Tonight marks the second episode of The Week The Women Went, a new CBC reality show my teenage son refers to as “Kid Nation, only with men looking like idiots instead of 10-year-olds.”

Having screened tonight’s hour (which airs at 8 p.m., preceding the fourth episode of The Border), I can see why the women went–anything to avoid having to sit through a third hour of this reality snoozer.

The show centres on the little town of Hardisty, Alberta, pop. 760. The series is more fascinating as a window on that rural and isolated western community then as a battle of the sexes.

Hardisty seems to be one of those places that you get the hell out of as soon as you can. The town teens are all bored and into sex at an early age just for something to do. The adults have moved on to drinking and smoking and eating too much beef. Almost everybody is over weight and out of shape. And why not? With such delicacies as bull testicles to chew on, you’d dig in, too.

At the start of the series, the women are all herded onto a couple of tour buses on their way to a spa vacation near Banff. Once they’re on the road, out comes the booze. One women seems to be sitting all by her lonesome. Seems many of the other babes are still pissed that the little tramp slept with all their men. Shame on you, Lorelei!

In that instance, The Week The Women Went is like a soap opera on wheels, All My Children Are Back Home Crying. Back on the home front, men are shown struggling to change diapers and fix meals. The yappy little varmints are screwing with their poker games! Every family, it seems, has four or six kids under the age of three.


The dads, who are usually busy on Alberta oil fields, haven’t had much time up until now to bond with their babes and this whole domestic thing is beyond them. Some decide to sit it out on the front porch with Cletus, the slack-jawed yokel and the rest of their buddies until this whole thing blows over.

I guess you’d keep watching just to see how many kids die from neglect or if any of the men tie sponges to the kids knees in an effort to get the rug rats to clean the floors. I kept looking to see if I could spot Jethro over by the cement pond, or Elly Mae comin’ ’round the corner with vittles. W00 doggie!

Anyway, it premiered last week to 770,000 viewers, a boost for CBC on Monday nights. As a social experiment it is about as valid as The Nanny or Wife Swap or, well, Kid Nation. It is not as uplifting as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, or as trashy or soul killing as Fox’s new lie detector series, The Moment of Truth, so I can’t see if being as bit a hit as either, although there are plenty of other small towns out there for CBC to exploit. Maybe they could combine the next edition of The Week The Women Went with Hockeyville, bringing glory and shame to some other ‘burb without actually exposing the townsfolk to any viewers.

AND THE AWARD GOES TO: Lowly SUN TV won the award show lottery with last night’s broadcast of the SAG Awards. That’s the forgotten statue-fest nobody usually wants, which suddenly became golden last night with actual stars on the red carpet and at the podium–unlike every other award show this season due to the writers strike. SUN TV viewership is usually measured on the fingers of two hands. (Back when the station was called Toronto 1, TV ad sales guys referred to it as Toronto 0.1.) Sunday night’s SAG Awards had to be their biggest spike ever in the ratings.


  1. hey bill:
    we had a take on the week the women left…in our (22’s) cold opener last night.

    you can see it if you want at our almost impossible to navigate website at

    (i would have just emailed you this, but you smartly haven’t provided an email address)


  2. Mark–

    I did catch your dig at The Week The Women Went on TV last night. Very funny and disturbing! Nice US election ambushing, too.
    My email is [email protected]. I will post it on the site as soon as I figure out how. Wanted to reach you today on something else, zip me your email and I’ll run it past you.

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