The holidays are coming and for those of us who may have already binge-watched the latest Netflix additions like Stranger Things and The Punisher, there’s a new YouTube channel that will let us relive iconic Canadian shows that we grew up with like Degrassi, Mr. Dressup, Ready or Not and Are You Afraid of the Dark?!
Google Canada and the Canada Media Fund (CMF) teamed up to launch www.youtube.com/encoreplusmedia earlier this month. The channel has an impressive lineup of English and French language documentaries, miniseries, films, children’s series and dramas. Check out some of our picks below!
That’s right, you can ditch Caillou and raise your kids on Mr. Dressup. Encore+’s episodes begin with season 15 (1981). Although there are only five episodes at the moment, there are plenty of songs, stories, games, as well as arts and crafts with Mr. Dressip, Casey and Finnegan to keep the kids entertained.
Degrassi Junior High
The second series in the Degrassi franchise aired on CBC from 1987 and is available on in both English & French. So far, the first season of Joey Jeremiah and the gang are online, including episode 11 where Spike (Amanda Septo) realizes that she’s pregnant. Spike’s daughter Emma and friends would later headline Degrassi: The Next Generation.
The Littlest Hobo
CTV’s classic 1979-1985 series about the extremely intelligent German shepherd helping people is available (although so far, only season 2). The Young and the Restless fans may want to check out season 2, episode 8, which features Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren Fenmore).
Ready or Not
Global’s ‘90s teen fav with the catchy theme song (admit it, you know all the words) starring Laura Bertram and Lani Billard. Sure, it was a drama but looking back you can consider it a comedy. We’re going to need them to add all seasons of this fast.
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Relive classic stories from the Midnight Society in both English and French. The series’ fourth episode, “The Tale of the Twisted Claw,” actually acted as its series premiere when it debuted as part of YTV’s Halloween programming in 1990. Ready or Not’s Laura Bertram appears in episode 2, while Mia Kirshner is featured in episode 5. Episode 1 makes the first appearance of Dr. Vink — “with a Va Va Va Va.”
If the kids/teen nostalgia isn’t your thing, you can check out Due South (English & French), Slings & Arrows, Da Vinci’s Inquest and This Is Wonderland. Other picks include the 2000 indie hits Waydowntown (starring Fab Filippo), and Stardom (starring Jessica Paré and Dan Aykroyd). There’s also the Oscar-winning animated short, The Old Man and the Sea, while the Barenaked Ladies appear in this episode of Northwood. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears in the 2007 docu-drama The Great War which commemorated the 90th anniversary of the Vimy Ridge battle. For documentaries, check out Fire and Ice, about hockey legend Maurice “The Rocket” Richard (in English & French). Family hits include Emily of New Moon (English & French) and Little Mosque on the Prairie. There’s also the ‘90s teen French-language hit Watatatow.