Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Blind home chefs compete in AMI-tv’s inspiring, inclusive Menu Match-up

At first glance, AMI-tv’s Menu Match-Up seems like any other culinary competition program. Home cooks have to prepare tasty dishes using secret ingredients in a specified amount of time. Their foods are judged and a winner is declared. What sets Menu Match-Up apart from those other programs? The home cooks are blind or low vision.

Debuting Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on AMI-tv, Menu Match-Up is the latest program—like Four Senses and Eyes for the Job before it—to spotlight blind or low vision people doing everyday things. Now Menu Match-Up pushes things a little further by testing these folks’ skills in the kitchen. They’re not doing it alone. Each blind cook is teamed with a sighted professional chef to pull it all together.

Hosted by Matt Basile of Fidel Gastro’s restaurant and TV’s Rebel Without a Kitchen, Menu Match-Up is executive-produced by Jonathan and Drew Scott of Property Brothers fame via their production company Scott Brothers Entertainment. That’s quite the pedigree for a project on AMI-tv and shows just how much Accessible Media Inc. is committed to creating unique, inclusive television for their viewers. You may have to be blind or low vision to compete on Menu Match-Up but you don’t need to be to enjoy the series. Home cook Dan and Jonny O’Callaghan of Bru Restaurant take on home cook Sylvia and Joe Friday of Calii Love. Who will impress judges Missy Hui of Fabbrica Restaurant, blogger Hubert Leung and Deji Oduwole of The Odu Group and win the trip for two to Niagara-on-the-Lake?

In the beginning moments of Episode 1, it really was up for grabs. With an hour to create an appetizer and a main course, the duos needed to build a partnership quickly. And, with mystery items like chorizo sausage, honeycomb, mustard greens, heirloom tomatoes and jalapeño-flavoured cheese snacks, it wouldn’t be easy. Sylvia and Joe went with a salad and pasta while Dan and Jonny opted for a tomato salad and version of Beef Stroganoff using the sausage. What I immediately like about the first episode of Menu Match-Up is that Sylvia and Dan were not only in on the planning but the execution as well. It would have been easy to have them chop while Joe and Jonny did all the work. That isn’t how it rolled out at all, proving that being blind or low vision doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in creating high-end food. Who wins the first instalment of Menu Match-Up? Tune in to find out!

Menu Match-Up airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on AMI-tv. Check your local listings for where AMI-tv is available in your area.

 

 

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Canada’s Worst Driver and Tougher Than It Looks crash onto Discovery

With the 13th season of Canada’s Worst Driver arriving Monday night on Discovery, I can’t help but wonder if the series can do more for the driving industry. Like Mike Holmes has done uncovering bad builders and lax rules in the housing industry, should Canada’s Worst Driver do the same for driving schools?

On its surface, Canada’s Worst Driver—back at 10 p.m. ET with Andrew Younghusband behind the wheel—continues to spotlight drivers from across the nation who shouldn’t be on the road in the first place. These are folks with bad habits all the way to the downright dangerous and I’ve gone from solely blaming those drivers to the including the people who have taught them. For me, Canada’s Worst Driver ceased to be fun to watch years ago because the contestants seem to be getting worse rather than better. Over 500 names were submitted for Season 13 before producers whittled the group down to eight who are ensconced in the CWD facility.

Once there, they go through a bevy of tests designed to not only entertain (or in my case frighten) viewers but also present the correct way to perform each tested task. The group includes Breanna, a 19-year-old who is, thanks to being involved in a car accident when she was younger, is convinced she’s going to die behind the wheel of a car; Joe, a reckless lad who has floors it at every opportunity and keeps his lawyer employed solely to defend his tickets; Ashley, who can’t drive without crying and was nominated by former CWD contestant Jillian; Shayne, who drives half the posted speed because he was hit by a car while walking; Melanie, who is convinced she can’t do anything; Adam, whose love of driving was derailed by one accident; Julie, who has been in 16 accidents thanks to distracted driving; and Travis, the most timid man behind the wheel of an automobile. All are determined to be better, safer drivers.

Clearly, some of this season’s contestants have major stress issues because of past traumas and are, hopefully, addressing those with a doctor. But all are shown simply not knowing what the rules of the road are. Again, how were they given licences to be behind the wheel of a vehicle that can kill themselves or others if they don’t know what to do at a stop sign?

Much more enjoyable for me is Season 2 of Tougher Than It Looks? which finds Younghusband taking on some of the oddest, strangest tasks in the world.

Monday’s back-to-back instalments, like in the first go-round, put Younghusband’s brain and body up for injury at our expense as he spends 24 hours trying to master something. Learning to ride the waves or a skateboard leads to the usual bumps and bruises on the road to success but being a rodeo clown (in Episode 2) could get you killed. But, unlike Canada’s Worst Driver, Tougher Than It Looks? puts the onus on Younghusband to do the work and, usually, get hurt. The Newfoundland native is game to do anything and it’s his positivity and sense of humour that makes Tougher Than It Looks? so easy to watch.

It’s entertaining to observe Younghusband learn how difficult it is to master balance, first in the controlled environment of a wave rider to the February chill of surfing the surging waves of Lake Huron. As for dropping into a skateboarding half-pipe? Let’s just say concrete and wood are harder than water.

In advance of Canada’s Worst Driver and Tougher Than It Looks? is the debut of Last Stop Garage at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET. The program spotlights the men and women who operate CRB Automotive, a family-owned garage in North West River, Labrador. Using the backwoods resourcefulness needed to get things done far away from the big city, the crew fix and build just about anything for anyone in their remote town of 553 residents.

Last Stop Garage airs Mondays at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Canada’s Worst Driver airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Tougher Than It Looks airs Mondays at 11 and 11:30 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

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T+E’s Scariest Night of My Life recounts awful paranormal experiences

Our House Media first jumped onto my radar via Backroad Bounty, but they’ve stayed there thanks to three seasons of Paranormal Survivor and one of Haunted Case Files. Now the Canadian documentary series producers return with a third equally creepy series with Scariest Night of My Life.

Debuting Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on T+E, Scariest Night of My Life is exactly what it sounds like: ordinary people recount an awful night they’ve experienced. It all begins Friday with Gloria, who recalls the 2007 night she’ll never forget inside her first home. A happy moving day with her two children and husband went sour that evening when an odd vibe and cold temperature hinted something was amiss. It wasn’t until her daughter woke up to a figure knocking at her window that life for Gloria grew totally terrifying. With her husband gone to his night shift, Gloria and her kids bore the brunt of whatever was in their home, experiencing slamming kitchen cupboards, disembodied footsteps, odd reflections in a bathroom mirror and voiding black goo. Things get worse from there.

Presented with the witnesses narrating their tales, dramatic recreations packed with shadowy figures, giggling children, jagged fonts and otherworldly screams drive home the spookiness. Like Paranormal Survivor and Haunted Case Files before it, Scariest Night of My Life is terrifying. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, the people interviewed on Scariest Night believe something happened to them.

If you’re looking for a double-dose of scares, Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on T+E marks the Season 2 return of Cream Productions’ Evil Encounters with more tales of personal accounts of paranormal experiences in the woods.

Happy Halloween!

Scariest Night of My Life airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on T+E.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

 

 

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Food Network Canada’s The Baker Sisters discover fabulous desserts

Dessert first. It’s been the motto of sisters Rachel Smith and Jean Parker their whole lives. And it’s the mantra of The Baker Sisters—debuting Friday at 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada—starring Smith and Parker as they traverse North America, visiting bakeries and chowing down on all things sweet, gooey and icing-laden. As a public service announcement, it should be noted that you will hunt down anything sugary to consume after watching an episode of The Baker Sisters.

“We tell people that, if you don’t have some baked goods in the house, you will wind up drinking the maple syrup,” Smith says. She’s not kidding. Among the confections the pair samples in Friday’s first instalment are Peanut Butter Shorties in Vancouver’s Purebread bakery, massive wedges of buttery shortbread accented with peanut butter, chocolate and crushed peanuts.

The show’s producers, Alibi Entertainment Inc., were on the lookout for a dynamic pair with baking knowledge to host a new project. The Southern Ontario siblings grew up in their mother’s tart shop helping to stuff tins before opening their own company, Maple Key Tart Co., giving them a leg up on the competition when it came to casting.

“We went in for casting, and we just had fun,” Parker says. “I think that’s the magic recipe to the show. We’re sisters and we love each other.” Now, 13 episodes later, viewers get to see what the pair experienced. Each half-hour follows the pair to a trio of bakeries around the continent, meeting employees and getting their hands dirty creating magnificent morsels that go beyond the usual chocolate chip cookie or apple pie. Key ingredients like flour, butter and sugar stay the same but what these bakers do with them is outrageous.

Amid all the treats Smith and Parker sample are butter tarts. The Canadian staple has become a business for the sisters via Maple Key Tart Co., so they’re experts on the pastry. What were their thoughts on the competition?

“It was a totally different tart,” Parker recalls. “Our tart is a less sweet tart with a firmer filling. The one I tried was super-sweet because she used corn syrup and it was crazy runny. Her pastry was more of a butter shortbread. Our tarts truly are like night and day. Hers was delicious. That’s why there are trails dedicated to butter tarts because they can be so different.”

What goes into butter tarts is the topic of hot debate too. Do you go plain (my personal favourite), or are raisins or nuts included?

“I love a good raisin,” Smith says with a laugh. “But people do not like to be surprised with the raisin.”

“I think there is a time and a place for raisins,” Parker says diplomatically. “I’m classic. I like the plain and I think those are the ones you take to a party. People are so passionate about whether raisins or even nuts should be in them.”

The Baker Sisters airs Fridays at 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus.

 

 

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You Can Still Watch The WSOP On TV

The World Series Of Poker is one of the biggest live events in poker, and players around the world consider its Main Event to be the holy grail, the ultimate goal and achievement for the pros. Winning any WSOP bracelet places players in a position of prestige, but the Main Event really does attract the widest and most talented fields, making it one of the most exhilarating competitions in the poker world. You can watch the WSOP Main Event on TSN.

TSN Coverage
The WSOP 2017, sponsored by 888 Poker, took place from July 8th to July 22nd. TSN was to cover the event in Canada, but originally said that they wouldn’t be showing the WSOP due to the popularity of shows like the Canadian Football League, Major League Baseball and SportsCentre. Shortly before the WSOP Main Event started, TSN announced that they would indeed be showing the event, and covered the tables live during the action.

For anyone who missed the live coverage of the WSOP, TSN are currently broadcasting repeats of the event on TSN and TSN HD at 3 p.m. ET, with later viewings on TSN 2 at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET.

About The WSOP 2017 Main Event
The World Series Of Poker is one of the most prestigious events in tournament poker, attracting thousands of players across a range of high-stakes buy-ins. This year marked the 48th anniversary of the annual event, which was held once again at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas.

The Main Event is No-Limit Hold Em Poker, and this year had a $10,000 buy-in. There were a total of 7,221 entrants, and the top 1,084 players finished in the money, winning back more than their buy-in. Like most poker games, the real prize money is stacked towards finishing in the top handful of entrants, and this year every player who made the final table walked away with at least $1 million.

WSOP 2017 Main Event Results
Spoiler Alert! If you do not know the results of the WSOP 2017 Main Event, and want to catch up on TSN over the coming weeks, then do not read the next paragraph.

The winner of the 2017 888 Poker WSOP Main Event was Scott Blumstein, who took home a total of $8,150,000 after beating second place Dan Ott with A-2 against Dan’s A-8. Blumstein started the final table with the chip lead, holding 27% of the total chips in play. He continued to play a solid game to eventually walk away with the Main Event bracelet, and a life-changing amount of money.

Watch WSOP on TSN
WSOP is an exciting television program which has grown in popularity since online qualifier Chirs Moneymaker won the title in 2003. The coverage includes in-table cameras to show player’s hole cards, hand values shown in percentages, and commentary by Lon McEachern and Norman Chad. You can watch the WSOP on TSN over the coming weeks. The next episodes will be shown on October 15th, and will show Part 4, 5 and 6 of the WSOP coverage.

 

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