Everything about Book of Negroes, eh?

Link: Can’t-miss Canadian cinematic television

From Amanda Clarke of Toronto Film Scene:

Can’t-miss Canadian cinematic television
General wisdom is that films are superior to television, but there’s no denying that television has become really good in the past few years. As the line between film and television has begun to blur, it’s the big American cable networks that have started to gain a lot of critical attention with big budget cinematic series. It could be said that Canadian television gets less attention, but Canadian television is just so good that you can barely tell the Canadian from the Hollywood on the small screen. Here is some Canadian cinematic television you should check out for the big screen experience in the comfort of your own home. Continue reading.


Poll: What CanLit should CBC tackle next?

The Book of Negroes was a stunning success for CBC, getting 1.4 million viewers to tune in to the mini-series adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s critically acclaimed novel. Last year’s Best Laid Plans, based on Terry Fallis’ book, was less of a ratings winner, but did just earn star Jonas Chernick a Canadian Screen Award. Some of my favourite television memories involve Anne of Green Gables and other shows based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s imagination.

Since The Book of Negroes 2 is unlikely, and the Canadian industry was scooped on Life of Pi, what work of Canadian literature do you think CBC should adapt next?  There’s too much to choose from for a multiple choice poll, so put your suggestions in the comments … and may the best book win.



Link: Canadian History is Going Hollywood

From DK Latta of Huffington Post Canada:

Canadian History is Going Hollywood
For a long time, the suggestion that Canadian history could be mined for entertaining TV drama was, at best, scoffed at. At worst, sent the detractors into fits of apoplectic rage (I’ve been labelled a Kool-Aid drinking suicide cultist merely for suggesting Canadian filmmakers could set stories in Canada). Continue reading.


Comments and queries for the week of Feb. 20

By far the biggest focus of conversation was Monday’s most recent episode of Murdoch Mysteries, which saw the relationship between Lillian and Emily move to a whole new level.

Other topics of conversation this week included the early lead Murdoch has taken in our poll of Favourite Canadian TV Show on Netflix—vote now for your chance to win a one-year subscription to Netflix—and cutting the cable cord.

I love Murdoch Mysteries. The characters are wonderful, the sets are outstanding and I look forward to each episode. The most recent one in which Dr. Grace followed her heart where it led her was amazing. Gay, straight, whatever its about love and a person developing into who they are. Kudos to everyone involved.—Carol

Personally, I’m more offended by people dropping a show they claim to love because they introduce an LGBT storyline, especially when they claim it goes against “family values.” Any family that doesn’t value compassion, understanding and acceptance of others is a family I don’t want to know. That being said, I was a bit worried that this storyline might be pandering just a little bit—you know what I mean; a young, attractive supporting character having a lesbian fling with an equally attractive woman, which just happens to air during sweeps—until I read this article. I have faith in the show’s writers, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing how a lesbian relationship in turn-of-the-20th-century ultra-conservative Toronto plays out. (And if it does turn out to be pandering … well, I’ll probably still watch. Can’t guarantee it won’t bug me if that turns out to be the case, though.)—The Crazed Spruce

I have watched this show faithfully since it began and will continue to do so, although I was disappointed in Emily’s newfound love relationship. Not because of the gay/lesbian aspect of it, but I was hoping she would rekindle her attraction to George. A storyline around them would have been interesting and comical, because they play off each other so well. It seems like all the TV shows are incorporating a gay/lesbian person; how about more handicapped people being integrated into the TV shows too!!—Linda

Because that’s what makes them good shows! They create situations that make us talk and debate, they develop characters so well that we care about what happens to them and makes their stories stay with us long after the show is over. How dull would it be if they recycled the same plot points every episode or have their characters never develop or grow? I appreciate how Murdoch Mysteries challenges me on EVERY level, not just an intellectual but on a personal and even spiritual level. I can see this storyline doing just that with our favourite characters. No matter how it turns out, it’s going to make for some pretty great television.—Amy

I don’t want to sound like a snob, but I don’t watch a single program you have in your show categories. I seem drawn to shows like Justified, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Last Week Tonight, Silicon Valley, Breaking Bad, Veep, Peaky Blinders and Penny Dreadful. Why can’t Canadian TV networks make shows like these? I know there are plenty of big-time Canadian actors and most head south. And it seems like we are left with the same group of actors that find themselves playing the same part on another similar show. I haven’t seen The Book of Negroes and I will say this does look like a quality show. Hopefully, there is a generation of new writers and actors just waiting to burst onto the scene. I really do hope so.—Lee

I too cut the cable about four years back and it was a exactly what Diane said: cost vs. benefit. I had a huge cable subscription with all the bells and whistles and surmised I only watched five channels. So spend almost a hundred bucks a month for five channels? It made and makes no sense. I miss a few shows that I am willing to pay specifically for but my wife and I are both happy without extra bill and save a good hunk of change. To me this was a quality issue. I would rather pay for the shows I watch and those shows are more readily available and more convenient streaming.—Marvin

My husband and I compromised: he’s allowed to have cable and I’m allowed to have wine. I never watch TV. Netflix is good enough for me.—Jennie

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or head to @tv_eh.