Canadian content requirements are responsible for a huge part of my childhood development. Some were amazing (Degrassi). Some were less so (I can’t think of anything specific right now, but I know there are many). Some were just plain strange. One of these latter installments comes in the form of Harriet’s Magic Hats. When I hear the name Harriet, I immediately think of this show. Now, this was an Access TV program, so not really surprised that it was so weird. We’re talking tiny budgets here. Tiny budgets trying to be entertaining are sometimes painful. But somehow, this show lasted for four seasons in the early 80s.
In fifteen minutes installments, the viewer hung out with a woman named Harriet and her magical hats. The name is really bang on. It tells you everything you need to know. Her nieces or whoever came to visit, picked a hat, and as soon as she put it on, was transported to whatever profession was associated with the hat. I don’t know exactly where this show was filmed, but It may have been Alberta. We were one of only two provinces where the show aired – and there were a butt-ton of episodes related to farming and farming related activities. Although, it seems much more likely that it was filmed in Ontario (the other place it aired). Ontario got all the stuff back then.
I remember a grainery episode, one about the railroad, and I think maybe one about coffee. I distinctly remember watching something about coffee beans when I was a kid. Maybe it was another show… the more I think about it, the more I might be remembering something on the food channel during a hangover fog. Anyway, lots of shows for kids focused on future careers and whatnot, but Harriet also had some creepy parrot that was part of the show. I really have no idea what the parrot had to do with the show other than kidding it up. Except the vet episode – that connection is pretty clear.
I don’t know why this show came up, but it’s one of those ‘haven’t thought about it in years and years and then it comes up once and suddenly it comes up multiple times in a short period’ things. I’ve had this stupid song stuck in my head for a week.
Let’s take a look at some of the awesome careers Harriet introduced to us:
Veterinarian (one of the earliest episodes)
Rodeo Cowboy (this was one where a new niece was introduced to the hats!)
District Home Economist… (something for everyone)
Did anyone else watch this weirdness?