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.

Aml Ameen, Mouna Traoré and Ronnie Rowe Jr. set to star in CBC’s The Porter

From a media release:

The first round of casting for CBC and BET+ original series THE PORTER (working title, 8×60) has been confirmed, with Aml Ameen (I May Destroy You, Yardie), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Star Trek: Discovery, Pretty Hard Cases) and Mouna Traoré (Self Made, The Umbrella Academy) to co-star in the 1920s drama. With the series set to start production in Winnipeg, Manitoba later this spring, more additions to the cast will be announced in the coming weeks.

Inspired by real events and set in the roar of the 1920s, THE PORTER follows the journeys of an ensemble of characters who hustle, dream, cross borders and pursue their ambitions in the fight for liberation – on and off the railways that crossed North America. It is a gripping story of empowerment and idealism that highlights the moment when railway workers from both Canada and the United States joined together to give birth to the world’s first Black union.

Ameen will portray ‘Junior Massey,’ an intelligent, smooth, ambitious and fearless risk taker and war veteran employed as a porter with the Transcontinental Railroad; alongside Rowe Jr. as fellow porter ‘Zeke Garrett,’ Junior’s friend and war buddy, who is calm, thoughtful and persistent to a fault in his fight for integration. Traoré will play ‘Marlene Massey,’ Junior’s wife who works with the Black Cross Nurses, an offshoot of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association, risking resources and reputation to help her community and reach her full potential.

Set primarily in Montreal, Chicago and Detroit as the world rebuilds after the First World War, THE PORTER depicts the Black community in St. Antoine, Montreal – known, at the time, as the “Harlem of the North.” They’re young, gifted and Black, from Canada, the Caribbean, and the U.S. via the Underground Railroad and through the Great Migration, and they find themselves thrown together north and south of the color line, in an era that boasts anything is possible – but if change isn’t coming for them, they will come for it. By any means necessary.

A CBC and BET+ original series, THE PORTER is originated and created by Arnold Pinnock (Altered Carbon, Travelers) and Bruce Ramsay (19-2, Cardinal), with Annmarie Morais (Killjoys, Ransom, American Soul), Marsha Greene (Private Eyes, Ten Days In The Valley, Mary Kills People and Aubrey Nealon (Snowpiercer, Cardinal), and produced by Winnipeg-based Inferno Pictures Inc. and Sphere Media’s Sienna Films. Morais and Greene are showrunners and executive producers. Charles Officer (21 Thunder, Ransom, Coroner) and R.T. Thorne (Blindspot, Utopia Falls) will direct the series, and are executive producers. Pinnock and Ramsay are co-executive producers. The series is written by Morais, Greene, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, Priscilla White, Pinnock and Ramsay, with R.T. Thorne participating in the writers’ room. The series is funded with the support of the Canada Media Fund and Manitoba Film & Music and is distributed internationally by Abacus Media Rights (AMR) and Sphere Distribution.

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Drew Hayden Taylor explores everything from the weird and wacky to the deep and profound ways Indigenous Peoples impact the world in Going Native

From a media release:

Sam Karney (A Life on the Line) and Andrew Wiens (A Life on the Line) of Ice River Films are pleased to announce that the IndigiGonzo series, Going Native, starring Drew Hayden Taylor (Cottagers & Indians, Searching for Winnetou, Mixed Blessings) will premiere on Canada’s national Indigenous network APTN. The half hour, 13-episode series premieres Saturday, May 8, 2021.

In Going Native, celebrated Anishinaabe humorist and author Drew Hayden Taylor turns his comic gaze on how Indigenous Peoples have changed the world and are re-shaping their culture in the 21st century. Each episode takes on one theme, from pop culture to architecture, as Drew takes viewers on a wild journey of discovery from concert halls to desert ruins and from video game conventions to treacherous cliff pole-fishing expeditions.

Every episode is its own unique adventure, and Drew’s perspective ties it together. When people think about Native buildings, they think about teepees, longhouses and wigwams. But Drew Hayden Taylor is thinking about the revolutionary architects that are creating zero-emission communities on the West Coast. When people think about Native food they think about pemmican and seal blubber; but Drew is tucking into nouveau cuisine in downtown Toronto and learning how traditional “companion planting” of crops is revolutionizing today’s agriculture. When people think about Native culture, they think about beads and dancing, while Drew is watching zombie movies and checking out graffiti artists.

Written by Drew Hayden Taylor, Kurt Spenrath and Paul Kemp, Going Native is directed by Sam Karney, Paul Kemp (Cottagers & Indians, Searching for Winnetou), Andrew Wiens and Kurt Spenrath (Queen of the Oil Patch). Produced by Sam Karney, Andrew Wiens, and Kurt Spenrath, and executive produced by Paul Kemp of Paul Kemp Productions and Drew Hayden Taylor.

Going Native has been commissioned and financed by APTN, with financial contributions also coming from The Canada Media Fund, Manitoba Film and Music and Ontario Creates.

ABOUT DREW HAYDEN TAYLOR
Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning playwright, novelist, journalist and filmmaker. Born and living on the Curve Lake First Nation (Anishinaabe) in Ontario, he has done everything from stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. to serving as artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts, Canada’s leading Indigenous theatre company. The author of 33 books, Drew likes to travel the world, spreading the gospel of Native literature and storytelling.

ABOUT ICE RIVER FILMS
Ice River Films was established in Winnipeg in 2013 by Sam Karney and Andrew Wiens to pursue a passion for storytelling through the lens of documentary filmmaking. Propelled by early work in short film for CBC and Bell MTS, their first hour-long documentary, A Life on the Line (APTN), explored Sam’s Métis roots and family tradition of working a trap line. Travelling the world, the duo has since worked on several docuseries including, High Maintenance (Smithsonian Canada), Polar Bear Town (Smithsonian US), Taken (APTN/CBC) and First Contact (S02, APTN). Their latest, Going Native (APTN), is hosted by Drew Hayden Taylor.

ABOUT PAUL KEMP PRODUCTIONS
Paul Kemp Productions is a multiple award-winning TV series and feature documentary film company based in Toronto. With over 50 films and series produced over the years, and with sales in over 140 countries, some of the company’s notable productions include: Searching for Winnetou (CBC), Transformer (CBC, Netflix USA), The Rise of Jordan Peterson (CBC, SKY UK, Amazon), Village of the Missing (CBC, Sundance Now), Cottagers & Indians (CBC), The Science of Sin (Discovery International), Rise of the Trolls (Amazon + 80 countries) and Infestation (UKTV, ZDF-GERMANY).

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Link: How an all-BIPOC Canadian team made a TV show for a Mormon network in the U.S.

From Radheyan Simonpillai of NOW Toronto:

Link: How an all-BIPOC Canadian team made a TV show for a Mormon network in the U.S.
They describe the emergency resuscitation efforts of Farrell’s all-BIPOC team, who shredded scripts and started anew at the eleventh hour to produce family sitcoms attuned to the racial specificity of the characters. Continue reading.

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Link: From ‘Letterkenny’ to ‘The Mighty Ducks’: B.C. native Dylan Playfair skating his way through the hockey roles

From Debra Yeo of The Toronto Star:

Link: From ‘Letterkenny’ to ‘The Mighty Ducks’: B.C. native Dylan Playfair skating his way through the hockey roles
Dylan Playfair has been a hockey player and he has portrayed hockey players in TV and movies — most famously in the Canadian comedy hit “Letterkenny” — and there is one important difference between the two: when you play the game in real life you don’t have to stay in your skates all day. Continue reading.

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Links: Wynonna Earp, Season 4B

From Meredith Jacobs of TV Insider:

Link: ‘Wynonna Earp’ Stars on Nicole’s Pledge to Waverly, That Twist for Doc and More
“In many ways, he became a vampire for a beautiful reason: to protect [his daughter] Alice in case something happened to Wynonna. At least Doc would have some sort of power to protect her.” Continue reading.

From Eric Volmers of the Calgary Herald:

Link: Worldwide fans unite for town’s billboard campaign to save Alberta-shot Wynonna Earp
Hundreds of fans of the Alberta-shot supernatural western Wynonna Earp will be showing their support next week for the embattled series and its home base of Didsbury as part of a worldwide #BringWynonnaHome campaign. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp: Emily Andras talks “Better Dig Two”
“We knew we had to finish a lot of the long-standing arcs of the season. We obviously have a very important event, hopefully, to get to in the next episode.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp’s Dani Kind on what makes Mercedes so resourceful
“She’s clearly smart, but also just a little ‘Whatever’ about everything. Ignorance really is bliss. There’s a reason why when a nuclear bomb goes off the only one to survive is the dum-dum who fell in the hole. That’s Mercedes and she just looks good doing it.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp: Zoie Palmer on Jolene’s return to Purgatory
“The place I have to go to get access to her is a challenge, for sure. I think it’s a challenge for Dom as well.” Continue reading.

From Nora Dominick of BuzzFeed:

Link: Melanie Scrofano reflects on “Wynonna Earp” and how much personal growth she owes to the show
“What I love is that Emily doesn’t take things like that lightly. At first, Wynonna’s drinking starts out as a fun quirk, like “Oh, she’s just a heavy drinker,” but I’m gratefully we got to dig into what is the reason for that.” Continue reading.

From Sadie Gennis of Vulture:

Link: Melanie Scrofano on facing Wynonna Earp’s demons and saying good-bye
“In that scene, it’s another person making her feel like who she is is flawed — and not just flawed, but deeply dysfunctional. I think anybody can relate to being compared to somebody that you have no respect for or that you know has done horrible things.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp: Emily Andras talks “Life Turned Her That Way”
“We actually toyed with the idea of a couple of different characters. We all discussed who the best character to take Waverly on this journey would be. Who would help her understand herself? Whenever you have a chance to work with Zoie Palmer you just leap at it.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp writer Noelle Carbone previews “Life Turned Her That Way”
“So the job with 410 was to give Wynonna a really primal dilemma, and then a slew of impossible decisions to make along the way to resolving her dilemma.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp’s Savannah Basley provides inside into the Clanton heir
“There was something else to her that I really wanted to show. People aren’t just evil to be evil. Bad guys never think they are the bad guy. They think they’re doing the good thing.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp: Emily Andras talks “Crazy”
“The genie is inherently manipulative in what she says, and her interpretation of what Wynonna is going through was self-serving and an attempt at self-preservation, but the curse is over, too.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp writer Matt Doyle previews “Crazy”
“Because we’ve been telling a story of people dealing with trauma and the after-effects of being separated for over a year, we wanted to give us, our characters, and the viewers, a breather.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Andrew Phung on the joy of returning home to film Wynonna Earp
“It’s been such a fun journey to get to the show, but it’s so rewarding because this character means the most of all the ones I’ve been in play for. I’m a Calgary kid coming home to play in his backyard and it’s the best. I have history, too, with so many crew members. It was great.” Continue reading.

From Meredith Jacobs of TV Insider:

Link: Wynonna Earp star Tim Rozon explains how Doc’s past informs his move against Amon
“We never really talked about it, but he never got the closure of the revenge. He understands how important it is for the demons to get their own vengeance, so he let them [have it].” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp: Emily Andras talks “Hell Raisin’ Good Time”
“We sort of tested the waters with a Christmas episode, and everyone seemed to enjoy it, so Halloween just felt like a hilarious and well-matched event to pair with a demon-hunting cowgirl show.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Director Paolo Barzman on being part of the Wynonna magic
“I created an environment of safety and warmth where we could try something. I wanted to give them freedom.” Continue reading.

From Lesley Goldberg and Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter:

Link: How ‘Wynonna Earp’ Is Fighting for Its Future
“The reality of Wynonna Earp, for better, for worse, speaks to where we are in the general landscape of television. It is a cult show with a passionate audience from all over the world. It speaks to people in particular who maybe don’t see themselves represented on television and certainly not in genre very often.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp production designer Trevor Smith on bringing the garden to life
“We knew early on that the Garden wasn’t going to be this lush, tropical, and botanical image that we all have in our heads from a Biblical standpoint.” Continue reading.

From Meredith Jacobs of TV Insider:

Link: ‘Wynonna Earp’ Star Tim Rozon Teases an Ending That Will Make Earpers Happy
“I tried to enjoy every second I possibly could with that character. It’s difficult, now that it’s more real than ever that the show most likely isn’t coming back, to say goodbye. … It’s one of my most favourite characters I ever played. He just has a special place in my heart, the ol’ cowboy.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp writer Shelley Scarrow previews “Love’s All Over”
“Thinking of it as a premiere, it’s definitely different. After the dramatic and emotional two-parter that was “Holy War”, it felt to the story team like there was a little emotional reset required.” Continue reading.

From Eric Volmers of the Calgary Herald:

Link: Never say die: Melanie Scrofano remains hopeful about Wynonna Earp’s future
Much like the character she plays, Melanie Scrofano is not one to bow to authority. Continue reading.

From Chancellor Agard of Entertainment Weekly:

Link: Wynonna Earp boss teases heroine’s dangerous ‘cockiness’ in final episodes
The return of Peacemaker may not be completely a good thing for Wynonna Earp. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wynonna Earp: Emily Andras talks “Love’s All Over”
“The finale of 4A was so serious so it did feel nice, and this did feel like a different season because time had passed and it was summer.” Continue reading.

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