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Series / InSecurity

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A Canadian action-comedy and Work Com InSecurity is a parody of modern spy fiction, once labeled as "24 minus Jack Bauer.", that premiered on CBC in 2011.

The show follows a team of agents who work for the fictional National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), a Canadian intelligence agency centred in Ottawa. Essentially a latter-day Get Smart but with more Canadian-ness, the show follows the basic character template of all Canadian shows (Deadpan Snarker, Butt-Monkey, Only Sane Man, etc.) and drops it into an espionage-themed setting.

InSecurity was conceived by Robert de Lint and Virginia White (a director and executive producer of Corner Gas, respectively) who then approached Kevin White (showrunner of Corner Gas). The original pilot revolved around the tedium in electronic surveillance work, but it was rejected on the grounds of being too niche and a second pilot was done in a more 24 style. The show was picked up for thirteen episodes and premiered on January 4, 2011. The first episode was viewed by 740 000 people. (Doesn't sound like a lot by American standards, but it's a respectable audience up here.)


A second season was aired and a DVD release for the 1st season is out there. However, the series won't be continued due to budget cuts made by the Canadian federal government for 2012.

Has absolutely NOTHING to do with the similarly named strip.

Head here for the Shoutout page.

This show provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Jojo and Alex both fit this a lot of the time.
  • Affably Evil: The Ghost, AKA Joshua Crane
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In "The Ghost", the titular villain leads Alex into the vents before replacing the grate cover and trapping her.
  • All Nations Are Superpowers: In the show Canada has secret programs to develop advanced stealth submarines and portable supercomputers, has suborned the Norwegian prime minister, and has a shadowy rivalry with the Dutch. In reality, Canada has second-hand British submarines plagued with technical problems, is on good terms with the Netherlands, and has no official foreign espionage program under CSIS...or so we're led to believe, anyway
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  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: According to N'udu, when Peter goes drinking he loses something. Those things include keys, files, laptop, and... N'udu's FLAMETHROWER.
  • Ax-Crazy: N'udu once drove anti-government rebels in Ligeria crazy that they blew up the piano he was using. After he rebuilt it, N'udu used the piano wire to kill them while they were sleep as retribution.
  • Batman Gambit: In the official gag videos released by CBC, Claude takes advantage of his daughter's boyfriends by making them work around the house. (Of course, he defends it by saying that it's his way of really knowing if they are worthy of being the perfect guy for his girl.)
  • Bilingual Bonus: Claude frequently swears in Québecois French.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: In "The Kwan Identity", The Anti-Monarchist People's Popular Front of the Republic of Eire, an anti-monarchist, Ottawa-based terrorist cell and the Silver Kings, an Asian-Canadian street gang.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: N'udu in the episode "The Ligerian Candidate." However, he was already Ax-Crazy from the beginning.
  • Busman's Holiday: It was supposed to be Alex's night off during the episode "El Negotiator." Her stubborn idea of having fun anyways is what allows them to subdue the kidnappers in the end.
  • Butt-Monkey: Burt.
  • California Doubling: An only-in-Canada variant — set in Ottawa but filmed in Regina, Saskatchewan.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: When Peter believed Alex was going to die in "Death by Birthday", he tried to tell her his feelings (and he sort of did.) When Alex was going to say something in return, she fainted and when she got better, thanks to Laser-Guided Amnesia, she didn't remember anything at all.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Jojo is a forensic scientist, code cracker, bomb defusal expert, linguist in English, French, German, Italian and Ojibwe and an expert in keeping Burt quiet. She says she can't speak Mandarin Chinese.
  • Child Hater: Jojo doesn't like children (and she doesn't seem to be actively malicious to them, as shown in the episode "Recycle after Reading" and they all seem to adore her.)
    Jojo : Simon says put your birds in the bag.
    Kid: I like you. *tries to hug Jojo*
    Jojo: Simon says don't touch me.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Jojo says she studied forensic sciences at the Science of Forensics and Forensic Sciences. Uh, they sound the SAME!
  • Disproportionate Retribution: N'udu was suggesting this when he lost his scissors after he borrowed it to Cluade once time. Burt... took care of them.
  • Elite Mooks: NISA has a SWAT unit as support to agents.
  • Fake Nationality / Fictional Country: Canadian actor Richard Yearwood plays Benjamin N'udu, who hails from the African nation of Ligeria.
  • Five-Man Band: Comprised of Alex, Jojo, Burt, N'udu, and Claude. Peter is more of a Sixth Ranger, really.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Burt calling the DISA agent, who mentions a handjob. It didn't make Burt anymore comfortable.
    • Happens in a sting operation to arrest Alex's killer with some hilarity in it.
    Claude: "You may want to tie up your hospital gown."
    Benjamin: "Nobody's asking you to look."
    Burt: "And yet I can't turn away."
  • Go Look at the Distraction: Claude does this to the Ghost to allow Alex to subdue him. It didn't work, but Claude was able to disarm Ghost anyway.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: NISA, the agency the main characters work for, is a fictional Canadian intelligence agency based partly on the real CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and on spy agencies as seen on TV. Same with DISA.
  • Highly Conspicuous Uniform: NISA's Dutch rivals (DISA) wear orange bulletproof vests. They admit they lose a lot of agents that way.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Burt when he stole a prototype item from NISA HQ to ensure the safety of his parents from a DISA cell in Ottawa.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: With N'udu after being brainwashed by Ganzi rebels via subliminal message on a phone call.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Alex subduing her kidnapper by smacking her face with a volleyball. When Alex and company were taken hostage by the Mexican Freedom Front, they were suppose to use dental floss, an asthma puffer, saute skewers, and a serving tray to take out the terrorists.
  • Knife Nut: N'udu has a lot of knives ranging from cutting things to open canned items to killing people in covert ops.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: As mentioned above in "Death by Birthday", but also plays a big role in "The Kwan Identity" when Jojo gets it and her new identity (she was undercover as a drug dealer's girlfriend at the time) actually likes Burt. (In the end of the episode, she's back to normal and Burt tries to hit her over the head with a bowling ball.)
  • Manchurian Agent: "The Ligerian Candidate"
  • Mythology Gag: In one episode, a NISA security guard mistakenly calls Claude "Karl". In the original pilot, Remy Girard's character was named Karl Lesage.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted in "The Ghost". Getting the Villain of the Week to, ahem... "pass" a USB drive he swallowed is actually a minor plot point.
    Burt: So, to be clear, we're all just sitting around waiting for this guy to poop?
    Claude: Yep.
    • Alex and the Ghost have both also "never been regular."
  • Not as You Know Them: In an interview video, Alex tells the NISA interview officer that she enjoys working together with her team due to "great chemistry". Let's say that no one in her team backed up on that.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: It's called "The Sun Ain't Shining No More" created by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, the same people who did the music for that Heineken commercial.
  • Tempting Fate: The Ottawa Eight threatens Alex's grandmother with harm, but decides against acting when she tells her story:
    Marjorie Cranston: A Nazi tried to hit me once. I put a dum-dum between his eyes, and his head split open like cheap firewood.
  • The Bet: The entire NISA office betting on when Alex will die.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Parodied when a news report revealed where Alex was "staying" due to injuries from a car bomb. The nurse was not the real killer.
  • Undercover as Lovers: Alex and Peter in "Keeping up with the Laslovs." And then they get drunk.
  • Villain of the Week
  • Villainous Glutton: The Ghost.
  • Western Terrorists: The Ottawa Eight, the Mexican Freedom Front, and the A.M.P.P.F.O.T.R.O.E. or the Anti-Monarchist People's Popular Front of the Republic of Eire (the Irish terrorists in "The Kwan Identity".)
  • What the Hell, Hero?: NISA after they deployed the SWAT team to the wrong place. The news report calls the unit a bunch of "psychopaths".


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