Comments and queries for the week of December 11

Blackstone prepares for the end

Sorry to know that Blackstone is ending. Do hope there will be DVDs made available for us who weren’t able to get APTN. Where will we be able to follow what’s happening with the cast? —Carol

We’ll be keeping you up to date on everything that the cast is up to. As for catching up on Blackstone, you can watch all of the past seasons on APTN’s website. Carmen Moore update: she’s co-starring in Fox’s drama, Second Chance.

Is House of Bryan the Last Straw for Bryan and Sarah Baeumler?

Watched the final reveal episode—blech! My husband and I preferred the original over the final house. That powder room … ugh. I’m sorry Sarah, but an interior designer you are not. —Bev

Quality, quantity and creative questions for the CRTC

While this writer has a point, Blais isn’t entirely wrong either. Quantity means that there will be more but more isn’t necessarily good. Having to hit quotas could actually encourage laziness as people just put out the bare minimum to meet the levels they are forced too. This in turn makes it harder for quality to break out the sea of weakness around it.

Blais’ theory is by pooling more resources into fewer projects those projects have a better chance of making an impact, and people won’t be lazy because they have no backup project to hide behind so what they put out is expected to be strong with all the resources it gets. The fact is U.S. shows would crush us in the fall so winter and spring is a better bet for Canadian TV anyway.

Now, quality in art is subjective. If you want something to be watched a lot and be profitable, procedurals like NCIS are your way to go. If you want accolades and prestige you need smaller but meaningful shows like Orphan Black. You want initial buzz, you need a big concept like the upcoming The Expanse. Buzz, prestige and high viewership is hard to do all at once unless you are Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. —DanAmazing


Some insightful points made by all here! And a relief to hear some WGC voices that are aware of the particulars of that incessant guessing game with our CRTC re: future standards on production. I do believe, however, that we have some challenges here on an entirely different “platform,” if you will: the challenge is, as someone has already thoughtfully pointed out here, one of interpreting “quality,” but *before* becoming, typically, titillated by the busyness of quantity.

Once upon a time, a few years back, I had a show in development with the CBC: everyone was nice … well, that’s about it. No one knew how to speak to the (proposed) quality of the possible show. No one. Everyone claimed they knew, but very simply put, no one had the *skills* to speak about what makes a story palatable to what makes a show even compelling. No one. Who possesses the skills that can deepen the quality of a story? Where does one, as a skill and not from a résumé, gain the knowledge of how to develop the art of a story? Where is this quality of development?

We don’t know how to develop stories anymore. Where we need quantity is in thoughtfulness, consultation, and caring discussion within the discipline of story development. Slow down everything! Humbly, let’s learn what quality is as creators, and apply that *knowledge* to our attempts at Development *before* “rushing” to principal photography. There needs to be more—get ready!—faith in creators. And there needs to be more resources in development. (Good Lord! We had so few on our show.)

So, Mr. Blais may have opened up the possibility for consultation on this highly artistic matter named “quality.” Maybe it’s our responsibility to truly wonder what this word is and remove ourselves from this addiction as Canadians and consumers to “keep busy.” Death to our TV. Long live our TV.

Be well.—Ross


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