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

Link: Dan Levy on why the most provocative thing about Schitt’s Creek isn’t the name

From Cassandra Szklarski of Canadian Press:

Dan Levy on why the most provocative thing about Schitt’s Creek isn’t the name
About halfway through the first season of Schitt’s Creek, it became clear that the most provocative element of the CBC sitcom had nothing to do with its name.

Instead, it was the unusual relationship quietly brewing between fashion-obsessed David, played by Dan Levy, and his snarky clad-in-plaid buddy Stevie, played by Emily Hampshire. Their quippy odd-couple banter somehow leads to an envelope-pushing friends-with-benefits fling. Continue reading.

Slice’s Emergency goes behind the scenes in Vancouver’s ERs

From a media release:

A visit to the emergency department can be an emotional experience for the patient and for the loved ones that accompany them.  The new documentary series Emergency (14 x 30) gives viewers an intimate look at the lives of patients in some of Canada’s busiest emergency departments. Narrated by award-winning musician and author Jann Arden and produced by award-winning producers Force Four Entertainment, Emergency airs Thursdays at 9 & 9:30 p.m. ET/11 & 11:30 p.m. PT with back-to-back episodes beginning April 16 on Slice.

Each episode of Emergency interweaves the personal stories of three to four patients, each facing their own medical emergency, ranging from heart and respiratory ailments to broken bones and work-related accidents. With a heart-felt focus on relationships, the series focuses on the patients and their loved ones, their hopes and their fears, and just how their trip to the emergency department could impact their future. Emergency also showcases the relationships between patients and the medical staff who work tirelessly and urgently to unravel the mysterious illness or injury that brought the patient to the emergency department.

Thurs., April 16 at 9 p.m. ET/11 p.m. PT
A father and son fishing trip is reeled in by excruciating back pain. A mom convinces her young construction worker son to get treatment for a boil under his arm. A grandmother forgets to take her medication and requires a jolt to slow her racing heart.

Thurs., April 16 at 9:30 p.m. ET/11:30 p.m. PT
Doctors assist a patient with two life threatening conditions at the same time. A captivating couple seeks a solution to their ring problem. An anxious woman fears the worst when her heart rate suddenly accelerates.

Emergency departments featured in the series are all part of the Fraser Health network of hospitals.

He Said/She Said: Are TV critics important?

Join Greg and Diane every Monday as we debate what’s on our minds. This week: with the proliferation of places for everyone and anyone to talk about TV online, is there still value to television critics?

She said:

It seems unlikely that this would be a place to find an argument against critics, and sure enough I can’t do it. I’m a strong believer in a strong critical community for any category of art or entertainment. Without it, the art form itself appears weak. If Canadian TV can’t withstand criticism, what does that say to potential viewers?

Silence is not golden when it comes to criticism. Damning with faint praise sometimes feels like a cliché made forCanadian  TV. Liking everything is akin to liking nothing. Easy to say, but the industry should rejoice when critics are critical. Or at least mutter to themselves. Critics are just part of what influences people to decide to watch a show, and likely not even the most important part, but the connection to a mass audience is still significant. 

The rise of social media hasn’t changed my opinion that professional critics are necessary and good, making the incredible shrinking Canadian TV critic community something we should all be rallying against. Especially when the modicum of diversity of critical voices that used to exist is shrinking right along with it.

There is a difference between professional critics the armchair critics who posts their thoughts on Twitter, or the fans who post their excitement on Tumblr. Assuming a critic is actually critical — not as in negative, but as in forming opinions and writing about them with a high degree of awareness of how plot, character, tone, structure and execution intersect to create those opinions — over time, readers can come to understand a critic’s taste and how it aligns with their own. Fans can also feel challenged to examine our own opinions and reasons for our reactions to the content.

Some like to deny it but there is still cache to having something discussed in print, in particular, but really anywhere the content has gone through the gatekeeping of an editorial process.

Newspapers also know a scary amount of information about their subscribers: age ranges, income brackets, and a host of other demographics and psychographics. Digital publications know the kind of content their readers click on and comment on most — two metrics that don’t correspond as much as you might think.

Knowledge is power, on both sides. Professional critics know who they’re talking to and over time, readers know who they’re listening to. If a critic is unfair, or the critique doesn’t substantiate a negative review, there’s also a power in the audience fighting back. When the industry does it? Weak.

He said:

I am, of course, biased in my opinion that television critics are still important because I am one. And, in the ever-changing world where we’re seeing movie and TV critics being let go by newspapers and websites, they’re even more important.

I view the role of the television critic as this: watch a television show, comment on it, celebrate it or be critical of it. Have an opinion. If you think something is good, outline why. Hate it? Explain why. I’ve been ripped on for not being too critical of television shows or the industry in general, but I choose to find the overall good in things rather than focus on the things that aren’t working. I’m not afraid to point out shortcomings, but when I do it’s with a suggestion on how to make things better. Being miserable and mean just for the sake of it is, in my opinion, lazy.

I view my thoughts as being the starting point for a discussion. It’s something I’ve enjoyed for the last 15 years. There is nothing more fun than to have someone approach me and ask my thoughts on a TV show. Before I know it, I’m running through the programs on my DVR, the person I’m talking to is giving me their list and we’re talking. You may not agree with me—or me you—but man it’s fun.

Critics are never more important than they are now. With more of them in this industry being silenced due to job cuts, there is nothing to counter the noise coming from websites owned by cable companies touting their homegrown shows. I’m sorry to tell those folks, but not all of your shows are great no matter how much you tell me they are and how many behind-the-scenes exclusives you get.

You need someone to call bullshit, and that’s my job.

Tonight: Murdoch Mysteries, Big Brother Canada, Remedy, Tiny Plastic Men, Open House Overhaul

Murdoch Mysteries, CBC – “Artful Detective” season finale
While pursuing a sequential killer who collects macabre trophies from his victims, Murdoch becomes a target.

Big Brother Canada, Global
One houseguest will win the coveted Power of Veto—the ability to veto a nominee up for eviction!

Remedy, Global – “When You Awake”
After Melissa Conner performs what should be a straightforward surgery on firefighter Renee Hudson, Renee is left in mysterious and agonizing pain. As Mel and Jerry retrace their medical steps trying to find the cause, the cracks in their relationship are exposed. Allen’s first day in ER is complicated by the strange and violent behaviour of Tyson ‘Pitbull’ Danko, and Allen and Cutler need to work together in order to keep Pitbull in the hospital long enough to find out what’s really wrong with him. Griffin and Zoe pull together to help a still-reeling Kanaskie eradicate a bedbug problem at Beth-H.

Tiny Plastic Men, Super Channel – “Billy Blumpie and the Fudge Factory”
A sinister new man named Billy Bland (guest star Kevin McDonald) shows up to collect on the
contest prize he won thirty years ago. The prize – ownership of Gottfried Bros. But Billy is not
who he seems to be. He has a major grudge against Mr. Gottfried and he intends to destroy Gottfried Bros. Can the guys stop Billy before it’s too late?

Open House Overhaul, HGTV – series premiere
When selling a house, it takes more than a fresh coat of paint to realize its true financial potential. Designer Sam Pynn (Pure Design, Summer Home) and her burly crew are on a mission to overhaul houses on the real estate market in order to sell fast and make top dollar.

Super Channel teams with New Metric Media for What Would Sal Do?

From a media release:

Super Channel, Canada’s only national English pay television network, is pleased to announce it has commissioned a new original scripted comedy series, What Would Sal Do?, from Toronto based New Metric Media in partnership with DHX Media.

Created by Andrew De Angelis (Mr. D, Fugget About It), the eight-episode, half-hour comedy series, is a modern day parable of an entitled underachiever, Sal, who for the first time in his life, is challenged to be a good person when he discovers he’s the Second Coming of Christ.

The Super Channel original production is scheduled to begin shooting in Sudbury in August, 2015 and air on Super Channel in spring 2016. Executive Producers for New Metric Media are Mark Montefiore and Patrick O’Sullivan, with Greg Copeland as producer. Samir Rehem will direct all eight episodes.

What Would Sal Do? is produced by New Metric Media, in partnership with DHX Media in association with Super Channel, and with the participation of the Canadian Media Fund and Ontario and Federal Tax Credits.

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