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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

TV Eh B Cs podcast 19 – Matt Watts: Every Day

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Matt Watts played the long-suffering producer Matt on Ken Finkleman’s 2005 International Emmy winning The Newsroom. He played “Matt” in Don McKellar’s Twitch City, on which he also a story consultant. He was a member of the Writer’s Room on six episodes of the 2003 edition of Slings & Arrows, and part of the team which created the international stage hit The Drowsy Chaperone.

His feature film credits include Scott Pilgrim versus the World, Fever Pitch, Don McKellar’s Childstar.

Watts is a veteran of radio drama creating and starring in three series for CBC Radio: Steve, The First (2005), a four-part dark comedy set in a post-apocalyptic future features a slacker who wakes up to find he’s slept through the apocalypse, Steve, The Second (2006) details the story of the son of the original Steve; Canadia: 2056 (2007) centres on Max Anderson, the American liaison on board the only Canadian spaceship in an otherwise American space fleet headed toward a galactic war.

And we recently learned of the triumphant return of Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays next season on CBC.

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Home Factory reveals how household products are made

From a media release:

Cineflix and HGTV Canada are taking viewers on a whirlwind nuts-and-bolts tour of the North American factories that produce our favourite creature comforts in the brand new series Home Factory, premiering with back-to-back episodes Friday, April 24 starting at 10pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

In 14 action-packed episodes, Home Factory zips down conveyor belts and assembly lines, meets some incredible factory workers, and along the way reveals the intricate manufacturing processes that transform raw materials into the everyday household products we all use and love.

In the series premiere of Home Factory, find out how 8,000,000 Crayola crayons roll off the assembly line every day; discover the mighty power behind a tiny, hand-held vacuum; tour a state-of-the-art Canadian knitting facility that produces half a million toques per year; and get the low-down on how a classic newsboy bicycle goes from a pile of raw steel parts to a road warrior. Other products featured in the first season of Home Factory include plastic, pink flamingos; rubber ducks; a barbecue; Wilson® Footballs; and LUSH’s Ocean Salt scrub.

Home Factoryis a Cineflix (Home Factory) Inc. production, in association with HGTV Canada. Philip Whelan is among the Executive Producers for Cineflix. Home Factory builds on the successful Food Factory franchise, a format created by Shaw Media for Food Network Canada, and is distributed internationally by Cineflix Rights.

Review: Mothers and children on Remedy

After a couple of weeks where Allen was a big part of its episodes, Remedy really opened up the floor for the rest of the cast to shine.

“Life in Technicolour” jumped ahead three weeks in time from last Monday. Mel and Cutler are a major thing—she’s addicted to sexy times with him and ignoring her co-parenting responsibilities with Sandy—and Griff has advanced from pills to cocaine. Monday’s storyline also featured the return of Rebecca, who played a key part for all the wrong reasons.

I’ve been a fan of Martha Burns since Slings & Arrows, so I was giddy to see her get some major screen time, even if things didn’t turn out so well for her. Who else felt badly for Rebecca when Maya tumbled off the change table and onto the bathroom floor? As Sandy said at the end of the episode, it could have happened to anyone. But not everyone has the track record Rebecca does; her history of alcoholism had everyone on the attack. Dudes, she felt badly enough. Cut her some slack. Luckily, Maya turned out to be OK, but I’m not sure Mel is ready to give Rebecca another chance at babysitting.

If anything, the incident has re-focused Mel. Sure, rolling around with Dr. Stubble is fun (just how does he get that stubble so perfectly trimmed?), but her job is to save lives, not let her hair down (literally) in a storage room whenever she feels the need for some wiener. As an aside, I really did enjoy “rocker” Mel in the O.R. Listening to alternative rock and cutting without a guide was cool to see, but it’s clearly not who she really is. She could have killed the guy after going ahead and trying to remove that tumour without help or a consult.

Of course, the complications meant Sandy was able to seize the day and smooch with Gord, Mr. Spleen’s friend. I noticed Gord (Falcon Beach‘s Steve Byers) is around next week too, so expect a little more between he and Sandy. She needs that kind of attention after devoting the last eight months to taking care of Maya. No dates does not a pretty young lady make. (The writers may throw us a curveball with Gord. He kissed Sandy, but why is he listed as Mr. Spleen’s sole emergency contact?)

Finally, we have Griff. Yes, he redeemed himself by the end of the night by dumping his coke and pills down the toilet, but if it wasn’t for Leona and Zoe, I wonder how far he would have gone? His attempt to have the estranged women reconnect was thwarted by Zoe, but he learned a valuable lesson about love and loss from Leona. That knowledge cut through Griff’s high and he realized he needed to stop what he was doing before it led to a lifetime of regrets.

Notes and quotes

  • “You are a bad influence. You are one of the bad kids.” Of course Mel likes a bad boy. Who doesn’t?
  • “Put some makeup on. You’re starting to look splotchy.” Rebecca, always with the great lines.
  • “Anal singeing” is a term? Cool.
  • “Why is your hair down like that? You look like you’re in a shampoo commercial.” — Sandy
  • “This is what it’s like dating me. It’s not all incredible sex. I hope you’re up for it.” — Mel, to Cutler

Remedy airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Package Deal and Meet the Family cancelled by City

It’s the end of the road for Package Deal and Meet the Family.

On Monday afternoon, Vancouver’s Craigslist posted the following “Huge Set Sale”:

“Tons of chairs, bar stools and tables, banquettes, theatre chairs, church pews (!!) couches, lamps and other lighting, furniture, kitchen items, tea shop and bar paraphernalia, glassware, carpeting, clothing (no kids clothes) and those ever present knickknacks!

April 22nd, 23rd and 24th from 10am — 4pm (NO early birds)

Location: Unit 1B — 2350 Beta Avenue, Burnaby (Street Parking Only)

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to grab some amazing deals!”

Those listed items are the contents of the apartment, tea shop, courtroom and offices featured in the original sitcom during the last two seasons.

City confirmed Tuesday afternoon that both Package Deal and hidden camera sketch series Meet the Family would not return.

“Despite the strong teams behind both series and critical acclaim garnered to date, Package Deal and Meet The Family were unable to connect with the audience needed to continue,” said Nataline Rodrigues, Director of Original Programming of Rogers Media, in a statement. “We remain committed to Canadian originals, and we are proud to have provided our viewers with two fun seasons of both series; it was a real pleasure and privilege to work with the immense talent on these shows – on and off the screen.

Package Deal starred Randal Edwards as Danny, a successful lawyer who met and fell in love with Kim (Julia Voth). The problem? Danny’s two brothers, ne’er-do-well Sheldon (Harland Williams) and fastidious Ryan (Jay Malone), don’t like that Kim is taking Danny away from them. The multi-camera series was created by Andrew Orenstein (Malcolm in the Middle3rd Rock from the Sun) and shot in front of a live audience. Never able to score decent ratings (it was down to 72,000 viewers in mid-October) the second season finale was broadcast in December, and had the feel of a series finale to it.

The news comes the same day that Package Deal‘s production company, Thunderbird, announced both seasons are available for streaming in the U.S. on Hulu starting Tuesday.

Produced by Frantic films and based on the successful U.K. series, Meet the Parents threw unwitting folks into a uncomfortable situation: meeting the downright odd family of their girlfriend or boyfriend. The series starred Terry Barna, Liz Best, Hannah Hogan, Theresa Tova, Don Berns, Heather Hodgson, Ralph Small, Nicole Maroon, Peter Keleghan, Chris Wilson, Miguel Rivas and Matt Bernard.

Link: Why we loved Gilbert Blythe

From Sarah Larson of The New Yorker:

Why we loved Gilbert Blythe
Crombie was an expert gazer. Through meaningful looks and other subtleties, he showed that Gilbert wasn’t threatened when Anne could spell “chrysanthemum” and he couldn’t; he appeared deeply concerned when she fell off the ridgepole, and didn’t mock her for braving it; he was kind during the “The Lady of Shalott” escapade, while executing a dashing rescue. In this video, a young Crombie explains that the moment Anne breaks a slate over Gilbert’s head is the moment he starts growing up. Continue reading.

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