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

W Network’s Game of Homes returns for drama-filled Season 2

The home renovation show with the best twist on a TV title ever returns with one of the biggest prizes in Canadian TV. Season 2 of Game of Homes is back Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on W Network with resident judges Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, host Dave Salmoni and four pairs of two looking to score one heck of a grand prize: a house, furniture inside the house and a plot of land to put it on.

Where Season 1 had the backdrop of Vancouver, the sophomore go-round is based just outside of Toronto, and eight weeks of toil turns into triumph for two people. Will it be Kim and Harry, who want to win the house for financial freedom and a chance to spend more time with their kids? Maybe best friends Domenic and Michael, hoping to move out of their parents’ home. There is also engaged couple Courtney and Tyler; and mother and son duo Shelley and Alex, looking to win the house to secure financial stability for Alex’s future. Regardless of who wins, the road is a bumpy one.

“When things happen and they realize, ‘Holy shit, I could win a house,’ that’s one reality,” says Salmoni during a break in filming. “Then there’s the reality of the first time they don’t enjoy being part of a TV show. ‘I’m having a first AD scream at me?’ ‘I have to do that again?’ There are a lot of things you don’t consider when you sign on to do a design show.” Salmoni, an animal trainer and host of such nature series as Rogue Nature and Into the Pride and heading up Mark Burnett’s adventure series Expedition Impossible, dispenses tough love to the competitors, who are challenged to renovate a room at a time in the run-down abodes they’ve chosen. At the end of each episode, McAllister, Ryan, a guest judge weigh in on whose room looks the best.

“Colin and I are very practical and there can only be one winner,” Ryan says. “But to get there, there is a big emotional journey. We have connected with the contestants, but we have to keep that barrier alive where we can be critical without offending.”

“I want them all to win, but I’m there for the rules,” Salmoni explains. “If you tell me you’re tired? Tough, this is what you signed on for. If you received some comments from the judges that you didn’t like? Tough, do better next time.” There’s a lot of that attitude—both from the judges and contestants—in Episode 1. The dazzle of being part of a television show quickly fades when hours stretch into days, ingenious ideas crumble and tempers flare. McAllister, Ryan and guest judge Todd Talbot pull no punches in their criticisms of the living room renovations and leads to bruised egos.

“The stress of it is expected for a show like this,” Salmoni says. “What I didn’t expect was the weather. It’s getting cold and there’s no heat in the houses. They’ve been struggling.” Luckily, the grand prize is worth it.

Game of Homes airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on W Network.

TVO to End Production of Gisèle’s Big Backyard

From a media release:

Today TVO announced that while it will continue to air the daily Gisèle’s Big Backyard program block, in-house production of the short interstitial segments will end in May. With an inventory of over 800 interstitial segments for Gisèle’s Big Backyard, there is sufficient content to provide a quality educational experience to pre-school viewers during the 6am to 3pm program block.

“I would like to thank the cast, puppeteers, production team and crew of Gisèle’s Big Backyard, especially host and namesake Gisèle Corinthios, for unwavering dedication in inspiring our youngest minds to be successful in school and in life,” said Marney Malabar, Director, Kids TV.

“With limited resources, TVO must make difficult choices. Regrettably, in-house production of the short interstitial segments will cease, but we will be able to continue to serve our two to four year old pre-school audience with our inventory of Gisèle’s Big Backyard for years to come,” added Malabar.

This announcement impacts approximately six employees and seven hours of in-house production per year.

There will be no visible changes to viewers, with children still able to enjoy favourites like Paw Patrol, Hi Opie!, Doozers and Alphabet Goop each day, introduced by learning lessons from Gisèle and the team.

This announcement does not affect The Space, TVO’s afternoon programming block designed for school-age children.

Link: Tatiana Maslany laments reaction to (spoiler’s) death

From Nick Patch of the Toronto Star:

Tatiana Maslany laments reaction to (spoiler’s) death
“There’s a bizarre focus on the fact that she’s bisexual or a lesbian and has been killed off, and that really reduces her to one thing in representing something, as opposed to being an individual. I find that to be a problematic complaint. She’s so much more than her sexuality and to make it about, ‘well, we killed off a lesbian character,’ that’s really reductive.” Continue reading. 

Tim Rozon on his hairy Wynonna Earp role

To say Tim Rozon is a fan of comic books would be a grave understatement. Rozon, who portrays Doc Holliday on CHCH’s Monday night sci-fi romp Wynonna Earp, blew his daily per diem on comics while attending WonderCon to promote the show for Syfy. He geeked out meeting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman and DC’s Jim Lee and spent all his free time walking the convention floor. So to land a role on a series based on Beau Hill’s graphic novels was, literally, a dream come true.

We spoke to Rozon about the research he did before playing Doc, the character’s complicated relationship with Wynonna, dealing with a devilish dude like Bobo Del Rey and why growing a real moustache was so important.

I’m a history buff, so going into Wynonna Earp I assumed Doc and Wynonna would be friends because of his connection to Wyatt. That doesn’t appear to be the in the show; if anything he appears to be aligned with Bobo.
Tim Rozon: People ask if Doc is good or bad and my answer to that is, what’s good and what’s bad? I’ve played villains and I don’t play them thinking I’m bad. I think what I’m doing is good. Doc lives in a grey area of good and bad and I think everyone on this show is driven by their own mission. Everybody feels they have something they need to get done for themselves and Doc is hell-bent on something. He’s going to use whoever and whatever he can to get that mission done. If he’s using Bobo or Wynonna, it really doesn’t matter to Doc.

Do things change? You’ll have to wait and see.

I love the fact that, at this point, Wynonna and Waverly just think he’s a super-fan with a great wardrobe.
Yeah! I mean, the writing is great. The funniest thing for me about the character is he’s not scared of a gunfight, but a selfie? He has no idea what that is. Getting in an elevator is what’s going to give Doc pause now.


Talk about growing the moustache and your research into Doc Holliday.
Here’s the thing. Doc Holliday is an iconic character and I grew up loving him. He’s been done really well by a lot of other people before. If I say, ‘I’m your Huckleberry,’ people know who that is. For those that don’t, it’s Val Kilmer as Holliday in Tombstone. I knew exactly who Doc Holliday was when this part came up and it was important for me to be as historically accurate as possible. So I went back and did a little research and the original moustache was big and had that little soul patch thing. I knew I was going to at least go with the moustache. It took about four months to grow that and I need it to play him. There is something about being on set with the hat, the gun and the moustache that really helps that character come out. It’s hard for me to do it right now. I’m so far away from Doc in regular life.

We also made sure that I had the right gun. In my research, I knew that it was a Colt Thunderer that we needed. And when I talked to production they told me that’s what they’d got, so I was really happy. I was carrying around a replica of the same gun he had.

Wow, did you take it? Do you have it?
I wish! I said, ‘Can I have this and hang it on my wall?’ They said, ‘No Tim, it’s a gun. You need a permit.’

Wynonna Earp airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CHCH.

MasterChef Canada pump(kin)s up the competition

After a week off because of the Juno Awards, MasterChef Canada was back with the Top 10 cooking on Sunday. Doctor Shawn clearly should cook outside of his comfort zone more often: despite no knowledge of baking or working with pumpkin, he wowed the judges and had the best Elimination Challenge plate of the night.

But the biggest shock wasn’t what Shawn was able to do, but what Michelle wasn’t. One of the strongest home cooks going into this season was eliminated after her pumpkin soup was deemed unsatisfactory by the judges. Her elimination led to plenty of tears by the remaining competitors and a little head-scratching on my part. Yes, I know every judgment is made solely on your latest dish, but Michelle has, overall, been pretty impressive. Alas, she’s gone and we’re left to wonder what could have been. Meanwhile, April Lee and Jennifer got a massive wake-up call and need to improve if they want to continue.

At the other end were Mary (pumpkin gnocchi), Shawn (pumpkin soup) and Terry (pumpkin risotto)—Jeremy and Matthew’s absence from Elimination Challenge judging meant they were safe—whose pumpkin plates won raves from the judges and landed them all captain status in next week’s team challenge. Shawn and Mary have been obviously strong out of the gate, but Terry is quickly closing in on them. He’s also got a great story; you can’t help but cheer for him to win.

And then there’s Veronica. She appeared to be the villain of the season early on—being a confident lawyer will do that—and she seemed cold and detached. Clearly she’s anything but; she and the likable Michelle are best friends and she spent a lot of time sharing personal stories regarding her father. She’s also one hell of a cook; her Japanese Matcha Roll Cake was outstanding and claimed her not only the Mystery Box challenge win but a spot in a Becel margarine ad. After Michelle was eliminated, Veronica pointed out that the other home cooks are merely competitors and she’ll take them down one by one. The remaining Top 8 better watch out.

MasterChef Canada airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET on CTV.