September 2, 2016 by T. Gregory Argall
I wrote this years ago, long before the advent of IMDB, before people could easily look up the show and see that I was just making up half of what I was talking about.
The other half, though? 100 % accurate.
The Trouble With The Trouble With Tracy
What can you say about “The Trouble With Tracy” that hasn’t been said before?
Well, let’s see…
“Gosh, what a great television show! I loved it! This was quality Canadian programming at its finest!”
That’s never been said about this show.
…And for good reason, too.
“The Trouble With Tracy” sucked. It sucked from day one. It was bilge-water in a rusty bucket. They had to spray the tapes with industrial strength air freshener because this show stunk so much. The “jokes” were unoriginal, unfunny and poorly delivered. The acting was pathetically wooden. The sets were cardboard, at best. Entire walls wobbled when doors were opened. They had no “blooper reel” for Ed McMahon and Dick Clark, because they left the bloopers in. The single, re-usable laugh track was recorded at Knowlton Nash’s Muskoka cottage barbecue one rainy summer. Pure crap from start to finish.
It lasted two whole seasons and ran constantly in re-runs for years after that.
It has been argued that this apparent longevity was imposed by Canadian content regulations. After all, when the show was first broadcast in 1971, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was just coming to a full realization of television’s potential. Sure, most of South America had had televisions for more than a decade, but the CBC was concerned that TV might be just a fad and so concentrated more on their radio programs. Although, the CBC had allowed those wacky kids, Wayne & Shuster to dabble with TV, there didn’t seem to be much future in it.
Then, in 1969, the big changes hit Canada. Urban residents in Canada’s city, Toronto, hung the first antennas on their igloos. They started adjusting their “rabbit ears” (known locally as “hare noggins”) in search of something to watch on their new televisions. All that could be found was American programming. This put Canadian culture at risk. It was unacceptable. Regulations were quickly put into place two years later, requiring the CBC to broadcast television programming made by, for and about Canada and Canadians.
Holding a different view of what it means to be a Canuck, a new up-start “network” based in Agincourt began broadcasting regular, new programming of a questionable, but obviously Canadian nature (i.e. very low-budget). Calling itself “CTV”, this network seemed content to allow viewers to believe that that meant “Canadian Television.” While the CBC gave us such great shows as “The Beachcombers” and “The King Of Kensington” CTV gave us “The Trouble With Tracy“.
Canada hasn’t been the same since.
But, I digress…
As noted above, many people blame CanCon regulations for this show’s longevity. They are wrong. There is one reason this show lasted as long as it did. There was one single, all-powerful factor that could overcome the bad acting, bad writing, bad producing and general bad everything that permeated “The Trouble With Tracy“.
That’s why I watched the show and if you’re bothering to read this, that’s why you watched the show, too. Isn’t it? Admit it. Dyan Nyland was like a Canadian Sally Struthers, only much better looking and with a more annoying voice.
Sadly, the poor quality of the show was too much for the lovely and “talented” Ms. Nyland to bear. She sought refuge in obscurity after the second season. She has no acting credits before or since “The Trouble With Tracy” (arguably, she had no acting credit while on the show, either). But she had her pride and so she dropped out of the public eye and removed herself as much as possible from any connection with the show.
Exhaustive research and investigation by a covert spec-ops team has found that Nylan is now living in Puslinch under the name Bernard Joblonski and she still looks hot in a mini-skirt.
Her “Tracy” co-star, Steve Weston went on to be a regular on “Bizarre” and often crops up, when least expected, in various Canadian productions. He has no qualms about his association with “The Trouble With Tracy“. He has no pride. He is a man with red curly hair. He gave up on dignity years ago.
When you get right down to it, wasn’t that the real trouble with “The Trouble With Tracy“?
Just really hot legs.
The seventies were a long time ago.
Try to be nice to each other.