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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Review: Schitt’s Creek – “Bob’s Bagels”

The clever dialogue between characters continues in episode 5. And with each interaction we glimpse a bit more into who they are as characters. Maybe that’s the key to good writing – and good acting – to fully embrace the character. The writers and actors on this show have done just that.

We actually see a bit of emotional growth with Moira’s character. It’s short lived mind you, but it is there nonetheless.

Moira’s daughter Alexis is very sick. It’s just a cold, but to Moira it is one step from death and she has no plans to go near her daughter. And when husband Johnny takes his daughter some orange juice, Moira tells him not to touch her, as she closes and locks the motel door between their rooms.

Moira checks in on her before heading out to her choir practice telling Alexis that “mummy’s gotta fight for her solo.” But she doesn’t go to the choir rehearsal after all, instead she goes out looking for medicine for Alexis. It is highly uncharacteristic and surprises both of them. Moira admits to feeling something, and Alexis suggests “maternal instincts, maybe?” Moira shoots back, “No, that’s not it.”

Moira is later shown in bed beside Alexis telling her a bedtime story. It seems like another touching show of motherly love until Alexis falls asleep on her arm. Moira shakes the sick Alexis awake saying, “Alexis, you’re on my arm. Alexis, seriously, I can’t feel it.” So in character.

David meanwhile has an interview at an “upscale boutique” and needs Stevie to drive him. It turns out to be the Blouse Barn where he and the mayor shopped last week. Not great for David who had called the shop skanky to the owner’s face. The chemistry with Stevie continues, but sparks fly between him and the owner of the “boutique”. He gets the job in spite of himself. I’m looking forward to seeing how this story line develops.

Johnny continues working on his business plan and Bob sarcastically tells Roland that there is “lots of quiet planning going on…Johnny treats himself to a muffin or two, but I guess that’s part of the planning.” Johnny then explains how an idea is born.

He uses the muffin as an example, saying he likes the muffin, but would rather have a bagel. And since he hasn’t seen a bagel since he got to this town, he might think this town could use a bagel shop. Bob loves the idea and Bob’s Bagels is born. It takes the rest of the show for Johnny to convince Bob it was just an example of an idea and a bagel shop wasn’t viable. Bob is indignant when he says he’ll want to see a business plan next time.

There are real people who are a lot like Bob. Just like all of them, really. They’re caricatures and it’s funny.

Link: Jared Keeso’s ‘Letterkenny’ carves out its own place on Crave TV

From Bill Harris of Postmedia Network:

Jared Keeso’s ‘Letterkenny’ carves out its own place on Crave TV
Here are three things you’ll need to feel the full effect of Letterkenny.

An open mind. An open ear. An open beer.

Letterkenny makes its debut on Crave TV – which is Bell Media’s online streaming service – on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7. There are six new episodes commissioned by Crave TV, following a handful of independently made digital shorts titled Letterkenny Problems that existed prior to this. Continue reading.

TV, eh? podcast episode 199 – Anne of Green Grassi Junior High

Reunited and it feels so good. Diane returns to the fold and she, Anthony and Greg go over the debuts, returns and season finales taking place over the next few weeks, including YTV’s Anne of Green Gables and History’s Vikings.

Then we switch gears to chat about Global’s latest original series, the six-part Mary Kills People, executive-produced by Tassie Cameron (Rookie Blue). Speaking of Rookie Blue, that series is mentioned during our breakdown of the key categories in this year’s Canadian Screen Award nominations.

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Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.

Link: X Company preview: Will Alfred break?

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

X Company preview: Will Alfred break?
After a frenetic Season 2 premiere that saw the action pick up immediately, X Company shows no signs of slowing down this week. With Alfred (Jack Laskey) still in the evil hands of Franz Faber (Torben Liebrecht) and company, the big question looming over everyone’s head is whether or not he’ll succumb to the pressure and break? Sinclair (Hugh Dillon) has also arrived on the ground in France. He’s got some hard questions for Aurora (Evelyne Brochu) about how and why Alfred was able to be kidnapped alive. Will she tell him the truth? Continue reading.

Lucy Maud Montgomery drops by Murdoch Mysteries

If George Crabtree had had his way, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novel would have been called Dan of Green Gables.

Monday’s rollicking MM episode, “Unlucky in Love,” had a lot going on in it, what with a murdered husband, his bride among those accused in his death and Roland the cutest baby in primetime TV. Add to that a visit by Lucy Maud Montgomery and Lori Spring’s script was totally packed. In some ways that’s too bad, as seasoned actors like Leslie Hope and Mag Ruffman had to make due with limited screen time because of the massive LMM-George Crabtree B-story. An embarrassment of riches, I guess.

The latest real-life character to make their way into the lives of Murdoch Mysteries was none other than Lucy Maud Montgomery (Alison Louder), who signed up for George’s creative writing class because she’d just begun putting pen to paper on the life of a red-haired, freckle-faced girl. Trouble was, George didn’t think her story was exciting enough—or that it should even be a girl in the lead role. His suggestion that she make it Dan of Green Gables—and amp up the drama by inserting ghosts into the story—was enjoyable enough, but alleging LMM reworked the character to reflect George’s foundling background and “flights of fancy” imagination was just too good. (Did anyone else cheer when George got his smooch on with her?) It was, therefore, a wise decision by the producers to include a disclaimer the storyline was all in good fun and George didn’t really influence Maud’s tale because, well, he’s not a real guy. (As an aside, Anne of Green Gables is top of mind lately, what with YTV’s upcoming TV movie and CBC’s own Anne project in the works.)

Alas, despite Arwen Humphreys fans tweeting #MargaretMonday over the weekend, we were left with a bare few minutes of Toronto’s newest wedding planner. It’s always great to see Brackenreid’s spunky better half verbally sparring, but it all came to an end far too quickly. The lineup of potential suspects in the groom’s murder—the driver, the florist or the electrician—and eventual mastermind of the whole thing quickly pushed Margaret to the wayside. Fingers crossed she’s got more scenes coming before the end of the season.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.