Tag Archives: Kim’s Convenience

Reaction: CBC’s slate of new programs for the 2018-19 broadcast season

I spent a couple of days in Ottawa this week, which meant I missed attending CBC’s presentation for its 2018-19 broadcast season. You can check out the full announcement here, which includes a list of the shows returning to the schedule, programs that are moving and even better news for Kim’s Convenience fans. (Not so for 21 Thunder and Hello Goodbye; the former has been cancelled and the latter is on hiatus.)

In no particular order, here are my thoughts on (almost) everything that CBC revealed on Thursday morning.

— A lot of folks, myself included, were scratching their heads over the decision to bring back Street Legal for another go-round. What more could be said about those characters over 20 years later? That all changed once I saw Bruce Smith named as showrunner. He’s the guy behind two of my favourite TV series in recent memory, Cracked and 19-2. Both were gritty, realistic portrayals of life, so I expect the same from Street Legal as well as catching up on what Olivia Novak is up to. And I can’t wait to have Cynthia Dale back on my TV screen.

— CBC does family drama, really, really, well. Just look at the success of Heartland for crying out loud. I’m expecting big things from Northern Rescue and all it offers: tragedy, redemption, starting a new life in an unfamiliar place and Kathleen Robertson.

— I was unaware of Floyd Kane until this week, though he’s been involved in several projects I’ve watched or admired, including writing for Continuum and Backstage and producing That’s So Weird and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. He’s a bona fide lawyer, so it makes sense he’d create a series about being one in Diggstown. I’m into this, especially after learning Diggstown marks the first original Canadian drama series to feature a black Canadian female in the lead role.

— I’m excited to see Back Alley Films—the folks behind the excellent Bellevue—working with the CBC on Coroner. Based on the best-selling book series by M.R. Hall and created for TV by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope), it’s about former ER doctor Jenny Cooper who now investigates suspicious deaths.

— I’m over the moon that Kim’s Convenience, which just began production on Season 3, has been greenlit for Season 4. I’m equally jazzed that Paul Sun-Hyung Lee has been tagged to host Canada’s Smartest Person Junior.

— Banger Films are the folks behind must-see music documentaries like Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, Super Duper Alice Cooper and Rock Icons. I’m intrigued and excited by From the Vaults, which takes a look at Canadian history and music by utilizing the CBC’s archives.

— High Arctic Haulers. Remote northern communities relying on ships to bring them supplies? Right in my wheelhouse.

— Baroness Von Sketch Show and Still Standing both moving to the fall on CBC is a curious move, as is bumping Kim’s Convenience to the winter. Regardless, it gives the CBC a solid night of comedy on Tuesdays all year long.

— Heartland is back, but for only 11 episodes. That’s a little concerning and I can’t help but wonder if this might be the last season for the long-running Canadian drama. I have no evidence to back this up—it may be because some castmembers want to do other things—it’s just a gut feeling.

— Murdoch Mysteries is currently listed at 18 episodes, which would indicate to me there will be no holiday special this year. Again, I have nothing to go on other than the number.

What are you most looking forward to or excited about from CBC’s announcement? Let me know in the comments below.

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Link: Geralyn Wraith was makeup artist – and friend and confessor – to Canadian stars

From Victoria Ahearn of the Toronto Star:

Link: Geralyn Wraith was makeup artist – and friend and confessor – to Canadian stars
To many in the Canadian film and TV industry, makeup artist Geralyn Wraith was like a beloved member of the family, a close friend and a psychologist.

The Saskatoon native, who died Friday, helped craft the look of major characters on shows including The Kids in the Hall and Kim’s Convenience, and forged strong bonds with on-air talent through a compassionate demeanour that made them open up to her in the makeup chair. Continue reading.

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TV Eh B Cs podcast 78 — The Amazing Grace Lynn Kung

A Canadian Screen Award nominee for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy, Grace Lynn Kung has won the Chancellor’s Trophy (OSSD), is a two-time Award for Acting recipient (York) and holds two Certificates of Distinction for Speech and Drama from Trinity College London.

This year she has incited violence aboard Star Trek: Discovery, lobbied Washington with Jessica Chastain in Miss Sloane, risen in ranks as Congresswoman Yoshida on Designated Survivor, met her demise in Cult of Chucky and cultivated Mars on The Expanse. She has aided Corey Stoll in Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain, scarcely kept it together on Slings and Arrows, fought Amanda Schull on 12 Monkeys, and played special agent JoJo Kwan on the spy series InSecurity.

Grace directed her first short film, A False Sense of Security, which premiered and won Special Jury Mention this summer in Dallas, Texas and has received a 2017 ACTRA Award nomination for her performance in the feature The Death and Life of Carl Naardlinger.
Grace has a Doozers character modelled in her likeness, studied naturopathic medicine in England and if you’ve played Ubisoft’s Far Cry 4, she’s yelled at you. She plays Whiskey Wendy in the 1920s detective series Frankie Drake Mysteries, Charlotte Bronte in the feature Carmilla, was the guest star on the season finale of Mr. D and plays Chairman Mao in HBO’s new adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, out this May, directed by Ramin Bahrani.

She is also looking for Independent Production Fund support for her web series What Got Did.

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Vampires, a communist’s daughter and cosmetics-selling sisters seek 2018 IPF funding

It’s a year after our inaugural spotlight on web series seeking Independent Production Fund support, and the state of those series in Canada is booming. Projects like But I’m Chris Jericho, The Amazing Gayl Pile, Whatever, Linda, Space Riders: Division Earth and Inhuman Condition are just a few of the many that received IPF support in the past and have gone on to full-blown web and television series.

Established in 1991 to provide financial support for dramatic television series, the IPF was expanded in 2010 to include financing drama series for the web. That mandate has been extended indefinitely. The result? Dozens of trailers for potential projects have been posted on YouTube. Check them out here.

With a deadline of March 31 approaching, creators are looking for support via views and comments about their potential projects before the IPF makes their decision; in 2017 the IPF approved funding for 15 scripted series (10 in English and five in French); three were renewals for past projects with the other 12 being new ones. (One was My 90-Year-Old Roommate, starring Lauren Corber, Ethan Cole and Josh Schultz.)

Here are a few projects that caught our eye, as well as the links to some honourable mentions. Watch, click, comment and help them all gain funding!

 

The Series: Silver

The Creator(s): Simu Liu

The Idea: In the year 2025, a vampire named Reeve (Liu) works for a group called the Silver Corps—a paramilitary group charged with keeping vampires in check. Reeve ignores an order to kill a vampire child. Now his own organization is hunting them.

The Inspiration: Simu Liu has been looking to do something in the genre space for a long time. Inspired by the sci-fi and action projects he watched as a kid and a love of stunts, he combined them all into Silver. “When you attack something that is already out there and has been done, you want a fresh take on it,” he says. “Instead of having the vampires be these creatures that are respected and revered, they are the social outcasts and a stand-in for a lot of minority groups today and throughout history.”

The Plan: A 10-episode web series of 10 minutes each that Liu likens as a comic book on film: “A visually-driven story where every frame is beautiful.”

 

The Series: The Communist’s Daughter

The Creator(s): Leah Cameron

The Idea: Amid 1980s Canada, Dunyasha McDougald, the daughter of two Communists struggles with fitting in at high school and supporting her family’s beliefs.

The Inspiration: The Communist’s Daughter is loosely based on Cameron’s childhood: her father was a Communist during the 1980s. As a result—Cameron explains—the family car was a Lada, Soviet Life magazine was delivered to the door, and family vacations were to Cuba to “support the economy.” It was only looking back on her childhood that Cameron realized how odd—and funny—her life was. The trailer stars Jessica Holmes (Air Farce), Aaron Poole (Strange Empire), Bruce Novakowski (Inconceivable) and Hilary McCormack.

The Plan: Cameron’s creation will live on the web as 10- to 12-minute episodes; she’s got major plans for the family that takes advantage of a more serialized setup. “The father is going to run for election in a highly-embarrassing and highly public campaign,” Cameron says. “Which will make his daughter’s attempt to fit in at high school even harder and that needs a story arc.” Additionally, Cameron is excited to show Gen Xers and millennials who are interested in what Toronto looked like in the 1980s to actually see the city—and the diversity of its population—represented during that time.

 

The Series: Don’t Ask Alice (The Adventures of Collie and Doli)

The Creator(s): Connie Wang and Lakna Edilima

The Idea: Two millennials, Collie (Wang) and Doli (Edilima), offer new-age advice to fellow twentysomethings.

The Inspiration: Connie Wang and Lakna Edilima, friends since Grade 9 math class, weren’t getting the gigs (Wang in acting, Edilima in a writer’s room) in the Canadian TV industry they’d hoped for. After a night out cracking each other up, they decided to just create their own series. “Collie and Doli think they know everything,” Wang says. “At the time, Lakna and I thought we knew everything when we wrote it.”

The Plan: Season 1 of 12 webisodes of about five minutes each. Each one features a caller needing advice from Collie and Doli. The pair offer something outrageous to their caller … and then try out their own advice. “We find out that, ‘Oh, this doesn’t actually work.’ The moral of the story is, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have called him that,’ or ‘Maybe I shouldn’t just assume that guys like that.'”

 

The Series: Beattie & Mae

The Creator(s): Melanie Leishman and Emily Coutts

The Idea: Two sisters, Beattie (Leishman) and Mae (Coutts), find themselves recruited by a competitive direct-sales cosmetics company in the fashion-and-feminism influenced world of 1997.

The Inspiration: The friends were commiserating over their shared past of being initiated by places and friends in multi-level marketing companies. The sales technique was ripe for humour, Leishman says, and the show grew from there while embracing feminism, relationships and the 1990s. “We get to the root of Beattie and Mae’s relationship and their relationship to the company,” Coutts says. The specific decade was chosen, Leishman explains, because it was before the Internet and recruitment changed to online. It also serves as a backdrop to two women coming of age.

“Feminism has come a long way in the last 20 years,” Leishman says. “The pop culture world of 1997 seemed like a hilarious place to set these two women as they try to figure out who they are in the big city for the first time.”

The Plan: An eight-episode web series of seven-minute instalments is the first step for Beattie & Mae, with a long-term goal of an adaptation for television. A main event occurs in each episode, Leishman says, with the focus on the sisters dealing with that incident differently.

 

Honourable mentions

The Motorcycle Project
Two half-sisters (played by Elise Bauman and Humberly González) go on a wild and crazy adventure across South America in search of the truth behind their sister’s mysterious death.

The Has Been
Amy Jo Johnson (Flashpoint), writes, directs and stars in this project about a bankrupt former A-list actress who attends ComicCon to raise the funds needed to pay off her debts.

What Got Did
Created by Grace Lynn Kung and Rob Shapiro, Paige Ho will stop at nothing to turn ParKer into the next great startup in Silicon Valley North. The only thing standing in her way? Pretty much everything.

Super Zee
An action comedy about a queer Black superhero (Sedina Fiati), who swoops in to save her woman crush (Christina Song), from microaggressions at the office.

Detention Adventure
A group of sixth graders get themselves put into detention so they can explore the tunnels under their school.

Swings
A mockumentary about two co-dependant best friends Kevin (Kevin Vidal) and Christian (Christian Smith) serving as the “swings” (musical understudies) for a giant Broadway-level production of Nickelback The Musical.

The After Party Girls
The partially true, completely embarrassing stories of best friends Jules (Cheyenne Mabberley) and Fiona (Katey Hoffman), who are determined to become popular and the life of the party.

Held
Megan Follows directs and Alanna Bale and Kristopher Turner both star in this psychological suspense series written by Alison Bingeman and based on Edeet Ravel’s novel.

The Six
Six inner city teens chase success in rap stardom, basketball fame, fashion design, drug running, self-worth and independence on the streets of Toronto.

Hospital Show
Follows the damaged actors and actresses who play doctors on Critical Condition. Created by and starring Adam G. Reid alongside co-stars Sara Canning and Adrian Holmes.

Ming’s Dynasty
Two Toronto rappers are stuck running a Chinese restaurant in smalltown Alberta. Will they chase the beats or the eats?

Queens
A peek at the drag scene through the eyes of an eclectic group of drag queens as they prep to compete in the “Miss Church Street Pageant.”

Image Killer
A gallows humour series about a serial killer who hunts down arrogant social media personas in the vein of Scream Queens meets Fargo.

Group
A dramatic comedy about the people involved in a goal-setting group at a big-city addiction research clinic.

 

 

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TV Eh B Cs podcast 77 — Elize Morgan vs. Alpaca vs. Llama

Elize Morgan is a writer of TV, games and digital series. She worked on Assassin’s Creed: Origins, was part of the Season 1 team for girls action animation series Mysticons, and is currently pitching for her co-created series Alpaca vs. Llama for the Independent Production Fund.

She created and produced two digital comedy series, Pretty In Geek and The Gate. She was also the editor of How to Make a Web Series (free on iBooks).

Elize wrote for the CSA-winning convergent project Grojband: The Show Must Go On and has been nominated for a WGC Award for her script “Heart of Gold” for the girls action series Mysticons.

Elize has worked on animated and live action properties for kids, including CBC’s Ollie: The Boy Who Became What He Ate, Rusty Rivets and Bagel & Becky. Elize has an MA in Popular Culture and is a graduate of the CFC’s Prime Time Television Writing Program.

Brought to you by Dillon’s Gin!

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