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Peak Season: MTV’s new reality show, or, How I Learned to Drink Everyday in Whistler

October 27, 2009


Canadians have a fascination with comparing our cities to their American counterparts. Toronto, for instance, stands in for New York City, Chicago, and “Hollywood North,” simply because movies are made there. Vancouver is California, and Whistler would be if you took Disney Land and combined it with Santa Monica – so gorgeous that it doesn’t look real surroundings and architecture (it’s one giant patio), complete with the rich ass tourists that pay for it and the edgy, young kids that run it.

If Canada was ever going to have its own the Hills style reality show, where else but here?  So it should be no surprise that MTV’s Peak Season is one of the latest pseudo-reality shows from the network, and as sad as this is going to sound, it may be the closest to actual reality MTV has come.

Unlike the good-looking spoiled rich kids who don’t need jobs in the Hills, the even better looking rich kids with awesome jobs in the fashion or music industry in the City, Peak Season features mildly attractive people with, aside from the few pro snowboarders, rather common jobs.

It takes the formula created by the Hills and literally recreates it frame by frame (gorgeous outside shot, in this case involving snowboarding, segue with catchy music to an intimate conversation over a meal of food, segue with catchy music to a party – then repeat). The odd thing is that the creator of the Hills and the City is not the creater here, so how MTV got away with that I’m not sure.

Actually, I just realized I said that this “may be the closest to actual reality MTV has come.” Wow. That requires a disclaimer, which would read like this: If that reality is living in Whistler, which is like living in a Mountain Dew commercial, but instead of “doing the Dew” they drink a lot of booze.

I have been to Whistler twice. Once was in the summer, once was in the winter, both times staying with different friends who lived and worked there. Of the 14 days total time I spent there, it’s fair to say I drank for 12 of them (because I was on vacation). For everyone else this was completely normal behaviour, and I even hear the reason they picked this particular group of people to be on the show is because they took what everyone else did (drink excessively) and just did it really, really well. “They were bar stars who thought they were really cool,” one friend told me.

In fact, on one of my trips there I even stayed with one of the characters on the show because they were a roommate of a friend, so after watching just two episodes I have concluded that this person has either diametrically changed the way they spend their time and act, or is putting on a big show to fit in on the “big show.” In plain words, this person went from mild to major douchebag, which I guess is one of the effects of having a camera in front of you all the time.

What I learned from Episode One

In the first episode you have Aussie Matt who is cheating (likely) on his very attractive Aussie girlfriend, Elle. Then there is Dre, a DJ who is being cheated on (certainly) by Amanda. And then you have Lauren, who gets the most screen time, possibly because of her name sharing with another reality star, who is dealing with a breakup (possibly because of cheating) with ex-boyfriend Scoot. Yes, that is short for Scooter. And that’s it. Insert the formula (outside, to conversation over meal, to debauchery involving alcohol), and you have a solid 20-some minutes of television magic.

Some of the highlights include: Ian, a pro snowboarder, and his buddies, including Scoot, thinking they are clever because they compare girls to almost expired milk and were lucky enough that cameras were there to catch that glimpse of genius; Amanda blocks Dre on facebook (“You can’t just delete me from your life,” says Dre); Lauren and her tough looking friend, Steph, like to drink – a lot.

Wait, there’s more

All of that occured in just one episode. In episode two we learn so much more about real life in Whistler.

1)      All the uncertain cheating is in fact certain.

2)      In Whistler, just like elsewhere, tobogganing is more fun drunk. But in Whistler you drink Vodka, straight from the bottle (Extreme!).

3)      When you skip your real job to have some antics involving tobogganing and vodka in Whistler for the benefit of a TV show you get fired, almost instantly.

4)      People still say “stoked” outside of snowboard movies from the ‘90s.

5)      There are a shitload of Aussies in Whistler. So much that you couldn’t have a reality show based there without including at least half a dozen of them.

6)        The characters in this show, who I mentioned earlier were more “real” (as in, not that attractive) think they have “the best gene pool in Whistler.” This part is baffling, because Whistler is indeed full of beautiful people. Do you remember long, long ago when Britney Spears was untouchable? It was somewhere between the red leather jumpsuit in “oops I did it again” and the “slave for you” video, and every guy in the world wanted here. Around that time I met (and by met I mean I said “hi” and she brushed me off) an Aussie lookalike of Britney in Whistler. Some simple math: Britney – the hick accent + an Aussie accent = even hotter Britney.

7)      Really, the only point of that last digression was to stress the point that there was no shortage of good looking people in Whistler.

Despite all this, and maybe even because of it, the show is actually pretty good, which leads me to believe that it’s not going to last past one season. The simple reason being that if I like a show it doesn’t make it past one season.

For instance, Living Lahaina, a reality show about a bunch of lazy surfer dudes in Hawaii which was funny and entertaining, was cancelled so soon that they even worked it in to the script of the last episode.

Maybe the Peak Season crew shouldn’t quit (or get fired from) their day jobs just yet.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 28, 2009 12:17 pm

    HA. I love this post.

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