to watch after having dosed myself with Tylenol-3s, after slipping on black ice and bashing the fuck out of my tailbone in the unforgiving Canadian winter. Oops.
OMG you guys, the world is ending. This is the apocalypse: we survived the Mayan calendar, chunks of meteoric future rock falling from the sky in Russia, and Justin Bieber’s Grammy snub. But the world is ending, and low-budget YouTube reality T.V. is probably at fault. Chances are, if you live in Toronto; or just the internet world, you’ve maybe heard about the gleaming diamond in the rough that is The Avenue. Airing exclusively on YouTube, the show trails the comings and goings of Gregory Gorgeous - a pseudo-celebrity who has capitalized off of the YouTube instructional video market. His videos educate eager viewers on such critical matters as “Lip Injections: Before/After”, “Fierce DAY to NIGHT Makeup”, and “Traveling Must Haves and Airport Drama!” His wardrobe widely consists of sequins, stretch lurex and Juicy Couture velour tracksuits. This is 4 real.
GG, as he is often known, hails from some basic-ass Ontario suburb (Woodbridge presumably, based on the overflowing of Woodbridge-based car rental plugs at the end of each Avenue episode) but now lives in what looks to be a rented Rosedale mini-mansion where he sips chilled white wine (tasting notes: “it’s so sweet!”) with his mid-fifties (?) tanorexic/cougar/housewife super pal Shannon. Like most of the characters on The Avenue, her connection to Gregory is unexplained, but unlike the ragtag assemblage of bodies, Shannon’s purpose is obvious and necessary: sage wisdom. Shannon is the best part of The Avenue, and her last-ditch effort at acting success does not go unnoticed. She requires her dog to be sitting on her lap at all times and speaks in what can only be described as ‘yogavoice.’ Notable Shannon quote from Season 2, Episode 9: “We should just put that little pill-popping bitch in a car, drop her off at the front door somewhere, and let them bounce the pills out of her in a rubber room,” regarding Gregory’s best friend Rachel’s supposed addiction (to allergy medicine and Advil, she defends) after a failed, wine-fueled intervention.
A full episode of The Avenue, if you feel like putting yourself through it.
Amongst Greg’s other friends/cast of characters is: Claire the blonde, kind-hearted but romantically-doomed bombshell; Rachel, Claire’s childhood friend and token ginger- a ‘would-be’ model and sassy pill popping pal; Arta, the scary, strong-jawed magazine editor for preteens; and Jay, Gregory’s closet-case boyfriend who sees nominal airtime to what can only be presumed as a poor hiring choice by the casting director.
This is The Avenue, and it strives to represent the Canadian socialite, the well-connected twenty-somethings of Toronto’s elite. Like The Hills, The City, or The Valley of Dolls, the characters all seek to embark upon exciting and immediately fulfilling careers in the fashion and entertainment industry. What someone forgot to tell these poor fools is that this isn’t the City of Angels, or even the city that never sleeps for that matter - it’s a city of astounding mediocrity. Our sports teams never win, the rest of the country hates us, we’re incapable of electing an even remotely competent leader, and liquor is a shitty crown corporation called the LCBO that my friend Katherine describes as being “run by a bag of dicks.” And there’s good reason they don’t film in the winter - come February, Toronto is a disgusting riffraff of slush and overcast smog, a citizenship that has all but given up on their existence.
If The Hills was intended to portray LA as the glamorous, frozen-in-time dream world of plastic and Pink Berry, and the City as the G2G OMG TTUN (talk to u never) cutthroat fashion land of New York, then The Avenue is Toronto’s haphazard fan fiction attempt at such. And it’s making our city look fucking baaaad.
This isn’t the first time that self-involved rich kids have used their assets to transform their over privileged lives into what they think is quality television - Canadian network Slice aired a web series in 2010 called Jaclife, following the daily activities of fashion designer, ‘it-girl’ and selfie enthusiast Jaclyn Genovese. Owner of Toronto too-hip-to-be-happy boutique JacFlash, the series featured Jaclyn and her friends working in her store, designing their fashion line Jac & Gill, having booze free-poured into their mouths and long, drawn-out scenes of them staring at each other, not saying anything.
The trailer for Jaclife.
I’m calling for an exile of these lags on humanity from Toronto - which might not be that hard after all, since it looks like most of the characters on The Avenue don’t really live in the city anyway. Gregory’s mini-mansion is almost certainly a rental, his boyfriend a useless actor, and his sometimes-nemesis and resident bitch, Arta is a fake editor of VERVEgirl, a magazine for preteen girls handed out in high school libraries.
Why are these people internet famous? They should not be allowed to represent themselves as ambassadors to Toronto. The T.Dot is already a fledgling city, and this is certainly not helping. So fuck Gregory Gorgeous and his purse dogs, because frankly any dog that weighs less than 30 pounds is a cat and cats don’t matter. And fuck those pretty JacFlash bitches with their half-naked Instagram selfies and unlimited supply of Lazypants.
Why can’t these internet T.V. producers find better ways to showcase what is actually awesome about Toronto, instead giving these vapid pseudo-fashionistas more attention? And if we really want to focus on trash, why didn’t anyone fund the undoubtedly race-baiting, but lovable and funny, failed pilot project simply called The Lakeshore? That looked great. So, don’t get me wrong, I love reality T.V.. But someone needs to produce a reality show set in Toronto that’s actually great. Like a Rob Ford reality show! That would be incredible.
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