It’s the glitziest week in Canadian television. The third annual Canadian Screen Awards consume the entire week in Toronto with a nominee cocktail party on Monday, two nights of industry awards on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Women Who Act with Patricia Rozema screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and a Fan Zone on Saturday at the Eaton Centre.
On Sunday, March 1, the two-hour live broadcast concludes the festivities by awarding the top TV and film categories.
With all of that in mind, the editors and contributors here at TV, Eh? have broken down the major television categories, ruminated the talent involved and given our picks for who should—and will—win a Canadian Screen Award.
Who weighed in: Diane Wild, Greg David, Emily Gagne and Chris Jancelewicz.
Best Dramatic Series
Should win: 19-2. This show is a true standout in the overcrowded cop drama landscape, as it tackles issues often avoided, whether out of lack of interest, or fear of disturbing viewers. What’s more, it’s beautifully shot and features some truly stellar performances from its leads.
Will win: Orphan Black. The CSAs will want to do everything they can to get Tatiana Maslany on the show while she’s still one of the hottest things out there, right?
Should win: Orphan Black. It’s not a perfectly plotted show, but it’s entertaining as all get out and touches on social issues in the way only sci-fi can pull off without turning into a mini morality play. The much-lauded performances by Tatiana Maslany are rooted in the excellent characters built by the writers.
Will win: Orphan Black.
Should win: 19-2. Canadians are always thirsting for new, innovative TV dramas, and here it is right under our noses. While it deserves all the awards and accolades for its amazing cast, inventive cinematography and solid, tight writing, it unfortunately falls off the radar.
Will win: Orphan Black, of course. The most hyped show to come out of Canada (as a co-production) since the beginning of time, there is no doubt OB will take top honours — even though a certain episode from Season 2 signalled a potential meltdown to come in Season 3.
Should win: 19-2. I do love Orphan Black (which will likely walk away with the award), but Season 1 of 19-2 was far stronger than Season 2 of OB. From the unflinching storylines to the incredible ensemble performances (the show’s cast is nominated in the lead and supporting categories), 19-2 has been simply amazing.
Will win: Orphan Black. The Academy may pull a fast one and choose something else, but I doubt it.
Best Comedy Series
Call Me Fitz
Tiny Plastic Men
Should win: Call Me Fitz. This show, run by the awesome Sheri Elwood, was horribly underrated when it was on, which is a total shame because it was one of the funniest—and crudest!—Canadian comedies ever to hit TV. Since this was its last season, it deserves all the attention it can get.
Will win: Anything other than Spun Out, amiright? I mean, after that whole scandal….
Should win: Call Me Fitz has been one of my favourite Canadian shows since before it began airing. It’s insane in all the right ways.
Will win: Oh please let it be Call Me Fitz in the Academy’s last chance to honour the show again.
Should win: Call Me Fitz. Creative, funny, smart. Can’t really deny it, especially since the rest of the shows in this category have never made me laugh once.
Will win: Again, Call Me Fitz. If Seed takes this, oh man, I’ll be very concerned for the state of Canadian comedy.
Should win/Will win: Call Me Fitz. In a classic case of cancelled show wins in the category (sorry Seed, it won’t be you), Fitz is walking away with the award. It’s well-deserved. The writing was sharp, the performances hilarious and Jason Priestley was at the top of his game.
Best Reality/Competition Program or Series
The Amazing Race Canada
Big Brother Canada
The Ultimate Fighter Nations – Canada vs. Australia
Should win: The Amazing Race Canada. Even people who aren’t into reality TV anymore can get hooked on this show, which captures the same informative, yet engaging spirit of the American series that inspired it.
Will win: The Amazing Race Canada or Big Brother Canada. One of the big names.
Should win: I hate reality TV and I’m embarrassed our industry keeps pumping out [X] Canada type reality shows. Is the Firelog nominated? No? Then I don’t care.
Will win: Amazing Race Canada, because I guess something has to win.
Should win: The Amazing Race Canada. A Canadian reality show went international (albeit briefly)?! They deserve to win just for that. Big Brother Canada is a close second, just because of the major drama that went down in that house. It even drew the attention of American Big Brother fanatics, and that says something.
Will win: The Amazing Race Canada. High production values, international travel, good reality-show drama.
Should win: The Amazing Race Canada. This unscripted love letter to our country was even better in Season 2, spotlighting key locations in Canada and venturing overseas for key moments, like having the competitors run across Juno Beach in France on the anniversary of the D-Day landings and come face-to-face with a Second World War veteran.
Will win: The Amazing Race Canada … but Big Brother Canada could sneak in as a dark horse. I’ll weep for the future of Canadian TV if Unusually Thicke gets it.
Best International Drama
The Great Martian War
Should win/Will win: Vikings. This is a powerhouse show with a hold on both the industry and viewers.
Should win/Will win: I haven’t seen either one of these shows so … um … Vikings?
No brainer. Should win: Vikings. The gritty action drama keeps upping the ante with every new season, and it’s not just because (like everyone else) I’m hypnotized by Travis Fimmel’s ice-blue laser-beam eyes. A great ensemble with interesting storylines, not to mention beautiful, well-shot scenery, make this a cinch to win.
Will win: Vikings, for all the reasons above.
Should win/Will win: It’s not even close. Though The Great Martian War was a very well-done special that combined real-life First World War footage with CGI that made it look like that conflict was really a fight with invading Martians, Vikings will not be beaten. Stunning visuals, memorable characters and wonderful scripts written by creator Michael Hirst means the vikings will claim their golden plunder.
Best Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series
Rick Mercer Report
Funny as Hell
Seth Rogen: Hilarity for Charity
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Should win/Will win: Rick Mercer Report. Every year, Rick comes up with fresh material to not only keep us laughing, but also to keep us thinking.
Should win: Rick Mercer Report. It’s been on the air for a million years and is still hilarious, with rants that still make people laugh, think and talk. Mercer for PM, never mind for a Screenie.
Will win: Seth Rogen: Hilarity for Charity because he’s one of the “fresh” names in a category of oldsters, and it was for charity so come on, how could voters be anti-Hilarity for Charity?
Should win: Rick Mercer Report. Rick has his finger on the pulse of this country, and it shows. Never stale, never lame, the man rants like no one else — and it’s always smart.
Will win: Rick Mercer Report, with 22 Minutes as a possible dark horse. Both are CBC, but I think Mercer resonates with both young and old, while the 22 Minutes audience is … um … not both.
Should win: I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Funny as Hell. The HBO Canada stand-up series hosted by Jon Dore is indeed funny as hell, spotlighting comedians like JB Smoove, Jim Jeffries and Marc Maron. Come on Academy, let’s mix things up a bit!
Will win: Rick Mercer Report
Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Gerry Dee, Mr. D
Adam Korson, Seed
Don McKellar, Sensitive Skin
Dave Foley, Spun Out
Mark Meer, Tiny Plastic Men
Should win: Adam Korson, Seed. I was always a huge supporter of Seed when it was on, and a big part of that had to do with Korson being an expert lead with effortless charm and spot-on timing. His chemistry with Carrie-Lynn Neales was enough to make me want to captain their on-screen ship, Rosarry.
Will win: Gerry Dee. He’s a crowd pleaser and Mr. D really is a great show.
Should win: Jason Priestley. What? Not nominated? Good grief. OK then, Don McKellar. His off-beat neurotic humour always makes me laugh.
Will win: Adam Korson, because he’s so darn charming, and was on a show more than five people saw.
Should win: Don McKellar, Sensitive Skin. I know, I know, he was a bit annoying at first, but he grew on me with his neuroses. I actually chuckled aloud at McKellar’s character’s ridiculous urban behaviour.
Will win: Gerry Dee. Everyone loves this guy.
Should win: I’m going to side with Chris on this one. Normally I’m not a huge fan of Don McKellar, but I really enjoyed him in Senstive Skin. Can I also use this space to complain that Kim Cattrall was robbed by not being nominated in the Actress category? Thank you.
Will win: Gerry Dee.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Joanna Cassidy, Call Me Fitz
Julia Voth, Package Deal
Carrie-Lynn Neales, Seed
Kacey Rohl, Working the Engels
Andrea Martin, Working the Engels
Should win: Either Carrie Lynn-Neales or Kacey Rohl. I’d honestly be happy with a tie for these two, as they showed us that Canada can do the adorkable leading lady thing too, and perhaps with even more heart than our neighbours to the South.
Will win: Andrea Martin. Uh, it’s Andrea Martin. And this is the only time they can give her an award for Engels.
Should win: Joanna Cassidy. Everyone in Call Me Fitz is terrific, and if Jason Priestley had to be robbed then his costar should take home the prize.
Will win: Andrea Martin, because even though the show was less than great, she’s Andrea Martin.
Should win: I’ll ignore the insane snub of Kim Cattrall (c’mon, that’s just plain nutty) for Sensitive Skin, and say Andrea Martin for Working the Engels. Martin is blessed with impeccable comedic timing and one of those faces that just triggers laughter.
Will win: Andrea Martin for Working the Engels. She’s hosting this thing. You do the math.
Should win: Julia Voth. This is partly my heart talking because I visited the set and met the very nice folks who are involved in it. Plus, Voth had no prior experience as a comic actress and proved to have a natural gift for physical comedy, a big feat considering she was sharing the screen with Harland Williams.
Will win: I can’t decide between Joanna Cassidy or Andrea Martin.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Adam Beach, Arctic Air
David Sutcliffe, Cracked
Jared Keeso, 19-2
Michael McLeod, Forgive Me
Dillon Casey, Remedy
Should win: Jared Keeso. 19-2 might be well-written and shot, but it wouldn’t have the same star power without Keeso and his screen partner Adrian Holmes repeatedly killing it.
Will win: Keeso.
Should win: Jared Keeso is head and shoulders above the rest, and I say that as someone still catching up with season one of 19-2.
Will win: Jared Keeso or there is no justice.
Should win: Jared Keeso, 19-2. Keeso is the blood, sweat and tears of this show (along with co-star Holmes), and he’s displayed some serious acting chops in the past year.
Will win: Keeso for 19-2, for the reasons above.
Should win/Will win: Jared Keeso. Keeso and Adrian Holmes are the faces of 19-2 for good reason. They head up an incredible ensemble cast. Keeso, who was so good playing Don Cherry for CBC’s TV-movies, has come into his own in Bravo’s cop drama, playing a sensitive Montreal cop who means well in everything he does, even if it verges into some grey territory. Want to see Keeso’s comic side? Check out Letterkenny Problems.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Meaghan Rath, Being Human
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Megan Follows, Reign
Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
Jackie Torrens, Sex & Violence
Should win/Will win: Maslany/one of her clones.
Should win/Will win: Tatiana Maslany, eight times over.
Should win: Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black. Do we really need to go over this? Maslany plays so many characters, without her the show would have like four other credits. Even if you’re not a fan of OB, you can’t deny her ability to throw herself into every single clone role.
Will win: Maslany, Orphan Black. If she doesn’t, the universe will fold into itself.
Should win/Will win: Tatiana Maslany. Yes, she’s as good as everyone says she is. My only question is: which clone will accept the award?
The Canadian Screen Awards gala airs Sunday, March 1, at 8 p.m. on CBC.
What do you think of our picks? Who do you think should and will win? Comment below or via @tv_eh.