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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Comments and queries for the week of November 17

[Massive Monster Mayhem] rules!! Honestly, super creative and engaging and I’m surprised they still make shows like this. I remember stuff like Legends of Hidden Temple and Zoom and whatnot from when I was a kid. This is super cool that they still do this. —Joshua

This episode [of Murdoch Mysteries] was absolutely devastating. I cried—and I couldn’t stop thinking about it even the next day. Masterful performances and a brilliant script. But please, don’t make this kind of intense emotional episode a habit! It was almost too much! —Tim

Wow, so entertaining! Just had me glued to the screen tonight. Could not wait until the end … amazing how they get the audience hooked to this episode by not revealing what we all wanted to know until the very last few seconds. So incredibly well done, so very well-acted by the two actors playing Mr. Dilbert and Mildred … had me in tears. Thank you writers, cast, production and all crew involved. No other show comes close to this. —Rhonda

A dark, terrible episode. I’m sorry I watched it rather than turning off the TV. Maybe it’s me, I found the whole thing very upsetting, and quite disturbing. I was vividly reminded of what I believe to be true. I used to work in a Canadian Pacific railway yard and heard a story of a switching crew employee who was crushed between two rail cars. It can happen in a moment of carelessness. He was alive—pulling the cars apart was not an option. A trauma surgeon was called, and the doctor injected him with a large dose of morphine. Then the locomotive pulled the cars apart. Unconscious, the poor man died instantly of massive crushing injuries to his abdomen. I’ve lived with that indelible image in my mind for a long time. I liked Dilbert’s character. The writers never developed it. We see a sad; tender side of him fatally pinned between a car and trolley. So, instead of giving us more of Dilbert they literally crush him to death and we watch him suffer as he comes to terms with his imminent, tragic, pointless death. I have seen every episode; always enjoyable. But not this one. —Brian

I’m glad Pedersen acknowledged the Homicide: Life on the Street episode because that was what I thought of right away. Great job Murdoch! —Chris


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email or via Twitter @tv_eh.




Link: Secrets From The Ice Proves Of Things Still Thriving

From James Bawden:

Link: Secrets From The Ice Proves Of Things Still Thriving
I well remember a conversation not so long ago when a head CBC programmer mused about canceling The Nature Of Things after its 50th season on air.

Well, that programmer has long departed while NOT is enjoying one of its best ever seasons ever. And if you don’t believe me tune in Sunday night at 8 for Secrets From The Ice. Continue reading. 


Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries delivers a solid right hook in Episode 3

With two weeks of episodes under our stylish belts, we can say Frankie Drake Mysteries is firing on all cylinders. Flo is a hoot, Frankie is fabulous, Trudy is terrific and Mary is magnificent. Seriously, this series looks as though it’s been on the air for two seasons, not just two episodes, so congratulations to co-creators Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, showrunner Cal Coons and the rest of the cast and crew for making Frankie Drake so great.

Now, on to Episode 3, “Summer in the City,” written by Carol Hay and directed by Norma Bailey. Here’s what the CBC has released regarding Monday’s episode synopsis:

When a body is found in a young man’s trunk, the case brings Frankie and Trudy into Toronto’s elite social circles.

And here’s some more intel after watching a screener of the episode.

Rebecca Liddiard is has a comic gift
Liddiard has been all over our television screen of late thanks to Houdini & Doyle, Alias Grace, Slasher: Guilty Party and now Frankie Drake Mysteries. Her Mary is a delightful whirlwind of energy, innocence and flailing limbs that we can’t get enough of. Look for our interview with Liddiard in the coming days.

Welcome Emmanuel Kabongo and Grace Lynn Kung
Kabongo (21 Thunder) appears as boxer Moses Page who is training to fight real-life pugilist Jack Dempsey, while Kung (Mary Kills People) is Wendy Quon, who runs the local speakeasy.

Frankie & Hemingway create sparks
There was a definite connection between the two the first time we saw Frankie and Ernest Hemingway (Steve Lund) converse and there is more of that on Monday night thanks via sarcasm, snark and plenty of side-eye.

Trudy sings!
We were thrilled to see Carol Hay’s script offered the chance for Chantel Riley to step behind the mic for a little somethin’ somethin’. Fingers crossed there’s more of that to come in Season 1.

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.




AMI-tv to launch Food Spin with Chef Aleem – a documentary series focused on food, accessibility and community

From a media release:

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today that Food Spin with Chef Aleem – a documentary series following the life of Toronto food truck owner Aleem Syed – will premiere on November 29.

A professionally trained chef, Aleem’s world was forever changed in 2008 when he was involved in a shooting accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. His passion for food never wavered and he made it his mission to open a halal – and fully wheelchair accessible – food truck called the Holy Grill.

Food Spin with Chef Aleem follows his day to day life as he whips through the streets of Toronto drawing culinary inspiration from his Indian roots, experimenting with new foods, and connecting with the community by sharing his story and creative dishes. He’s accomplished so much, but with many aspirations still on the horizon Aleem must contemplate: what’s next?

To be accessible for those with sight loss the show features integrated described video – where Aleem describes his actions and surroundings during filming – eliminating the need for a secondary audio track.

Food Spin with Chef Aleem is produced for AMI-tv by Fair-Play. The 13-episode series kicks off on Wednesday, November 29 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Full episodes will be available online after the initial broadcast.


Jay Baruchel joins the Letterkenny cast in feature role as production begins on next six-pack

From a media release:

CraveTV confirmed today that Montréal-born actor, director, producer – and reported Habs fan – Jay Baruchel, joins the LETTERKENNY cast as Hard Right Jay  – a Tiki Torch-carrying out-of-towner, who stirs things up in Letterkenny – in an all-new six-pack of episodes. If that’s not enough to toot your horn, this round also features social media-mega star Evan Breen, taking on the role of Straight Edge Eric, Jay’s trusty side-kick. Sarah Gadon returns in the new block of episodes, reprising her role as mysterious lady-skid, Gae.

Returning to direct is Jacob Tierney, who also reprises his fan-favourite role as Christian leader, Glen. Currently in production in Sudbury, ON, and set to launch in 2018, the new six-pack focuses on the rising City vs. Rural tensions – which basically means a bunch of “citiots” could get their arses kicked. But it’s not all scrappin’ ‘cause Wayne’s still looking for love.

Also joining the cast this six-pack are Alex Harrouch (Degrassi) as resident skid and IT expert, Everett; Magalie Lépine Blondeau as Wayne’s incroyable love interest; Pierre Yves Cardinal as Jean Claude; and Kelly McCormack (Killjoys) and Jess Salgueiro (Saving Hope) as Shamrockette stars Mary-Anne and Betty-Anne.

Created by and starring Jared Keeso, the award-winning half-hour comedy is produced by New Metric Media in partnership with DHX Media and Playfun Games.

LETTERKENNY revolves around the dustups Wayne (Jared Keeso) and his buds get into with their small-town rivals. The Hicks, The Skids, and The Hockey Players get at each other about the most mundane things, often ending with someone getting their ass kicked. Key residents of LETTERKENNY are Daryl (Nathan Dales), Wayne’s free-spirited younger sister Katy (Michelle Mylett), and Wayne’s buddy, Dan (K Trevor Wilson) – all Hicks. CSA-nominated Daniel Petronijevic returns as Hick McMurray. Dylan Playfair and Andrew Herr reprise their roles as hotshot Hockey Players “Jonesy” and “Reilly”. Tyler Johnston and Evan Stern return as Skids Stewart and Roald. Mark Forward returns as the temperamental Coach of the Letterkenny Irish and Tiio Horn is back as badass leader of The Natives, Tanis. As well, Sébastien Huberdeau, Alexandre Landry, Domenic Di Rosa, and Kim Cloutier reprise their roles as The Hicks’ Québécois counterparts, Les Hiques.

Based on the internet sensation Letterkenny Problems, the half-hour comedy is currently a top performer and marquee program for CraveTV since its memorable launch on Super Bowl Sunday in 2015. Season 1 of LETTERKENNY took home three 2017 Canadian Screen Awards for Best Comedy Series, Best Writing in a Comedy Program or Series, and Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series. As well, series creator Jared Keeso and co-writer and director Jacob Tierney have been recognized with a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award for TV Comedy.

Seasons 1 – 3, along with special episodes “Ferda Edition”, “The Haunting of MoDean’s II”, “St. Perfect’s Day,” and the original web series Letterkenny Problems are currently streaming on CraveTV. LETTERKENNY is also available on iTunes and Google Play. Season 1 of LETTERKENNY will also be available on DVD, November 21, wherever DVDs are sold.

Today’s news comes on the heels of the recently announced 40-plus episode production commitment and comprehensive multi-year partnership between CraveTV and series producers New Metric Media. The deal also supports a 30-city LETTERKENNY LIVE! tour starring Jared Keeso (Wayne), Nathan Dales (Daryl), K Trevor Wilson (Dan) and Mark Forward (Coach).

LETTERKENNY is produced by New Metric Media, in partnership with DHX Media and Playfun Games in association with Bell Media, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, OMDC Tax Credits and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund and distributed by DHX Media. Jared Keeso is executive producer, co-writer, star, and creator, Jacob Tierney is executive producer, director, and co-writer. Executive producers are Mark Montefiore for New Metric Media, and Patrick O’Sullivan. Steven DeNure is  Co-Founder, President and COO of DHX Media.