All posts by Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.

Preview: Sable Island’s other inhabitants celebrated in Seals of Sable

Sable Island is a truly unique place. Situated off the coast of Nova Scotia, the small spit of land is home to feral horses that have grabbed headlines around the world. Not gathering as much attention? The grey seals that frequent the island too. That all changes on Friday night.

Airing at 9 p.m. under The Nature of Things banner, “Seals of Sable,” follows filmmakers Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason of Sea to Sea Productions Inc., as they track the largest breeding colony of grey seals in the world. Every winter, tens of thousands of female seals arrive to give birth, and the duo is there with scientists and experts for it. Led by biologist Nell den Heyer, from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the group seeks answers to the many questions they have about grey seals. The only time the cigar-shaped animals come to shore is to rest, moult and give birth, so the three weeks they spend on Sable will be invaluable.

Cameras capture the moment of birth—labour can be a days-long affair—through the bonding and feeding of pups (each pup’s hungry call is unique). Along the way, scientists continue to mark and track individual seals, tracing populations and survival rates. Does a female seal’s personality give her pup and better-than-average chance at survival? It would seem so. The grey seal has seen a boom in its numbers in the last few decades despite commercial fishing; what are they eating? A little of that will hopefully be answered by attaching video cameras to seals named Emma, Kate and Fiona.

Through amazing camera work and the down-to-earth, accessible language The Nature of Things is known for, “Seals of Sable” is a fascinating peek into the lives of that island’s other residents.

“Seals of Sable” airs as part of The Nature of Things, Friday at 9 p.m. on CBC.

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Medical drama Nurses premieres January 6 on Global

From a media release:

Global announced today the first series headlining the winter 2020 schedule as new original medical drama Nurses scrubs in beginning Monday, January 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. From Entertainment One (eOne) and ICF Films, the coming-of-age series follows five young nurses working on the frontlines of a busy downtown Toronto hospital, dedicating their lives to helping others, while struggling to help themselves. Airing Monday nights for 10 weeks, Global is treating viewers to an exclusive online preview of the character-driven drama, pre-releasing the premiere on New Year’s day on GlobalTV.com.

Starring an ensemble cast of young talent, Nurses follows Grace Knight (Tiera Skovbye, Riverdale), a young nurse looking for a fresh start, until someone from her past turns up who could jeopardize her career; Ashley Collins (Natasha Calis, The Possession), a wild and unapologetic adrenaline junkie who lives for the fast pace of the hospital; Keon Colby (Jordan Johnson-Hinds, Blindspot), a former college football star who’s trying to prove he’s more than he was on the field; Nazneen Khan (Sandy Sidhu, Home Before Dark), a whip-smart daughter of a wealthy family in India who moved to Canada to reinvent herself and is now starting her first job ever; and Wolf Burke (Donald MacLean Jr., Workin’ Moms), soft hearted and playful, but with a secret that may find him in over his head.

Along with the young team of nurses, the medical series also features a supporting cast played by Cathy White (Vikings) as Sinead O’Rourke, the head nurse and den mother of the new graduates; Ryan-James Hatanaka (Chicago P.D.) as Dr. Evan Wallace, the charming and attractive head of the ER who gets all the nurses’ attention – especially Grace’s; and Nicola Correia-Damude (Shadowhunters) as Dr. Vanessa Banks, the magnetic OBGYN with a cutting wit who never lets Keon forget a mistake.

Stationed in every tendril of a busy downtown trauma centre and thrust into frontline medical action, Nurses sees five recent graduates beginning their careers in a high-stakes hospital with pressure cooker training. Forming an inextricable bond, the nurses struggle to find a work-life balance that matches and counters the intensity of their new job. Their interaction with patients, relatives, and staff quickly leads them to the discovery that nursing isn’t just about biology, chemistry, and anatomy, it’s also about psychology, compassion, and romantic complications.

Viewers can stream Nurses on GlobalTV.com and the Global TV app available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku. To unlock Global’s entire lineup of new and returning series, viewers can sign in online or on the Global TV app with their TV service provider credentials to access full episodes and exclusive clips anytime. For more information, visit GlobalTV.com.

Global is a Corus Entertainment Network and is available through all major TV distributors, including: Shaw, Shaw Direct, Rogers, Bell, Videotron, Telus, Cogeco, Eastlink, SaskTel and the new STACKTV, streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video Channels. eOne distributes the series internationally.

Nurses is produced by ICF Films, eOne in association with Piazza Entertainment and Corus Entertainment, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. eOne handles international distribution on the series. Executive Producers are Ilana Frank (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue), Linda Pope (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue), Vanessa Piazza (Lost Girl, Dark Matter), Adam Pettle (Burden of Truth, Saving Hope) Jocelyn Hamilton (Mary Kills People, Ransom) and Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People, Rookie Blue) with Julie Puckrin (Killjoys, X Company) as Co-executive Producer.

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Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries, “Ward of the Roses”

Last week’s episode of Frankie Drake Mysteries took a 90-degree turn from the light storylines we’ve come to expect from the series.

In a tearful exchange between Flo and Mary, Flo discussed being sexually assaulted years before. It was a bold choice to cover a topic like that on a show I’ve come to view as lighter in tone than its Monday night neighbour, Murdoch Mysteries. I doff my cap to showrunner Peter Mitchell and his writing team for tackling the subject.

Here’s how the CBC describes this week’s episode, “Ward of the Roses,” written by Andrew Burrows-Trotman and directed by Stephen Reizes.

An old friend of Trudy’s needs her help when she finds herself at the centre of a highly fraught election campaign.

And here are more details from me after watching a screener.

Olunike Adeliyi guest stars
The Workin’ Moms and American Gods actress joins 1920s Toronto as Etta Rose, who is running for Alderwoman of The Ward. While discussing how the voting preparations are going with Trudy and Frankie, they are visited by former Alderman William Hubbard. Look for Richard Walters to reprise his role as Tickles Malone, Flashpoint‘s Mark Taylor as Boyzey Pembroke, Marvin Kaye as a talkative bartender and Jann‘s Deborah Grover.

A history of The Ward
Anyone who is interested in Toronto history and learning about The Ward will enjoy some of the facts unearthed by Frankie, Mary, Flo and Mary in “Ward of the Roses.” If you want to learn more, read this excellent book.

No Frankie next week
Frankie Drake Mysteries is pre-empted on Monday, Nov. 18, because of the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Preview: Murdoch Mysteries, “Toronto the Bad”

I loved last week’s episode for a couple of reasons. The first was some quality emotional roller coasters regarding William and Julia. I know it’s not a very popular opinion among some fans, but I enjoy it when a wrench is thrown into their lives. Relationships aren’t easy in real life and there’s no reason they should be on television either.

The second reason I enjoyed “The Philately Fatality” was the revelation that Watts may be gay. Whether he turns out to be or not—yes, he entered the butcher’s apartment, but that’s all we saw, other than a curious and excited look on Watts’ face—I love the journey this character has gone on and the way Daniel Maslany has played it. The writers and actors have created some truly memorable characters over the last 13 seasons and Watts is one of them.

Now, on to Monday’s new episode, “Toronto the Bad,”  written by Dan Trotta and directed by Sherren Lee. Here’s what the CBC has revealed about it.

While moonlighting as a cab driver, Higgins finds a dead passenger in the backseat.  

And here are more details from me after watching a screener.

Higgins takes on a second job
It’s been hinted at before; now Higgins has jumped into a side career as a cab driver to make economical ends meet. Higgins is known more for comic relief, but you can feel the lack of sleep he’s feeling as he drives around Toronto in the dead of night. It’s also an opportunity for viewers to see the seedier side of the city, something we don’t see on the show often. Kudos to director Sherren Lee and director of photography Yuri Yakubiw for making Toronto look so sleazy.

Brackenreid and Murdoch on the case
I always enjoy it when Thomas puts on a hat and hits the street with William. The old-school versus new-school take on investigating is fun to observe.

Mrs. Huckabee drops by
William and Julia’s neighbour, Goldie Huckabee (Jonelle Gunderson) swings by for a snoop, er, visit. It gives Julia the opportunity to show off some of their home’s decorations. Also, look for Annie Briggs (CLAIREvoyant) as Lucille Anderson, the owner of MacRury’s Billiard Hall; Erik Knudsen (Continuum) as Frank Rizzo; Ethan Burnett as Tim Little, and veteran thespian Jason Blicker (Jann, What Would Sal Do?) as David Dillinger.

A nod to Hill Street Blues?
Something Murdoch says to Higgins has me convinced Dan Trotta is giving a salute to the classic cop drama.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Link: Carter star Jerry O’Connell enjoying his moment in the spotlight

From Melissa Hank of Postmedia:

Link: Carter star Jerry O’Connell enjoying his moment in the spotlight
“I read this comedy about a guy who’s a cheesy procedural actor, and he moves to this small town and tells the cops how a cheesy procedural actor would solve crimes. It really made me laugh. Also, I didn’t have to do any research because I knew exactly who the guy was.” Continue reading. 

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