TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television | Page 2
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Link: Mary Kills People actors on Ben and Mary’s relationship and the S2 power struggle

From Kelly Townsend of The TV Junkies:

Link: Mary Kills People actors on Ben and Mary’s relationship and the S2 power struggle
An odd twist of fate has led to Mary Harris’ (Caroline Dhavernas) life coming full circle since the death of last season’s nemesis Grady (Greg Bryk). First, his sister Olivia Bloom (Rachelle Lefevre) orders Mary to kill her husband Travis (Ian Lake), then when poor Mary is forced into the act through a powerfully convincing threat she runs into Ben (Jay Ryan), last season’s love interest and the man who almost threw her in jail. We last left off last week with the two coming face to face for the first time. Continue reading.

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Link: Sarah Dodd finds her niche on CTV crime drama

From Jeremy Shepherd of North Shore News:

Link: Sarah Dodd finds her niche on CTV crime drama
“All around us were index cards with plots twist and character moments and visual moments and all six episodes eventually up on those walls. The other offices were inhabited by mainly psychiatrists so we can only imagine what they were thinking. . . . We looked like A Beautiful Mind in there.” Continue reading.

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Preview: Burden of Truth blossoms in Episode 2

The first episode of a new television series is always tough on the creators and viewers. Within just 44 minutes for a drama (and 22 for a comedy) you need to create a world, introduce the characters in it and connect all of it for a new audience.

As I wrote last week, the pilot episode of Burden of Truth did it effortlessly. I immediately cheered for small-town lawyer Billy Crawford (Peter Mooney) when big-city litigator Joanna Hanley (Kristin Kreuk) switched sides and joined him in plotting to take down the big pharmaceutical company she was representing. I felt badly for Luna Spence (Star Slade), the young woman determined to fight the company because its drugs were making her and other girls sick. I enjoyed the community feel of Millwood, rife with secrets and ill-will towards Joanna, who left there when she was 14.

I was excited to see what creator Brad Simpson had in store, especially after CBC sent out this episode synopsis:

Joanna must reckon with questions over her family’s hasty departure when she was a teenager while attempting to convince the locals that she has, in fact, switched sides. After footing the bill for medical testing of the sick girls and running commonalities tests, Joanna suspects that the cause of the illness is an environmental toxin on the High School Athletic Field.

And here are more tidbits to tell you after watching a screener of “The Ties That Bind,” written by Simpson and directed by Jeff Woolnough.

Selkirk looks super
Thanks to stunning work by director of photography David A. Makin, the directors and location folks, Selkirk, Manitoba, is stunning as the fictional Millwood. Those wind turbines, waving crops and sun-touched brick buildings bring a whole new level to the production.

Joanna breaks the news to Alan
Almost lost in the shuffle of last week’s debut was Benjamin Ayres as Alan, Joanna’s boyfriend and co-worker at the firm. “The Ties That Bind” jumps right in with she calling he to drop a bit of a bomb in his lap.

Anti-vax
The whole reason Joanna was in Millwood was to combat the claim against the company making drugs. Now that she and Billy dig a little deeper into the evidence, they discover the vaccine may not be the culprit after all.

It’s not all about the big case
Billy may be working with Joanna on the major court case but he’s got a bunch of other situations to deal with. We get a ton of background on what Billy is up to, his standing within the community and the difference between doing legal work out of an office in a skyscraper and on country roads. Meanwhile, Joanna’s phone conversations with her dad don’t go so well … and hint at what drove him to leave Millwood 17 years ago.

Burden of Truth airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

 

 

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Cardinal, Letterkenny and Kim’s Convenience top 2018 Canadian Screen Award nominees

Cardinal, Alias Grace, Murdoch Mysteries, Mary Kills People, Letterkenny, Workin’s Moms, Kim’s Convenience and The Disappearance—and many of those in the projects’ casts—are among the nominees for 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning at The Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto with Kim’s Convenience‘s Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Cardinal‘s Karine Vanasse and Rise host Sarain Fox serving as hosts.

Here are the nominations in the key television categories. Here is a link to the full list of nominations.

Best Drama Series

  • 19-2
  • Anne
  • Mary Kills People
  • Pure
  • Vikings

Best Comedy Series

  • Letterkenny
  • Workin’ Moms
  • Nirvanna the Band the Show
  • Michael: Every Day
  • Kim’s Convenience

Best Variety or Sketch Comedy Series

  • The Beaverton
  • Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Best Reality Competition Series

  • The Amazing Race Canada
  • The Bachelorette Canada
  • Big Brother Canada
  • MasterChef Canada
  • Top Chef Canada

Best Limited Series or Program

  • Cardinal
  • Alias Grace
  • The Disappearance
  • The Kennedys: After Camelot
  • Bruno & Boots: This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall

Best Children’s or Youth Program or Series

  • The Next Step
  • Odd Squad
  • Degrassi: Next Class
  • L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Fire & Dew

Best Lifestyle Program or Series

  • Dead Set on Life
  • Property Brothers
  • The Goods
  • Backyard Builds
  • Great Canadian Homes

CBC

Best Lead Actress, Comedy

  • Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Catherine Reitman, Workin’ Moms
  • Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
  • Andrea Bang, Kim’s Convenience
  • Jean Yoon, Kim’s Convenience

Best Lead Actor, Comedy

  • Gerry Dee, Mr. D
  • Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience
  • Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Best Lead Actress, Drama Series

  • Amybeth McNulty, Anne
  • Caroline Dhavernas, Mary Kills People
  • Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
  • Meaghan Rath, Rogue

Best Lead Actor, Drama Series

  • Brian Markinson, The Romeo Section
  • Richard Short, Mary Kills People
  • Christopher Heyerdahl, Van Helsing
  • Alexander Ludwig, Vikings
  • Shawn Doyle, Bellevue

Best Lead Actress, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace
  • Maxim Roy, Bad Blood
  • Karine Vanasse, Cardinal
  • Camille Sullivan, The Disappearance
  • Helene Joy, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Best Lead Actor, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Kim Coates, Bad Blood
  • Edward Holcroft, Alias Grace
  • Billy Campbell, Cardinal
  • Alan Thicke, It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway
  • Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Best Performance, Sketch Comedy (Individual or Ensemble)

  • Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • The Beaverton
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Best Performance, Children’s or Youth

  • Ella Ballentine, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Fire & Dew
  • Amanda, Arcuri, Degrassi: Next Class
  • Michela Luci, Dino Dan
  • Akiel Julien, The Next Step
  • Anna Cathcart, Odd Squad

 

The Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast gala airs live Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Which shows and actors/actresses are you hoping will win big at the Canadian Screen Awards? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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Murdoch Mysteries: Writer Dan Trotta discusses Julia’s news and Higgins’ growth

Spoiler Alert! Do not read this interview until you have watched the Season 11 episode entitled “Biffers and Blockers.”

So many fans have told me how much they’ve enjoyed Season 11 of Murdoch Mysteries. I agree. The writer’s room has hit a grand slam with regard to storylines, taking our favourite characters in bold new directions while keeping the core intact. That’s difficult to do, and yet showrunner Peter Mitchell and his crew make it seem easy.

Monday’s newest instalment, “Biffers and Blockers,” was memorable for several reasons. At long last, Julia said the words William and Murdoch Mysteries fans have been waiting for: she is pregnant. Secondly, the series was able to bring a beloved character back from the dead (sort of) by introducing us to Dr. Rupert Newsome (Cyrus Lane), identical twin brother of the late Roger Newsome. And third, with Constable Crabtree off in Paris, Higgins stepped forward and got some major airtime not only with regard to the murder of a cricket player but his social life with Ruth Newsome as well.

We spoke to the episode’s writer, Dan Trotta, about everything that went down.

I was thrilled to see Cyrus Lane return to the show as Dr. Rupert Newsome. How did the idea to have Cyrus come back as a twin come about?
Dan Trotta: Everyone in the room loved the character and everyone loved working with the actor. I didn’t have a whole lot to do with that decision. The character of Roger was just so fun to write for. There were a couple of pictures of him in the writer’s room. I know Jordan Christianson was a big fan. So, the class system was a big part of the episode and it made sense to have him as part of it. And the trick then was how to distinguish the brothers, and that was a fun part of it.

Cyrus Lane brings a lot to the role and has really created something special.
That guy is a fantastic actor. It’s the first time that I’ve worked with him. Comedy, I find in my limited experience, can be tricky especially when you really try to bring the funny. First, it’s on the page in the script. But, there is a security and a confidence that he has in his ability that makes him hilarious. What I noticed in the read-through is that his timing is fantastic. And he does seem to give the other actors a lot of space. He has a ton of charisma but doesn’t take over a scene, although I totally think he could easily if he wanted to. I was really looking forward to those scenes and seeing how they’d pop with him in them.

The return of a Newsome wasn’t even the biggest news of the episode. That was reserved for Julia revealing she is pregnant. How did it feel to have your name on this script and include this huge moment?
I was totally surprised that I was allowed to do this. It was an honour and a real responsibility. And I felt a responsibility to get it right because I know just how important it is to people. We’re seeing these characters in a situation we’ve never seen them before, really. So there was kind of a freedom in that. The old rules didn’t really apply, in a way, but you also want to honour the truth of these characters. I was kind of floored and it wasn’t even a really huge discussion. It was just kind of like, ‘Dan, this [episode] is yours.’ The way it all unfolded was certainly something we talked about but I’ve been consistently flattered by how much trust that Pete and the room have had in me.

A pivotal moment like this is usually saved for a season finale. Any comment? We’re only on Episode 11, so something big must happen in the season finale.
[Laughs.]

Now, just because she’s pregnant doesn’t mean she’ll carry the baby to term, right?
I suppose that’s a possibility, Greg.

You mentioned that class is a big part of this storyline. We got to see Higgins outside of the office, with Ruth, and you fleshed out more of that character. It must have been fun to do that with Lachlan Murdoch.
Honestly, he is such a blast to write for. To me, he is one of the funniest characters on the show and I thought that before I even started. And I thought it was hilarious to have this clash that he was going through. He slipped into that world so naturally. There is an element of British humour to it and an obliviousness to this character that I have always found fall-over funny. That, to me, was really what was so fun about it. Writing for clueless characters is just a blast. It’s the best.

It was neat to see him clearly besotted with Ruth and, at this point anyway, keep the worlds apart and not speak down to the lads in Station House No. 4.
So far, yes. [Laughs.] I think that’s in its infancy.

Did you know anything about cricket before writing this episode?
Dude, nothing. Nothing at all. That was a tricky part. The thing that lends itself to cricket is the clash and class distinction. I was writing and I would leave something like a strikeout blank and then go back and research the actual word. Instead of batter it’s batsmen. [Laughs.] It was a bit of a process. And, to be quite honest, I’m still not sure I know exactly how it works. I read your preview and I had the same questions you did. I still not sure what a match can last more than a day. I still don’t get that.

Where were the cricket scenes filmed?
Oh man, that was Shanty Bay. It was stunning. [Attention history buffs: the cricket scenes were, according to this website, the summer estate of Titanic survivor Lt. Col. Arthur Peuchen.] We got these two perfectly clear, gorgeous days to film. It’s one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate I’ve ever seen.

What did you think of the episode? Are you happy for Julia? Let me know in the comments below!

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

 

 

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