TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Link: Being Frankie

From Michael Pickard of Drama Quarterly:

Link: Being Frankie
“Now, in season three, we’re all really, really excited to see what’s in store. It’s also nice because we shoot 10 episodes for five months and then we’re off for seven months. So by the time we get back to shooting, everyone’s excited to get back at it. So I’m just really looking forward to it and we’re excited to get back to hanging out with the girls and finding Frankie again, and pretending to be way more badass than I really am.” Continue reading.

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Adam Holman tackles weekend projects in excellent and entertaining Cottage Coach

I don’t have a cottage. I wish that I did. Someplace to get away, relax, sip a cool adult beverage. The thought of it makes me downright wistful. And yes, I realize there are lots that aren’t so fun about them—daily or seasonal upkeep, opening and closing them for the season and renovations—but even Adam Holman makes that look fun.

Each of the six episodes of the web series Cottage Coach—available now on cottagelife.com—features Holman as he takes on projects. The challenges range from building a removable flagpole and updating the deck at Cottage Life founder Al Zikovitz’s cottage to creating a pond float and a pergola. The projects are meant to be done in a few hours or a weekend—writer/director Chris Jackson, producer Cynthia Mutheardy and director of photography and editor Amanda Fusco all help Holman in his quest—and are packed with safety tips and facts (flip over a deck board instead of replacing it, or a super-cool way to remove a headless nail) that fit perfectly within a webisode.

We spoke to Adam Holman about Cottage Coach; catch him at the 2019 Fall Cottage Life Show that runs from Friday, October 25 to Sunday, October 27 at the International Centre, Mississauga. Tickets are available now on cottagelife.com.

Give me your background. Are you a professional carpenter? Are you a professional DIYer? Are you a guy that just does stuff on the side? How does it work for you?
Adam Holman: I’ve always loved building things. I’ve always loved working with my hands and taking chances and opportunities, and just going for it, and making mistakes and learning from my mistakes. And that’s kind of what got me into building things, to begin with. My school background is media and television. And it all just kind of came together. I started working for Cottage Life cutting promos for TV shows. And an opportunity came up to start doing DIY projects. And we started small, just doing little projects, and it kind of grew. And then I started hosting my DIY projects, and that’s kind of how we fell into the idea to do Cottage Coach.

In the first webisode, you’re at Al Zikovitz’s cottage.
AH: Al started Cottage Life. And we thought that would be a great way to start Cottage Coach, to take it full circle and bring it back to Al’s cottage and have him put me to work. We knew we wanted to do builds that involved the crew and have that behind-the-scenes feel to the show. And we thought having Al in the first episode or first two episodes would just go full circle. And it was really humbling for him, too, and he loved being part of it.

You don’t just show people how to do things. You also pack a ton of little tips in, like ‘Click the link below to find out how to sharpen your chainsaw,’ ‘Firepit safety.’ You have fit so much information just into a five-minute segment or a seven-minute segment.  
AH: Yeah, 100 per cent. When we sat down and first started talking about this whole Cottage Coach idea, we didn’t want the show to look like every other show out there. I wanted to make it so that we weren’t hiding things from the audience, and you got that behind-the-scenes feel where you saw me talking to Chris, our director. And you see the crew helping out when I can’t carry everything myself. And it just made it a little bit different from anything else out there. That’s the plan. We want to keep it going like that and keep it open for people and let them see what actually happens.

One of the things that really stuck out for me was flipping a deck board rather than replacing it. So simple and so genius. So often on a home reno show, it’s, ‘OK, we need to replace everything.’ You said, ‘Flip it over. If it’s not rotten, you’re good to go.’
AH: Exactly. And there’s little tips and tricks like that that we want to get out there for cottagers, because when you’re in cottage country there sometimes isn’t someone to call every time, and you have to do those things yourself. It’s a great way to get these little tips and tricks across to people, and it’s fun and it’s entertaining all at the same time.

It looked to me as though each of these projects, even some of the bigger ones, are the type of thing that you can either knock off in a day or maybe in a weekend. Was that the whole point? 
AH: Yeah. The pergola, we wanted to go out with a big bang and kind of do something exciting and a little bit bigger for the end of the season. But I also wanted to keep it simple enough that somebody could do it. You didn’t have to go and dig a whole bunch of sono tubes in, and pour concrete. I attached it to an existing structure that was already there. But the other ones, yeah, we wanted to make it easy enough that people could just go pick up some wood and build these projects, show how easy it was to build a raft, and just the tips around the cottage, the flagpole. Most people are only up at their cottage for the weekend, so we wanted to make those projects easy enough for people to do in one weekend.

What’s going to happen when you show up at the fall Cottage Life Show? 
AH: I have three main stage presentations, every day at 11:30 a.m. And then I’m going to be going back to the Cottage Life booth where I can chat with fans, meet and greet, and just talk about the show. There’s a lot at the show. There’s tons of things like fall prevention, renovation, real estate, entertaining at the cottage. And there’s so many vendors. It’s just a great place for anybody to come, who have a cottage or don’t have a cottage, and learn about what the great outdoors is and just living up north.

Catch the web series Cottage Coach with Adam Holman, exclusively on cottagelife.com.

You can also catch Adam Holman at the 2019 Fall Cottage Life Show that runs from Friday, October 25 to Sunday, October 27 at the International Centre, Mississauga. Tickets are available now on cottagelife.com.

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Comments and queries for the week of October 18

This episode is not at all interesting! This is my first negative review of my favourite show. Perhaps due to high expectations from the directorial work of Yannick Bisson, but it turned out gray and corny. The appearance of unknown relatives, adventurous projects have already been used in the plots more than once, but before that it was exciting. It is completely incomprehensible why Yannick Bisson made this episode without the bright and talented Hélène Joy. In Episodes 1 and 2, Julia was too nervous a feminist, in Episodes 3 and 4 she was not present at all. For an unknown reason, the authors of the show oust Julia from the plot. If in the next episode’s William-Julia main storyline is lost, then Murdoch Mysteries will become an ordinary, boring detective series. I hope this does not happen. —L

DULL is becoming the main theme of the series. This is the second episode where Julia is conspicuously out of the picture. Hélène Joy is made executive producer, so she does not get to act anymore? Yannick Bisson is also an executive producer and he directs as well, and he is still very much front and centre. Violet Hart also gets enough screen time as a dull coroner. There may be valid reasons for Hélène Joy’s absence and if there are, fans would perhaps accept it better if they knew what they were. Not knowing, I am losing interest in the series. Nothing to look forward to. The character of Murdoch is dull by design for the procedural aspect, it is Julia who makes him interesting. She also makes other characters interesting. Without the chemistry and the banter between the two of them and the other two main characters, the show is becoming very dull as well, despite the distinguished guests. I am saddened when I see what has become of the show after Season 11 and very nostalgic about earlier seasons, especially when Julia was coroner. It was even interesting when she was a psychiatrist, but not as a surgeon. How many episodes can there be around her performing surgery? She also no longer has reasons to interact with the other main characters. Very dull. The point: they were a team, working well together to solve crime cases. That was the winning formula of the show. No more. If that’s the case, I hope this season is the last. Perhaps all those involved are getting tired of the show and want to move on to something else. It is usually the case with actors. That is why it is better not to get too attached to a show, after all, it is just a business. —Noele

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

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Link: Who’s a good boy? Hudson & Rex star living his best doggie life

From Melissa Hank of Postmedia:

Link: Who’s a good boy? Hudson & Rex star living his best doggie life
Vom Burgimwald’s character Rex is the kind of wounded soul fans swoon for, a true underdog. He was logging hours in the K9 unit when his partner died and then was transferred to major crimes at the St. John’s Police Department, where he was paired up with Hudson. Continue reading. 

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The Beaverton skewers Canada’s federal election in a new CTV special

The politicians are on the campaign trail, struggling mightily to win your vote. That means long days and nights, crisscrossing the country. It’s an ambitious and deeply tiring schedule. Equally exhausting? Covering it.

That’s what the folks at The Beaverton aim to do. Airing Friday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV, the one-hour special The Beaverton Mocks the Vote puts the federal political leaders in their crosshairs as co-anchors Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas skewer every step the political parties have taken since the election was called.

We spoke to the pair about what viewers can expect when they tune in to The Beaverton Mocks the Vote.

How much planning has been going into this? Is this a typical writer’s room where you are getting together on the week and figuring stuff out as you work towards the 18th?
Emma Hunter: We are preparing the skeletal outlines for what things could be with a couple of variations, depending on if it goes right or left. We always think we prepare ourselves to have a full, calm day on set and it is always a madhouse. [Co-creator] Luke Gordon Field hasn’t showered, [co-creator] Jeff Detsky is sweaty, somebody’s throwing a muffin and there are a hundred coffees. It’s just chaos in the best way. So I think it will be that. I anticipate that the two days before the taping will just be absolute chaos, but it’s sort of a sick, pleasurable chaos.

Miguel Rivas: We can only write the most relevant stuff as the election is approaching. We’ve already been together for weeks, full time just starting to write other pieces and stuff because it’s going to be a full hour. We’re going to explore lots of elements of the election. So it’s not all necessarily timely related to news that breaks. There are bigger stories that we can dive into in the timeframe.

Anything that you can talk about? 
MR: We’re really excited about what’s going to frame the election and that we’ve already had something big break. The brownface scandal is obviously ongoing, unfortunately, due to Trudeau’s comments and the nature of the fact that it’s time to discuss the harmfulness of brownface and blackface again. That’s the nature of race and immigration and obviously all the candidates mainly from the Conservatives, but also from the Liberals and NDP who’ve been exposed for having said other racist stuff in the past on Twitter. So, we’re taking a huge look at how we identify as Canadians and how it relates to race and stuff.

This election campaign has seemed to be a lot more mean-spirited than in the past. Do you attribute that to what’s going on in the States? 
MR: Yeah, for sure. I think everything we do is affected by the U.S., but the global climate, in general, is one of harshness, shall we say. And yeah, I do think that there’s a tenor that comes with that and I think elections are kind of being redefined in people’s minds what they mean. And personal figures have always been important, but they seem to become so much more important. The symbolic member of the party, Justin Trudeau, Scheer, Trump, whoever, and the cult of personality that builds up around them … I think the nature of that starts to lean into personal attacks rather than discussions of policy. I think many people, if not most people, would consider the biggest issue facing Canada in the world is climate change. And every party has now sort of waded into the waters of talking about climate change, but it still feels like secondary or even third or fourth or fifth in line to issues of is this guy a racist or is that person nice to me?

EH: It’s exhausting and it’s disappointing and I think this brownface thing just left everybody with just this sort of exhalation of like, ‘Really? Really?‘ And I think the way everybody handled it was to be expected, trying to capitalize on it and use it and it was such an easy thing to do. Of course, they would. So it’s just cutthroat out there. It is such a specific thing to want to do with your life, to put every moment that’s potentially vulnerable out there for the rest of the parties to feed on. I have no idea why they do it. I hope the motivation is to make change for a better world, but something inside tells me it’s usually more than that.

The Beaverton Mocks the Vote airs Friday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.

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