Follow the work of the men and women who protect Canada's borders.
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Follow the work of the men and women who protect Canada's borders.

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6 September 2012 (Canada)  »

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Airport Security Canada  »

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Filmed mainly in Vancouver and Toronto Airports as well as land crossings in British Columbia See more »

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Dull and repetitive
4 September 2013 | by See all my reviews

"Border Security: Canada's Front Line" is a reality-based series that features Canada Border Services officers going about their day-to-day duties. They question passengers about the contents of their luggage, their reasons for coming to Canada, and how long they're staying for. Oh yeah, they also open boxes at airport cargo terminals in an attempt to find suspicious contraband. If this sounds interesting to you - read on.

The premise of the show isn't completely dull - there is some potential there, but the series shoots itself in the foot by churning out episodes that are exactly the same. Like every other reality show out there, it sticks to a rigid formula which makes the individual episodes indistinguishable from one another. The same basic cases appear over-and-over again:

1. Somebody attempts to enter Canada to secure employment - only they have no work permit. The red flag? They have a one-way ticket and a ton of luggage filled with work related material.

2. An American citizen with a criminal record tries to cross the border not realizing that his prior record makes him inadmissible to Canada.

3. A foreign citizen attempts to clear customs while carrying food items brought from their native country.

4. A passenger has just deplaned and they're carrying a large wad of cash which they may or may not have declared. CBSA now have to determine if the cash is from proceeds of crime.

5. A suspicious package in the cargo hold - get the detector dogs!

Each episode features five or six cases similar to what I described above. The cases are not shown one-by-one complete, they are annoyingly broken up into two or three minute segments as the episode jumps back-and-forth between each part and when it comes back to a previous segment, they have to recap everything that's happened so far. Like most shows on the air these days, it is edited and narrated for the benefit of the channel flipper whose attention span cannot last for an entire half-hour. It caters to the people that are not watching it as opposed to the people that are.

"Border Security" is great primer for anyone that plans on travelling to Canada (or any other country) so they know what to expect at the border or the airports. It's also a cautionary tool to prepare anyone who plans on coming to Canada to work. It's more of a "how-to" or "what-not-to-do" than it is great entertainment.

It's funny that this series depicts Canada as being so reluctant to accept foreign workers that could take employment away from Canadian citizens but they use, "Would I Lie to You?" by The Eurythmics (a British group) as their theme song.


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