i like the “due to personal reasons” meme because its just “for reasons that do not require exploring at this juncture” all over again everything really is due south huh
trying to explain due South to people is weird because they’re always like “hmm, haven’t heard of it, must be a niche little fandom” and like. Yes but also Very Much No.
all I know about the canon of Due South is that it expected me to believe that a series of red and white purebred huskies were a) the same dog and b) an actual, legitimate, no-fucking-around Canadian wolf living in Chicago, and also there were two guys who were both named Ray for some reason and one of them was pretending to be the other one for a while??
but like… yeah, between this and The Sentinel, these are just pure fossilized 90s megafandom.
(It’s especially interesting reading the back archives because the takes on sexuality and sex and how it works and how affection works and how characters respond to homophobia and what people expect characters to encounter and familiarity with queer culture is just–
in some ways it’s like peering back in time in a way I find really, really interesting, with a very different lens than you’ll find in traditionally published mainstream fiction outside of the queer presses. Like, don’t get me wrong, there’s stuff in there that’s just a damn Mess, but imagine the perspectives of the best writing you can find in modern fandom, from writers who are using slash fic to tell stories that incorporate a queer experience and point of view…
…and now think about the best of that, and pull it back twenty years in the past, and think about how you can use that to learn things about how people thought and acted and expected other people to think and act thirty or forty years ago.
The past is another country. They do things differently there. And you can get a surprisingly good sense for that from old Due South and Sentinel fics.
y’all if we’re fossils then I call dibs on being stegosaurus
I call dibs on the Caudipteryx!
I’m a Kowalskisaurus.
*unfossilizes long enough to point out that Diefenbaker is a half-wolf at best*
*refossilizes, laughing about the DS Anon Troll being added to the second graphic*
I call Loch Ness Monster, somehow still surviving as a dinosaur even now!
I am at least three of those whales.
Pay attention to meeee
(It’s that time of year again!)
“They have called this day the eleventh of March! And whomsoever of you gets through this day, unless you are shot in the head or somehow slain, you will stand at tiptoe when e’er you hear the name again. And you will get excited at the name March the eleventh! We happy few, we few, we band of brothers… our names will be as like… household names! And those who are not here… be they sleeping or doing something else, they will feel themselves sort of crappy! Because they are not here to join the fight on this day the eleventh of March!
-Sgt. Buck Frobisher, March 11, 1999
Due South finale “Call of the Wild”
Psst! RayK reads romance novels and remembers details about the hot male protagonist, pass it on.
Okay, I have a rant brewing. It’s kinda tangential to Canada Day, old TV shows and superhero blockbuster trends. It’s too late to run.
So, this is mostly about Superman. See, lately there’s this weird assumption that you need to rework his character to make him interesting in the movies. You can’t have a guy with godlike powers helping people just cuz, you need to imbue the character with depth, which usually means a trauma, an internal conflict, a space to grow and change and have an arc. Also you have to make him Batman. All of this may or may not be directly blamed on Zack Snyder, Ayn Rand and misconstrued Joseph Campbell, but let’s leave these guys alone, they’ve had enough already.
What we won’t leave alone is that one Canadian buddy cop show from 20 years back which I love to bits and which presents us with a perfectly functional alternative approach to writing a superhero story.
And yes, Due South is lowkey one of the best superhero shows out there. Let’s see. We have a stranger in a strange land (of Chicago (shot in Toronto)) story, a set of weird powers that can not be chalked up to our hero simply being
KryptonianCanadian, a bright, ridiculous outfit, a magical pet, a dad from beyond the grave, a strong moral code and no gun, a sidekick and a catchphrase. All of the above is Benton Fraser, the mountie exiled to the barbaric land of Illinois and partnering with a local cop to, well, help people.
The thing is, he has no arc and doesn’t need one.
Writing perfectly stable, goody-two-shoes hero is, of course, kinda boring, but here’s that one simple trick that drives Warner Bros. execs mad.
SupermanFraser does not need to grow and change and have his world shattered by some bullshit third act revelation, because it’s not him who does the growing, it’s everyone around.
He has some shady shit in his past which will resurface to Sarah McLachlan’s song, but that is not why he’s great. He’s already this out of nowhere towering beacon of hope who may need to catch up on American slang and customs, but other than that comes pretty much perfect out of the box.
Pictured: the box.
It would have been super easy to set this up as a typical fish-out-of-water-and-into-late-capitalism kinda story, but the show starts to subvert these tropes from day one. Fraser does not even leave the airport yet when there’s a guy asking to borrow some money, and Fraser, this naive Canadian unprepared for tough streets of Chicago, of course, takes his word for it and lends that guy like a hundred bucks.
This is the rare show where that guy actually comes back at the end of the pilot and returns the money, thus proving it’s the naive humanist who was right about people all along, and not the cynical genre cliches. The sheer element of surprise in the mountie being nice to people is what gets to everyone on this show and steers them right every goddamn time.
Like, hey, someone actually believes in me.
This shit gets you a long way.
So, yeah, I just needed to reiterate I love Due South.