TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television | Page 20
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Mohawk Girls review: The Black Pine aka Pino Noir

The second episode of season 3, entitled Pino Noir, opens with Bailey (Jennifer Pudavick) and Trumpet ( Kevin Loring) luxuriating in a hot tub, sipping wine, and planning exotic trips together in his yacht. This might lead the viewer to believe that the title is invoking Pinot Noir: the wine, sometimes referred to by sommeliers as “sex in a glass”. But, as this episode unfolds, it becomes clear that our ladies are dealing with healing, positive life choices, and building strong stable relationships in all facets of life, more akin to the medicines of the Black Pine or Lodgepole Pine.

We begin with Caitlin (Heather White) receiving some self-help books from her on again room-mate Zoe (Brittany LeBorgne). Caitlin has decided to adopt a new healthy lifestyle that includes positive food choices, exercise, and working on her self-confidence. She even chooses to enlist personal trainer Leon (Alain Chanoine) to help her with a fitness regimen. (Did we see some sparks flying between these two? Time will tell). Later in the episode Caitlin runs (literally) into her father (Lawrence Bayne) and Butterhead (Meegwun Fairbrother) and she finally takes steps to positively move forward, away from these two toxic men in her life. GO CAITLIN!

For her part in healthy choices, Anna (Maika Harper) opts to take Sose’s (Glen Gould) advice, and connect with her Mohawk culture. Being a student, she seeks out knowledge the way most students do, via Wikipedia. Anna decides to make a healing salve for Tulip (Jayli Wolf) in order to make peace following their bar brawl. She heads out into the woods on her medicine hike, gathering the plants she hopes will make the salve according to the recipe she found online.

We next see Anna covered in welts on Tulip’s doorstep presenting Tulip with her peace offering. Tulip promptly refuses the salve. Anna then turns to Thunder (Kyle Nobess) for consolation, who sweetly teases her, “Why would you go to the internet for Mohawk culture when you are living in the real thing? You don’t need to prove how Mohawk you are to me.” YES!! Team Thana LIVES!

This week Zoe returns to work following her vacation/hibernation and uses her selfie with Lollipop (Devery Jacobs) as proof that all is well following the wedding meltdown. Unfortunately, according to her mother, The Chief, played by Tantoo Cardinal, these efforts are too little too late. Band members have written letters declaring Zoe’s behaviour violated the moral code she has in place as the Band’s legal counsel. Her mother declares that Zoe has once again shamed the family with her selfish behaviour, making it clear that she believes Zoe is “the joke of the town” and needs to “suck it up and give her grand-kids”.

This all sends Zoe back to Dom (Kyle Switzer) who has decided that she needs to be punished (since he had a stressful day as “Principal” of the Bradford School – REALLY?!?!). Zoe gladly submits to his lashing. The question is, did Zoe finally realise that this lifestyle is not really for her? Later we see Zoe, ever the pragmatist, compiling a spreadsheet in order to find a suitable single Mohawk man. As it turns out Osherase is the winning candidate for boyfriend material and Zoe wastes no time in bringing him home to meet her family.

Lastly we return to Bailey. The girls all discover that Bailey is indeed having an affair with Trumpet and judge her for it. Meanwhile Watio (Jimmy Blais) makes it clear to all who will see that he is still interested in Bailey, despite their horrendous date last season. Bailey is again quick to judge Watio and we learn that although he is on welfare (for “political reasons”), he volunteers every day for the Kahnawa:ke youth centre. Following a disappointing date with Trumpet and a run in with his wife Lollipop, Bailey begins to question this adulterous relationship. Finally after another revealing conversation with Watio, Bailey dumps Trumpet. We close out the episode with our foursome discussing what comprises a healthy relationship and Bailey quickly goes to Watio, staking her claim.

So, has Zoe actually turned away from Dom and the BDSM lifestyle in favour of a more traditional, and presumably healthy relationship with Osherase? What is next for Anna as she explores Mohawk culture? Can Bailey make a go with a relationship involving Watio? Has Caitlin turned a new leaf with her new healthy attitude and lifestyle? (and were there sparks between Caitlin and Leon?) Let me know what you think in the comments below.



Mohawk Girls review: What’s that you say? An Apology?

The season premiere of Mohawk Girls, created and directed by Tracey Deer and written by Cynthia Knight, picks up one week after last season’s finale. As the title “Apologies Week” suggests, this week is all about making amends for the multiple transgressions committed by our favourite four Mohawk ladies.

Right away we learn that yes indeed Caitlin went through with her planned abortion. That question now out of the way, the rest of the episode can focus on all of the apologies. The town apologizes to Caitlin, Anna apologizes to Thunder, Bailey apologizes to Thunder, Zoe apologizes to Caitlin, Zoe apologizes to Lollipop, Butterhead apologizes to Caitlin— sort of. It seems everyone is apologizing to or for someone or something. However, the unspoken apology is left to Caitlin, but I will get to that later.

This week Zoe (Brittany LeBorgne) finally begins to atone for her meltdown that occurred in last season’s episode entitled Bridesmaidzilla. Lollipop (Devery Jacobs) has decided that the all too perfect Zoe must submit to her every desire, which includes such demeaning acts as bathroom scrubbing and an emergency pedicure. Zoe attends to this new master whilst “aching to serve” her new Dom played by Kyle Switzer. Speaking of her new Dom, we catch another glimpse of Zoe’s new game playing playmate as Zoe takes one more step into her world of kink.

Bailey (Jennifer Pudavick), clearly tired being the good girl who follows the rules, has yet another confrontation with her father Sose (Glen Gould) and Auntie Velma (Ashley Michaels) regarding her rebellious behaviour. As a result, Bailey again looks for love in the wrong places and settles—this time with newlywed Trumpet (played by Kevin Loring)—as she reminisces about her one night stand, with  the aid of Trumpet’s sexting. We see Bailey attempting to do the right thing by avoiding a  married man, but by the episode’s close it seems clear that resistance, at least for now, is futile.

Fish-out-of-water Anna (Maika Harper) spends this episode picking up the pieces of her shocking Blood Quantum reveal. The entire town now knows she is not the critical 50% Mohawk blood that guarantees your position at Kahnawa:ke, and Anna starts this season right back where she was in the series premiere last season. However, instead of the hopeful and lively Anna we are so accustomed to seeing embark on  new adventures at Kahnawa:ke, we see a woman grieving the loss of her newly won acceptance, not to mention her fear of losing Thunder.

Anna seeks out advice from her surrogate father figure Sose who supplies our lesson on Mohawk culture. We are told by Sose that “Blood Quantum was a white system imposed on our people. It is not our way”. He suggests to Anna that “there are other ways to connect with our culture and feel you belong here” and that she should not give up so easily. Anna apologizes to “Be Still my Beating Heart Thunder” (Kyle Nobess) and he reassures that it is difficult to stay angry with her. It seems Team Thana might live to see another day.

And finally we come to Caitlin (Heather White). Now that we know she deliberately ended her pregnancy, we are left to live through her consequences. Caitlin is in a world of hurt; filled with guilt and shame. Zoe apologizes to her for not being present for the procedure as she had promised and for telling the other girls of Caitlin’s secret. Caitlin continues to battle guilt and fear, using that guilt to justify settling for a man like Butterhead in order to quell her long held fears of being alone.

Caitlin however, is not impressed with Butterhead’s boyfriend behaviours. In a last ditch attempt to turn Blockheaded Butterhead into her Warrior, Caitlin agrees to school him in the art of being a good boyfriend. Alas, the blockhead fails and after a heart to heart with Butterhead’s baby mama Mean Girl Vickie (Rachelle White Wind), Caitlin gains the strength to forgive herself and finds the courage to leave Butterhead.

Hat Tip to Tracey Deer and Cynthia Knight for tackling such a contentious and often times polarizing decision with such grace, and also to Heather White for once again playing Caitlin with so much honesty.

So what is next for our ladies now that the apologies have been made and everyone seems to be back in each others good graces? How long can Bailey enjoy an affair with a married man? Will Caitlin continue on her journey to healing? Now that Anna is forgiven by Thunder, can Tulip forgive her too? Let me know in the comments below.

Video: Spies and organized crime at centre of new Haddock series The Romeo Section

From the Vancouver Sun:

Spies and organized crime at centre of new Haddock series The Romeo Section
Executive producer Chris Haddock’s latest incarnation into the underbelly of politics and the drug trade offers insight into the nefarious dealings in the intelligence service here in Canada as well as in China. Continue reading.


Live-stream of paranormal investigation launches S2 of APTN’s The Other Side

I love watching TV shows about ghost investigations. I dutifully tuned in to every episode of Paranormal State, and checked out Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. Heck, I’ve been watching Supernatural since Season 1. I’ve seen a lot of questionable camera work and many things I can’t explain on those programs, but APTN’s The Other Side certainly seems to be on the up-and-up if you believe in the spirit world in the first place.

Returning Saturday on APTN—and just in time for Halloween—Season 2’s 13 half-hour back-to-back episodes of The Other Side once again mesh technology and the spirit world with things that go bump in the night as intuitive Jeff Richards, investigator Bill Connelly, spirit guide Tom Charles and researcher Priscilla Wolf investigate spookiness across Canada.

I screened Episode 4, “Love More,” and it’s pretty creepy stuff. Camped out at a burial ground for 16 hanged men outside Manitoba’s Headingley Prison, scientific instruments capture blips, bleeps and noises that are turned into a recognizable voice. Photographs taken at the scene uncover an orb—long thought to represent a wayward spirit—hanging out nearby. Is it really an executed murderer named Peter communicating with the team, or a local having them on? Backstory into the crime Peter was accused of rounds out the story nicely, adding a human face to the apparition the squad communicates with.

Regardless of your beliefs, The Other Side is solid entertainment. None of the team members freak out when something happens, an annoying trait on Ghost Adventures, and no jump cuts or sudden camera movements sully the shots.

Prior to Saturday’s return, The Other Side crew will be conducting a live-stream paranormal investigation on Thursday, Oct. 29, from the Senator Hotel, one of the oldest in Saskatoon. Check it out at 8:15 p.m. PT/11:15 p.m. ET from APTN’s website or the show’s website.

The Other Side airs Saturdays at 8 and 8:30 p.m. ET on APTN.

Corbin Tomaszeski cooks up truly Incredible prize on Food Race

Corbin Tomaszeski laments the fact that, with many having busy lifestyles, families aren’t able to enjoy quality time preparing or sharing dinner together.

They’ll get a little bit of both—in a seriously amped-up manner—via The Incredible Food Race. Debuting Wednesday on Food Network, celebrity chef Tomaszeski and ET Canada host Rick Campanelli serve as hosts and ringmasters as two families face off in physical challenges followed by a live cook-off in front of an audience; the audience then tastes both meals and votes for the winning family. What does the triumphant squad go home with? Groceries for a year courtesy of Walmart Canada.

“Competition shows usually award product, some kind of service or monetary amount,” Tomaszeski says. “There’s something really attractive and tangible when it’s food and you have the control over what you buy. And, hello, food is a basic necessity.” The former Restaurant Takeover host explains The Incredible Food Race is more about bringing people together and having fun, with a big prize at the end.

It doesn’t take long for the “fun” challenges to turn into a bona fide competition in Episode 1. The super-athletic Snyman family face off against the vegan Buddle-Gills in three tests designed to give distinct advantages during the final cook-off. The biggest of those three advantages? Several minutes with Tomaszeski coaching them while preparing food for the hungry voting audience. The Dinner Party Wars judge admits that, unlike feelgood co-host Campanelli, he wants to hear smack talk and see some tears because it makes for good TV. One of Tomaszeski’s favourite challenges is called “Sumo Sushi,” and features a team member rolling their own rice-based recipes … while wearing inflatable sumo wrestler costumes.

At this point, Season 1 is a mere six episodes filmed in Toronto, but Tomaszeski hopes, if a sophomore season is ordered, The Incredible Food Race can become a country-wide affair.

“I think we’ve only just scratched the surface with Season 1,” he says. “I think we should travel or have people from across Canada come here because there are so many different types of families and components of families out there that it’s a good idea.”

The Incredible Food Race airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network.