November 01, 2008

Cashing In on Canadian TV

Network begins production of original seriesCanwest, in partnership with Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), has begun production in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the new Original series ‘Cashing In,’ starring Eric Schweig (The Last of the Mohicans, Tom and Huck, The Missing) among several other Canadian talent and directed by Norma Bailey.

Scheduled to debut on APTN and Showcase in Spring 2009, ‘Cashing In’ is a 6 x 30 minute dramatic comedy about casino life on a fictional Aboriginal reserve in southern Manitoba. Card sharks, fast dealers, high rollers and an eclectic crew of local characters make up the scene at North Beach Casino, a successful gaming palace recently purchased by Matthew Tommy. Embarking on his mission to make it North America’s no. 1 First Nation Casino, Matthew quickly finds out some members of the community have other ideas.
Comment:  I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, a TV show starring Indians is always a good idea. I doubt we'll ever reach the point where we have too many of them.

On the other hand, it seems as though half the TV shows (and movies, and books, and comic books, etc.) about modern-day Indians revolve around casinos. If there can't be too many Indian stories, there can be too many casino stories. If we haven't reached that point yet, we're getting close.

Moreover, the hints in this notice aren't promising. For one thing, individual Indians can't buy Indian casinos. Casinos are owned by tribes and run as government enterprises (like state lotteries). For another, the first three groups of people mentioned--"card sharks, fast dealers, high rollers"--sound like negative stereotypes. You can bet that crime and corruption will play a prominent role in this series.

1 comment:

TrevCameron said...

One important issue that separates this program from others is the attempt to show rich successful Aboriginal people who's life isn't just the Reservation. Cashing In breaks an economic barrier in TV. That's as important.

Here's to hoping it has a second season to find it's feet as it premiered last night and today.