TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television | Page 30
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Link: Sunnyside: Bringing Laughs Back To Canadian TV

From Jim Bawden:

Something strange has happened to the state of Canadian TV comedy this season.

The laughs stopped coming.

Think of it –the number of brilliant Canadian sketch TV comedy shows which dominated the medium: Wayne And Shuster, SCTV, Kids In The Hall, The Frantics, RCAF, Ron James.

All expired for different reasons leaving only the venerable This Hour Has 22 Minutes to hold down the fort. Maybe the pendulum is swinging again because a new Canadian sketch comedy series called Sunnyside premieres on City Thursday night at 8. Continue reading.

Link: The Nova Scotia connections of Book of Negroes

From Phlis McGregor of CBC:

The Book of Negroes shot in Nova Scotia, airs tonight
Lawrence Hill’s prize-winning novel The Book of Negroes small screen adaptation is about to premiere, thanks, in part, to some strong Nova Scotia connections. After winning the admiration of Canadian readers, as well the prestigious Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2008, The Book of Negroes miniseries premieres tonight on CBC. Continue reading.

Review: Mohawk Girls Find their “Rez Balls”

Written by Carolyn Potts

In this, the jam-packed season finale of Mohawk Girls entitled “Rez Balls” — written, directed, and produced by Tracey Deer and co-produced by the essential Cynthia Knight — we open with the latest contestant on “Finding Bailey’s Prince”.

*Cue the game show announcer voice*: “Today’s contestant is Aaron (played by Matt Cassidy). Aaron owns a successful women’s fashion boutique in Montreal. He is a devout Jew and believes in repairing the world. He has also been seen to treat the homeless with respect and dignity.” Bailey (Jennifer Pudavick) decides this guy is definitely a contender.

Our theme tonight appears to centre on being brave enough (or perhaps reckless enough) to do what you most desire (i.e. grabbing life by the “rez” balls) rather than worrying about how society will react.

We start with Zoe’s (Brittany Leborgne) plight following her Bridesmaidzilla breakdown. Zoe is holed up in bed afraid to face the world. Caitlin (Heather White), Anna (Maika Harper), and Bailey attempt to provide moral support, key word being attempt.

Ultimately conversation comes back to team #Thana (“Be still my beating Heart” Thunder played Kyle Nobess). The girls are surprised to learn Anna has broken her “Three Month Rule”. The realization that Anna actually regrets her decision and is considering a sexual hiatus until it “feels right” laid the foundation for my favourite one liner from Caitlin: “You can’t feed the beast and then starve it!” Anna is still feeling the pressure to conform to the rules of “Being a Mohawk” and still fears word of her 48.2% blood quantum number will leak out to the community, thus ruining any progress she has made to fit in.

Caitlin stays with her bestie Zoe and talk turns to Caitlin’s relationship with Butterhead. Caitlin is fearing that their baby will grow up just as she did, not knowing the love of her father and constantly living with that heartache. Zoe delicately suggests an abortion will break the cycle, saying “that women lose babies all the time. No one needs to know how she lost her baby.” Interestingly, Caitlin’s initial fear is how the community would react to that decision rather than the actual loss of her baby.

In the meantime, Bailey agrees to dinner with her father (Glen Gould) and Auntie Velma (Ashley Michaels). They voice their concerns about Bailey dating non Mohawks. Bailey retaliates, shocking them with the news that she has dated a wide assortment of “non-Mohawk- non-white” men. This argument prompts her call to Aaron and a date ensues. All appears wonderful. Aaron seems like the perfect guy. Sparks fly and the chemistry works.

Unfortunately for Bailey, even though they had a lot of “fun”, it is ironically Aaron who turns the table on Bailey. He announces that he can never date anyone who is not Jewish. Following her disappointment, Bailey heads to the bar to lick her wounds, and indulges a bit too much. Her advances on Thunder are rebuffed, he firmly declares he is with Anna and in response Bailey lets slip that Anna does not meet the Kahnawa:ke’s 50% blood quantum. Tulip (Jayli Wolf) overhears this shocking news.

We return to Zoe, found drinking alone. She receives an online message from a potential Dom and she informs him of her need to be punished. This leads to a meeting with “Dom” (Kyle Switzer) wherein he supplies a list of activities for Zoe to categorize according to interest and curiosity (borrowing on a very popular “50 Shades” moment). She ultimately agrees to be Dom’s submissive partner. Her training begins at once with lessons on demonstrating her sexuality.

After a two episode hiatus, Meangirl Vicky (Rachelle White Wind) returns tonight with her posse, taunting Anna once again. This time however, Anna stands up against Vicky which seems to engender a modicum of affection (is it just me or did Vicky’s makeup make her look a bit softer tonight?) Here’s to hoping we find out why Vicky uses her meanness as a defense mechanism next season.

Meanwhile it appears Caitlin has made a decision regarding the future of her baby; she is waiting in the Dr’s office for an abortion. She is desperately trying to reach Zoe for moral support. The heartbreak is once again clearly evident, but Caitlin is desperate to ensure she is not party to perpetuating the cycle of emotional neglect that she herself is a victim of. Zoe of course cannot be reached as she is otherwise engaged in her lessons. Caitlin once again puts on a brave face and forges ahead.

This final episode “climaxes” with a drunken Bailey, tired of being the good Mohawk girl and throws caution to the wind. She gives in to newlywed Trumpet’s (Kevin Loring) advances and they hook up outside the bar. At the same time Anna’s worst fear is realized and she is publicly confronted by Tulip who proclaims to all who will listen that “Hat Girl Anna” does not meet the 50% limit. Anna finally stands up for herself and takes Tulip down in a bar fight.

And so we close this premiere season not knowing if Caitlin goes through with an abortion. We don’t know how Zoe will react to her lessons. We are left to wonder whether or not team #Thana will survive or if Anna’s heart will be broken by Thunder. Will Anna finally be accepted as a true Mohawk? Finally, what will word of Bailey’s hookup with Trumpet mean to her, and her relationships with family, friends, and within the community? We will have to wait until next season to find out.

What a fabulous run ladies (and gentlemen). This has been such a treat to see and learn more about Mohawk culture, but best of all to be entertained but such a uniquely Canadian show. Thanks to the brilliance of Ms. Deer and Ms. Knight, and the fabulous assortment of actors they managed to collect, viewers have been given a program that showcases a part of Canada so rarely seen in such a positive light, and that anyone, regardless of your Mohawk Blood Quantum Number, can identify with on some level. Cannot wait for next season!

Let me know what you think will happen in season two in the comments.

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