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: CBC’s Year of the Goat spotlights the farm’s curious creatures

Back in 2018, Markham Street Films made the excellent “Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit,” for CBC’s documentary stream. Detailing the behind-the-scenes drama in the Canadian Cat Association and competitions to name “Best Cat,” it was a lot of fun to watch.

Now Markham Street Films is giving goats their due in a splendid follow-up.

“Year of the Goat,” airing as part of CBC Docs POV on Saturday at 8 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem, it follows five families as they prepare to show their goats at competitions around Ontario. The goal? To land a spot in The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the holy grail of agricultural fairs.

Described as “livestock monkeys,” “dogs that give you milk” and “too smart for their own good,” by three of the human interview subjects, viewers catch up with the Vickers family first. Based in Guelph, Ont., the Vickers breed goats as a hobby. Next up is the Yantzi’s who call their farm in New Hamburg, Ont., home alongside four breeds of goats. Then it’s off to meet the Emons, just outside London, Ont.; the Holyoakes in Peterborough, Ont.; and the Kerrs in Newburgh, Ont. All detail their reasons for having goats in the first place and share their thoughts on the animals.

Then the meat of the story: how goats are judged in fairs, categories, the qualifying process and the ultimate trip to The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Aside from preparing them for competition, it takes a lot of hard work making sure the animals are fed and watered, cared for and treated when sick. What do judges look for when handing out ribbons? It’s all covered here.

As with Markham Street’s past doc on cats, “Year of the Goat” offers viewers a lot of information delivered in a very natural, entertaining way. From what they eat to the different breeds (why La Mancha’s have tiny ears is fascinating), directors Michael McNamara and Aaron Hancox capture the energy and curiosity of the subject matter brilliantly.

I kid you not: you should check this out.

“Year of the Goat” airs as part of CBC Docs POV on Saturday at 8 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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David Oulton’s talk show, Face to Face with David, returns for a second season

From a media release:

David Oulton’s talk show, Face to Face with David, is set to return this fall for a second season. The show premiered in July 2020 in the United States and the United Kingdom on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV and was an instant success, currently rated higher than The Ellen Degeneres Show on both IMDb and Amazon Prime. The series features 27-year-old Oulton in his signature Versace bathrobe sipping red wine, while he interviews guests from the worlds of entertainment, business, fashion and more via remote link.

While the second season has increased from six to thirteen episodes, the format remains the same – casual and informative discussions focusing on a more “timeless” conversation, rather than current events, allowing the audience to watch whenever they want. With the guests often being in their homes or even on set, it provides a more intimate atmosphere and greater insight into the personal lives for the viewers. The host, Canadian actor David Oulton (Guns of Purgatory, Hannah Montana), said this was intentional as it allows the viewer to feel like they are listening in on a casual conversation between two people, rather than a formal interview.

The guest line up for season two includes Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), Melissa Rivers (Fashion Police), Ali Landry (Miss USA, Eve), Corbin Bernsen (Psych, L.A. Law), Pamela Rabe (Wentworth), Manjit Minhas (CBC’s Dragons’ Den), Natasha Henstridge (Species, Commander in Chief), Caroline Stanbury (Ladies of London), Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1), comedian Debra DiGiovanni, viral singing sensation Charlotte Awbery and many other recognizable names. Some notable moments from the season include Rivers explaining how she was turned down by several major networks for her own show because she is “not famous enough”, and Henstridge revealing she would consider joining a Real Housewives franchise. Bernsen’s interview is deeply personal, as he removed Oulton from an abusive home situation over a decade ago and introduced him to the woman who would later legally adopt him.

David created the show during the COVID-19 lockdown. It was initially intended to be a very simple social media project as a means to save himself from boredom. Within one week of presenting the idea to his agent, Kelsea Forzani-Mannix and some industry friends, he had signed a distribution deal with Amazon and was developing a full-fledged talk show with Carson Kressley and Perez Hilton as his first major guests. The first season was filmed in Oulton’s home in Calgary, with the second season moving production to the Fairmont Palliser Hotel. Oulton serves as executive producer, along with Lisa McGillivray, Candace Schmidt and Luis Gonzalez of LnC Style, and Rae Farrer.

Season two is expected later this fall.

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Global sets Season 4 premiere of Private Eyes for November 2

From a media release:

Shade and Angie are back on the case with the highly-anticipated Season 4 (12×60) premiere of Global Original Private Eyes debuting Monday, November 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. From global independent studio Entertainment One (eOne) in association with Corus Entertainment, the new season of Private Eyes joins Global’s previously announced lineup of hit fall series including #1 new show I Can See Your Voice, #1 late night show Saturday Night Live, Global Original event series Departure, and much more. All of Global’s hit shows, including seasons one through three of Private Eyes, are streaming now on STACK TV and the Global TV App.

Season 4 picks up following a paternity bombshell dropped in Matt Shade’s (Jason Priestley) lap, presenting a sudden realization that family is far more complicated than he ever anticipated. Helping to keep him grounded is his partner, whip-smart PI Angie Everett (Cindy Sampson), whose concern for Shade’s well-being involves a secret DNA test and more than a few white lies. Luckily, a pressing case becomes a welcome distraction from personal conflicts as Shade and Angie delve into the mystery of a wealthy family whose Gatsby-themed party becomes a setting for battles over inheritance…and murder.

Returning this season are fan favourite characters Zoe Chow (Samantha Wan), Don Shade (Barry Flatman), Jules Shade (Jordyn Negri), Becca D’Orsay (Nicole DeBoer), Liam Benson (Jonny Gray), Nora Everett (Mimi Kuzyk), Inspector Mathilde Carson (Linda Kash), Officer Danica Powers (Ruth Goodwin) and Tex Clarkson (Brett Donahue). New characters this season include Canadian singer and ET Canada Correspondent Keshia Chanté as Angie’s friend Mia Torres, and Supinder Wraich (The Beaverton) as Danica’s girlfriend Kate. Plus, series star Cindy Sampson makes her directorial debut in episode three.

Among this season’s guest stars are acclaimed Canadian actors Erica Durance (Smallville), Katie Boland (Reign), Aaron Ashmore (Killjoys), and Eric Peterson (Corner Gas), along with renowned personalities Chris Candy, HGTV Canada’s Scott McGillivray, Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, and pro golfer Mike Weir.

As previously announced, production for Season 5 of Private Eyes is now underway. The series is produced by eOne in association with Corus Entertainment, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, IPF’s Cogeco TV Production Program, the Bell Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. The series is produced by Alex Jordan. The series is executive produced by Jocelyn Hamilton and Tecca Crosby for eOne, Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan for Piller/Segan, Jason Priestley, Alexandra Zarowny and James Thorpe. Piller, Zarowny and Thorpe are also showrunners.

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Link: ‘Baroness Von Sketch Show’ Season 5 review: IFC’s feminist Canadian comedy still rules

From Jude Dry of IndieWire:

Link: ‘Baroness Von Sketch Show’ Season 5 review: IFC’s feminist Canadian comedy still rules
Whether it’s the absurdist escalation of Red Wine Ladies’ Night, or the anti-misogynist virtue signaling of a Queer Theory Reading Group, “Baroness Von Sketch Show” took advantage of under-explored scenarios to produce hilarity that resonated with the everywoman. Continue reading. 

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Top casino films available to watch on Netflix now

Netflix makes watching movies cheaper and more convenient than any other method that existed before it, with a small monthly fee for unlimited access to its entire library on just about any device you want. While that’s great, it has another, often overlooked advantage too.

Its collection of content is so vast that there is a selection of movies and TV shows for each genre and topic. This is partly down to the company spending a lot to acquire content from other studios and it investing heavily to create its own local content.

There are few cinemas or stores that show/sell such an extensive library due to the logistics and economics of doing so being nearly impossible.

So if you want to binge-watch some great casino films, Netflix is going to be your best bet. Especially with these great titles ready to stream.

21

Released in 2008, 21 is based on the true story of the MIT Blackjack team. A group of mostly students were taught to count cards in teams to gain an advantage over the house. After rigorous training, the team made regular trips to Las Vegas in an attempt to win big.

Card counting is a genuine technique used in blackjack. While it can improve your odds, it’s still not a guarantee of success, particularly since some casinos use additional decks to make card counting more difficult. Many online casinos like 888 Casino have even offered guides to their customers on blackjack rules and strategy. It’s only possible to count cards live, so there’s nothing to lose for online companies.

Everything goes great for the MIT team, who see a lot of success from their regular weekend trips to Las Vegas, that is, until the money creates rifts between them and they begin to betray each other.

It’s a gripping film that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.

Ocean’s Eleven

It’s almost 20 years old, but Ocean’s Eleven still holds up as a great casino movie. Set in Las Vegas, you get to see plenty of casino shots as Danny Ocean’s team of 11 people prepare and enact a daring heist to steal $160 million from three casinos.

The film, which has an impressive ensemble cast of many of the biggest names in Hollywood, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia and Matt Damon, was a huge box office hit. While it received two sequels, the first in the trilogy is by far the best.

It’s a well-balanced mix of brains and brawn, with the team using clever deception techniques to break into the vault of the casinos and get the money back out again. If you’re watching it for the first time, you’ll be surprised by some of the twists and turns in the heist as the group manage to recover from what appear to be metaphorical dead-ends.

Even if you’ve seen it before (which you probably have), Ocean’s Eleven is a great watch.

You’ll see many famous Las Vegas landmarks in Ocean’s Eleven

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Guy Ritchie is famous for creating gangster films and one of his first was Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. This 1998 comedy movie helped to kickstart the career of both Ritchie and former diver Jason Statham.

Like Ocean’s Eleven, the film is a heist movie with an ensemble cast that included Vinnie Jones, Sting, Steven Mackintosh and Nick Moran, each with classic British gangster nicknames like “Bacon,” “Soap,” and “the Baptist.”

Instead of the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is set in London, being filmed mostly in the city’s East End. The story revolves around a skilled card player who loses £500,000 while playing in a rigged three-card brag game (which is similar to poker) against a high-ranking criminal.

While he and his friends try to recover the money, they’re caught up in more and more ridiculous scenarios, involving a traffic warden, a van loaded with contraband, and some antique shotguns.

Mississippi Grind

Mississippi Grind is one of the newest casino films available on Netflix, having first been released in 2015. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn and Sienna Miller, it’s a comedy film about Gerry, a poker player who travels along the Mississippi River to play in casinos and bet on horses.

Gerry is joined by Curtis, who he has invited along as his “lucky charm”. They go through ups and downs as Gerry wins and loses in different games and the pair run into people from their pasts.

After some disagreements, the two rejoin at a blackjack table where they manage to win more than a quarter of a million dollars. Before calling it quits, they head to the craps table to bet it all.

Mississippi Grind is a film with many ups and downs but will keep you engrossed throughout.

Casino Royale

Bond is one of the most famous characters from books and film, with a franchise that spans more than half a century. The 2006 Casino Royale release was the first to feature Daniel Craig as 007. The film also resets the chronology of the films, being as it is set at the start of Bond’s career with MI-6.

Bond remains as sophisticated as ever though, heading to the Casino Royale in Montenegro dressed in a tuxedo and driving his Ashton Martin. Everything goes downhill for him when he loses and he gets poisoned, and Bond has to try to use a defibrillator on himself in his car.

He’s not playing poker for fun though. Bond’s there to catch an international terrorist known as Le Chiffre, who had organised the game to recoup funds lost in a bad investment. As you’d expect from a Bond film, there’s plenty of action, including shooting and car chases.

Casino Royale is probably Daniel Craig’s best outing as 007, and it’s definitely worth a watch.

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