After the wave of plastic surgery shows swept across the United States, it’s finally crossing the line. But it’s with a changed face that hits Quebec.
Posted at 6:23 am
From Extreme Makeover to bungling to Skin Decision – Before and After, Dr. 90210 and Bridalplasty, reality shows about physical transformation, monopolized the airwaves of the specialty networks in Uncle Sam’s land for years.
The genre took time to penetrate the Belle Province. Channels seem determined to make up for lost time, however, as three of them have filled their programs with original productions dealing with the issue in recent months.
“Quebec viewers’ curiosity was still going strong,” notes Anne Fortin, content producer of Injections and bistouris, a documentary series currently airing on Canal Vie.
Plastic surgery has always fascinated people. We judge, we wonder, we want to know.
Anne Fortin, content producer of injections and scalpels
Directed by Mathieu Arsenault and Mathieu Vachon, the second season of Injections and Scalpels confirms that nothing is impossible in medical-aesthetic care. Or almost. Last week, the series produced by Trinome & Filles (Presumed Innocent) detailed a 25-year-old young woman’s forehead reduction.
For Karina Marceau, pilot and director of Rebuild the body at AMI-télé, the “essential television nature” of the theme explains part of its appeal. “We live in a culture of images,” specifies the journalist and director. The image is omnipresent. And every year it gets worse. »
After two and a half years of work, this immersion series focuses on functional plastic surgeries, that is, those performed as a result of an accident, illness or congenital condition. Since January, you can follow the journey of half a dozen patients, including Marc, a truck driver from Saint-Hyacinthe who got a facial prosthesis after suffering from fulgurating sinus cancer.
Information takes precedence
Productions in Quebec that focus on plastic surgery differ from American programs that focus on the same subject, we find. In Botched, for example, we follow two wealthy Californian doctors who repair damaged body parts after failed surgeries. We show deformed breasts, deformed noses or lips swollen to the point of bursting.
“These emissions show the scaly shoals,” says cosmetic surgeon Benoit LeBlanc, featured in Injections and Scalpels. You want to stimulate the imagination. You want to shock. Quebec programming seems to have a slightly more informative side than entertainment. Of course, there has to be an entertaining component or no one would be listening. But those from the United States are sensationalists. They want to make a fuss. »
The same goes for Zone 3’s Luc Rousseau, producer of Plastic Surgery: Rebuilding Life, an original series that examines patients who are victims of cancer or accidents and wish to return to normal life. “Our series has nothing to do with failed surgery shows. We have never shown how to preserve eternal youth. Those who watch us do so because they are interested in advances in medicine, on the human side. »
I like to think that Quebec viewers are sophisticated. I like to think that they want to learn and not just satisfy their voyeuristic needs.
Luc Rousseau, producer of Plastic Surgery: Rebuilding Life
The plethora of plastic surgery shows could break many taboos and preconceived notions about people undergoing this type of procedure. At least that’s what content producer Annie Fortin experienced when she first started working on injections and scalpels.
“Before, I was on the other end of the spectrum, full of prejudice. I thought we would only get dancers to compete. In my eyes, cosmetic surgery was often gross: big breasts, big buttocks… But once I started meeting patients, my vision completely changed. There are many reasons to consider cosmetic surgery. Sometimes people cry with joy after surgery because they got rid of a horrible complex they have had for years. »
It is an extremely human issue and not superficial at all. I thought it was the opposite.
Annie Fortin, content producer of injections and scalpels
According to Karina Marceau, who underwent three plastic surgeries herself after suffering from thyroid disease, we must appreciate the “educational” value of Quebec productions. They help to combat stereotypes, she emphasizes. “Neophytes believe that a plastic surgeon simply redefines breasts. It is wrong. You can reconstruct all kinds of body parts. »
dr Benoit LeBlanc has also agreed to appear in injections and scalpels to deconstruct stereotypes. “I saw it as an opportunity to demystify surgery, to show the aspect a little less glamorously, to show something different than a series of patients with megaprostheses.
“About 15 years ago, people thought it was only very rich people who tried plastic surgery,” he adds. But it’s wrong. At least less than before. Today, the people accessing aesthetic services are Mr. and Mrs. Everyone. »
AMI-tv presents Rebuilding the Body on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Episodes can be caught up on amitele.ca and will re-air later in 2023 on ICI Explora. Canal Vie airs injections and scalpels on Mondays at 7:30pm Moi et Cie has commissioned a new season of Plastic Surgery: Restoring Life.