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.

Clara Hughes’ epic road trip documented for CTV’s Big Ride

clara_hughes

From a media release:

Bell Media announced today the debut of the new original documentary CLARA’S BIG RIDE as its anchor program for the fifth annual Bell Let’s Talk Day. Premiering in primetime on Bell Let’s Talk Day, Wednesday, Jan. 28, the one-hour documentary will be available on demand all day on CraveTV and CTV.ca, before airing at 7 p.m. ET/PT in super-simulcast on CTV and CTV Two and live-streamed on CTV GO. CLARA’S BIG RIDE is a powerful documentary directed by multi-award winning filmmaker Larry Weinstein (Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, Our Man in Tehran, TSN’s THE 13th MAN), chronicling an unprecedented 11,000 km bicycle journey across Canada by six-time Olympic medalist and Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Clara Hughes. Throughout the journey, Hughes spreads a hopeful message designed to break the silence surrounding mental illness and helps create a stigma-free Canada.

Part catalyst for change, part epic road movie, CLARA’S BIG RIDE is a rousing documentary that tackles the profound conversation on mental health and the stigma surrounding mental illness. Crossing every region of the country, the documentary features brave stories from Canadians whose lives are touched by Hughes’ historic ride.

In the spring of 2014, Hughes embarked upon an exhilarating journey on her bicycle in an effort to unite Canadians in a much-needed conversation on mental health, and to spark positive changes in the way mental illness is perceived. The documentary recounts the epic 110-day journey through 105 communities and 235 events in varied and often extreme weather conditions.

Over the course of the documentary, CLARA’S BIG RIDE captures the voices of a group of heroic young Canadians as they tell their stories of living with mental illness. These voices include: Stacey, a teacher from Lindsay, Ont.; Marisa, a Media Relations Coordinator from Montréal; Antigonish, N.S. student Dexter; University of Prince Edward Island student Alanna; Dorothy, who runs a community program called “Going Off, Growing Strong” in Nain, a remote town in Northern Labrador; Sally, a practicing artist from Dawson City; Royal Roads University student Megan in Victoria; Canadian Armed Forces Veteran Terry; and Pascale, an outspoken teen and mental health advocate.

One of the greatest amateur athletes in Canadian history, with six Olympic medals in cycling and speed skating – two distinct sports crossing Summer and Winter Games – Hughes’ athletic prowess brought her national recognition, including the Order of Canada, and, just as she completed the ride, the Meritorious Service Cross. While cycling across the country, Hughes shares her own story of battling depression on the heels of her Olympic success.

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Link: Schitt’s Creek is droll? Try smug and self-satisfied

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

In the matter of Schitt’s Creek (CBC, 9 p.m.), opinion is divided.

The comedy show, a big deal in CBC’s plan for this TV season (and it has just been greenlit for a second season next year), has received some enthusiastic reviews in Canada, and here in the United States, where it will air on the teensy cable channel Pop (used to be the TV Guide Channel), a small number of critics think it’s hilarious. Others are utterly, eye-rolling indifferent.

I’m with the eye-rollers. It’s droll, sporadically, but dead on arrival. Continue reading.

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CTV unveils MasterChef Canada Season 2 competitors

Masterchef

From a media release:

CTV revealed today the home cook finalists who are set to compete in the second blockbuster season of MASTERCHEF CANADA, airing Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PTbeginning Feb. 8 on CTV and CTV GO. Chosen from a selection of diverse food-loving applicants from regions across the country, the talented home cooks of all ages and backgrounds are set to experience the pressure cooker of auditions as they prepare a dish for acclaimed judges Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung, and Claudio Aprile. The selected Season 2 finalists put their heart – and signature dish – on a plate in the hopes of winning the $100,000 cash prize and the chance to be named Canada’s next MasterChef.

The series will also stream on demand on CTV GO, and will encore Fridays at 9 p.m. ET beginning Feb. 13. on M3, Saturdays at 7 p.m. ET/PT beginning Feb. 14 on CTV Two, and Sundays at 5 p.m. ET/PT beginning Feb. 15 on CTV. Viewers can also enjoy the Season 1 cooking all over again, with the full season of MASTERCHEF CANADA available exclusively on CraveTVTM.

The finalists cooking for the MASTERCHEF CANADA title are:

–       Afaf Roubi, a Stay-at-Home Mom from Thornhill, Ont.

–       Andrew Al-Khouri, a Tax Officer from Halifax, N.S.

–       Anh Nguyen, a Business Student from Ottawa, Ont.

–       Ann Wilchynski, an Educational Assistant from Sherwood Park, Alta.

–       Carmen Araiza, an Actress, Writer, and Spanish Dialect Coach from Toronto, Ont.

–       Chris Mask, a Firefighter and Paramedic from Wahnapitae, Ont.

–       Christopher Siu, a Pharmacy Student from Markham, Ont.

–       Clarissa Diokno, an Academic Research Telephone Interviewer from Waterloo, Ont.

–       Cody Karey, a Recording Artist from Vancouver, B.C.

–       David Jorge, a Concrete Contractor from Surrey, B.C.

–       Deanna Brown, a Stay-at-Home Mom from Milestone, Sask.

–       Debbie MacDonald, a Special Needs Teacher from Port Hood, N.S.

–       Debra Pangestu, a Public Relations Officer from Richmond, B.C.

–       Gav Martell, a VP, Product Management from Thornhill, Ont.

–       Georgio Theofilpoulos, a Florist and Travel Agent from Toronto, Ont.

–       Holli Miller, a Bank Teller from Bolton, Ont.

–       Ian Giebelhaus, a Rural Veterinarian from Rimbey, Alta.

–       Inder Kambo, Real Estate Sales from Brampton, Ont.

–       Jennie Kelusky, a Marketing Coordinator and Office Manager from Toronto, Ont.

–       Jennifer Innis, a Dental Hygienist from Vernon, B.C.

–       Jon Hameister-Ries, a Retired Pro Football Player and Financial Advisor from Vancouver, B.C.

–       Kat Wolf, a Film and Music Producer from Montréal, Que.

–       Kenya Hushagen, a Freelance Film and TV Wardrobe Stylist from Edmonton, Alta.

–       Kevin Gregory, an Applications Engineer from Fredericton, N.B.

–       Kristal Rice, a Hospital Administration Clerk from Gander, N.L.

–       Kristen Dwyer, an Early Childhood Educator from Conception Bay South, N.L.

–       Kwasi Douglas, a Community Facilitator from Ajax, Ont.

–       Kyle McKenna, a Bartender from Paradise, N.L.

–       Lauren Scheit, a Stay-at-Home Mom from Leduc, Alta.

–       Line Pelletier, a Canadian Military Veteran and Computer Specialist from Moncton, N.B.

–       Lisa Kacur, a Marketing Coordinator from Mississauga, Ont.

–       Meg Tucker, a Radio Host from Red Deer, Alta.

–       Michael Motamedi, an Entrepreneur from Toronto, Ont.

–       Michelle ‘Mishie’ Gordiev, a Bus Driver from Winnipeg, MB

–       Mina Tasic, a Pharmacist from Toronto, Ont.

–       Mohit Sharma, an Event Manager and Personal Trainer from Whitby, Ont.

–       Natalie Wallace, an Executive Assistant from Toronto, Ont.

–       Nathan Young, Digital Media – Marketing from Toronto, Ont.

–       Nikita Scringer, a Healthcare Sales Consultant from Calgary, Alta.

–       Robert Mitchell, an HR Manager from Toronto, Ont.

–       Sabrina Poirier, an Office Manager from Montréal, Que.

–       Sebastien Champagne, a Graphic Designer from Montréal, Que.

–       Shane Chagpar, an Engineer from Toronto, Ont.

–       Shaunna Leinster, a Holistic Nutritionist from Brampton, Ont.

–       Suzy Cui, a Casino Cashier Supervisor from Windsor, Ont.

–       Taj Chohan, an Accountant from Oakville, Ont.

–       Tammy Wood, a Retail Clerk from Agassiz, B.C.

–       Ted Meisner, a Security Investigator from Ottawa, Ont.

–       Ted Pechey, an Advertising Radio Sales and Volunteer Cooking Instructor from Prince Albert, Sask.

Following the initial rounds of the audition process, the premiere episode (Sunday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. ET/PT) finds the home cook finalists entering the most nerve-wracking first phase of the competition as they present their signature dish for tasting by judges Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung, and Claudio Aprile. Only those with the most impressive plates receive a coveted white apron and have the opportunity to reach the next level of the competition. In the second episode, airing Sunday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/PT, the auditions continue, and the remaining home cooks battle it out to make it into the Top 16 of MASTERCHEF CANADA.

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Link: ‘Schitt’s Creek’: Eugene Levy, Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara Bring The Funny To CBC

From Chris Jancelewicz of The Huffington Post:

Canadian TV is in dire need of an edgy comedy, and it looks like we’ve gotten it with “Schitt’s Creek.”

CBC TV has been killing it lately with their new slate of programming — from the female-driven “Strange Empire” to the marvelous “Book Of Negroes” — and “Schitt’s Creek” brings audiences back to authentic Canadian comedy, which has always been the funniest in the biz (no bias here). Continue reading.

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Link: How Eugene Levy convinced CBC to name his show ‘Schitt’s Creek’

From Tony Wong of The Toronto Star:

Especially if it airs on the CBC.

 So Canadian star Eugene Levy and son Dan, the producers of the new single-camera comedy, went through phone books to see if the name Schitt actually existed. It did. And they copied pages from directories featuring the name to the Canadian public broadcaster to prove their point. Continue reading.
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