There are a lot of great shows streaming on HBO, Netflix, and Disney+. But if you want to lighten your stress load at the end of a long day, maybe watching a dark drama isn’t your best option.
I was out of TV options. After ten months of lockdown, living alone, and searching every night for entertainment to keep me company while I do routine tasks for GNN on my laptop, this editor was OUT OF OPTIONS.
Earlier this month, while clicking through the depths of Amazon Prime, I found a series from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting) which has brought me so much joy—and hope for the future.
The first thing you might appreciate is the beautiful Canadian scenery—from the mountains to the remote harbors and inland to a unique saltwater lake… But, never mind that.
Every episode, you get to follow around the engaging Canadian comedian Jonny Harris as he visits the fun-loving inhabitants in far-flung small towns. His journeys are both hilarious and heart-warming.
These towns were all struggling after factories or mines closed, or when the railroads and highways were diverted. But Jonny always ferrets out the good news.
Best of all, after immersing himself in the lives of local characters and unearthing the tall tales in these tiny towns, Jonny writes and delivers a rousing comedy stand-up routine about his experiences.
It’s called Still Standing—but, some of the towns are not just standing, they are thriving in always colorful ways.
Season 6, featuring Jonny’s latest cross-country road trip was shot in 2019 and premiered in October 2020 on CBC and CBC Gem. It featured the town of Pelee Island, Ontario.
I just finished a fascinating episode about Cobalt, Ontario, which in the 1900s was the third biggest producer of silver in the entire world.
The silver mines were abandoned, most of the miners moved on, but what was left behind as waste may soon be a boon to the old mining town. The silver industry dumped their byproducts on the nearby property—rock dust that was heavily laced with cobalt, the element used in making lithium batteries needed for everything from our phones to computers and electric cars. The hilarious stand-up comedy he wrote about this place did not disappoint.
One of the best episodes I’ve seen so far features Wilberforce, Ontario, the “geo-caching capital of Canada”.
If you’re not in the Great White North, you can stream the first four seasons on Amazon Prime right now. When you get near the end of season four—if you’re like me—you will be longing for more.
The Still Standing host Jonny Harris—also the show’s producer and co-writer—is best known for his role in the detective series Murdoch Mysteries, now in its 14th season on CBC.