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.

Review: Hometown hell on The Bachelor Canada

After the shocking events of last Tuesday’s episode of The Bachelor Canada–Lisa stayed and Kaylynn was eliminated–I was truly interested to see how Tim’s hometown visits would go. Especially when it came to seeing Lisa in Calgary. Would he revisit the drama of the week before and question her more deeply about her kissing another man, or would bygones be bygones?

The producers saved all that for the last visit on Tim’s schedule by having him travel to see Trish, Sachelle and April first.

Trish’s hometown date in Edmonton was brilliant, offering the hockey-crazed bachelor not only a genuine Leafs jersey–with Warmels on the back, it should be noted–but also with some ice time on the local rink. After scoring some points on the net and Trish, Tim was hoping to win some from her family. It started out a little awkwardly–having an entire family come walking down the driveway will do that–before settling into oddness at the dinner table. (How did I know it was odd? Why, the producers were playing off-kilter music to let me know.) A round of “Jesus Loves Me” later and that was pretty much it. I expected Trish’s brother–sporter of some bad-ass shades–to pull Tim aside and quiz him on the “journey,” but that never materialized. Trish and Tim did, however, admit to falling for each other, the closest either would come to using the “l” word. (Did anyone else half-expect to see Gam-Gam peeking through the drapes while T&T made out?)

Things didn’t look good for Sachelle, meanwhile, after she learned their Porter flight with Tim from Toronto to her hometown of Sudbury, Ont., was grounded for hours by fog. Undeterred–and realizing the entire city of Toronto was right behind them–Tim turned her frown upside down and the pair hopped into a cab and headed to his Queen St. West neighbourhood for a coffee, some prime people watching and talk of babies. (I love how they made Sachelle seem like a big-city newbie in awe of everything in Toronto.) And while Tim suspected it would be Sachelle’s brother, Shane, who would pull him aside for a chat it was actually her father who did it first. They were quickly joined by Shane, who played bad cop by telling Tim to let Sachelle go if the feelings weren’t there. Gee, thanks buddy. Also, if Tim does dump Sachelle, I’m assuming Shane’s veiled threats about putting a hurt on Tim will have had something to do with it.

Meanwhile, April was battling with nerves and trust. It was something she hoped they would address once he arrived in Wasaga Beach, Ont. The date started off very seriously, with April revealing her father passed away at a young age of a drug overdose and that they wouldn’t be meeting her mother either because the two don’t get along. Instead, they had dinner with April’s grandparents, who have been raising her. April’s grandmother put Shane to shame, observing that Tim liked to work out a lot and that she could see right through him. Turns out the comment may have been taken out of context–I know, shocking–because she then complimented Tim on having great qualities.

So, what happened in Calgary? Tim was up front with Lisa, first admitting that he could totally see himself falling for her. Then came the but: he wasn’t going any further in the relationship with Lisa and would not be meeting her family for dinner. Unless the producers asked him to keep Lisa around to make for a dramatic hometown visit–and I have no reason to suspect this–Tim made a tough last-minute decision. Was it the right one? It’s easy for me to say yes, but clearly it weighed on him. And despite me not liking Lisa, The Bachelor Canada contestant, I didn’t feel any joy at seeing her cut down like that. I also don’t envy her; she’ll be the girl who was eliminated from the show for kissing a dude in Italy for awhile.

The lack of a third rose confirmed what April, Trish and Sachelle suspected–Lisa had been dropped–opening the door for the season finale. So, who will Tim have to choose between? April and Trish. I told you: Shane scared Tim off with his aggressiveness and punching talk. In the meantime, next week’s Women Tell All special looks exciting, with appearances by Lisa and Natalie, eye rolling and a rare appearance by host Tyler Harcott.

The Bachelor Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on City.

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CBC lands broadcast rights to 2018 and 2020 Olympics

The CBC is headed back to the Olympics with some help from Bell Media and Rogers Media.

“This is a great day for the public broadcaster. This is a great day for Canadian sport,” Scott Russell said Tuesday afternoon from the CBC atrium in Toronto.

Head honcho Hubert Lacroix announced that CBC/Radio-Canada secured the broadcast rights to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games. The network also has the rights to the upcoming 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“This is clear recognition of the exceptional coverage CBC/Radio-Canada provided for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games — the most watched in history,” Lacroix said in a press release. “The agreement also reflects the [International Olympic Committee’s] belief that we will continue to provide relevant, compelling Canadian experiences to Canadians by building on our accomplishments, as well as what we promise to bring with our coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games.”

CBC will work with broadcast partner Bell Media, along with Rogers Media, to provide full access to the Olympic Games. Sportsnet, TSN and RDS will provide additional coverage of the Olympics much like they have in the past, providing blanket coverage of the athletic spectacle.

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First look: Bitten Season 2 poster is bloody good

Looks like Season 2 of Bitten is going to be bloody good. We snagged this exclusive first look at the poster for the sophomore go-round, featuring Elena (Laura Vandervoort).

Bitten_Laura_FirstLook_v8

As previously announced, Bitten is currently in production in and around the Toronto area. Back for Season 2 are Greg Bryk as Alpha Pack leader Jeremy Danvers, Greyston Holt as Clayton Danvers, Steve Lund as Nick Sorrentino and Michael Xavier as Dr. Logan Jonsen. Season 2 also introduces a coven of witches who turn to the Pack for support: Tammy Isbell is coven leader Ruth Winterbourne, Tommie-Amber Pirie is Ruth’s daughter, Paige, and Kiara Glasco plays Savannah Levine.

Can’t get enough of Bitten? Check out Anthony Marco’s podcast with showrunner Daegan Fryklind.

Bitten returns to Space in Winter of 2015.

What do you think of the new poster? Comment below!

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TV eh B Cs podcast – Heather Conkie champions her Heartland family

tvehpodcast

Heather Conkie is a veteran Canadian television writer and producer who began her career as an actress. She has subsequently worked extensively as a writer for numerous television series in Canada including Road to Avonlea, 7th Heaven, The Zack Files, Pit Pony, Dark Oracle, as well as several made for television movies. She’s currently an Executive Producer and writer for CBC’s landmark series Heartland which is galloping through its 8th season with no signs of being put out to pasture.

Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.

Want to become a Patron of the Podcast? We’ve got a Patreon page where you can donate a small amount per podcast and get a sneak peek of each release.

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Degrassi’s secret to success

“Isn’t it extraordinary that it’s gone this long?” There’s definitely a hint of wonder in Linda Schuyler’s voice when she says that. And why not? In a television world where fickle viewers and nervous networks can mean the end of series before it ever gets a footing, Degrassi marches on.

Tuesday’s return of the teen drama to MTV is Season 14 of the current incarnation, a stunning achievement on its own. But factor in  the fact the franchise will be celebrating 35 years in 2015 and the mind boggles. You’d think that after that amount of time, Schuyler or Stephen Stohn would consider walking away and resting. You would be wrong.

“I love it. We learned something early on in The Next Generation, which was to have the courage to graduate our kids,” she explains. “There is a fear in TV that if you lose a tranche of people you’re going to lose your audience. We were scared to graduate that first group because in the classic show we basically stayed with the same kids for almost 100 episodes.” Schuyler and the Degrassi team have found a formula for success by bringing in new students and allowing the audience to get to know them while the old favourites are still in class. Aside from constantly replenishing the performers, the writing room is injected with fresh voices too. The result? A project continually rejuvenated by fresh blood.

From the very beginning Degrassi dared to tell real-life stories about teens to teens. Teenage drinking, pregnancy, bullying, abuse and sexual lifestyle choices have always been front and centre in scripts, a trend that continues Tuesday night with “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Clare (Aislinn Paul) sees her carefully planned world turned upside down over a dalliance with Drew (Luke Bilyk), Miles’ (Eric Osborne) relationship with Tristan (Lyle Lettau) may have an impact on his father’s political plans, and Zoë (Ana Golja) and Becky (Sarah Fisher) butt heads over cheerleading. Those three storylines aren’t necessarily new to the franchise, but fresh cast means they can be tackled from a new point of view.

“We’ve run many different gay storylines, but when you bring in different characters you can look at it from a different side of the prism,” Schuyler says. “You get a new take on an old storyline, plus there are new things happening in the media all the time that keep us inspired and thinking. Nothing is taboo.”

Degrassi airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.

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