Everything about Featured, eh?

Wynonna Earp: Showrunner Emily Andras sounds off on Season 3

Canadian Wynonna Earp fans have had to wait a few days longer than our friends in the U.S. That’s because Syfy offered up a special preview of “Blood Red and Going Down” this past Monday while those grumpy Guses at Space stuck to their guns (see what I did there?) and are waiting until Friday for us to see it.

Being a member of the media has its advantages. I’ve seen Season 3’s return “Blood Red and Going Down.” Simply put? It’s sublime. After a year away, sliding back into Purgatory alongside Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Doc (Tim Rozon), Dolls (Shamier Anderson), Nicole (Kat Barrell) and Jeremy (Varun Saranga) has been ever so sweet. And with new characters via Kate (Chantel Riley) and big bad Bulshar (Jean Marchand), this pile of episodes promises to be a thrill ride.

We spoke to Wynonna Earp showrunner Emily Andras while we were at the Banff World Media Festival and she had the following to say.

The support behind Wynonna Earp has been incredible, especially from folks like Josh at Syfy.
Emily Andras: Yes, I feel like we are so lucky that we have tapped into something that we just can’t buy, which is kind of fan-driven passion. So I’m so happy people are leaning in. Even the excitement around the trailer, like ‘We trended on Twitter.’ I just think everybody’s kind of having fun with it and being like ‘OK, anticipation, here we go.’

I am constantly fascinated by the passion of the fans and how they really latched on and it’s beloved. So that said, can you not kill anybody on the show now?
EA: I think I have to still make the show be dramatic, how about that? Because … it is still a supernatural show with huge stakes and it’s terrifying. Yes, it’s terrifying, especially when you don’t have Walking Dead numbers. We kind of have a cast of six, maybe eight if you’re doing some funky Canadian TV math. Yeah, it’s incredibly challenging but at the same time, it’s a show about life and death. The metaphor I always use, I drive it into the ground is ‘I’m gonna drive the bus. You can get on the bus, you can be drunk on the bus and probably should be. You can scream at the bus driver, you can get off the bus and flip the bird and say I’m not riding this stupid bus anymore but we can’t all grab the wheel of the bus or the bus is going over a cliff.’ I definitely feel it’s a fascinating time for creators insofar as with so much immediate feedback, does that help or hinder storytelling? I’m like, ‘If Nicole Haught wears the wrong sweater, I’m gonna hear about it. My family is going to have to go to witness protection.

I’m only partially kidding. I went to a panel in Austin and I wanted to be really careful about this. It was about modern fandom and there was a lot of bemoaning from people about ‘Well the fans just don’t understand behind the scenes why decisions were made.’ And so often it’s budget or a network executive or an actor wants to lead is another thing that happens, a ton of times. But at the same time, as the showrunner, I feel like the buck stops with me and that’s the covenant with the fans. I have asked them to be on social media helping me push this delicious content so when they’re unhappy it super sucks but … maybe you just gotta weather it a bit. So remind me I said that. If anything terrible happens this year.

It’s true because you walk that line as a showrunner, a head writer and you’ve got a room full of writers, you’re writing the show for yourselves.
EA: Exactly.

But you also have to walk that fine line with the fans because you want to keep them entertained, you want them in your corner. You don’t want to anger anyone but you also don’t want to make a show that’s just for the fans to keep them happy because then you’ve got a boring show.
EA: Lots of people would like domesticated Wayhaught sitting on the couch making cookies and I’ll try to give you that scene if I can but that is not a Syfy show and Syfy’s not going to want that show. And you’re not actually going to love that show. It’s going into a third season because this is it. In the first season, we made the whole thing. We were running around the woods in Calgary and being like ‘Is there even film in this camera?’ But it kind of felt like we were doing some crazy demon hunting skits in the woods and then it dropped and people liked it.

And then in the second season, people were just so happy to have more of it. But now in the third season, there’s no doubt. People have expectations, people have wants, people have put their hopes and dreams on characters and storylines. I have done this dance before with Lost Girl … with semi-Canadian success comes semi-Canadian responsibly. So I’m ready, but I think the only rule I tell my writers to keep us all grounded when we’re kind of flailing and nervous is the one rule is the story has to be consistent with character.

The characters have to act the way the characters would act. Even if terrible things happened or they make mistakes, or they die, or they break up, or what have you, as long as it feels like, ‘Yes, this character would do it,’ even if you hate their decision as you would hate it if your friend made a terrible decision, I hope to fans are at least like ‘I don’t love this but it still feels like my show.’ That’s the only thing I can try to do. It’s not to do with story for story’s sake but to have it come from who these beloved characters are.

This third season, is this where you’re chugging along like ‘Yeah, this is where I wanted to be’?
EA: Yes, great question. The third season is batshit insane. So we’ll see if people like it. But there’s such a confidence to the performances in particular. It’s so delightful. Everybody just hits the ground running, very few people are pregnant this season, some would say none.

I’m just so incredibly proud of this cast because you feel it in the confidence. And their confidence with the material, their confidence to deliver both wit and quips while fighting a demon and hopefully getting the emotion and ending in tears.

Every year from the writer perspective, you have to be like, ‘How are we gonna up the stakes, what crazy cliffhangers are we gonna have?’ But there is a confidence this year that just feels like if you love the show, I just think you’re going to be so happy from the first moment you see Wynonna to hopefully the last.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.

Blueberry pies and Express Passes on The Amazing Race Canada

Last week’s episode of The Amazing Race Canada unveiled a couple of firsts for this season. The first Express Passes were captured by Nancy and Mel, Anna and Todd and Mar and Leanne, and it was also the first non-Elimination Leg, saving Zainab and Monica from a trip home.

This week the teams headed back to British Columbia and Salt Spring Island’s thriving art scene. Todd and Anna departed first and were feeling confident thanks to their Express Pass. Akash and Joseph, who thought they’d missed the airport in Dawson City, were the first out of the terminal in Vancouver and off to the harbour airport for the quick jaunt to the island. No more flights were going out that night but the two friends were booked for the first one the next morning. Could they turn their luck around this Leg?

I was a little jealous each team had to consume two blueberry pies because they sure looked good. But before Zainab and Monica could chow down they had a Speed Bump to contend with. That involved correctly identifying different kinds of fleur de sel. Because of the editing, it’s hard to tell how long it took them to complete the extra task, but it sure looked like they did it quickly, and using smell alone. Akash and Joseph were the first to finish their pie (Joseph looked like he was going to throw up) and darted to their Chevrolet for an exit. Todd and Anna and Leanne and Mar opted to forgo their pies and used their Express Passes. I think I’d have saved them, but I wasn’t there eating a pie and wondering if I’d ever finish it. Mel and Nancy refused to use their Express Pass, putting them in last place.

Mount Erskine Provincial Park was the next destination and clues behind one of three pint-sized fairy doors. Akash and Joseph teamed with Todd and Anna to find the clues. The weird thing was that, despite the team play, they really couldn’t help each other. You either found a clue card or you didn’t. Akash and Joseph did and grabbed a ferry to Crofton and the Road Block. Because the ferry was small, it potentially meant several trips would be needed to get all of the teams across and a levelling of the playing field. That was integral to Mel and Nancy—who used their Express Pass to skip the fairy door search—and Dylan and Kwame staying in the Race. I can’t remember the last time all of the Express Passes were used in the same Leg.

Next up? A little driving behind the wheel of a Corvette in under three minutes without exceeding 80 km per hour. Todd nailed it, in the rain, his first time and he and Anna left in first place in favour of some quality time with raptors. Courtney the RCMP officer aced her track time but Courtney the nurse did not. Leanne got a green light, as did Joseph. In the end, Nancy and Courtney were the last ones to complete the car test. It’s easy to get down on yourself like Courtney did; kudos to Adam for being supportive.

Meanwhile, Todd and Anna picked up their next Road Block and attempted to tie a knot to hold a bird of prey onto their glove. With teams appearing and taking a shot at the knot, Mar came to Anna’s rescue. Taylor was the first to finish, on his fifth try, and the RCMP officers were off to find Jon on the mat at the Kinsol Trestle Bridge. Leanne and Mar were hot on their tail followed by Anna and Todd. Adam simply nailed the raptor knot in his first try and vaulted he and Courtney into sixth place with Dylan and Kwame in the fifth spot.

Sadly, the knot was Akash’s undoing; he and Joseph were the last team to arrive and were eliminated from the Race. What did you think of this latest episode? Who do you think has the best chance of winning? Would you have used your Express Pass or kept eating the pie? Let me know in the comments below.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:

  1. Courtney and Taylor (trip for two to Boston)
  2. Anna and Todd
  3. Leanne and Mar
  4. Martina and Phil
  5. Dylan and Kwame
  6. Courtney and Adam
  7. Zainab and Monica
  8. Nancy and Mel
  9. Akash and Joseph (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.


TV Eh B Cs podcast 84 — Getting real with Jessica Nahmias

At just 32, Jessica Nahmias is a successful, respected unscripted TV producer who has worked steadily in L.A. and Toronto since she graduated from grad school in 2009.

She originally envisioned herself as an entertainment news reporter, but after a few chance opportunities, she ended up behind the scenes and has made a name for herself working on a list of high-profile reality television shows.

Her CV reads like a reality television lover’s dream: producer on The Bachelor; The Bachelorette; Bachelor in Paradise; Love at First Kiss, the TLC show where strangers kissed with the hope of finding lasting romance; and Yours, Mine or Ours, the Bravo (U.S.) series where cameras follow couples moving in together. Most recently, she is working on Where to I Do?, for Gusto, a series that focuses on helping couples find their perfect wedding venue. On this show, she’s a triple threat as series producer (showrunner), director and overseeing story in post-production. Season 1 is re-airing beginning in July, and Season 2 is now in production.

Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.

Want to support TV, eh?’s work? Become a Patreon!


Comments and queries for the week of July 13

Martina’s funny and a real underdog type [on The Amazing Race Canada]. Although I wonder if giving up her bag will come back to bite her. Maybe weight on a flight? The dance coach was sassy. Funny seeing multiple not even try it although it made things a bit lopsided. An interesting way to split up the Express Passes so one team doesn’t end up with all three like last year. Although they went to frontrunners of the pact anyway. I enjoyed seeing the cheerleaders hike like they were lost for a bit. Two episodes and no credit card action at the airports. Did BMO drop sponsorship this year? Knew it was probably non-elim when they played the heroic music in the ride up. The Starting Line was in B.C., and now an episode in B.C. What is up with the route planning on the show? Last year had weird circling back too. Right now the cheerleaders and cowgirls seem to be strongest. Although either of the teams with a Courtney could pull a dark horse win I feel. —DanAmazing

I thought Chewy and Happy would go farther than Episode 1 too. Was surprised they let Nancy and Mellisa off the gondola first (“Ladies first!”) as it is a race (??) but that just showed chivalry still exists even in competition. This run might be Heroes Edition but quite a few of the couples came off as just regular people who signed up for a physically challenging adventure, i.e., Martina and Phil during the log climb. I felt so sorry for them both but she did it. My arms and legs were feeling her pain watching it on TV. The food bank volunteers also came off as everyday people. Will be rooting for them too. As always, enjoy the scenery of this great country especially some of the places shown I will likely never have opportunity to go. —Tunie

Wow … just found out InnerSpace is gone! Might have to be Space channel GONE from my viewing. —Bruno

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


The Amazing Race Canada: Express Passes in Dawson City

Still smarting after seeing Chewy and Happy eliminated so early on The Amazing Race Canada, I hoped my remaining favourite teams would stick around a little longer, and perhaps win the whole shebang.

Leanne and Mar, who placed first last week and scored a trip for two to Tokyo, tore open the Route Info envelope and revealed the remaining teams were headed to Dawson City, Yukon. Not only would the Leg celebrate the gold rush but three Express Passes were available, meaning some pairs would have a distinct advantage over others and possible partnerships were in play.

Martina and Phil proved to not only be a savvy team but thoughtful too. Realizing they were faster if Phil carried all their gear, they put everything in his knapsack … and gave hers away to someone in need. How can you not cheer for a team who does that? Meanwhile,  Akash and Joseph seemed determined to turn their luck around.

Everyone was on the same plane, so who got into their sponsored vehicle first was key. Well, that and the speed to set up a Woods-themed campsite. The duo to manage that would score $5,000 from the tent company. Todd and Anna led the charge to the mining camp followed by three teams. Courtney and Adam were confident their outdoor background would serve them well. As for Akash and Joseph? They forgot their tent back at the airport. Todd and Anna completed the task first, collecting the next clue and $5,000. Kwame and Dylan were done next, followed by lovebirds Courtney and Adam and Mellisa and Nancy.

A modern-day gold rush experience was next, as teams used GPS to navigate to nine locations in Dawson City, collect five gold coins and return them to the bank to cash in their next clue. Of the remaining four locations were three Express Passes. Nancy and Mel snagged the first Express Pass. Anna and Todd’s strong effort was paid off when they got the second Express Pass and were first to cash in their coins. I have a feeling Anna and Todd are going to be sneaky tough this season. A flurry of gold coin-carrying teams rolled through the test. And Mar and Leanne’s perseverance paid off when a long walk netted them the final Express Pass.

A Detour had squads choosing between dealing blackjack or dancing the can-can on stage in burlesque costumes. (I would have done the latter.) Anna and Todd opted for blackjack and he sped through his half thanks to playing online and with his friends. Anna’s math skills let her down the first time but she succeeded in try No. 2. Courtney and Adam chose to dance, meaning he had to squeeze into an orange and black outfit. He was, predictably, terrible and the smooching twosome switched challenges.

The Leg’s Pit Stop was located at the top of Midnight Dome where Jon welcomed Todd and Anna and awarded them with a trip to France. A flurry of kicking legs and dealt cards followed as the rest of the teams checked in, with Mellisa and Nancy coming on strong, followed by Taylor and Courtney, Mar and Leanne and the rest. Zainab and Monica just couldn’t get out of their funk and arrived on the mat in last place … only to be informed this was a non-elimination Leg. The pair will have to complete an extra test in the next Leg and should be thanking their lucky stars the producers gave them a break so early in the season.

Who do you think has the best chance to win this season? Who are your favourite teams? Let me know in the comments below.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:

  1. Todd and Anna (Express Pass and won a trip for two to the south of France)
  2. Nancy and Mellisa (Express Pass)
  3. Taylor and Courtney
  4. Mar and Leanne (Express Pass)
  5. Dylan and Kwame
  6. Martina and Phil
  7. Adam and Courtney
  8. Joseph and Akash
  9. Zainab and Monica (non-elimination Leg)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.