Everything about Dramas and Comedies, eh?

Link: Kids in the Hall on Lorne Michaels’ “Muscle,” Hollywood Homophobia and their Monty Python Obsession

From Seth Abramovitch of The Hollywood Reporter:

Kids in the Hall on Lorne Michaels’ “Muscle,” Hollywood Homophobia and their Monty Python Obsession
Nearly 30 years later, the show’s influence can be felt in every corner of the comedy universe – from the films of Seth Rogen (the Steve Jobs star has called them “the benchmark of Canadian comedy”) to descendants like Key & Peele and Inside Amy Schumer. Even Michaels’ crown jewel, Saturday Night Live, in whose immense shadow the Kids have long stood, has borrowed increasingly from their playbook – most recently with the casting of Good Neighbor’s Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett, who mine the mundane for a similar strain of surrealist humour. Continue reading.


Super Channel’s quiet, effective Forgive Me returns

Amid Super Channel’s pirates of Black Sails, aliens of Falling Skies and spies of Homeland there is Forgive Me. Written and directed by Thom Fitzgerald (The Hanging Garden), Forgive Me is quiet and spare. There’s no swashbuckling and no armed troops, but plenty to like.

Back for Season 2 on Sunday, Forgive Me stars Mike McLeod as The Priest, a young man who listens to the daily confessions of his Halifax congregation. The brain tumour that had been operated on hasn’t gone away (and may be causing angelic visions), but The Priest insists he go back to work, telling his doctor (Fitzgerald) perhaps it’s God’s way. After convincing fellow priests in the Prelate (John Dunsworth) and Father Gene (Jeremy Ackerman) he’s fine, The Priest heads back to confessional; and that’s where Forgive Me truly shines.

Rolling out like a two-person play, the camera is in the tight confines of the confessional as—lit by the muted light coming through plain stained glass—The Priest hears the confession of pedophile Johnny Smith-O’Leary (Hugh Thompson), who is considering suing the church because he was molested by a choir master there when he was young. There are funny moments amid the conversation. Johnny asks The Priest what circle of hell his group of sinners is confined to and learns Dante’s Inferno is a play, and not scripture.

“How the hell is that not in the Bible?” he wonders. “Do you have any idea how many hours of my life that I wasted finding out exactly what circle of hell I’m going to?!”

“Johnny,” The Priest counters. “I watched all seven seasons of Dawson’s Creek.”

“You win,” Johnny allows.

McLeod turns in a fine performance; he’s instantly likeable in the role, more coach and therapist than priest, as is Dunsworth, far removed from drunken Jim Lahey on Trailer Park Boys. Fitzgerald has attracted high-profile talent to appear, with Olympia Dukakis reprising her role as Novalea, The Priest’s grandmother and Season 2 guest stars in Wendy Crewson and Ed Asner.

If you’re looking for something a little different from your Canadian TV, give Forgive Me a look and let me know what you think of it.

Forgive Me airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Super Channel.


Link: London native Mike McLeod grateful for role as Priest in TV’s Forgive Me

From Joe Belanger of The London Free Press:

London native Mike McLeod grateful for role as Priest in TV’s Forgive Me
McLeod stars in the lead role of Priest in Sunday’s season premiere of Forgive Me, a hit show on Super Channel that got rave reviews, earning McLeod an ACTRA Maritimes award and nomination for best actor in a drama at the Canadian Screen Awards earlier this year. Continue reading.


Jacob Blair’s crash course on The Pinkertons

Jacob Blair is no stranger to Canadian winters. He grew up in Edmonton, but even he found the cold in Winnipeg while filming the syndicated cops and robbers Canadian co-production The Pinkertons to be daunting.

“They’ve been quoting me things like the weather has been colder than the surface of Mars and I’m like, ‘That’s not a selling feature, guys,'” he says from the set with a laugh. “You let people discover that once they’re already here.”

Still, Blair is having a blast. And who can blame him? The chance to play William Pinkerton, son of Allan, the man who founded the legendary law enforcement, detective and security agency in 1850 is just too much fun. Hired by President Abraham Lincoln to be his security detail during the Civil War, the company was based out of Chicago; the series is loosely based on the Pinkerton’s real case files. Blair is joined by Angus Macfadyen (Turn) as Allan, and Martha MacIsaac (1600 Penn) as Kate Warne, the first female detective in the United States.

Blair, who has appeared in episodes of Rookie Blue, Republic of Doyle and Beauty and the Beast, only had two weeks between being cast on The Pinkertons before cameras rolled—he was the last of the principals to sign on—so he crammed for the role. He’d already known from watching shows like Deadwood that the Pinkertons were feared and not a group you wanted to run afoul of, but learned there wasn’t much information regarding William’s personality, just snippets gleaned from Allan’s memoir and in case files.

“I had to create him on my own,” Blair says. “He’s his father’s son, so growing up he would pick up on those traits of being no-nonsense. Because we’re going the family angle, we do need to infuse it with humour. Viewers really love the friction and the dynamic between the characters, so we have William giving it back to Allan and William and Kate getting under each other’s skin, but there’s a mutual admiration there.”

Of course, whenever you place a young man and woman in close quarters and at odds on television, an obvious question must be asked. Will William and Kate end up falling in love like so many small-screen couples have before them? Blair hopes not.

“I just don’t know where it would go,” he says. “I have a hard time picturing that and if they did I’d hope they’d wait a few seasons.” Guess the winters will have to get even colder before the two would ever consider huddling for warmth.

The Pinkertons airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CHCH.


Some Assembly Required premieres January 6

From a media release:

YTV Adds Hilarious New Live Action Series to its Winter Slate

  • Some Assembly Required premieres on YTV Monday, January 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT

What kid wouldn’t love to be in charge of running a toy company? And what better way to get around the place than a full-scale indoor roller coaster? The sky is the limit for fun and imagination in YTV’s Some Assembly Required, a new live action comedy series, which follows an eclectic and mismatched group of kids who operate Knickknack Toys. The series premieres on Monday, January 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT, following Sam & Cat at 6 p.m. ET/PT on YTV.

Fourteen-year-old Jarvis Raines played by YouTube sensation, Kolton Stewart (The Art of War, What’s Up Warthogs!) is at the helm as President of Knickknack Toys. If Jarvis is going to succeed in running the toy company, he has to invent some of the most exciting, fun and creative toys in history and have a dynamic team to help him. His first hire is a girl from school Piper Gray, a computer-savvy “gamer dude” played by singer/songwriter Charlie Storwick (winner of YTV’s The Next Star, Season 4). Then, he rounds out the team by enlisting: his best friend with dubious talents, Bowie, played by Harrison Houde (Diary of a Wimpy Kid); a charming personal assistant Geneva, played by Sydney Scotia (The Letter); Knox, an extreme sports daredevil played by Dylan Playfair (Mr. Hockey: the Gordie Howe Story), and Aster, fashion-forward “King of Swag” played by Travis Turner (Marley & Me: The Puppy Years). Surrounded by doubters, including the former owner Candace Wheeler (Ellie Harvie, The New Addams Family), Jarvis and his team try to prove to the world that not only can they run the company, they can make it better than ever, restoring honour to the name of the company’s founder, P. Everett Knickknack.

In the premiere episode, a Christmas toy gone wrong blows up Jarvis’ house. When Candace refuses to remedy the situation, a jury awards Jarvis the company, making him the new owner of Knickknack Toys. Jarvis and team invent their first toy, StrongSuit – a bodysuit for kids that makes them big and strong. They decide to test it out on a group of local schoolchildren, but when the kids refuse to give the StrongSuit back Jarvis must stop them before they destroy the company.

Shot in front of a live audience in Burnaby, British Columbia, Some Assembly Required is a YTV original series produced by Thunderbird Films. The series is created by Dan Signer (A.N.T. Farm, Mr. Young) and Howard Nemetz (Mr. Young, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody). To be part of the studio audience viewers can email someassemblylive@gmail.com to reserve their seats.

Coinciding with the series launch in January, YTV.com will feature an innovative Some Assembly Required video mash-up tool that allows fans to create their own thematic videos using select clips from actual episodes of the show. Prior to the premiere, fans can play an all-new web game featuring 20 levels of fun and challenging game-play. A free-to-play app version will also be launched in the New Year along with 20 more levels of game-play.