Everything about Mr. D, eh?

Review: Mr. D hits a home run with Roberto Alomar

When Mr. D executive producer Mike Volpe told me a few weeks ago that Baseball Hall of Famer—and former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman—Roberto Alomar would be guest-starring this season, I was giddy.

How would he be worked into the storyline, written by my former classmate, Anita Kapila? Would it be baseball-related? Would it involve Gerry knowing Alomar somehow or at least acting like he knew him?

In an interesting twist in “President Jimmy,” Alomar didn’t even appear on-screen with Mr. D at all. Instead, he was part of a secondary storyline involving Robert, Trudy and Malik. See, every year during Xavier’s student council elections, someone plasters the school with posters with Alomar for President emblazoned on them. Fed up, Robert banned all Alomar posters and pins from the premises. And still they magically appeared. The way the storyline rolled out, it was assumed Trudy was behind the whole thing, until the episode’s closing minutes when Alomar appeared on-screen, helping Malik post more election signs.

“I just retired, and I get bored. So I drop by the schools and I mess around,” Alomar said to the camera. (Alomar’s acting skills from those McCain fruit punch commercials paid off.)

It should be noted that Mr. D‘s filming style changed for “President Jimmy,” with cameras capturing the action like a mockumentary. It made for several funny moments (like Alomar’s admission), especially when it came to scenes involving Jimmy, Mr. D, Lisa and new librarian Miss Terdie (Kathleen Phillips, Sunnyside). With the elections in full swing, Lisa’s class project was to record the process for posterity and they captured democracy in all its glory. Like Mr. D convincing Jimmy to run for president because Gerry didn’t want Natalie to three-peat as president.

The best part of the instalment for me—aside from Alomar—was footage of the ongoing feud between Lisa and Miss Terdie. Both ladies have their quirks—the former neatness and cleanliness and the latter a deep love for books and their fair treatment—so when Lisa didn’t put books she’d pulled off the shelf on Terdie’s “To be shelved” cart, it was war. Terdie drew a caricature of Lisa on her classroom board, titled it “Demon Mason” and removed the erasers from the class so Lisa couldn’t eliminate it.

I miss Mr. Leung, but Miss Terdie promises to be a memorable character as well. Especially if her feud with Lisa continues.

Notes and quotes

  • How many teachers use Wikipedia as their source material? I’m hoping not many.
  • “He’s a Golden Glove-wearing baseball slugger.” I love Robert’s sport savvy

Mr. D airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Tonight: Rick Mercer Report, 22 Minutes, Schitt’s Creek, Mr. D

Rick Mercer Report, CBC
Rick goes to Field, BC for the annual Yoho Blow Days celebration all about having fun in the winter with human bowling, relay races, and a unique variation on cross-country skiing and then he heads to Port Elgin, Ontario and jumps in the pool for a competition with the Saugeen Shore Life Saving Club.

22 Minutes, CBC
This week on 22 Minutes fresh perspective on falling oil prices and the government gives CSIS new, disruptive powers.

Schitt’s Creek, CBC – “The Cabin”
Looking for privacy, Johnny and Moira take the Mayor up on his offer of using his cabin for a night, while Alexis and David use the opportunity to throw a party.

Mr. D, CBC – “President Jimmy”
Gerry becomes unexpectedly embroiled in the school’s student council election and is forced to seek the help of an old foe. Robert goes mad trying to quash the mock campaign of a pro baseball superstar. Lisa and the school’s new librarian don’t see eye to eye.

Tonight: Rick Mercer Report, 22 Minutes, Schitt’s Creek, Mr. D

Rick Mercer Report, CBC
Rick goes to Penticton, BC where he joins a precision jump rope skipping competition and then heads to New Brunswick to learn the art of making potato chips.

22 Minutes, CBC
Tonight on 22 Minutes, Canada’s recent deal to build six arctic patrol ships inspires new recruitment ads; Stephen Harper’s signature guitar available for purchase and telecom giant, Rogers, takes on a new adversary.

Schitt’s Creek, CBC – “Bad Parents”
Johnny and Moira, feeling like they have failed as parents, try to get to know their grown children. Alexis spies on Mutt and thinks he’s having an affair with the Mayor’s wife.

Mr D. CBC – “Staff Hangover”
Morning assembly reveals the Xavier staff in rough shape. Last night’s staff party went late and got messy. The new librarian is revealed in the aftermath.

Tonight: Mr. D, Schitt’s Creek, Rick Mercer Report, 22 Minutes

Mr. D, CBC – “Mafai Dad”
Gerry is finally given an opportunity to coach the varsity boys’ basketball team. Trudy’s birthday gift to Lisa causes a stir, while Dwyer endures an unbelievably bad day.

Schitt’s Creek, CBC – “Don’t Worry It’s His Sister”
Johnny tries to get a potentially offensive town sign taken down, while David is faced with the frightening task of finding a job.

Rick Mercer Report, CBC
Rick is in Whistler where he goes bob sledding with Olympians on the world’s fastest track and then he’s at Variety Village, Toronto, participating in activities at a world-class gym for people with disabilities.

22 Minutes, CBC
This week on 22 Minutes the origins of the Donair: Canada’s favourite drunk food; Blue Monday inspires an all new Yoga class and the dating app Tinder gets political.

Preview: Mr. D returns with more awkwardness

New season, same old Gerry Duncan. At the end of Season 3, it appeared Xavier Academy had lost its history teacher. After all, Gerry’s dream job was to teach pays. ed., a gig offered to him by St. Pat’s. But in the season finale’s closing moments he returned to Xavier a self-proclaimed victor.

The move apparently paid off, but not without the typical Mr. D twist. The CBC sitcom returns Tuesday night paired with Schitt’s Creek, the newbie project that garnered record ratings in its double-dose debut last week. But where Schitt’s Creek is more of a traditional sitcom, Mr. D is the new wave, a series that relishes in the awkward moments … and milks them for all they’re worth. It doesn’t take long for cringeworthy stuff to start happening in “Mafia Dad” though it all starts promisingly enough.

Principal Callaghan informs Gerry that he is taking over coaching duties for the varsity basketball team and he’s stoked to carry on the team’s winning ways. Of course, the tallest kid on the team, Eddie, is also the worst (“Such a waste,” Gerry whispers to himself at one point) so Gerry plans to bench him. Enter Eddie’s father, who bribes Gerry with steaks, wine and “weal” sandwiches in a bid to get his son on the floor. It’s not until Bobbi pulls Gerry aside for a warning that he realizes Eddie’s dad may be a Russian mobster.

Speaking of Bobbi, she has her own uncomfortable few moments when Trudy upstages her at a birthday party for Lisa. Though Bobbi got up early to snag a personalized pudding-filled cake for event, Trudy’s gift of a pearl bracelet wins the day. The real source of the bauble leads to a very funny bit in the school office.

But perhaps the funniest storyline of the night belongs to Paul Dwyer. The always-positive and beloved Xavier teacher—the ying to Gerry’s yang—has an incredibly bad week full of damage to both person and possession yet he takes it all in stride. Wes Williams, who plays Dwyer, continues to amaze me with his comic chops.

Mr. D airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.