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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Link: Canada’s female-led ‘Baroness von Sketch Show’ primed for U.S. debut

From Lauren La Rose of The Canadian Press:

Link: Canada’s female-led ‘Baroness von Sketch Show’ primed for U.S. debut
It’s shaping up to be a royal summer for Canada’s “Baroness von Sketch Show” as the female-led foursome is set to bring its irreverent comedy to audiences on both sides of the border.

Cast members Aurora Browne, Meredith MacNeill, Carolyn Taylor and Jennifer Whalen are all back on board for the show’s second season, which returns Tuesday on CBC-TV. The series will also make its U.S. debut on IFC in August.

But even with the potential of much wider viewership, there will be little change to the homegrown sketch show’s signature style. Continue reading. 


Orphan Black 503: Alison longs for a normal life in “Beneath Her Heart”

M.K.’s tragic death on last week’s Orphan Black was tough on Clone Club, so this week’s extended visit to Bailey Downs may feel like a bit of a respite—if you consider Neolution putting the squeeze on the Hendrixes relaxing, that is.

Here is what Bell Media’s official synopsis says about “Beneath Her Heart,” written by Alex Levine and directed by David Wellington.

Alison seeks to return to normal but her community, Bailey Downs, has moved on from her. 

And here is our spoiler-free peek at the episode.

Welcome to the trip, man
Alison’s quest for normalcy takes her to the Fall Fun Fair, but old friendships, memories and vices come back to haunt her.

Lord of the Dance
If the thought of Donnie dancing in a kilt sends you into a fit of giggles, this episode is for you!

The Neos put Art in a jam
Enger’s search of the Hendrix home forces Art to make a hardcore decision.

Prepare to be charmed
Alison, Donnie and a lute. ‘Nuff said.

Orphan Black airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on Space.

Image courtesy of Bell Media. 


Jonathan Torrens delivers the funny and heartfelt in CBC’s Your Special Canada

Jonathan Torrens wears his patriotism on his sleeve. Want proof? In addition to co-hosting a podcast with former Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart called Canadianity (a book is on the way this fall), he’s hosting a Canada Day special where he does maple syrup shots and jumps into a massive butter tart.

Your Special Canada starring Jonathan Torrens—debuting Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBC and repeating July 1 at 7 p.m. —is an entertaining and ingenious hour featuring Torrens playing himself and memorable characters like Slappy the Trivia Beaver and cross-dresser Sindy Crosby. A combination of online bits he’d already done for the network’s comedy portal were strung together with original content filmed in Torrens’ birthplace, Charlottetown. The celebration begins with a Sir John A. MacDonald re-enactor sniffing that everything has been done with regard to Canada Day television specials; Torrens aims to prove him wrong.

“The first is with The Taters of Conspuderation, a diorama with potatoes dressed as the Fathers of Confederation,” he says on the line from his home in Nova Scotia. “The second is ‘Jonath-Anne of Green Gables,’ a one-man show in which I play both roles, and my big finale is jumping into a big butter tart.” It took a few days for producer and star Torrens—along with writer-producer-director Richard Mortimer, producer Lynn Harvey and writers Paul Pogue and Steve Dylan—to suss out the content surrounding the existing skits; the result is a variety show with a Canadian angle.

Torrens gets gooey to celebrate Canada Day

There are plenty of outlandish moments in Your Special Canada—Torrens dons a beaver suit and slaps folks in the face with a whipped-cream-laden beavertail when they get trivia questions wrong, and has Zamboni drivers compete in an obstacle course—but there are goosebump-inducing ones too. Case in point: Torrens delivers a heartfelt take on Alanis Morrisette’s “Thank You” to this country and flies to Canadian Forces Station Alert in Nunavut to deliver maple syrup, Canadian flag toques and good feelings to soldiers stationed there.

“My challenge in Alert was to keep it together and not cry on camera,” the Mr. D co-star admits. “First of all, the sacrifices that they make for our country are enormous. Secondly, the universal feeling of the folks is that it’s an honour to be posted there and they’re happy to be there.”

“It just makes you realize that making funny faces on the TV … there is no merit in that compared to what these people are doing.”

Your Special Canada starring Jonathan Torrens airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBC. It repeats on Saturday, July 1, at 7 p.m. on CBC.


Comments and queries for the week of June 23

I’ll be watching Bad Blood and Fubar [on City this fall].

I shall pass along the info about the space comedy to friends who are Star Trek fans. They may like it. Cheers! —Iris


What are you thinking Corus … cancelling You Gotta Eat Here, Timber Kings and Income Property? These are your bread and butter, so to speak. Trying to find decent Canadian content is hard as it is. You will lose a committed fan by doing this. So very upset. —Shelley

Seriously big mistake cancelling this show. I truly looked forward to John and his funny smile. The show took us to great restaurants people wouldn’t know about without John. What a great way to boost the Canadian economy by letting everyone know about all the great places Canada has to offer the food scene. Poor choice to let the show go. —Michelle

It was a horrible decision! John was an amazing host. I made a point of going to restaurants that he recommended. It was great for the Canadian economy. I am sure many viewers did the same thing So now what, we have to watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives?? Seriously Corus, what a pathetic mistake! —Theresa


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