Everything about Sensitive Skin, eh?

Comments and queries for the week of June 3

From our mailbag:


All these media releases keep saying Cardinal is CTV’s first ever serialized drama – huh?

References to that six-part murder mystery as “CTV’s first-ever original serialized drama” popped up in CTV’s announcement this week about The Disappearance, which they were billing as their second-ever serialized drama. People with long memories cited 1973’s Starlost as likely the first serialized original drama on the network, with later contenders including Would Be Kings, Associates, Whistler, The City (aka Flesh and Blood) and Power Play. After my inquiry, CTV adjusted the media release on their website to say that Cardinal and The Disappearance are the  first- and second-ever limited run original serialized dramas.  Would Be Kings was a two-part miniseries they’re not including in the definition of “limited run”, but I’ve simply deleted the reference in the media release as published on this site.

Caught/The Council 

Just realized CBC didn’t mention “Caught” in their latest press release about the new season. I wonder what’s up? 

As our questioner saw immediately after tweeting us, Allan Hawco, the star and producer, tweeted that the show will be delayed from the winter 2017 time period originally announced. The Council is another show missing from CBC’s recent season media release, and was originally announced as a fall 2016 newcomer. CBC’s Sally Catto explained that Caught was caught in a financing issue, while The Council has been delayed because of climate and location issues — it was being filmed in Iqaluit and Manitoba.

I think the climate excuse is a crock. The north is the north and the show needs to adapt to what they are given.

Sure, but a few points to consider …

  • Sally Catto was candid about financial issues on Caught, though she could have made a generic comment about production delays for both shows.
  • The originally announced time from greenlight to air was fast in Canadian TV terms.
  • The logistics of shipping everything up to a place that doesn’t have a TV industry infrastructure and that has a very short filming window are not exactly easy (for example Arctic Air had its own short-window issues filming in Yellowknife which isn’t as remote as Iqaluit). It’s not hard for me to believe they ran into location scouting, crewing, shipping, etc. issues and didn’t want to rush the show to air to meet a self-imposed deadline.

We may never know if there were other issues involved as well, but I don’t have any problem believing climate and location was a big one. I also think it’s admirable they want to shoot in the place the series is set rather than faking the Arctic around Vancouver.

Sensitive Skin

Who plays David (silver-haired man) in tonight’s episode of Sensitive Skin (season 2 episode 2, May 29, 2016)? Thanks.

Guest starring in that Kim Cattrall series is Hamilton-born, Edmonton-raised Rick Roberts (pictured above), who also has a starring role in CBC’s This Life (which returns for a second season Sundays this fall). He’s had a long and varied career in Canada and the US so he might look familiar from Republic of Doyle, Traders, Jack (the Jack Layton TV movie), Pontypool or a number of other roles — not always with that distinctive silver hair, of course.

Private Eyes

This seems good, but it just reminds me a bit too much of Republic of Doyle, don’t you think? I didn’t know it was inspired by a book though, so it might be just a coincidence, but I don’t know …

I think if you watch the show you’ll see it has a similar tone to Republic of Doyle but it’s far from a carbon copy.  Given the CBC series isn’t coming back, its fans might find this one scratching a similar itch, though. It’s worth noting that wisecracking detective/cop shows are not rare, especially in Canada — no reason to think there’s a copycat situation going on here.

Wipeout Canada

Just curious how to become an applicant for the show Wipeout Canada.

The show had its first and only season in 2011 on the now-defunct TVropolis channel, so the short answer is you can’t. Actually that’s the long answer too, since even the longer-running U.S. version is now off the air.


Sensitive Skin returns for more quiet reflection in Season 2

I’m so used to watching series featuring gals dispatching biker demons, Second World War spies, vikings attacking Paris and serial killers slaughtering small-town folk that Sensitive Skin made an immediate impact.

Returning Sunday on HBO Canada for Season 2, the Kim Cattrall-led drama doesn’t feature a gun owned by Wyatt Earp, Nazis or longboat battles. It’s a slow, spare character analysis of a woman trying to find her place in the world. The first season ended with Davina Jackson (Cattrall) at a crossroads in her life. Unhappy in her life and marriage to Al (Don McKellar), things were shaken up when Al suffered a heart attack and then flatlined in the season’s closing moments.

Now, picking up after that incident, Davina is moving on. But how? Would finding a new place make her happy? Would living with sister Veronica (Joanna Gleason) and brother-in-law Roger (Colm Feore) fill a hole in her life? She doesn’t know, though Theodore (Clé Bennett) goes a long way to helping her come to a decision. And while Davina is certainly the focus of Sensitive Skin, I was constantly drawn to Theodore. Sure, he deals drugs outside of her condo building, but the guy definitely has some viewpoints on life and is dead-on about many of them. (“They’re building one of those bath bomb places across the street, so you’d have to be smelling that hippy shit all day. That ain’t no way to live, right?” is one of his sage statements.)

Several segments in Episode 1 are very much about words left unsaid. Rather than fill a scene with conversation, head writer Bob Martin’s scripts boast precious seconds slowed down and set to a simple horn and strings as Davina quietly contemplates her next life move. She caresses a kitchen counter here, stares out a ceiling to floor window there; you can see the internal discussion going on in Davina’s head without her having to say the words aloud. It sets Sensitive Skin apart from other series, and I like that. A lot.

Sensitive Skin airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET/MT on HBO Canada.


Links: Sensitive Skin

From Bill Brioux of the Canadian Press:

Sensitive Skin heads to Toronto’s islands in Season 2
When we last visited “Sensitive Skin,” things did not look good for Davina and Al. Particularly Al (played by Don McKellar), who was flatlining in a hospital after suffering a heart attack. Continue reading.

From Brad Oswald of the Winnipeg Free Press:

New wrinkle
As we age, change becomes difficult to contemplate and even harder to achieve. Sometimes, the only kind of change we can entertain is that which is forced upon us.

For Davina Jackson, the central character in the HBO series Sensitive Skin (played by Kim Cattrall), change is as uncomfortable as it is unavoidable. And as this clever Canadian comedy returns for a second season (Sunday, May 15, HBO Canada; check listings for time), change is also the most necessary element of her life. Continue reading. 

From Jeanne Beker of The Globe and Mail:

Kim Cattrall on feeling good in the skin she’s in
A lot of people say, “Gosh I didn’t know that Sensitive Skin was Canadian. I just thought it was filmed in Canada.” And I say, “No, this is a Canadian woman that I’m playing. It’s not an American woman.” Continue reading.

From Nelson Branco of 24 Hours Toronto:

Six and the City: Kim Cattrall returns in HBO Canada’s Sensitive Skin
“As I’ve gotten better, stronger, and more confident as an actor, I’ve allowed more of myself to be available in the parts I play. I like to reflect life in my work … it’s not all tragedy. There’s love, companionship, and humour, but there is loss too. I like the characters I play to balance those qualities because it only enriches the stories I try to tell.” Continue reading.



HBO Canada Reveals New Episodic Images and Brand New Promo for Season 2 of Hit Original Series SENSITIVE SKIN

From a media release:

HBO Canada revealed today a first look at 11 all-new episodic images for the first episode of the Emmy®-Nominated, Canadian Original SeriesSENSITIVE SKIN. In addition, HBO Canada released the brand-new promo for the series, which returns May 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET on HBO Canada.

Sunday, May 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET
SENSITIVE SKIN picks up after the highly emotional cliff-hanger ending of the first season and sees Kim Cattrall’s Davina enter a new phase of her life. In the first episode, Davina searches for a new home but discovers that moving on isn’t as easy as she’d hoped, and soon finds herself in the picturesque Toronto Islands.



Kim Cattrall returns to HBO Canada in Season 2 of Sensitive Skin on May 15

From a media release:

HBO Canada announced today that its critically acclaimed, award-winning Original Series SENSITIVE SKIN returns for a six-episode second season on Sunday, May 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Following the HBO Canada premiere of the first episode, the entire second season will be made available to subscribers at once on multiple platforms, including TMN GO.

Starring Canadian superstar Kim Cattrall (SEX AND THE CITY), and directed by one of the most acclaimed figures in Canadian film and television, Don McKellar (The Grand Seduction), SENSITIVE SKIN picks up after the highly emotional cliff-hanger ending of the first season and sees Cattrall’s Davina enter a new phase of her life. In the first episode, Davina searches for a new home but discovers that moving on isn’t as easy as she’d hoped, and soon finds herself in the picturesque Toronto Islands.

SENSITIVE SKIN also sees executive producer and series director Don McKellar reprise his award-winning role as Davina’s husband Al. Returning cast members include Bob Martin (MICHAEL: TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS) as Davina’s colleague Sam; Nicolas Wright (White House Down) as Davina’s neurotic son Orlando; Gemini Award-winner Colm Feore (GOTHAM) as Davina’s brother-in-law Roger; Tony® Award winner Joanna Gleason (Last Vegas) as her conservative older sister Veronica; Gemini Award-winner Mary Walsh (THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES) as Sarah Thorn, a well-known radio personality; and Gemini Award winner Clé Bennett (FLASHPOINT) as Theodore. New cast members this season include Tom McCamus (Room) as Roger’s lawyer; Brigitte Robinson (Crimson Peak) as Cheryl, Orlando’s much-older, born-again-Christian fiancé; and Rick Roberts (SAVING HOPE) and renowned Brazilian actor Felipe Camargo as a potential love interests for Davina.

Season 2 of SENSITIVE SKIN sees the return of multiple Gemini Award winner and Tony Award® winner Bob Martin (Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays) as executive producer. Season 2 of SENSITIVE SKIN is written by Susan Coyne (SLINGS AND ARROWS), Rosa Labordé (Léo), and Lynne Coady (The Antagonist). SENSITIVE SKIN was shot on location on the picturesque Toronto Islands, and is adapted from the acclaimed BBC Two program of the same name, which starred Joanna Lumley (ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS).