Tag Archives: X Company

Hits and misses: The 2018 Canadian Screen Awards nominees

First of all, a hearty congratulations to everyone who has been nominated for a 2018 Canadian Screen Award. I’ve spoken to many of you over the years and basked in both your kindness and awesome skills whether you work in front of or behind the camera.

I believe the Canadian Screen Awards are as important and justified in their existence as the Golden Globe Awards, Primetime Emmys and BAFTA awards; and with that comes the scrutiny that befalls the Academy and the nominations it puts forth every year. What does that mean? I poke, prod and peruse the television categories and scrutinize every decision the Academy has made with regard to the 2018 television nominations.

Here are my thoughts on several of the key categories. Let me know your own thoughts in the comments section below!

Best Drama Series

  • 19-2
  • Anne
  • Mary Kills People
  • Pure
  • Vikings

I’m thrilled to see 19-2, Anne, Mary Kills People and Pure all in this category. Each represents unique storytelling, characters that are interesting and push the boundaries of what we view as heroes and villains. I’m especially tickled that Pure is here because I think what creator Michael Amo, director Ken Girotti and stars Ryan Robbins, Alex Paxton-Beesley, A.J. Buckley and Peter Outerbridge did was really special. That said, I’d rather have seen Vikings replaced by X Company or Travelers. Both of those programs—X Company in its last and Travelers in its first—provided more engaging stories than Vikings did and in more creative ways. Honourable mention: Hard Rock Medical, which manages to jam twisting, dramatic storylines into a mere 22 minutes of airtime.


Best Comedy Series

  • Letterkenny
  • Workin’ Moms
  • Nirvanna the Band the Show
  • Michael: Every Day
  • Kim’s Convenience

Letterkenny continues its journey to being one of the greatest Canadian comedies of all time while breaking new ground being a Crave TV original. Workin’ Moms was simply fantastic in its debut season, Kim’s Convenience is stellar and Michael: Every Day was a comic gem that I’m glad CBC revisited. I simply don’t get Nirvanna the Band the Show. I’ve tried to watch it several times and couldn’t stick with it. Maybe it’s because I’m in my forties and it’s not for my demographic. To me, Mohawk Girls deserved to be in that final spot. Co-created by Tracey Deer (who received a well-deserved nomination for her directing) and Cynthia Knight, Mohawk Girls effectively delivered laughs and tears while telling the tale of four women negotiating life, love and what it means to be a member of the First Nations today.


Best Sketch Comedy Program or Series

  • The Beaverton
  • Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes

I have no issues with this category. Let’s move on.


Best Reality Competition Series

  • The Amazing Race Canada
  • The Bachelorette Canada
  • Big Brother Canada
  • MasterChef Canada
  • Top Chef Canada

If this category has proved anything, it’s that we’re able to successfully create homegrown versions of proven international reality competition series and nab large audiences for them. Now it’s time to create our own concepts like CBC’s Crash Gallery and CTV’s The Launch; I expect to see the latter nominated in this category next year.


Best Limited Series or Program

  • Cardinal
  • Alias Grace
  • The Disappearance
  • The Kennedys: After Camelot
  • Bruno & Boots: This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall

Holy crap is this a stacked category. All are worthy of being here both for the writing, acting, directing and production values. My murder and mayhem-loving heart is filled with love for Cardinal, The Disappearance and Alias Grace. The pleasant surprise for me is Bruno & Boots which deserves to be here. The tone may different from the other four but that’s what makes it so exciting to see that project here. I’d love it if Bruno & Boots won.


Best Lead Actress, Comedy

  • Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Catherine Reitman, Workin’ Moms
  • Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
  • Andrea Bang, Kim’s Convenience
  • Jean Yoon, Kim’s Convenience

Another category jammed with bona fide, worthy winners. All are strong women in real life and on the small screen. Andrea Bang and Jean Yoon have created something truly special via Janet and Umma’s relationship, especially in the second season. I wish a sixth name could be added to this list and that it was Dani Kind’s. Her portrayal of Anne Carlson on Workin’ Moms has been a revelation. I’m still marvelling at how a character like Anne can struggle with connecting with her two children, worry the nanny is stealing her family away and decide to have an abortion … and make the situation alternately heartbreaking and hilarious.


Best Lead Actor, Comedy

  • Gerry Dee, Mr. D
  • Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience
  • Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek

I agree with all the names on this list and don’t envy the Academy for having to choose a winner.


Best Lead Actress, Drama Series

  • Amybeth McNulty, Anne
  • Caroline Dhavernas, Mary Kills People
  • Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
  • Meaghan Rath, Rogue

I have not, I must confess, watched Sex & Violence or Rogue, so I’m kind of out of my element here. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion. McNulty’s portrayal of Anne Shirley re-created the character for a whole new generation of Anne of Green Gables fans. She certainly won me over. Caroline Dhavernas was great in Season 1 of Mary Kills People (I think she’s even better in the two episodes I’ve seen of Season 2) and Tatiana Maslany is, well, frigging Tatiana Maslany. If I could suggest a couple of other names for this category they would be Melissa O’Neil for Dark Matter and Hannah John-Kamen for Killjoys. Both were kicking ass and taking names in their sci-fi series while showing sensitivity and humour throughout. And yes, I’m still pissed Dark Matter was cancelled. Thanks for asking.


Best Lead Actor, Drama Series

  • Brian Markinson, The Romeo Section
  • Richard Short, Mary Kills People
  • Christopher Heyerdahl, Van Helsing
  • Alexander Ludwig, Vikings
  • Shawn Doyle, Bellevue

Brian Markinson was so, so good in Season 2 of The Romeo Section; I’m thrilled he got a nod here. Rather than swap a name out, I’d like to add one: Shaun Johnston. His Grandpa Jack on Heartland has been through a lot over the past several years but he’s always been the rock everyone could lean on. In this past season of Heartland, Jack was called upon to help run the ranch while being there for Georgie and Amy, especially when Ty was away in Mongolia. Those storylines called on Johnston to do some major heavy lifting and he shouldered it with no problems at all. Honourable mention to X Company‘s Jack Laskey who was so fantastic as Alfred Graves in the historical drama’s final season.


Best Lead Actress, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace
  • Maxim Roy, Bad Blood
  • Karine Vanasse, Cardinal
  • Camille Sullivan, The Disappearance
  • Hélène Joy, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Honestly, how can you pick a winner out of this group of wide-ranging and fantastic characters?! That said, the Murdoch Mysteries fan in me is pissed Hélène Joy is nominated in this category rather than Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Shaftesbury, the show’s production company, put the Christmas special up for consideration in this category AND the show up for Best Drama Series, so I guess the Academy decided she was a better fit here?


Best Lead Actor, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Kim Coates, Bad Blood
  • Edward Holcroft, Alias Grace
  • Billy Campbell, Cardinal
  • Alan Thicke, It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway
  • Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Again, a stunning group of actors in this category and my same complaint for the previous category goes here: what the hell is Yannick Bisson doing here and not in the major Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series?!

The Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast gala airs live Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. on CBC.

 

 

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Link: History UK Acquires Canadian WWII Spy Thriller ‘X Company’

From Patrick Munn of TVWise.co.uk:

Link: History UK Acquires Canadian WWII Spy Thriller ‘X Company’
History UK is adding another exclusive drama to their slate. The A+E Networks UK backed channel has secured the exclusive UK broadcast rights to Canadian drama series X Company, a spy thriller set during the second world war, after striking a deal with international distributor Sony Pictures Television. Continue reading.

 

 

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X Company and Slasher stars guest on Saving Hope

Last week’s episode of Saving Hope was certainly memorable, wasn’t it? It’s not every day a car comes crashing into Hope Zion’s ER. Not only did the accident send shockwaves through the hospital,  but caused Thomas Leffering to seriously rethink cutting so many of Hope Zion’s services. And what about Alex realizing she’s pregnant?

Thomas’ rethink continues in this week’s new instalment, “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” which I visited the set of during production last year. Here’s what CTV has revealed regarding some key storylines:

Dr. Charlie Harris and Dr. Manny Palmer treat two love birds who have an annual weekend-long love fest, despite the fact the woman is married to someone else. Meanwhile, when Charlie assigns Dr. Maggie Lin to evaluate the interns, it brings out her nurturing side and leads Dr. Billy Scott to ask Maggie to be his mentor. Following Dr. Zach Miller’s advice to use the “kill them with kindness” approach to negotiating, Dr. Dawn Bell struggles to bring out her nurturing side when she tries to get her Chief of Surgery position back. Maggie and Dawn find themselves at odds when they work together to treat a single dad with a ninja star lodged in his neck.

And here’s what we can tell you after watching a screener.

Shahir shines …
I’ve been missing Shahir’s eccentricities of late, so it’s nice to have him back—and full of quips—on Sunday. Also, we finally meet Jonathan, played by Slasher‘s Christopher Jacot, who is hoping to score some business from the hospital.

… and Michelle Nolden does too
Dawn is a pretty uptight individual, so her quest to reclaim her Chief of Surgery gig is odd and incredibly funny. The scenes allow Nolden to showcase her comic timing and we want more.

X Company star in the house!
Lara Jean Chorostecki guest-stars as Claudia, who is in the ER with her injured love match when things go really bad.

Thomas has a change of heart
Let’s just say the events of the last episode has had a profound effect on Thomas.

Saving Hope airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Link: 5×5 With The Hook: Hugh Dillon

From You’ve Been Hooked:

Link: 5×5 With The Hook: Hugh Dillon
“The writing on that show was so good it transcended language barriers/cultural differences and has stood the test of time. And it is amazing how we can drop all the walls we put up when we recognize the truth and beauty in the stories. Sometimes it’s a song a show or even a sport that provides that moment of connection, and life is good and you’re in the moment and you’re connected; can’t beat it!” Continue reading. 

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Wynonna Earp, Letterkenny and X Company top WGC Screenwriting Awards

Writers for Wynonna Earp, Letterkenny, X Company and Degrassi: Next Class were among the winners at the 21st Annual Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards in Toronto on Monday night.

The event, held at the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning’s Koerner Hall, celebrated the country’s screenwriting talent in television and film. Wynonna Earp writer Alexandra Zarowny (pictured above) won Best Script from a Rookie Series for her Season 1 script “Bury Me With My Guns On,” and thanked her fellow writers and fans for their support.

“There is an entire writing room behind this award,” she said. “This goes to James Hurst, Brendan Yorke, Caitlyn D. Fryers and Emily Andras. I love you, Em, and as the last five years have shown, I’ll follow you anywhere. And to all our social media fans, Wynonna Earp is the little engine that could and I’m so proud of this little demon-hunting show and the LGBTQ community was a huge, fierce, loud and proud part of that. They got a second season made.”

Letterkenny‘s Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney won the TV Comedy for their Season 1 script, “Super Soft Birthday,” while X Company‘s Stephanie Morgenstern and Mark Ellis took home a trophy for the Season 2 episode, “August 19th.”

Letterkenny’s Jacob Tierney and Jared Keeso

Comedian and writer Laurie Elliott hosted, getting the night off on the right foot. “To all the writers in the room, look at us in our outside clothes!” she began. “This is a fancy party to celebrate writers.”

Andrew Wreggitt was the recipient of The Denis McGrath Award for his service to the Writers Guild of Canada, Aaron Martin was given the Showrunner Award, Diana Frances the Sondra Kelly Award and Daniel Whidden the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize.

The television category winners are:

Children’s
Odd Squad, Season 2 “Drop Gadget Repeat,” written by Tim McKeon

Movie of the Week & Miniseries
Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool, written by Adam Barken

Best Script from a Rookie Series
Wynonna Earp, Season 1 “Bury Me With My Guns On,” written by Alexandra Zarowny

TV Comedy
Letterkenny, Season 1 “Super Soft Birthday,” written by Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney

TV Drama
X Company, Season 2 “August 19th,” written by Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern

Tweens & Teens
Degrassi: Next Class, Season 1 “#TeamFollowBack,” written by Ian MacIntyre

Images courtesy of Christina Gapic.

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