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: Fracking and fractured relationships on Blackstone

And just like that, Blackstone‘s Debbie Fraser is no more. In the final seconds of last week’s episode, Debbie drove into the path of a tractor trailer while on the phone with Alan, leaving a cliffhanger regarding her health.

“Discovery” by Damon Vignale opened with Andy sitting silently in prison, clearly numb at the news and unable to do anything before heading to Deb’s memorial, where Alan was getting hammered in a vain attempt to block out the pain. He has a lot to feel pained about: he’d shown nothing but contempt and hatred for Deb and he was the reason she was behind the wheel in the first place. Alan coming unglued on the Shale executives was an exercise in uncomfortableness.

With just one more episode to go in this fourth season, storylines were quickly wrapping up. Gail began her journey of healing with help from Dr. Crowshoe, who explained that Gail needed to grieve the death of those she loves as well as own up to the mistakes she’s made. She did just that, first saying sorry to Greg and then confessing to Leona that her relapse was her own fault and not something that Leona should be beating herself up for.

Things were looking very, very dire for Jumbo. He’d managed to elude Jack’s thugs for a bit, but they finally caught up with him and said he had just hours to pay back the cash he owed. After a lot of grousing, Daryl came through and paid Jack the money Jumbo owed. I’ve really enjoyed Daryl’s storyline this season. Aside from his growing relationship with Gina, he’s kept the club running smoothly and has very much been a father figure to Alan while Andy’s been in the clink. Speaking of the clink, did anyone else find the timing just a little too good in that the Shale folks came sniffing around Daryl and Andy’s land at the exact same time Andy’s bail needed to be posted? I’m sure it was all part of advancing the story, but it was just a little too smooth for me.

Next week’s Blackstone season finale episode is called “There Will be Blood,” and I can’t help but feel dread. After all, Darrien just escaped from prison and is hitching his way back to Blackstone. What will he do when he gets there? I’m not sure, but I’m betting he’s not planning on letting the past slide when it comes to Gail.

Blackstone airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on APTN.

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Link: I Actually liked Corner Gas: The Movie

From Jim Bawden:

I made a silly resolution not to watch Corner Gas: The Movie because I really liked the TV series.

For a few bright seasons it seemed as if Canadian TV comedy was about to sparkle. Then came the duds Hiccups and Dan For Mayor and Canadian TV was back again to square one. Eventually I relented and plopped in my DVD preview and I could not stop watching.

The problem is a successful half hour TV comedy series does not easily translate into a successful 90-minute motion picture. Continue reading.

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Review: Package Deal says goodbye

I’m suspecting it’s the end of the road for Package Deal. Of course, things may change and a third go-round may be ordered, but I’m betting that won’t be the case. Moved to at least three different nights and timeslots since Season 2 bowed last fall, one could argue City attempted to find a night and spot where the Canadian sitcom could attract a larger audience (like right after 2 Broke Girls for a few weeks), but I never saw a commercial promoting Package Deal. If I wasn’t following several of its cast members and the show itself on Twitter I would have lost track of it long ago.

And that’s too bad. Aside from the friendly cast and crew I met while on a set visit for Season 1, this sophomore season has been tighter, funnier and more raw. Sunday’s back-to-back season finale, “The Break Up” parts 1 and 2, plunged couple Kim and Danny into truly stressful territory for the very first time by throwing marriage into the picture. (“This can’t be happening. He’s so young, to be cut down in his prime,” wailed Sheldon. “There’s so much more for you to experience. You haven’t even slept with an albino.”)

The fact that they both waffled independently over the prospect of advancing their relationship to the next level was a departure from the usual light-hearted weekly bickering and allowed actors Julia Voth and Randal Edwards the opportunity to play some very serious moments and heartfelt emotions … at least until Harland Williams’ Sheldon or Jay Malone’s Ryan jumped in to say something ludicrous.

The ensuing break-up that concluded the first instalment made for several interesting moments that carried to the second script, written by creator and executive producer Andrew Orenstein. Danny and Kim both re-entered the dating market and while Danny was disgusting gals with his “dump stink,” Kim found a paramour in TJ (John Dore), the produce guy working at his local market. The addition of Dore ramped up the laughs thanks to his hippie views on life, a stark contrast to Danny’s lawyer profession.

The conclusion of “The Break Up” certainly could have kept Kim and Danny apart–setting up a cliffhanger–but I’m glad that didn’t happen. If this is indeed the final episode of Package Deal, I’d much prefer the pair to be a couple than apart. Thanks, Package Deal, for two seasons of laughs.

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Link: Edmonton SCTV statues closer to becoming a reality

From Stephanie Dubois:

SCTV statues mounted in Edmonton are getting closer to become a reality as volunteers spearheading the public art project are just waiting for charitable status.

While the community members are remaining tight-lipped on the design and precise location of the statues, the project is currently waiting on approval from Revenue Canada to become a society before it can build the statues of the popular sketch comedy television show that was filmed in Edmonton from 1980-1982. Continue reading.

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