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Mohawk Girls: Pocahottie

This week on Mohawk Girls, we really begin to dig in, but we have a long way to go before the series wraps. I figure in order to have satisfactory closure a few things need to happen:

  1. Caitlin (Heather White) has to come to some type of reckoning with Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother) OR Butterhead needs to experience some kind of epiphany. Either way, something there has to give.
  2. Zoe (Brittany LeBorgne) needs to  come to understand how best to cope with her anger.
  3. Bailey (Jenny Pudavick) needs to decide which is more important, her own happiness or her responsibility to the band.
  4. And finally, Anna needs to find her place in Kahnawa:ke.

That all said, let’s take a quick look back on what happened this week on Mohawk Girls.

Caitlin (Heather White) is a two-timer! She can’t quite bring herself to break things off with Luscious Leon (Dwain Murphy), even though she is definitely back with Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother). She just couldn’t  bring herself to end things. And after Butterhead lashed out at her, Caitlin ran back to Leon’s arms.

Anna (Maika Harper) discovered, quite by happenstance, a Mohawk Culture class for young girls. So donning her guileless ‘Hat Girl’  ways, she asked if she could join in.  The classes focused on peace, love, respect and courage which left Anna questioning her role particularly with respect to her boyfriend Midas (Tanner Novlan) and bar buddy Iostha (Ally Pratt). But after another evening at the bar, Iostha had Anna on side to oust the Mohawk traitors, including Bailey.

Zoe (Brittany LeBorgne) reached a milestone in her therapy.  She’s allowed to return home for short visits, so long as there was a support system in place. Since her parents were still not speaking to her, that responsibility naturally fell to Caitlin. But all of this talk of self-love piqued Caitlin’s interest. Still stung from Butterhead’s verbal attack, Caitlin’s gears were turning. Maybe, just maybe, this self-love stuff will fortify her relationship with Butterhead? Or at the very least help her cope with her fear of breaking up with Leon? At any rate, the two buddy up to work through the workbook. Next step? Zoe needed to face her fear of her community. Where best to do that in Kahnawa:ke? The coffee shop. However, Ohserase (Shawn Youngchief) also happened to be there. That proved too much too soon for Zoe and she ran, tail between her legs.

We also saw a sexy little side story develop with Zoe, because after all, what would Mohawk Girls be without a bit of sexy Zoe? Sparks started to fly last week with fellow patient Phillip (Max E. Williams), also a self-proclaimed sex addict with a proclivity for knife play. That thrill and the danger cut a little too close for Zoe and she was definitely tempted. But will this temptation prove too much for Zoe’s recovery?

And while all of this self-discovery/healing on the part of Caitlin, Zoe and Anna was taking place, Bailey (Jenny Pudavick) was preparing to meet James’s (Jeffrey Wetsch) family; his father Charles (Vlasta Vrana) and none other than head writer Cynthia Knight as James’ sister Charlotte! Wanting to put her best foot forward, and armour herself, Bailey dove into Auntie Velma’s closet for something suitable to wear. However, upon meeting James’s family, Bailey completely lost her cool. Conversation quickly turned to a debate on whether or not cultural appropriation is equivalent to cultural appreciation upon her discovery of Charles’ Indigenous art collection. Operation “meet the family” became operation “fail.”

So where are we now? Anna has sided with Iostha as they plan to oust Bailey for dating James, James and Bailey appear to be on shaky ground following Bailey’s outburst, Caitlin still has not broken up with Leon and Zoe is lusting after Phillip. Seems we still have a lot of balls up in the air!

What do you think is next for our fab four? Let me know in the comments below.

Mohawk Girls airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on APTN.

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Humour and heart at the centre of Russell Peters’ The Indian Detective

There’s a definite Beverly Hills Cop vibe to The Indian Detective and that’s a good thing.

Debuting Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, Russell Peters stars as Doug D’Mello, a Toronto cop who stumbles upon a murder case while visiting his father, Stanley (Anupam Kher) in Mumbai. Like Eddie Murphy’s Detroit-raised Axel Foley does in Beverly Hills, Doug finds himself woefully out of place in India, despite his heritage. But his wit and charm—not to mention some pretty decent detective work—woos legal-aid lawyer Priya (Mishqah Parthiephal) as the pair investigate dirty dealings in India that reach back to Toronto and involve twin gangsters Gopal and Amal (Hazma Haq) and real estate developer David Marlowe (William Shatner).

Written by Frank Spotnitz and Smita Bhide and executive-produced by Spotnitz, Lance Samuels, Daniel Iron, Mark Burton, Clayton Peters, Paul Canterna and Russell Peters, the four-episode The Indian Detective isn’t just a vehicle for the Canadian stand-up comedian to mug through. He’s emoting folks, making Doug an interesting and multifaceted character who uses his quips to great effect.

We spoke to Peters about the development, tone and future of The Indian Detective.

I’ve watched the first two episodes and I really enjoyed them.
Russell Peters: Thanks. Episode 3 is really good. I’ve watched all four and Episode 3 is my favourite.

You said, in another interview, that you were leery of the process of being cast in something where you weren’t playing yourself. Why the concern?
It wasn’t that I was leery about playing somebody else. I understand that that’s acting. But, if they want me to tone down myself … you don’t hire Vince Vaughan to be somebody else. You hire Vince Vaughan because of his personality … hence the same thing with me. I’m not putting myself in the same category as Vince, but it’s that kind of thing. I’m me, and people want to see me be me. But, I can be me and be somebody else at the same time.

Doug is an instantly likable character. There are a lot of laughs, but there is also a lot of heart and drama to this show. 
The way I had it planned is that it would have more dramatic moments and then the network wanted it to be funnier. I’ll be honest, I’m glad they went with their instincts over mine because it did work out better.

Were some of the funny lines ad-libbed?
I would say 90 to 95 per cent of those lines were ad-libbed. You can tell because they flow a lot easier out of my mouth than some of the other words.

Can you talk a little bit about the scripts written by Frank and Smita?
Frank and Smita came to my house a few years ago, and we were trying to determine what the direction of the show was going to be. Then they came to us about a year later with the scripts. I had actually forgotten about it by then. I always kept forgetting about it because I was doing other things and said, ‘OK, well, let me know when we’re going to shoot it.’ And then, last year, my brother said, ‘Remember that show? They’re getting ready to shot.’ I said, ‘With who?’ And he said, ‘You, you idiot.’

 

It proves, once again, how long television development can take.
It’s like a teenaged boy’s voice; it takes a long time to develop.

The first episode really immerses the viewer in Mumbai and India overall. You really get a taste of the music, the food, the colours and the vibe. Was that important?
It was very important to me and that was one of the things I kept saying was ‘We can’t fake Mumbai.’ It’s impossible to fake. And, even the times that we did fake it on set, our set designer was amazing because we interspliced the fake Mumbai with the real Mumbai and you can’t tell which is which.

What was it like filming in Mumbai and Cape Town?
Cape Town was the long one, that was two months. Mumbai was only a week and Toronto was two weeks. But Cape Town was amazing. So much fun. We worked six days a week, 14 hours a day, but I still loved it.

Let’s discuss the characters a bit. By Episode 2, it would appear Priya and Doug have a connection. Is there romance by the end of Episode 4?
The second you see Priya on screen, you immediately want to be with her too. It’s the TV world. Where else can a guy that looks like me end up with a girl like that than in the world of TV? Because in real life I don’t think she wanted to stare at me once.

And William Shatner?
Shatner, first of all, is 82 years old. He doesn’t look it at all. He looks like a 62-year-old that says, ‘You want to go and pound some scotch?’ He was so nice, so professional, so cool. We’re filming and he’s doing his lines and I forgot we were shooting a TV show. I’m like, ‘Damn, that guy looks just like William Shatner.’ [Laughs.] He says his line and he’s just staring at me and I’m like, ‘Oh, can I get my line again, please?’ I’m sure he thought I was a complete f–king moron. I got a little star-struck.

The Indian Detective is four episodes. Could there be more?
When you do see Episode 4, we leave it a little open.

The Indian Detective airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

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Comments and queries for the week of November 17

[Massive Monster Mayhem] rules!! Honestly, super creative and engaging and I’m surprised they still make shows like this. I remember stuff like Legends of Hidden Temple and Zoom and whatnot from when I was a kid. This is super cool that they still do this. —Joshua


This episode [of Murdoch Mysteries] was absolutely devastating. I cried—and I couldn’t stop thinking about it even the next day. Masterful performances and a brilliant script. But please, don’t make this kind of intense emotional episode a habit! It was almost too much! —Tim

Wow, so entertaining! Just had me glued to the screen tonight. Could not wait until the end … amazing how they get the audience hooked to this episode by not revealing what we all wanted to know until the very last few seconds. So incredibly well done, so very well-acted by the two actors playing Mr. Dilbert and Mildred … had me in tears. Thank you writers, cast, production and all crew involved. No other show comes close to this. —Rhonda

A dark, terrible episode. I’m sorry I watched it rather than turning off the TV. Maybe it’s me, I found the whole thing very upsetting, and quite disturbing. I was vividly reminded of what I believe to be true. I used to work in a Canadian Pacific railway yard and heard a story of a switching crew employee who was crushed between two rail cars. It can happen in a moment of carelessness. He was alive—pulling the cars apart was not an option. A trauma surgeon was called, and the doctor injected him with a large dose of morphine. Then the locomotive pulled the cars apart. Unconscious, the poor man died instantly of massive crushing injuries to his abdomen. I’ve lived with that indelible image in my mind for a long time. I liked Dilbert’s character. The writers never developed it. We see a sad; tender side of him fatally pinned between a car and trolley. So, instead of giving us more of Dilbert they literally crush him to death and we watch him suffer as he comes to terms with his imminent, tragic, pointless death. I have seen every episode; always enjoyable. But not this one. —Brian

I’m glad Pedersen acknowledged the Homicide: Life on the Street episode because that was what I thought of right away. Great job Murdoch! —Chris

 

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

 

 

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Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries delivers a solid right hook in Episode 3

With two weeks of episodes under our stylish belts, we can say Frankie Drake Mysteries is firing on all cylinders. Flo is a hoot, Frankie is fabulous, Trudy is terrific and Mary is magnificent. Seriously, this series looks as though it’s been on the air for two seasons, not just two episodes, so congratulations to co-creators Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, showrunner Cal Coons and the rest of the cast and crew for making Frankie Drake so great.

Now, on to Episode 3, “Summer in the City,” written by Carol Hay and directed by Norma Bailey. Here’s what the CBC has released regarding Monday’s episode synopsis:

When a body is found in a young man’s trunk, the case brings Frankie and Trudy into Toronto’s elite social circles.

And here’s some more intel after watching a screener of the episode.

Rebecca Liddiard is has a comic gift
Liddiard has been all over our television screen of late thanks to Houdini & Doyle, Alias Grace, Slasher: Guilty Party and now Frankie Drake Mysteries. Her Mary is a delightful whirlwind of energy, innocence and flailing limbs that we can’t get enough of. Look for our interview with Liddiard in the coming days.

Welcome Emmanuel Kabongo and Grace Lynn Kung
Kabongo (21 Thunder) appears as boxer Moses Page who is training to fight real-life pugilist Jack Dempsey, while Kung (Mary Kills People) is Wendy Quon, who runs the local speakeasy.

Frankie & Hemingway create sparks
There was a definite connection between the two the first time we saw Frankie and Ernest Hemingway (Steve Lund) converse and there is more of that on Monday night thanks via sarcasm, snark and plenty of side-eye.

Trudy sings!
We were thrilled to see Carol Hay’s script offered the chance for Chantel Riley to step behind the mic for a little somethin’ somethin’. Fingers crossed there’s more of that to come in Season 1.

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.

 

 

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Mohawk Girls: All that glitters is not gold!

The Season 5 premiere episode of Mohawk Girls was firing on all cylinders! We have waited almost a year for their return, but the action picked up only one week following the “PowWow,” so I am going to jump right on in.

All evidence appeared to suggest that Anna (Maika Harper) had finally conformed enough to secure a spot in the world of Kahnawa:ke.  In a constant state of defending her man Midas (Tanner Novlan) from the hoe-bags, she was feeling the effects of the Blow Job King’s quota: “Midas’itus.” Anna turned to Iostha (Allyson Pratt) to glean some advice for tackling the tube steak that included such varied techniques as feigning a cold, and flavoured lube to make the task more … ummmm … palatable? Seems Anna has a hard task ahead to hold her position. Is “Hat Girl” is really and truly gone?

Next, we visited with Zoe (Brittany LeBorgne) during some of her sessions in rehab. And true to form, she had a difficult time relinquishing control of her feelings. That control became ever so clear during her art therapy workshop. But the therapist saw through her. Apparently, she didn’t paint “her truth.” She popped off a second attempt and yielded a result that demonstrated her deep anger. Perhaps this was the tipping point Zoe needed as she finally let down her barriers and got to the root of her issues? In a long-winded rant, Zoe revealed how angry she has been towards her parents for most of her life. “Maybe, I’d know what I was angry about if I ever got to lead my own life. But, I always had to be ‘role model Zoe’ and ‘perfect daughter, Zoe’ so that everyone liked me and respected me and thought I was doing enough for my community …. I hate my life!” I’d say Zoe revealed her truth!

Meanwhile, Caitlin (Heather White) was once again settling into her role as Butterhead’s (Meegwun Fairbrother) girlfriend whilst dodging messages from Leon (Dwain Murphy). The town seemed happy about her decision to get back with Butterhead, and even her old boss Suzette came by to offer her her old job back. And apparently, Butterhead was also adjusting to his role of boyfriend. He made Caitlin breakfast! An extra bonus for Caitlin came in the form of an “I love you, Caitlin,” from Butterhead’s daughter. But that moment was quickly dashed. Instead of the family staying in, the old Butterhead was back and headed out to party with the boys. Once again Caitlin was left to babysit. One step forward, three steps back, or so it seems for Caitlin.

Finally, we caught up with Bailey (Jenny Pudavick), who had just returned from her dream vacation to Paris with James (Jeffrey Wetsch). However, the girls didn’t give her much of a chance to bask in her happiness and quickly dampened her sparkle. In constant defence of James, Bailey was most brutally attacked by Iostha. The town was not taking kindly to her choice in men. But ever the amazing guy, James tried to ease her mind, and prepared a spread reminiscent of Paris rekindling Bailey’s shimmer! I think we all need an  Auntie Velma (Ashley Michaels) in our lives! Best advice ever: find a partner that makes you sparkle!

This episode really felt as though we have come full circle, back to where we began in Season 1: Bailey filled with wanderlust and defending her choice to date a white guy, Anna still trying to fit in in all the wrong ways and Caitlin looking for love from Butterhead but instead just making excuses for him. Ironically, it is only Zoe who, in Season 1 was just beginning to delve into the world of her sex addiction, has made any real progress through therapy.

How do you feel about the return of our lovely ladies? Let me know in the comments below.

Mohawk Girls airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on APTN

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