Tag Archives: Jane Maggs

Season 2 of Bellevue being developed, but show seeks a new home

It turns out Bellevue‘s fate is as mysterious as the show itself. After reporting last Friday that a second season was being developed for CBC came a troubling update: there is no home for the Anna Paquin-Shawn Doyle led series after all.

Co-creator, Episode 1 director and executive producer Adrienne Mitchell contacted TV, Eh? on Tuesday night with the following information:

“To clarify, though Season 2 of Bellevue has been in development with CBC, unfortunately, production of a follow-up season is currently not moving forward,” Mitchell wrote. “We are incredibly proud of our talented cast and crew who worked so tirelessly to bring this beautiful series to life. We also feel there are more stories to tell and we’ll be looking for other opportunities to bring this to fruition. In a town like Bellevue, the future is never as it seems!”

Fellow Bellevue co-creator Jane Maggs is going to be part of next month’s Writers Talking TV event—find details on how to attend that here—and we’re sure the topic of a new home for the program will come up. Produced by Mitchell and Janis Lundman’s Back Alley Film Productions Ltd. and Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Bellevue was co-created by Mitchell and Maggs with the latter serving as senior writer, executive producer and co-showrunner with Mitchell.

Season 1 of Bellevue starred Anna Paquin as Annie Rider, a brilliant but troubled cop in the town of Bellevue whose past returned to haunt her following the death of a transgender teen. During the course of her investigation, old wounds were opened and secrets revealed, putting her at odds with her ex-husband, Eddie (Allen Leech), her superior, Police Chief Peter Welland (Shawn Doyle) and putting the relationship with her daughter, Daisy (Madison Ferguson) in jeopardy. Season 1 also starred Billy MacLellan, Sharon Taylor, Janine Theriault, Amber Goldfarb and Sadie O’Neil.

Listen to Maggs discuss her career and the creation of Bellevue during our recent podcast and read Carolyn Potts’ reviews; here’s the link to her season finale review.

Where do you think Bellevue should go if it doesn’t return to CBC? Comment below.

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TV Eh B Cs podcast 64 — Stage, silver screen and TV screen with Jane Maggs

Jane Maggs is a writer from Newfoundland living in Toronto. As a playwright, Jane has been produced in Toronto, Newfoundland and her work has been invited to be part of such workshops as the Banff Playwrights Colony and the Tarragon Theatre Playwrights Unit. Maggs is a 2011 screenwriting graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Feature Film program, and has been writing for film and TV ever since. She just completed the first season of the CBC drama Bellevue which she was co-creator, co-showrunner and writer of six episodes.

Jane is currently development on a couple of projects with her sister Adriana Maggs with Shaftesbury Films adapting the popular Aimée Leduc novel series for TV, and working on a half-hour comedy for CBC. Maggs’ feature Goalie that she also co-wrote with her sister is set for a fall 2017 production. Jane is also working on a couple of new project ideas with Adrienne Mitchell, with whom she created Bellevue.

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

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Bellevue: “Love Hurts,” plus a chat with co-creator Jane Maggs

Spoiler alert! Do not read until you’ve watched Episode 8 of Bellevue

[Make sure to check out my chat with Bellevue co-creator Jane Maggs after this review.]

When we last met following last week’s episode of Bellevue, Brady (Billy MacLellan) lay dead across the hood of his truck and Annie (Anna Paquin) was handcuffed inside. Tonight, we find out it is Adam (Patrick Labbé) who saved his little sister. Adam “tried a different way to end the cycle” with Annie, whatever “cycle” means. So even though the man responsible for Jesse’s (Sadie O’Neil) murder is now dead, this final episode solves the Sandy Driver’s murder. We will also learn how that murder is connected to Jesse’s death. And finally, what everyone wants to know: what did Adam tell Peter in the confessional? It becomes Adam’s mission to close the story on Sandy Driver. No one yet understands, but Jane Maggs ties this all up with a great big bow for us.

Police arrive at the scene of the accident, and Peter (Shawn Doyle) confides to Annie he just wants Adam dead. Eddie (Allen Leech), fighting for his family and his relationship with Annie, arrives to take Annie home and tells her to just let it all go—for the sake their relationship and for the sake of Daisy (Madison Ferguson)— to just “walk away.”  But can she? Of course, she doesn’t. If she did, we would not have much of an ending!

Adam plays the Pied Piper and manages to capture his three little rats. First, he lures Tom (Vincent Leclerc) to the path in the woods with a recording of his daughter, and to his trap—literally. Once caught, Adam carves the name “Sandy” into Tom’s chest and leaves him to die … or not. Annie, Peter and Virginia (Sharon Taylor) reach him in time.

Annie and Peter decide to pay a visit to Maggie (Victoria Sanchez) for answers. Maggie reveals the four of them—Tom, Jameson (Joe Cobden) and Mother (Janine Theriault)—and she formed a blood pact in the old New Horizon’s shed. They all had their parts. Tom used the watch Maggie stole to lure Sandy to the woods, Jameson humiliated Sandy—he liked his girls dirty—and Mother did everything. “She planned it.”

Peter then ties the clue, “The lion has come to lay waste to the land,” to the waste that was thrown at Sandy. Adam is leading them to his victims. At the landfill we find Jameson, hanging from a crane, with the name Sandy carved in his forehead. Questioning of Jameson reveals that Lily locked Sandy in the shed because Sandy got the role of Mary, the role Lily felt was hers. “You didn’t take things from Lily back then.”

So now, where is Lily? There are no clues. Annie has the whole story. Lily is not meant to be found. Adam killed Sandy. So why is Adam leading Annie on this path? Because Annie needs to understand why he killed Sandy. Annie has the answer and now we also understand why her father killed himself. He didn’t do it because he couldn’t solve Sandy’s murder but rather because he did.

Sandy’s murder was the first clue, the clue Annie needs to solve in order to find Lily on time. Sandy was posed, pointing to town: “no sin; find me where there is none.” It is not original sin, but no sin. There was “no sin” in Sandy’s death. Adam needs for Annie to understand that Sandy’s death was merciful. And what happens to sit on Mercy Street? The brewery that Mother is trying to get up and running to bring jobs back to Bellevue.

The key players from the department converge on the brewery and discover first a dead lily, and then a crate hidden within piles of dirt. Hops? Barley? At any rate, Peter takes over the dig and reveals the wooden crate. He pries it open to discover Mother alive inside.

All right, so our main players involved in bringing Sandy to the point of wanting to die have been tortured and rescued, but that leaves Adam still out there, misunderstood. Annie still needs to understand. And how best to do so? Daisy. Adam goes to Annie’s while Daisy is home and Daisy lets him in—despite having seen the wall of creepy clues and pictures in her home—and Daisy gets to know her uncle.  She intimates she wishes she had an end to her project and Adam takes her to the forest to show her the ending.

Eddie, realizing Daisy is missing, freaks out and chases Annie down at the brewery. They go on a hunt to find Daisy and Adam in the woods where Peter joins them. Adam lays a trail, in keeping with his doll theme, to lead Annie to Daisy. Once found, Annie sends Daisy back to her father and talks with Adam. He explains that he just wanted Annie to understand how tortured he was to not be a part of things. How betrayed he felt by the actions of their father. And it was whilst in his rage that he discovered Sandy, locked in the shed. It was in Sandy he found someone who was living with just as much pain as he. Sandy’s death was a suicide pact but Adam ultimately could not follow through with that act.

Now, years later, he has come back to finally end the cycle and pretends to attempt to kill Annie, but tells her to “just do it.” Annie does, killing her own brother; finishing the cycle.

In the aftermath, Annie and Eddie pack up to move. Annie can finally leave the family home. And we see Danny (Cameron Roberts) sitting down with Maggie to share his movies of Jesse.  But wait, we still don’t know what Adam said to Peter…

“There is just one thing I would like to say before this all ends happily for you. You love her. You’ve loved her ever since she was a kid, and you have just been waiting and waiting for her to grow up. So you can just…” And that was so very evident on Peter’s face as Annie, Daisy and Eddie drove away.

I caught up with Jane Maggs and asked her to share some thoughts now that Bellevue Season 1 is complete.

First, How do you feel now that you see this come full circle, from project conception to tonight, completion?
Jane Maggs: I feel incredibly thankful for everyone who came together to make this thing that at one point was just a paragraph on a piece of paper. The calibre of people we had in every role was humbling to me daily.

And perhaps if you could share a memory from shooting the show that has not yet been shared, something that will, say 10 years from now still be with you?
On our last day of shooting I was late because I as doing some second unit stuff and I showed up (we were in a studio that day). I walked to the studio door and before I went in one of the crew members told me “Billy [MacLellan] is nailing it in there.” It was the day we were filming the stuff at the end of Episode 7 and he was nailing it. But I was struck mostly by the feeling of unity that our cast and crew felt, really part of something and proud and invested personally. That was underscored by the fact that I went in and there was cast there who were not even shooting that day but wanted to be around, support Billy, Anna, Sadie and Amber who were all shooting some intense stuff. It’s a day I won’t forget.

Well, that is all Bellevue-ites! No word as yet if there is a Season 2 somewhere in the future, but this has been a great ride! And thank you to Jane Maggs to take some time out of her day to touch base.

What did you think of Season 1 of Bellevue? Let us know in the comments below.

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Bellevue: “How Do I Remember?”

Spoiler alert! Do not read until you’ve watched Episode 5 of Bellevue.

“Paths can take you wildly away from anything you recognize and still bring you back to your door.” —The Riddler

And so we will follow the paths of remembering, and witness the pain that comes with discovery and growth as we gather more information and fit these pieces into the puzzle that is Bellevue this week.

We are now into the second half of the series and this episode, entitled “How Do I Remember?,” opens with Annie (Anna Paquin) reminiscing with The Riddler via her home surveillance system. She intimates that he made her life bearable after she lost her father.  Annie then questions The Riddler about Neil Driver (Andreas Aspergis) and Jed (Neil Napier) and their connection to the case. But I am beginning to wonder, is Annie still in control here? Is The Riddler needing a connection to Annie to reinforce his own sense of self worth and therefore manipulating Annie into this relationship? Or is he involved in the case(s) himself? Is he someone who knows Annie and wants to help? And is Annie falling back into the bad habits of her youth? A final cryptic message coupled with a request by The Riddler: “I dropped the stone but you are not seeing the ripples. Tomorrow at the funeral, wear the watch.”

The town attends Jesse’s (Sadie O’Neil) funeral to remember and celebrate Jesse’s life and it is the youth of Bellevue that are embracing the choices that she made. I was touched by the moment when Bethany (Emilia Hellman) stood up despite her mother’s (Janine Theriault) objections and brought a reluctant Danny (Cameron Roberts) back to the congregation. Unfortunately—or fortunately for the purposes of the investigation—Mr. Driver crashes the funeral and accuses Maggie (Victoria Sanchez) of ruining his daughter.

“You deserve this. The world needs a place to channel its evil, so God provides children to kill and he gives them to parents who deserve the pain. You know what you DID!” Alright already,  what did Maggie do?

Following the funeral, Daisy Ryder (Madison Ferguson) returns to the location where Jesse’s body was discovered and the other youth of Bellevue who were closest to Jesse are also there. It is here they celebrate Jesse’s courage and her life. I have now watched this episode twice and I couldn’t help it, I cried both times. Jane Maggs and her team created such an honest reaction, and completely captured the essence of youthful innocence as these teens cope with their loss. Their grief was palpable. This scene was perfect!

Now, on to the investigation. Annie first questions Jed about his MDMA, more specifically, how he and his employees package the drug. He believes there must be a new dealer in town working to compete with Jed. Further questioning of Danny’s father (Peter Miller) confirms Jed’s suspicions. There is indeed a new head that has sprouted to replace the old, and rumour has it if you have any unpaid debts, bad things will come your way. Doing some routine neighbourhood canvassing, Annie questions Maggie Sweetland’s neighbour Cali (Catherine Kidd).

“Sometimes you poke around, you might not like what you find,” and Cali queries Annie about Eddie’s (Allen Leech) well-being. Further conversations with The Riddler suggest Eddie is the connection between Sandy Driver and Jesse Sweetland’s deaths.

Meanwhile, just as Cali intimated, Eddie is in trouble. It appears his pill addiction and lack of employment have caught up with him and now he is indebted to the new dealer in town. To make good on his debt, Eddie is ordered to put the pressure on someone else who is not paying his dues. Annie’s curiosity is further piqued after chatting with Eddie’s latest “friend,” Briana (Amber Goldfarb), so she searches Eddie’s home, only to find Daisy’s dog frozen in a locked freezer. They need to talk! Annie accuses Eddie of planting the drugs in Jesse’s room, but no, Eddie admits that the drugs were stolen from him after Jesse was killed. And this is how you “get your shit together”? I guess The Riddler is right. Eddie is connected since somebody stole the drugs and planted them in Jesse’s room. But who? And, if The Riddler is correct, how is Eddie then connected to Sandy Driver?

FINALLY tonight we get to see Allen Leech’s talents. Up until now Eddie has been more of a supporting role. All of this time I have been waiting to see Leech let loose and tonight I was not disappointed. If you thought the chemistry was good in the parking lot scene two episodes ago, tonight these two ratchet it up a few notches! Eddie’s character is losing control under the pressure. He wants to change and his past keeps catching up to him. Annie convinces him not to play the enforcer and he speaks to Peter (Shawn Doyle). Eddie admits he owned the drugs. Eddie will testify as to his ownership of the drugs and swears this was a one time thing. Eddie returns to buy some time from Cali, letting her No. 2 beat the crap out of him. This is the dynamic moment for Leech’s character. Up until now, both Eddie and Annie have been stagnant within their complicated relationship. Each are so dependent on each other and yet they are not together. Eddie: “You love me too much the way I am. I don’t want to be the way I am anymore.” Eddie has effectively tossed down the gauntlet. If these two are to have a future together, Annie must change her ways too.

Once more Annie connects with The Riddler. She confesses that she felt his presence back at the burned shed. He confesses in kind, admitting that yes, he was there watching her. She pokes the bear, telling The Riddler that really he knows nothing, deliberately antagonizing him and he also admits he doesn’t know who killed Jesse. The Riddler is no longer a source. Annie wants him out of her life and orders a trace. Annie has been playing The Riddler for intel after all. She rules him no longer relevant to the case. The trace leads Annie to the cemetery where The Riddler has left his phone at the grave of Sandy Driver with the message, “You’re not crazy”.

Despite being in the minority, Annie is still convinced Jed is not guilty of killing Jesse, and returns to speak to Maggie one more time. “You are the only one who knows. My kid was killed because of me. Retribution for what I did to her. It all started with me. Sandy,” says Maggie. But Maggie has taken too many pills and collapses. Maggie is rushed to the hospital.

The episode closes with Annie trying to re-establish a connection with The Riddler: “I was wrong, you do know things.”

This was such a convoluted episode. So many twist and turns. Lots of new information, and new connections that fold back onto earlier events. So who do you think is The Riddler? Who do you think killed Jesse Sweetland? How is Jesse’s death connected to Sandy Driver? Let me know in the comments below!

Bellevue airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

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Bellevue: Producers and stars Anna Paquin and Shawn Doyle talk CBC’s darkest drama

Let’s get this out of the way right now. Bellevue isn’t a feel-good drama. You won’t walk away from it whistling and snapping your fingers. You may very well want to retreat to a corner, curl up and rock slightly. It’s CBC’s darkest drama, akin to fantastic shows from the UK and Netherlands like Hinterland, Shetland, Broadchurch, The Fall and Wallander. And that’s exactly why you should be tuning in.

The eight-part Bellevue, debuting Monday at 9 p.m. on CBC, seems like it should be a traditional whodunit: Det. Annie Ryder (Anna Paquin) is called in to investigate when a teenager goes missing in her small town of Bellevue. She and police chief Peter Welland (Shawn Doyle) dig for clues and uncover plenty of secrets. But the secret teen Jesse Sweetland (Sadie O’Neil) is keeping—that he wants to transition to female—is just the beginning. Annie’s past is fraught with tragedy. Her father killed himself when she was a girl and, soon after, she started receiving mysterious notes signed by him. Now her past is intersecting with the present because notes addressed to her are starting to show up again.

Filmed partly in Thetford Mines, Que., the blackened hills—the area used to be an asbestos mine—night scenes and blue filter exude a sense of dread that crosses the line into the downright scary. Bellevue is a town struggling to survive and not everyone living there is nice.

We spoke to series creators and executive producers Jane Maggs and Adrienne Mitchell, and stars Anna Paquin and Shawn Doyle about Bellevue:

Jane, I understand Bellevue was a little different before you brought it to Adrienne. How was it different?
Jane Maggs: It was a little smaller. There was still a mystery and a disappearance, Annie and her relationship with her family was a very strong part of the series, and a mysterious person from her past that comes back. That was the kernel of the story. What we did with Adrienne was make the world bigger and, in some ways, more relevant. We brought a lot more of the town into it and making it more complex.

Adrienne Mitchell: Together we also probed what it would be like to have the character that was missing be the hockey hero and also struggling with gender identity. I read Jane’s initial pilot while I was on a flight and what Jane brought to it was that these characters were all there and had this authenticity and specificity that leapt off the page and felt real. I read a lot of scripts and don’t often see that kind of sophistication.

Aside from the eerie moments and scariness, Bellevue asks some serious questions about sexual identity and religion.
Jane Maggs: The questions around identity came about because we wanted to explore what it was like to be different in a small town. It’s not the same as being different in a big city. We explore that through Jesse and other people in the town, including Annie herself. As for religion, in Bellevue the church has a bit of an archaic form there. The people have their checklist of values they believe in and live by and those don’t alway line up with what it means to be a good person.

How is Annie viewed by the townspeople? Is she seen as damaged goods after everything she’s been through?
Jane Maggs: It depends on who you ask, but I think to the masses there is an element of damaged goods to her. Everybody knows her history and she grew up there and flailed in front of people. She was wild and made a lot of mistakes in front of people; they have their view of her and it goes back years. I think Peter, her superior, and Eddie [Allen Leech], her partner, have different views of her.

What was it about the scripts that you read that attracted you to Bellevue?
Anna Paquin: The scripts are very, very well-written. Jane is a wonderful writer. They’re complex, rich, smart and detailed and like most things, I was sent a script for the pilot. I read it and was like, ‘Well, what happens next!?’ Literally, over the course of a few hours, I was emailing, asking for the next one and the next one. I got to Episode 4 and there were no more scripts left. Then I asked, ‘OK, when can I meet with these people?!’ [Laughs.] It’s not just that the plot kept me engaged, it’s a very rich and complicated character. She occupies a world that is seemingly a nice, small town. But, like any town, there are dark things that happen. She lives life on the edge and is passionate in a way that is reckless, but it all comes from a very good place.

What about you Shawn?
Shawn Doyle: I wasn’t that interested, to be honest. I’ve played a lot of cops, as you know. With cops, you have to go through all of the procedural stuff because it’s part of the story but it’s only engaging to an actor to a certain extent. But then I read the scripts and they were very good. I had faith in what they told me. The didn’t tell me exactly what was going to happen. And, in fact, once Anna and I started working together, based on our connection they started to extrapolate the storyline based on that and created back story and a way forward based on what they were seeing from us, which was exciting. My character grew very complex and presented an interesting challenge.

What can you say about the relationship between Peter and Annie?
Anna Paquin: Peter was a young cop and sort of mentored by Annie’s dad. As we get further into the mystery surrounding this missing teenager in present-day, there are aspects and elements of the circumstances surrounding the death of my dad that come to light that are challenging to our relationship. He has taken on looking after Annie’s well-being in a bigger sense.

Shawn Doyle: As the story deepens and Annie finds out more, we begin to understand the reasons why I’ve taken such care to take care of her and guide her and become almost a father figure to her. The reasons behind that become more apparent.

Thetford Mines adds another character to this story.
Adrienne Mitchell: It’s an interesting way to depict the dark shadow hanging over the town. It’s a town in transition, they don’t know how they’re going to survive. They are kind of fossilized like the asbestos mountains are. The woods are always moving, and they can be beautiful and fucked up at the same time. Those, visually, are two things playing off each other.

Bellevue airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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