Tag Archives: Open Heart

The Killjoys get “Schooled”

Sure, it’s nearing the end of July, so most kids are enjoying being out of the classroom. Unfortunately, for Killjoys‘ Dutch, D’Avin and Johnny, they become enrolled embroiled in strange and dangerous goings-on at a special school for super-smart kids. Here’s Space’s official synopsis about Friday’s new episode, “Schooled”:

A simple escort mission takes a frightening turn when the Killjoys discover students have mysteriously disappeared from a school for gifted Westerley children.

And here’s a sneak peek from us about what fans can expect.

Dutch and D’Avin’s super-sexy fight scene
Unlike their near-deadly Season 1 grapple, this one’s all about bragging rights. We’ll call it a draw; let us know what you think.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.
Image courtesy of Bell Media.

The Killjoys go back to school
The mystery at the Prodigy School gives viewers a chance to see how the Killjoys would fare as parents. D’Avin and Johnny? Naturals. Dutch? Not so much. But while D’Av’s scenes with the kids are super-sweet, there’s dark stuff going on at the school. The simple mission outlined by Turin doesn’t go as planned—when do they ever?—and our trio is forced to work with Delle Seyah.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.
Image courtesy of Bell Media.

D’Avin vs. Sabine
She has a small role in “Schooled,” but Pree’s latest hire, Sabine, makes an impression on D’Av. Sabine is played by Tori Anderson, who many of us last saw starring on Open Heart. Can we take a moment to remember Open Heart?

An homage to Marion Ravenwood?
There’s a particular scene involving Pawter that left us with a major case of déjà vu. We’re pretty sure the Killjoys writing team was channeling Raiders of the Lost Ark when our favourite doc was trying to gain her freedom.

Killjoys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.


Interview: Open Heart boss reveals Season 1 secrets

It was one of the most action-packed season finales I’ve ever seen. In just over 20 minutes, Open Heart managed to squish romance, action and mystery into one instalment as Dylan found her missing father, Veronica was attacked, Det. Goodis was killed and London had not one but two fellows—Seth and Hud—profess their love for her and plant a kiss on her lips.

We had questions! So we turned to showrunner Ramona Barckert for the answers, and she delivered on everything from those pesky feathers to London and Hud’s smooch, and perhaps the biggest mystery: will there be a Season 2 of Open Heart?

It’s one thing to sit in the writer’s room and come up with these ideas, but what has it been like to watch the show every week and see the reaction from the fans on social media?
Ramona Barckert: It’s been amazing. I was super-nervous before the premiere. Not that I didn’t believe in the show and I wasn’t proud of it, but it’s a different kind of thing and I wondered if people would embrace it the way that we hoped, and if they would hate the things that we focused on. You always wonder. Over the course of the 12 weeks it blossomed into this obsessive group of people that really got into it. It was really awesome.

Twelve weeks has gone by very quickly.
It has gone by quickly. The show is quick, so I think that is a factor.

There was so much going on in Tuesday’s finale that there wasn’t any time for Jared (Mena Massoud)!
You didn’t! And that’s unfortunate. I feel terrible about that. I own that because I wrote the finale and I jammed as much in as I could and we unfortunately only have just over 21 minutes to tell the story so the scene he was in got cut. It was a great scene too—typical Jared being hilarious and mocking Dylan—maybe I’ll bug someone to get the deleted scene put online or something.

Dylan represents the youth, not keeping things hiding in the shadows and talking about what they are struggling with.

Would it have changed the main story?
No, it was a scene at the top of the episode that set up Dylan coming out of the psych ward and setting her off on her journey. We just didn’t have the time for it and it had to go, unfortunately.

Thank you so much for reuniting Richard with Dylan. It was an important payoff and some shows may not have done that. They would have drawn it out into another season.
My approach to storytelling is if you set something up you need to have a payoff in a timely fashion. That makes it satisfying. It’s intriguing to have that payoff and close that part of the story while opening up another part to it. You don’t know what’s going to happen next. You want to give the audience something. Stringing the audience along … I don’t like it when shows do that to me so I try not to do that with my own.

Richard told Dylan that she needed to keep acting like he was dead or missing to protect her. London had that vision of her holding a baby. I was thinking the baby was Dylan and that perhaps the woman on the gurney was her mother. That means Jane isn’t her biological mother and Richard had an affair. Thoughts?
I think you’re supposed to look at that vision as a piece of the Blake history. Whether or not London’s interpretation of that history is accurate is subject to discussion. I think you’re on the right track. The vision is a lynchpin in the Blake family history and what it means is to be determined. Right now that vision exists in the twisted corridors of London’s mind and there is more to be had there. It’s still a bit fuzzy.

Ug. OK.
Come on! We gave you Richard back! That’s something!

Meanwhile, Det. Goodis turned out to be Det. Bad-is. The scene where he, Dr. K and Hud were fighting over the gun was pretty stressful for viewers. It did, for a few minutes, seem as though the secret had died with him.
Goodis, in my mind, up until the point that he got screwed was on board with Dylan and really wanted to help her. As with everyone on the show, there are times when you have the best intentions and things don’t work out. He wanted to get out of the situation he was in and made some poor decisions. And that’s why Dylan felt so lost at that moment. Goodis was dead and Veronica was in a coma and no one else could tell her about Richard. She had to find it out for herself. I really wanted her to have the win at the end of the season.

Thank goodness for that feather!
I know! There were other feathers. If you go back over the season there were other feathers in the trunk of the car and on Veronica. I got a lot of grief when we were shooting that because we had these feathers and people kept asking me about them. I said, ‘Don’t worry guys, it will all make sense.’


Dr. Hud was interesting this season; he has to attend counselling for PTSD. Pair that with London’s visions and Richard’s mental state and you were very respectful while shining a spotlight on mental health.
Ultimately, we wanted to talk about family and issues that families deal with. To think about the Blakes, who have made such poor decisions when it’s come to dealing with Richard’s illness … it’s been the old-school way of dealing with things. Just keep it quiet and pretend it’s not happening. Dylan represents the youth, not keeping things hiding in the shadows and talking about what they are struggling with. That’s a great thing because teenagers are so open these things.

It would have been easy to just have Hud be the hunky doctor with the perfectly-sculpted stubble with no depth.
We cast for that, knowing that there would more to him. The first part of the season he’s really seen through the eyes of Dylan, who has a crush on him and he’s a player. And then there’s a subtle switch midway through the season where you start to see his point of view, which I’m pretty proud of. I’m really into characters who change mid-season and I think thats why the fans are really into him, because we did it slowly.

London started off the season with no men in her life. Now she has two kissing her and telling her they love her. That’s complicated.
Hud has been making bad decisions all season, so it’s exciting because you see he’s going to make one more when he’s going to kiss her. It’s great, and sexy and all that but also, ‘Oh no!’ People are very into them, though. Right now it’s all about Hud and London.

You left many questions open at the end of the night, including if there will be a Season 2. What’s happening? Have you been greenlit? Are you waiting to hear?
We are waiting. We are expecting news any day. We are very hopeful and our networks have been very supportive of the show. They love it and want to see more. The writers and I have been working over the last couple of months just getting ready and developing story ideas and every idea we have is super-exciting.

What did you think of Season 1 of Open Heart? Comment below or on Twitter @tv_eh.


Review: Love, loss and family reunions on Open Heart

I’ve been consistently amazed by Open Heart‘s storytelling. Under showrunner Ramona Barckert, the YTV drama hums along at a breakneck pace, managing to mix family strife, romance, humour and mystery into each 22-minute episode. It’s made for a breathtaking ride and I’m sorry that it’s over.

Tuesday’s season finale, “Time Out of Mind” written by Barckert, served to close out the major mystery—the location of Richard Blake—while opening up the closet door on more angles to be covered if Season 2 is greenlit. I was glad Dylan found Richard by the end of the episode—it would have felt like a cheat if we hadn’t—and I was intrigued when their teary loft reunion was cut short by Richard, who implored Dylan to pretend he was dead “so that you can be protected.”

Protected from what? We don’t know, though I suspect it might have something to do with London’s final vision of the season where she was holding a baby in her arms. At first, I thought it was a doll, then perhaps a dead infant. But I think the baby is Dylan, and that she may not be London’s sibling by blood after all. That could mean the woman being carted away on the stretcher was her real mother, who perhaps had an affair with Richard. I could see Richard wanting that knowledge hidden from Dylan. It would, after all, throw her whole world into disarray.

“World in disarray” aptly described Wes, London and Hud too. After saying perhaps the most stupid thing in the universe to Dylan (“You are out of your mind!”), Wes redeemed himself by helping Dr. K and Hud save Dylan from Det. Goodis—clearly he was Det. BADis—and was stunned when Edward welcomed him into the Blake family. That will fill a hole in his life for a little while, but I suspect the experience won’t be as wonderful as he imagines it will be.

London, meanwhile, was finally at ease in her relationship with Seth when the two swapped “I love you’s” and kisses. But the long-simmering season-long looks Hud gave her came to a head when the desperate doc, reeling from making a mistake with a patient and being forced into PTSD counselling by Dr. K, planted a kiss on London’s lips and left her stunned. So, Open Heart fans, should London stick with geeky Seth or go for bad boy Hud?

What was your favourite scene in last night’s season finale? What have you thought of the Open Heart‘s first season overall? Comment or hit Twitter @tv_eh.

Notes and quotes

  • “I love you.” “Dammit. I love you too.” London and Seth are so painfully awkward. I love it.
  • Veronica has been wearing that leopard coat all season. Was she changing her spots when she talked to Dylan? Symbolism!
  • When three guys fall in a parking lot, does anyone hear? Yes, if a gun goes off between them.
  • Unfortunately, the fast-paced finale meant no screen time for Jared. Insert sad face here.

Open Heart’s Mena Massoud opens up about Jared

Mena Massoud realizes the Canadian television industry is difficult. Often, you have to pay your dues over a period of years before snagging your first gig. But that didn’t happen for the Ryerson Theatre School grad, who scored his first acting role on Open Heart straight out of school.

“I had my first audition and then about a month later I got a call back and then a few weeks after that I got a screen test with Karis,” Massoud explains. “And then it all came together.” He laughs and quickly notes his story is one of extreme luck and timing. It’s also the story of a memorable character. The Markham, Ont., native portrays Jared Malik, the snarky and in-your-face head of the Youth Volunteer Program at Open Heart Memorial. Those under his supervision are Dylan Blake (Karis Cameron)—currently investigating the disappearance of her father—Mikayla Walker (Cristine Prosperi) and Wes Silver (Justin Kelly). Massoud’s role is a tough one: be too snarky and fans of Dylan’s will label you a villain. It’s a label the basketball fan is quick to dismiss.

“The one thing I want to do with all of my roles is make the characters real,” he says. “[Creator/executive producer] Ramona Barckert and [executive producer] Stefan Brogren and I sat down and really worked on him. As the show goes on it becomes more of a balancing act because he starts to open up and you see another side of him. That was journey in itself. I think that even when you meet jerks, there is a human side to them.”

Viewers have already gotten a chance to see that more human side of Jared; Open Heart’s lockdown a few weeks ago found Mikayla and Jared sharing some personal space—and a kiss— before the all-clear was called by security. How that smooch affects their working relationship has yet to be seen, though Wes made his feelings known by gagging when Mikayla confessed what had happened. Massoud had a lot of fun during production, reading scripts and observing how Jared evolved and interacted with the other characters and utilizing his comedic side. Who can forget that scene in the hospital supply closet when Dylan spilled cleaner all over Jared and he had to strip down to his skivvies?

“That’s the amazing thing about Jared and about this show,” Massoud says with a laugh recalling that scene. “It’s has a mystery and a thriller element to it, but it has some very funny moments. I think Justin and I have the most moments like that in the series. It’s very much like real life. Some days are really lousy and dramatic and other days are fun and funny.”

Open Heart airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on YTV.


Review: Open Heart goes for the heart

It’s been four weeks since the debut of Open Heart on YTV, and after being impressed with the first double-dose of episodes on Jan. 20, I decided to sit down and revisit the series. Not that I haven’t been watching—I have a day or two after the fact via PVR—but I wanted the series to simmer for a bit, for the characters and story to evolve before breaking it down and analyzing it. Are the characters still compelling? Is the mystery still interesting? Is anyone getting on my nerves? Has Open Heart kept up the drama it promised in Night 1?


“In Plain Sight” picked up seconds after last week’s instalment, with Dylan making a quick list of the people who most likely knew about the drugs her father was taking. It was a short list: Nana, Papa, Mom and a big question mark after London. (Can I take a second to throw some kudos towards the on-screen messages that flash up every time Dylan is on a computer, tablet or cell phone? It’s an ingenious way of storytelling without wasting a camera shot over her shoulder all the time.)

What a doozy of an episode to pick to review. By the time the half-hour had closed out Dylan and London confirmed Richard was schizophrenic, taking meds and seeing a psychiatrist, they learned their mother was sleeping with Dr. K and Wes told Dylan he loved her.

It was a lot for Dylan to take in and I can’t help but worry for the girl’s health, both mental and physical. Discovering she could inherit her dad’s issues was bad enough, but uncovering his secret place—jammed with maps, sketches of a soldier, numbers, keys and the name Agent Sheppard scrawled over and over again—clearly rattled her. Luckily, London was there to support her both in the storage locker and when they confronted Jane about what she knew.

Speaking of London, I didn’t take any pleasure in her decking Dr. K. He had, after all, asked Jane to reveal their relationship to the girls. K just happened to be there at the wrong time and bore the brunt of London’s rage.

And while I’m happy Wes revealed his feelings to Dylan, I think Mikayla was too hasty when she told him to do it right away. With so much on her plate right now, Dylan could push Wes away until she can fully process her feelings toward him. Don’t get me wrong. I was thrilled that he built up the guts to do it—with some help from those cute seniors and Casablanca—but I worry she’ll spurn him and he’ll back off completely.

Notes and quotes

  • Despite initial reservations (I thought he was too geeky), London and Seth have turned into a fantastic couple.
  • I may be a little out of touch, but I’m pretty sure Mikayla was wearing Nikki Sixx’s pants from Mötley Crüe’s Theater of Pain tour.
  • I cried a little bit when Mikayla and Wes didn’t know what a VHS tape was.
  • “What happened to ‘Eat all the fries London?'”
  • “What in the hell?” I’d been waiting for that reaction from Dylan ever since Jane’s phone said she was at a hotel.

Open Heart airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on YTV.