Watch Dany's Duel this Sunday
There is something unusual about hearing the breakfast crowd at a local restaurant talking about a French television program. Then again, it’s not often that a Stanstead born Anglophone, Dany Flanders, mind you born to a French mother and nursed on music, living in Florida, decides to compete on The Voice; make that La Voix.
TVA, channel 7 locally, is a private network that lives on its own. No piggybacking on American programs, where the hard work is inserting Canadian ads as in the case of the private English channels where a number one Canadian-produced television series would be front page news. Week after boring week, the ratings proves the same thing: when it comes to watching television, Canadians try very hard to avoid Canadian content. Not so on the French channels, even Radio-Canada being able to sell a concept to one of the programming giants in the USA, Freemantle, as another ‘singing’ concept, Air de famille did on Monday. Freemantle is behind the Idol franchise.
If Dany Flanders doesn’t make the cut on La Voix, he and his mother, Lise Flanders, would be naturals on Air de famille.
The cut is next Sunday. He will face another contestant and will either move on to another step or go back to Florida and back to ‘Air de famille’.
For the Anglophone community as a whole, Dany Flanders is the model of what Québécois need to see: Someone that they can relate to as a neighbour, even if he lives in Florida. Flanders, in a way, is the opposite of what the cliché of an Anglo is for most Francophones. And the cliché is powerful, amplified daily by the mainstream English press in this country. It’s a simple one: Anglos don’t care for Québécois culture.
Most of you don’t know Ariane Moffatt, the judge who chose Dany first. Some may have an idea who Jean-Pierre Ferland is, as for MarieMai and Marc Dupré! Still, they are known all across the province.
The English press must share its responsibility on this. I’ve yet to read in the Globe and Mail a review or a preview of one of the tens of evening shows produced in French in this country, while reading hundreds on programs that are shown on some third tier cable network in the USA. The first episode of Radio-Canada 19-2, the cop show which dealt with a shootout at a school (filmed months before the Newtown massacre), was on par with all American TV shows; nary a word in the English media.
Yet, YOU CAN WATCH FRENCH TV. And when you do, you understand most of it. Let’s be honest, there is not much to understand watching La Voix and most drama shows are as easily understandable. So next Sunday, tune in to TVA to see and hear Dany Flanders. You will see why he was chosen and let’s hope he moves on to another step.