Our Hero (CBC, 2000-2002)
Our Hero was a comedy-drama series of Canadian origin which was shown on Channel 5 on Saturday afternoons around 2002-2003, and it was usually shown after various other shows for teens including The Tribe and Harry And Cosh that I also liked to watch at the time. The show centered around a girl who documented her family and school life in Toronto in a creative way.
Kale was a girl who lived at home with her parents and her brother Ethan who aspired to be a stand-up comedian but was rather useless at it and just about everything else. She is also a student at school and has an oh-so crazy circle of friends who include Mary-Elizabeth, Ross and Dalal. She also worked in an organic food shop so we see her dealing with her boss and customers too.
Kale decided to deal with things that happened to her in her life by creating a zine called Our Hero, which she would put together by taking photographs and some of her writing, and then sticking it all down onto pieces of paper before going off to photocopy the pages and then sell them at school, an idea that is now rather nostalgic in itself, and every episode was named after what she had written about, such as “The Imperfect Issue” or “The Revenge Issue”.
A couple of memorable moments that come to mind include the episode where Kale had an accident and then she was really embarrassed because she had to give a presentation at school while wearing an eyepatch, and there was also an ongoing story in the first series where Kale befriended a terminally ill man called Gordon who entered her shop one day, before he died in the final episode, and Kale deals with her sadness by creating a special issue of Our Hero celebrating his life. This was all rather touching, but it seemed a little tough going and out of place in what was essentially a sitcom for children and teenagers.
What really got me into Our Hero though was that throughout the episodes Kale’s feelings would be illustrated by rather bizarre intervals featuring photos and writing from her magazine that were animated in a stop-motion style which gave the show a distinctive look. And best of all, the website that was set up to promote this show which can’t have been updated for at least a decade now is still working and online!
What was even odder about Our Hero though was that it seems that Kale was supposed to be 12 years old, when the actress who played her could have passed for twice that age, and the actors who played her classmates and friends also looked like they should’ve left school a long time ago.
Our Hero won’t be remembered by too many people now, there is little about it online and it seems that Channel 5 didn’t even show every episode, giving up about halfway through the second (and final) series, but I am pleased that I did see this show despite its minor timeslot, and I enjoyed watching a few episodes that I recorded again recently when preparing this piece, and it’d be good to know if anyone else remembers watching this show. I hope it wasn’t just me.