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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Kids’ CBC gets moving with The Moblees

moblees

From a media release:

With Canada lagging globally when it comes to meeting guidelines for kids’ overall physical activity and limiting sedentary behavior, Kids’ CBC aims to inspire healthy change in the way Canadian children and their families move through their daily lives with The Moblees (30 x 11-minutes), a new live-action interactive musical adventure series for kids aged 3 – 5 years. Integrating a holistic approach to healthy active living, including non-sedentary behaviors, physical activity and nutrition,

The Moblees airs on CBC Monday to Friday at 8 a.m. (8:30 NT) beginning on December 22.

“Using a television program as a strategy to reduce the sedentary behaviour of young children seems paradoxical,” confesses Professor Mark Tremblay, director of the healthy active living and obesity research group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, “however, The Moblees is designed to condition and guide young children and their families to recalibrate their lifestyle to one where fun, creative, lifestyle-embedded movements are normal, spontaneous, frequent, desired and rewarded.”

Featuring fun moves, memorable music and catchy lyrics, The Moblees turns home viewers into home do-ers by getting them off the floor and into the action through direct-to-camera address and playful participation. The series stars five loveable characters who – along with do-ers at home – overcome obstacles through teamwork and movement: feisty Bailey Butterfly (Shannon Hamilton); her spontaneous younger brother, Carlin Caterpillar (Scott Farley); brainy perfectionist Gisbert Grasshopper (Chris George); tail-waggity optimist Dasha Dog (Michelle Bouey); and super smooth Sylvio Snake (Matt Nethersole). Kids from around the world also share their own Moblee moves in the series.

Each episode features a movement-centric, song-driven adventure that culminates in the awarding of a Moblee Medal, rewarding preschoolers’ newfound expertise in doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways with movement. Boasting an infectious blend of original world music, The Moblees’ imaginative journeys provide transformative experiences where children and their families are encouraged to live a healthy, active lifestyle.

The series’ curriculum is advised by a team of esteemed experts including Kids’ CBC Developmental Psychologist Dr. Lynn Oldershaw; Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chief Advisor for non-sedentary behaviors and physical activity, Director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research (HALO) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa; Dr. James Mandigo, Professor and Interim Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Brock University and co-founder of Brock’s Centre for Healthy Development; and Mary Savoye-DeSanti, RD, CD-N, CDE, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and Associate Director of Pediatric Obesity at Yale University, School of Medicine.

The Moblees originated and continues as a live family show that is performed in Canada, the United States and around the world. Recent engagements include the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver and the U.S. White House Easter Egg Roll.

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Review: Crash and burn on Saving Hope

Dana was spot on in this week’s Saving Hope when she asked if she’s seeing what’s really there, or what she wants to see. Between Alex’s prediction that Joel would get bored and leave like before, Dana’s own failure to see what was really going on with her patient and Charlie unable to recognize a ghost as a ghost outside the hospital, “The Other Side of Midnight” was all about perception.

I don’t know if Charlie was more thrown by seeing a ghost outside of the hospital, or that she seemed so real and alive. Usually the spirits he runs into through work know something is wrong, and Lauren Lee Smith’s character didn’t have that direct awareness I’m so used to. Still, as she repeatedly told Charlie to come up to her room I could feel the tone transitioning from flirtatious to urgent. Though perhaps unlike Charlie, I had the added benefit of realizing we were missing our weekly ghost—and that would be a strange thing for Saving Hope to leave out.

But even without all the usual warnings, I don’t think it’s necessarily the best idea for Charlie to go running to Dey. The abrasive, hallucinogenic-stashing psychiatrist still hasn’t won me over—in part because I’m still not over Gavin’s unceremonious departure, but also because nothing he’s done since showing up has convinced me he’s trustworthy enough for Charlie’s secret. Dey’s fascinations with hallucinations might, on the one hand, be pretty useful for this case, but it might also get in the way of getting Charlie what I’m confident he wants: no more ghosts.

Though that massive cliffhanger left me wondering if Charlie was at least about to get one thing he wanted. I’m not entirely clear on the timeline of Alex and Charlie’s break up and Alex and Joel’s new relationship (which has, apparently, escalated to Liberia). If it’s been about 10 weeks since Katz kissed Maggie then there’s a strong chance Alex’s look of concern had to do with her newfound belief that Joel hasn’t changed, though I’m leaving the door open for some paternity debate too.

As for Liberia—it came as out of the blue for me as it did Alex. While I know Joel has a history of wanderlust, he’s been pretty locked into Hope Zion of late and I was surprised to hear him sound so ready to ditch the clinic and the hospital to visit a country I’ve never heard him mention. It felt like yet another convenient foil for the couple. And unless hopping on a plane to go home for a bit triggered something, I can only assume that getting back together with the woman he was staying rooted for has him dreaming of a life they could have together. It’s just unfortunate that, as fun as Alex is, she’s never really struck me as the pick-up-and-go type. And she’s really not going to be that type with a baby on the way.

Then again, it’s not like this week’s main case was really going to fill anyone with confidence about a certain type of person. In hindsight, Alex’s extreme concern about Nathan’s family makes more sense when compared to her own worries about how much she can depend on Joel for. There was nothing reassuring about Tawny’s arrival, even if Nathan’s ex-wife did come with all the information they needed to treat him. The list of Nathan’s exploits, the damage they’ve done and Tawny’s desperate efforts to protect her daughter from any of the details of how precarious her father’s lifestyle is were overwhelming enough without being in the similar position Alex felt she was in.

Still, as last week established, Joel and Alex aren’t long for this world—two episodes into their relationship and there’s been an awful lot of fighting. Then again, maybe Alex is just freaking out over the prospect of a baby when her life is so transitional right now. Or that those Joel revelations triggered her very worst memories of him, and the suggestion of Liberia has her thinking her potential baby daddy is in even less of a firm place than she is. Or maybe it is Charlie’s, and there’s a whole other mess she’s bracing for. It all depends on how she looks at it.

Saving moments:

  • I’m sorry Maggie, but who puts a sweater in their top drawer?
  • “There are 17 steps to making a crepe. Try and get one of them right.”–Shahir
  • “If I eat them I’ll go into anaphylactic shock and die.” Katz’s flirting could use a bit of work.
  • “They’re making me feel like crepe.” Granted this should have been a big tip off to everyone. Who doesn’t like the smell of crepes?
  • “Aren’t we the Lord and Lady of Downer Abbey.” I would much prefer this show to the real Downton.
  • Also, Zach and Melanda? Hoping this isn’t going to be another Dawn/Reycraft.

Saving Hope airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

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Review: Republic of Doyle says goodbye

“I wish this day would never end.” Those were Jake Doyle’s final words on Wednesday night. And while I’m sure fans across the country shared his thoughts, it was time to say goodbye.

This most likely isn’t the last that we’ve seen of those folks from St. John’s, Newfoundland–Allan Hawco is hopeful a feature film is in the cards–but this was certainly it for the television series. But rather than it being a final goodbye, this was more of a so long for now. The back-to-back “Judgement Day” and “Last Call” served as a suitable farewell, combining the car chases, catastrophic explosions, fisticuffs and heartfelt moments that have been the mainstay of the veteran drama.

The first 60 minutes, of course, dealt with Jake’s murder trial. After being found guilty of murdering Mayor Clarke, Jake was given 48 hours on the outside before sentencing (that was Republic of Doyle art director and Majumder Manor star Peter Blackie playing the crown prosecutor who wanted Jake kept in jail), and that was just enough time for he and Malachy to be hired by the judge to find out who was blackmailing him. Judge Tizzard suspected his wife, Miranda (Mary Walsh), but evidence seemed to point at a variety of suspects including Alisha, the Chevalier bike gang and a city planner. Alisha became prime suspect No. 1 after Miranda’s bar was blown to smithereens, until it was revealed the mysterious Damon Rhodes (The Border‘s James McGowan) was behind the whole thing and held the key to Jake’s freedom in his hands, literally: a flash drive showing Brogen killing Clarke.

Damon’s plan? Have Jake work for him in prison for three years and the drive’s contents would be revealed and Jake would be set free to work for Damon on the outside. That, of course, wasn’t going to happen, so Jake and his family became targets of the biker gang. The one to feel that the most was poor Des who, already heartbroken because Tinny broke up with him, had his skull cracked by Damon at The Duke. It was nice to see Malachy and Jake get involved in a good old-fashioned donnybrook at The Green Room, though it ended prematurely when Picard arrested Jake.

Leslie, meanwhile, had her hands full with the Inspector Pickard (John Kapelos), and was called to the carpet in front of Internal Affairs for her relationship with the Doyles. But rather than apologize to the panel as the Inspector advised, she was unrepentant and got fired.

The final blow? Leslie was pregnant, a story angle hinted at every time she dreamt of she and he being a family. After busting him out of the interrogation room (with help from Hood and somehow sneaking out of an entire precinct packed with coppers), Leslie and Jake were on the run.

So, what did the last hour, “Last Call,” hold? A manhunt for Jake and Leslie, an unconventional teaming with Alisha, Rhodes going to drastic measures to get Jake on board and an eventual clearing of Jake’s name in the death of Mayor Clarke. It wasn’t an easy task. Not only did Jake resort to swapping out the GTO in favour of a–gasp!–Mustang to keep a low profile, but he had to witness the beatings of Des and Malachy because he wouldn’t work for Rhodes.

After a series of twists, turns and a pants-less Des, Jake had located Clarke’s cell phone, an item which contained not only recordings of agreements the Chevalier gang would run St. John’s but at least one dirty cop who was in on it: Pickard. Leslie discovered the same information, though it was done face-to-face while she spoke to Pickard, leading to a short, bullet-filled foot chase that left him dead and her badly injured and the fate of the baby up in the air.

Rhodes’ final showdown with Jake and Malachy on a gravel road was interrupted by the cops, led by … Alisha. Turns out Vick Saul’s right-hand woman was a federal marshal all along and was more than happy to not only take out Rhodes but help Jake locate a backup flash drive proving his innocence.

Those hoping for a happy ending weren’t disappointed, though Doyle‘s writers came up with a sweet twist. Picking up two years later, Jake and Leslie were already married, had twins with a third on the way. The nuptials everyone had gathered to celebrate were for Tinny and Des. (Who else was glad to see the beloved GTO in the background, festooned with ribbon?) Midway through Wednesday’s finale, Jake mentioned that St. John’s is called The City of Legends. Jake Doyle is certainly that.

Notes and quotes

  • “It’s ironic. All the crap I’ve done over the years and I’m going to be sent to prison for a crime I didn’t even commit.”–Jake
  • “I need to get some air. For my lungs, which may or may not be punctured from a broken heart.”–Des
  • “You’re a good man. And a great son.”–Malachy
  • It was hoot to see Rick Mercer playing the new mayor of St. John’s, though I half expected him to launch into a rant
  • “It would suck to find out you were shagging some biker missus.”–Leslie
  • “What are you doing with my head? You know I can’t handle more than one layer of subtext at a time.”–Des

What did you think of the series finale of Republic of Doyle? Let me know at greg@tv-eh.com, post a comment below to head to @tv_eh on Twitter.

Link: The magic and economics of Continuum

From Liz Shannon Miller of Indiewire:

How the Magic & Economics of Canadian Sci-Fi TV Helped Create ‘Continuum’
In terms of their decision-making process, we probably received the benefit of the doubt in terms of not being canceled, which a lot of shows are when they’re not performing to expectations. They wisely recognized there was an opportunity to service the fans, and also to make more of an event around this final season. It seemed like a lot of things lined up in our favor in that sense. Obviously, I’m speculating, because you never get to hear the inside information. Continue reading.

Link: Orphan Black fans celebrate Tatiana Maslany’s SAG nomination

From Patrick Kevin Day of the LA Times:

‘Orphan Black’ fans relieved at Tatiana Maslany’s SAG Awards nomination
If there’s one performer out there whose fans have been rabid in their support, it’s Tatiana Maslany. The star of “Orphan Black,” the science fiction series on BBC America, has not gotten a lot of awards show love, despite playing multiple roles. But the tide may finally be turning, thanks to her SAG Awards nomination Wednesday for female actor in a drama series. Continue reading.