Everything about Letterkenny, eh?

Link: ‘Letterkenny’ fans get season 2 Christmas gift

From Bill Brioux of The Canadian Press:

Link: ‘Letterkenny’ fans get season 2 Christmas gift
As sure as God’s got sandals, “Letterkenny” is back for a second season.

Fans who have been waiting since February for more snarky small-town Ontario adventures from Wayne (Jared Keeso), Daryl (Nathan Dales) and Squirrelly Dan (K Trevor Wilson) are getting a nice gift in their Christmas stocking. Six new episodes premiere on Christmas Day on CraveTV. Continue reading.

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Letterkenny’s K. Trevor Wilson teases Season 2

It sounds like the type of thing that would happen in a Letterkenny storyline at Modean’s, but K. Trevor Wilson’s experience in a Montreal bathroom is fact. He scored a Jan. 4 booking on Jimmy Kimmel Live! moments after relieving himself.

“I was invited to be the Canadian participant in the Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle tournaments at Just for Laughs and went up against Tony Hinchcliffe and the judges were Seth Rogen and Jimmy Kimmel,” Wilson recalls. “After, I had a very good chat with Jimmy in the men’s room. I was leaving and he was coming in. I found myself locked in a conversation with a man who was peeing. Great chat, but always awkward when one of you has their penis in their hand.” The next day, he was contacted by the show and the ball started rolling on his late-night TV gig.

And while we’ll be tuning in on Jan. 4, it’s what’s happening on Dec. 25 that has us really pumped. That’s when the six Season 2 episodes of Letterkenny drop on CraveTV, spotlighting the hicks, skids and hockey players living in a small town where drinks are consumed, smokes are tossed, fights are brewing and chirping is an art form. In fact, the first two minutes of Episode 1, “A Fuss at the AG Hall,” are spent following Wayne (Jared Keeso) as he spouts insults into the camera while Daryl (Nathan Dales) rates them. (Check out the footage below.) Wilson reprises his role as “Squirrelly” Dan, an overall-wearing hick who has an interesting way of speaking. Adding an “s” to most of Dan’s dialogue was something Wilson came up with on his own, and series creator and co-writer Keeso insisted he keep doing.

“It was in there, in the writing, that Dan was in there with the other hicks,” Wilson says. “I wanted to do something that Jared and Nate weren’t already doing with their characters and something I noticed while touring small towns doing standup was there was always a guy who turned things into a plural and doesn’t quite know all of the pronunciation. Jared came up to me afterwards and said, ‘That’s what I want you to do. Keep messing up the words.'”

Season 2 of Letterkenny witnesses several characters at a crossroads in their lives. Wayne is looking for romance, head skid Stewart (Tyler Johnson) is dating Wayne’s sister, Katy (Michelle Mylett), putting him at odds with fellow skids Devon (Alexander De Jordy) and Roald (Evan Stern). Wilson says Wayne’s journey means the Dan and Daryl dynamic is explored and the pair get into some ridiculous situations. Meanwhile, hockey players Jonesy (Dylan Playfair) and Reilly (Andrew Herr) joined the senior hockey team and find themselves targetted for the sort of abuse they’re used to doling out.

McMurray (Dan Petronijevic) returns in a more expanded role in Season 2, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. McMurray (Melanie Scrofano); the pair go head-to-head with Wayne in Episode 1 over who should be in charge of Letterkenny’s agricultural society.

With Season 3 set to begin production in February, Wilson’s standup career means he’s been on the front line and experienced immediate feedback when he’s been approached by Letterkenny fans after standup gigs.

“Now people are trekking long distances to see the show because they’ve discovered me from Letterkenny,” he says. “I did a show in Ottawa and a family drove in from New Brunswick. They were going to drive in to see the capital and the guy from Letterkenny do standup.”

Season 2 of Letterkenny debuts Sunday, Dec. 25, on CraveTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Link: Letterkenny is as Canadian as it gets

From Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star:

Link: Letterkenny is as Canadian as it gets
“I’m kind of living the dream there; I get to make a TV show and cast all my buddies.” Continue reading. 

From David Berry of the National Post:

How Letterkenny puts the mythos of the Canadian dirtbag to bed
Season two of Letterkenny opens with a bit of alphabetic acrobatics as our heroes Wayne (Jared Keeso) and Daryl (Nathan Dales) run down what transpired after the season-one-ending fight that left Wayne on the asphalt. The systematic descriptions of Wayne’s ensuing victory cycle through a thesaurical torrent of choice phrases— “Punched the prick out, played the peasant, pushed proper pugnacity on the pinhead, left him praying for peace while Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” is one of the cleaner vignettes – and amount to a distilled dose of the incredible verbiage that is the absolute best thing about Letterkenny. Continue reading.

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

The best gift this Christmas is the return of Letterkenny
The best gift of all is something good to watch. You’re darn tootin’ on that one. Letterkenny returns to Crave TV on Dec. 25. That’s a gift for Canada. A truly meaningful one. And I mean that sincerely. Continue reading.  

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Season 2 of CraveTV original series Letterkenny to launch Christmas Day

From a media release:

As revealed last night during TSN’s 104th GREY CUP broadcast, Season 2 of CraveTV’s smash-hit original comedy LETTERKENNY launches Christmas Day with a brand new six-pack ready to stream. That’s a great day for binging on appies and TV, bud. In keeping with tradition, CraveTV released this beauty of a Season 2 cold open today.

Created and co-written by Jared Keeso of Bravo’s hit Canadian Screen Award-winning original drama 19-2, Season 2 sees the return of hick-with-a-heart-of-gold Wayne (Keeso) and the rest of small-town foes The Hicks, The Skids, and The Hockey Players.

Season 2 of LETTERKENNY proves all is fair in love and politics with a power struggle in the Agricultural Hall, the Hockey Players getting knocked down a peg both on and off the ice, and some interesting inter-group romantic tanglings.

Already confirmed for a third season, LETTERKENNY is produced by New Metric Media in partnership with DHX Media. Season 3 is set to begin production on another six pack on location in Sudbury, ON in 2017. Season 1 is currently streaming on CraveTV.

LETTERKENNY revolves around the dustups Wayne and his buds get into with their small-town Ontario rivals. Back to cause a whole lot of ruckus out of a whole lot of nothing, The Hicks, The Skids, and The Hockey Players get at each other about the most mundane things, often ending with someone getting their ass kicked. Wayne, his best bud Daryl (Nathan Dales, Goon: Last of the Enforcers), Wayne’s free-spirited younger sister Katy (Michelle Mylett, FOUR IN THE MORNING), and Wayne’s buddy, Dan (K Trevor Wilson, JEFF ROSS PRESENTS: ROAST BATTLE) are all Hicks. McMurray (Daniel Petronijevic, 19-2) is a Hick but has been outcast due to his inability to relax. He also runs the Agricultural Hall with his loving wife Mrs. McMurray (Melanie Scrofano, WYNONNA EARP). Dylan Playfair (HATERS BACK OFF) and Andrew Herr (Mr Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story) reprise their roles as Hockey Players “Jonesy” and “Reilly”. Tyler Johnston (MOTIVE) stars as lead Skid, Stewart, and Stewart’s “Sideskid” Devon is played by Alexander De Jordy (19-2). Evan Stern(RoboCop) stars as Third-Skid-in-Command, Roald. Lisa Codrington (COPPER) returns as Modeans bartender, Gail, and Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky) as the Christian leader Glen.

Season 1 of LETTERKENNY continues to reign as the biggest debut of any series on CraveTV since the premium TV streaming service launched in 2014, with more CraveTV users watching LETTERKENNY than any other series or title on CraveTV. LETTERKENNY is based on the Internet sensation Letterkenny Problems, a series of shorts which have raked in more than 21 million views.

LETTERKENNY is produced by New Metric Media (What Would Sal Do?), in partnership with DHX Media in association with Bell Media, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, OMDC Tax Credits and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. Jacob Tierney is executive producer, director, and co-writer. Patrick O’Sullivan and Mark Montefiore are executive producers for New Metric Media.

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Reaction to CRTC’s Policy framework for Certified Independent Production Funds

By Anonymous 

UPDATE: If the intent is to attract “top talent” that will make all these new “American” Canadian shows more viable, the CRTC should probably know that even some of the most successful Canadians in L.A., like the showrunner/creator of Bones, isn’t impressed.

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Canadian Television is about to become slightly less full of Canadians, thanks to a major CRTC decision released quietly yesterday.

The CRTC is allowing the independent production funds (including the Shaw Rocket Fund, Rogers Fund, Cogeco Program Development Fund, Telefilm Canada, and the Harold Greenberg Fund) to reduce their “point system” for what determines Canadian-ness of a project from 8 to 6. The general effect of this will be to allow for the hiring of non-Canadians in key creation and starring roles (ie: Americans will be able to create and star in “Canadian” TV series).

This, in fact, by the CRTC’s own admission, was one of the points of the decision:

“The current criterion requiring eight out of 10 Canadian content certification points to qualify for CIPF funding is restrictive and excludes many productions that could otherwise be of high quality and qualify as Canadian. Moreover, a reduced requirement could help smaller and perhaps more innovative projects to qualify for funding. A reduced requirement of at least six points could also facilitate the hiring by production companies of non-Canadian actors or creators, who may increase a project’s attractiveness and visibility in international markets.”

Reaction from the Canadian creative community was swift, and critical.

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What’s particularly unusual about this decision is that something with far-reaching implications was done as a “paper hearing,” ie: the CRTC did not hold any public consultations.

The last time something like this was proposed, the Writers Guild of Canada brought a group of screenwriters to Hull to appear before the commission. They made a convincing case as to why this “flexibility” wouldn’t lead to better quality Canadian programming. It seems that current chairman J.P. Blais was determined to not repeat this exercise.

Of concern to fans of actual Canadian TV shows, of course, is the fact that once again in no way was the audience consulted. The CRTC didn’t bother to seek out or try to understand the feelings of fans who celebrate unique Canadian points-of-view and creative directions on display in Canadian-created shows such as Orphan Black, Flashpoint, X Company, Letterkenny, Wynonna Earp, Lost Girl, Rookie Blue, Saving Hope, Motive, or many more.

As Peter Mitchell, executive producer and showrunner of Murdoch Mysteries explained on Facebook, even the premise of the CRTC’s decision is faulty:

Mitchell

The problem with the CRTC’s decision is that it really doesn’t advance any new idea. Many Canadian producers have been doing their level best to copy “American-style” shows for years, watering down the Canadian creative role as much as possible. They never seem to do as well as the original work such as Orphan Black or Murdoch Mysteries. That’s why you’re not seeing Season 4 of the forgettable XIII, and why Houdini & Doyle, which debuted to so much fanfare, died a quiet death.

The idea that Canadian producers will be able to attract top American talent is dubious at best. Because if you’re American, and you’re working in the American industry where there’s more money, and more prestige, why would you take a massive pay cut to work in Canada? Instead of top American talent, you’re likelier to get the people who can’t get hired anymore, who might have had credits in the 1980s or 1990s. And now the CRTC has blessed the idea that these marginal players are more valuable than the top homegrown talent who are responsible for the industry’s top successes.

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There are other ways to approach the idea of creating hits, rather than this failed road. But the CRTC seems to be enamored with the fantasy that “flexibility” fixes all, rather than actually supporting talent.

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And the best part? A government that ran at least partially on a platform of promoting culture is signalling to the next generation of storytellers not to bother—that it’s time to leave:

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So there’s nothing good here if you’re a Canadian writer or actor hoping to star in or create a Canadian show. Or if you’re someone who likes the unique point of view you see from Canadian TV shows. But the producer’s association loves it. I’m sure you’ll be getting something great from that writer who did one episode of Simon & Simon any day now.

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Great news, isn’t it?

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