All posts by Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.

Letterkenny introduces new characters in snowy Season 3

The world of Letterkenny is expanding in Season 3, and switching up the setting too. It’s the mark of a program that has got its base fully established and mixing things up to keep things interesting for those working on it and the fans.

With six new episodes of Letterkenny arriving Saturday, July 1, on CraveTV, the ludicrousness and hilarity continues in that small Ontario town of 5,000 where the Skids, Hockey Players and Hicks interact among their own groups and sometimes with each other. Summer on the farm at the produce stand (where nothing is ever sold, it seems) is swapped out for winter at a fishing shack. Wayne (Jared Keeso), Dan (K. Trevor Wilson) and Daryl (Nathan Dales) are decked out in bright snowmobile outfits and straddling roaring machines out in the brush, drinking and discussing hifalutin topics like when farts are allowed to be ripped. (Inside the fishing shack? Hard no.) Katy (Michelle Mylett), meanwhile, has returned home from a modelling gig accompanied by new male friends with major self-esteem issues.

As for Jonesy (Dylan Playfair) and Reilly (Andrew Herr), things are looking up for the hockey players, who have become a major hit with the fans and their coach (Mark Forward is back, thank goodness). Finally, the Skids—led by Stewart (Tyler Johnston)—are in disarray following the departure of a key member until a gal named Gae (Sarah Gadon) wanders into their midst.

Die-hard fans of Letterkenny will be thrilled the humour and catchphrases that make the series so darned good is still intact. Dan, in particular is a hoot, first in Episode 1 when he chides Wayne and Daryl for adding unnecessary eses to several words and at the beginning of Episode 3. The standout episode for me is the fourth, with a truly outrageous and gut-busting scenario involving some folks from Quebec who bear a striking resemblance to Wayne and his crew. (And as funny as Keeso and Jacob Tierney’s scripts are, I find myself laughing out loud at Keeso’s silent facial expressions as Wayne.)

Punches are thrown, beers are consumed, insults are thrown, the soundtrack is crunchy, innuendoes are suggested, butt talk is approached and farts are ripped. Oh Canada, Letterkenny is back.

Season 3 of Letterkenny is available on CraveTV this Saturday. Previous seasons are available on CraveTV.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.

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Help us help Kids 2017: Contributions being accepted for TV, Eh?’s charity auction

It’s back! In what has proudly become a yearly event, it’s time once again for our charity auction in support of Kids Help Phone. All of the proceeds go to the free, anonymous and confidential phone and on-line professional counselling service for youth.

In advance of the auction launch on Friday, August 4, we are asking for contributions to the cause—especially TV-related swag or experiences, but anything that might grab the interest of our readers. Past years have seen set visits, wristbands to the MMVAs, DVD packs, CBC swag, advice from Canadian television writers in Toronto and Vancouver, magazine subscriptions, signed scripts and more!

If you or your organization have items or experiences you can contribute, please contact me at greg.david@tv-eh.com. And look for the auction to go live on August 4!

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Dark Matter: Five for fighting

Whoa, last Friday’s episode of Dark Matter was really something, wasn’t it? Aside from the countless humorous moments courtesy of Three we got a sobering peek at what the future looks like thanks to The Android’s conversation with future Five. “All the Time in the World” really was a landmark instalment for the series and now we’re itching to discover if that dire future is really what’s in store or if the timeline can be changed.

So, what does this week’s new episode “Give It Up Princess”—written by Paul Mullie and directed by Bitten‘s J. B. Sugar—have in store? Here’s the official description:

The crew of the Raza track a data file across the galaxy in an attempt to strike a blow against Ferrous and save the life of a young woman.

And we’ve got more tidbits after watching the episode!

Five gets physical
She’s pretty great handling weapons, but Solara believes hand-to-hand combat is just as important. That leads to an interesting and emotional back story tale from Solara that makes us like her even more than we already did. As for Five, she gets to flex her comic muscles a bit this week and is a key component to the A-plot.

Where is Tabor?
The search takes the Raza to a planet where Tabor has a safe house with treasured items secreted away there. Of course, Adrian’s eagerness to go there puts everyone’s lives in jeopardy. What would Dark Matter be without drama?

MMA fighter lands guest role
British mixed martial arts athlete Michael Bisping drops into the world of Dark Matter on Friday in a key role. Does he perform any signature moves on our heroes? You’ll have to tune in to see.

As for The Android and that red dress…
We’re speechless.

Dark Matter airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Canada’s independent producers, performers and directors petition Minister Joly to reject CRTC decision

From a media release:

Today the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) submitted a joint petition to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, asking her to set aside, or refer back, the CRTC’s Group Licence Renewal decisions for Canada’s large television broadcasters, released last month.

Across the production sector, Canada’s creator community shares deep concerns about the damaging impact of these decisions. An independent analysis commissioned by the CMPA found that the CRTC’s decision to decrease the required amount broadcasters must spend on Canadian Programs of National Interest (PNI) will likely result in a drop of more than $900 million in production volume, causing a cumulative economic reduction of $1.15 billion in GDP over the five-year period during which the broadcasters’ licences will be in place. A backgrounder summarizing these findings is available here.

If these decisions are allowed to stand, the required PNI spend for channels operated by Rogers, Corus and Bell, will fall to just five per cent, having a severe negative impact on the production of Canadian television dramas, comedies, children’s programming, long-form documentaries, variety and performing arts shows,  and on the health and productivity of our sector as a whole.

In addition to greatly reduced PNI spending, the joint petition objects to the CRTC’s decision to remove evening exhibition requirements for the broadcasters’ discretionary services and the negative consequences of the CRTC’s failure to address the erosion of independently-produced programming.

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CBC’s Mr. D is back in Halifax as cameras roll on Season 7

From a media release:

Principal photography on Season 7 (11 x 30) of CBC’s original comedy series Mr. D – starring comedian Gerry Dee – is now under way in and around Halifax until mid-August. The new season will premiere in fall 2017 on CBC.  

Exploring the staff and student dynamics at a private school, Mr. D is based on the stand-up comedy act of Dee, who was a teacher for nine years before transitioning to a career in comedy. The series revolves around the eponymous Mr. D, an under-qualified and unmotivated teacher trying to fake his way through work – and life.

In the Season 6 finale, Gerry Duncan (Gerry Dee) seems to be on the upswing as he unloads wife Lisa (Lauren Hammersley) and lands his dream job – head of the Phys. Ed department. But does getting burned by Gerry and abruptly leaving her job as Principal signal the end of Lisa Mason? Better not count on it.

In Season 7, Gerry realizes Phys. Ed is not all fun and games; Robert (Jonathan Torrens) and Bobbi (Naomi Snieckus) navigate parenthood; Simon (Mark Little) and Nisha (Emma Hunter) get more physical in their new relationship; new Economics teacher Dave (guest star Dave Merheje) tries to inspire his students; and Lisa does whatever she can to return to Xavier Academy.  

Mr. D also stars Bette MacDonald (Trudy), Darrin Rose (Bill), Wes Williams (Paul), Suresh John (Malik), Kathleen Phillips (Emma), and Bill Wood (Frank), with season 7 guest stars to be announced at a later date.

A CBC original series, Mr. D is produced by Topsail Productions Limited and Gerard ADHD Entertainment Inc. and distributed worldwide by Entertainment One Television International Ltd.

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