Everything about Little Dog, eh?

CBC announces new and returning programming slate for 2018-19 season

From a media release:

Canada’s public broadcaster today announced its robust 2018-19 slate, including 17 new series and 36 renewed titles – one of CBC’s largest returning lineups to date. CBC’s upcoming year of original Canadian programming includes drama, comedy, factual, arts, music, kids, sports, news and documentary programming across television, radio and digital platforms, showcasing both new and established homegrown voices and creators.

NEW ORIGINAL SERIES

New CBC original Canadian series confirmed for the 2018-19 season include:

Comedy:

CAVENDISH (8×30, Winter 2019 – Temple Street), from the minds of Picnicface comedy troupe founders Mark Little and Andrew Bush, along with Garry Campbell (Kim’s Convenience). Bush and Little star as two bickering brothers who return to their PEI hometown to take care of their grumpy and ailing father, only to collide with the eccentric townsfolk and their even stranger superstitions.

Drama:

CORONER (8×60, Winter 2019 – Back Alley Films, Muse Entertainment), a procedural drama created for television by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope), based on the best-selling book series by M.R. Hall. The series follows Jenny Cooper, a former ER doctor and newly appointed coroner investigating suspicious deaths. Suffering from clinical anxiety and recently widowed with a teenage son, Jenny is a woman of action driven by an intense desire for the truth.

DIGGSTOWN (6×60, Winter 2019 – Circle Blue Entertainment), a legal drama created by Floyd Kane (Across the Line) and set in the gritty arena of legal aid, focusing on Marcie Diggs, a star corporate lawyer who reconsiders her priorities after her beloved aunt commits suicide following a malicious prosecution. Landing at a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Marcie is driven by one thing – to never again allow innocent lives to be destroyed by the justice system. DIGGSTOWN is the first original Canadian drama series featuring a black female lead character.

NORTHERN RESCUE (10×60, 2018/19 – Don Carmody Television, CBC and Netflix co-production), a heartwarming family drama starring William Baldwin (MacGyver) and Kathleen Robertson (Bates Motel).  After the death of his wife Sarah, John (Baldwin), a Search & Rescue officer, packs up his three children and moves from their hectic urban life to a small northern town, where they all struggle with their new surroundings, new friends, and accepting Sarah’s death.

STREET LEGAL (6×60, Winter 2019 – IGP and Broken Clown Productions), the iconic character-driven legal drama returns with both familiar faces and new characters, and a focus on how the law is practised in Canada today, including contemporary themes and issues. Bringing STREET LEGAL into the 21st century, we pick up 25 years later with Olivia Novak (Cynthia Dale), now a named partner at a major Bay Street law firm.

UNSPEAKABLE (8×60, Winter 2019 – Mezo Entertainment), a searing depiction of the tainted blood scandal that began in the early 1980s. The limited series is told through the stories of two families severely affected by the worst public health disaster in Canadian history, with a strong cast including Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), Shawn Doyle (Bellevue), Michael Shanks (Saving Hope) and Camille Sullivan (The Disappearance).

Factual & Arts:

CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON JUNIOR (6×60, Fall 2018 – Media Headquarters), hosted by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Kim’s Convenience), will see 12 remarkable kids take on exciting challenges in the six categories of intelligence – Physical, Musical, Social, Linguistic, Logical, and Visual – in front of a live studio audience, in the hopes of being crowned the first-ever title of Canada’s Smartest Person Junior.

FROM THE VAULTS (working title) (6×60, Fall 2018 – Banger Films), a visually exciting and entertaining cultural exploration using CBC Archive recordings as a window into Canadian history and music. Hosted by Amanda Parris and Tom Power, this archive series features musical performances and candid interviews, shedding a bright light on Canada’s musical journey.

HIGH ARCTIC HAULERS (working title) (8×60, 2019 – Great Pacific Media, a Thunderbird Company), a look at Canada’s resilient, vibrant northern communities and the determined men and women who help provide their lifeline to the outside world. These groups are linked together by the summer sealift, when ships loaded with critical cargo travel each year to the farthest reaches of the north to deliver food, clothing, supplies and vital pieces of infrastructure.

IN THE MAKING (8×30, Fall 2018 – White Pine Pictures), an immersive journey inside the artistic process. Host Sean O’Neill travels the globe alongside some of Canada’s most extraordinary creators as they bring new work to life and face moments of opportunity, challenge and reward.

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT(4×30, Winter 2019 – Proper Television), a factual entertainment series featuring budding entrepreneurs as they shop for the business of their dreams.

CBC Kids:

BECCA’S BUNCH (52×11, Jam Media), a must-see children’s comedy that combines live action, puppetry, and 3D animation.

BIG BLUE (52×11, Guru), an underwater comedy-adventure series about siblings Lettie and Lemo and the oddball crew of their submarine.

ENDLINGS (12×30, Sinking Ship), a sci-fi adventure series about four foster kids making a startling discovery that affects the entire universe.

KINGDOM FORCE (52×11, Industrial Brothers/Boat Rocker), an action series about animals protecting their community from danger with their unique skills that combine to form a giant robot.

MOLLY OF DENALI (38×30, Atomic Cartoons, CBC co-production with PBS), an adventure-comedy series about a 10-year-old Indigenous girl.

This fall, CBC will also broadcast the Canadian premiere of the new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s literary classic VANITY FAIR (7×60, Mammoth Screen, ITV and Amazon Studios) starring Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) as Becky Sharp, an ambitious social climber desperately trying to escape poverty and scale the heights of English society.

RETURNING SERIES:

CBC’s returning slate of scripted, factual and arts titles for 2018/19 is as follows:

ANNE WITH AN E (10×60, Season 2, fall 2018)

BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW(10×30, Season 3) – *moves to fall 2018*

BURDEN OF TRUTH (8×60, Season 2, winter 2019)

CBC ARTS: EXHIBITIONISTS (26×30, Season 4, fall 2018)

CBC KIDS new seasons of original Canadian series DOT, ADDISON, and OLLIE THE BOY WHO BECAME WHAT HE ATE

CORONATION STREET (Season 20, fall 2018)

THE DETECTIVES (8×60, Season 2, fall 2018)

DRAGONS’ DEN (20×60, Season 13, fall 2018)

THE FILMMAKERS (8×30, Season 2, summer 2018 starting July 28)

FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (10×60, Season 2, fall 2018)

THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW (8×60, Season 2, fall 2018)

HALIFAX COMEDY FEST (6×30, Season 23, fall 2018)

HEARTLAND (11×60, Season 12) – *moves to winter 2019*

JUST FOR LAUGHS: GALAS (2018-2019)

KIM’S CONVENIENCE (13×30, Season 3) – *moves to winter 2019*

LITTLE DOG (8×30, Season 2, winter 2019)

MR. D (8×30, Season 8) – *moves to Wednesdays – final season*

MURDOCH MYSTERIES (18×60, Season 12, fall 2018)

SCHITT’S CREEK (14×30, Season 5, winter 2019)

THE STATS OF LIFE (8×30, Season 2, winter 2019)

STILL STANDING (13×30, Season 4, now in production on Season 5 for 2019) – *moves to fall 2018*

THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (19×30, 1×60, Season 26)

WHEN CALLS THE HEART (Season 4, summer 2018 starting June 17)

THE WINNIPEG COMEDY FESTIVAL (5×60, Season 17, winter 2019)

WORKIN’ MOMS (13×30, Season 3, winter 2019)

CBC’s award-winning news and documentary programming also returns:

CBC DOCS POV (Season 3) – *moves to Friday evenings*

THE FIFTH ESTATE (Season 44) – *moves to Sunday evenings*

THE INVESTIGATORS WITH DIANA SWAIN (Season 3) *moves to Thursdays*

MARKETPLACE (Season 46)

THE NATIONAL

THE NATURE OF THINGS (Season 58)

TAKEN (Season 2, summer 2018 starting June 22)

THE WEEKLY WITH WENDY MESLEY (Season 2)

SPECIALS:

CBC’s annual lineup of specials and awards programming celebrating Canadian creators, artists and storytellers also includes:

INDSPIRE AWARDS (June 24)

CANADA DAYCELEBRATION (July 1)

CANADIAN COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION AWARDS (September 9, hosted by Shania Twain)

POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE GALA (September 17) – streaming via CBCMusic.ca

SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE (November 19)

AIR FARCE NEW YEAR’S EVE (December 31)

CANADA’S NEW YEAR’S EVE (December 31)

CANADA READS (March 2019)

CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS (March 2019)

THE JUNO AWARDS broadcast live from London and MUSIC DAY ON CBC (March 17)

 ORIGINAL DIGITAL PROGRAMMING:

CBC’s diverse slate of digital original series and award-winning CBC SHORT DOCSincludes the following new titles that will stream on the CBC TV App and cbc.ca/watch:

ART IS MY COUNTRY, riveting profiles of 10 Canadian artists from various cultural backgrounds who are redefining and reshaping Canadian art.

OFF KILTER, a mockumentary that documents the remaking of failed up-and-coming choreographer Milton Frank into the critically acclaimed jerk he never got to be in the ‘90s.

WINSTON ROWNTREE’S PEOPLE WATCHING (Season 2, July), a comedy series featuring humorous and heartfelt short stories about 20-somethings searching for acceptance and romance.

FARM CRIME (August), a true-crime docu-series investigating unconventional offences in the world of farming and agriculture.

SEEN AND HEARD (September), uniting a mixed group of deaf and hearing performers to mount a unique adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

RED BUTTON (winter), the ongoing documentary project returns to provide remarkably candid perspectives of marginalized and misunderstood youth.

CBC SHORT DOCS:

FAST HORSE (Alexandra Lazarowich), exploring the return of the bareback horse-racing tradition to Blackfoot country.

QUEER PRIEST (Nicholas Bradford-Ewart), three docs following the lives of openly queer individuals who have chosen to become or remain priests despite the trauma that the Christian community has inflicted upon them.

SEDRA (Sura Mallouh), observing a 17-year-old and her family as they rebuild their lives in Canada after fleeing the Syrian war.

THE HOLE IN RESERVOIR HILL (Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson), a timely revisiting of the decommissioned nuclear bunker in North Bay, Ontario and the individuals who know its secrets.

In addition to making all television series available to stream live or on-demand via its digital platforms, spanning more than 4,000 hours of programming, CBC is also investing in new content exclusive to the CBC TV App and cbc.ca/watch including 250 hours of new programming. Featuring Canadian content as well as a curated selection of best-in-class drama, comedy, lifestyle and documentary content from around the world, new titles streaming in the upcoming year include PORTLANDIA, MOONE BOYand the Canadian premiere of Australian comedy RONNY CHIENG: INTERNATIONAL STUDENT.

 

PRIMETIME BROADCAST SCHEDULE

CBC’s 2018-19 primetime broadcast schedule is as follows:

All series will also be available to stream on the CBC TV App and at cbc.ca/watch.

(For Newfoundland and Labrador, please add one half-hour later for all times)

MONDAYS
8 PM MURDOCH MYSTERIES *Season 12*(FALL/WINTER)

9 PM FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES *Season 2* (FALL)/ CORONER*NEW SERIES* (EARLY WINTER)/ STREET LEGAL*NEW SERIES* (LATE WINTER)

10 PM THE NATIONAL

TUESDAYS
8 PMSTILL STANDING*Season 4*(NEW TO FALL)/KIM’S CONVENIENCE*Season 3* (NEW TO WINTER)

8:30 PMTHIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES*Season 26* (FALL/WINTER)

9 PM BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW *Season 3* (NEW TO FALL)/ SCHITT’S CREEK*Season 5* (WINTER)

9:30 PMWORKIN’ MOMS*Season 3* (WINTER)

10 PM THE NATIONAL

WEDNESDAYS
8 PMTHE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW*Season 2*(EARLY FALL)/ CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON JUNIOR*NEW SERIES* (LATE FALL)/ BURDEN OF TRUTH*Season 2* (EARLY WINTER)/ DIGGSTOWN*NEW SERIES* (LATE WINTER)

9 PM VANITY FAIR*NEW SERIES*(EARLY FALL)/ MR. D*Season 8* (LATE FALL) – New Night/

UNSPEAKABLE*NEW SERIES* (WINTER)

9:30 PMHALIFAX COMEDY FESTIVAL(LATE FALL)

10 PM THE NATIONAL

THURSDAYS
7 PM  THE INVESTIGATORS WITH DIANA SWAIN*Season 3* (FALL) – New Night

8 PMDRAGONS’ DEN*Season 13* (FALL/WINTER)

9 PMTHE DETECTIVES*Season 2*(EARLY FALL)/ FROM THE VAULTS*NEW SERIES* (LATE FALL)/ CAVENDISH*NEW SERIES* (WINTER)

9:30 PMLITTLE DOG*Season 2*(WINTER)

10 PM THE NATIONAL

FRIDAYS
8 PMMARKETPLACE*Season 46*(FALL/WINTER)

8:30 PMIN THE MAKING*NEW SERIES* (EARLY FALL)/ THE STATS OF LIFE*Season 2* (EARLY WINTER)/ UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT*NEW SERIES* (LATE WINTER)

9 PM CBC DOCS POV*Season 3* (FALL/WINTER) – New Night

10 PM THE NATIONAL

11:30 PM CBC ARTS: EXHIBITIONISTS(FALL/WINTER)

SATURDAYS
AfternoonROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES*Season 4* (FALL/WINTER)

6:30 PMHOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA(FALL/WINTER)

SUNDAYS
AfternoonROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES*Season 4* (FALL/WINTER)

7 PMANNE WITH AN E*Season 2*/HEARTLAND*Season 12* (WINTER)

8 PMTHE NATURE OF THINGS*Season 58* (FALL/WINTER)

9 PMTHE FIFTH ESTATE*Season 44* (FALL/WINTER) – New Night

10 PM THE NATIONAL

 

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Little Dog: Patricia Isaac discusses Dr. Vaani’s “sweet and honest” relationship with Tommy

With four rounds, er, episodes of Little Dog in the can, we’ve learned a lot about Tommy and his family. Tommy (Joel Thomas Hynes) is tenacious and slowly gaining his mojo back. Lowly (Stephen Oates) is loyal if not a little slow. Sylvia (Ger Ryan) is a force to be reckoned with.

As for Dr. Vaani Abdeen, played by Patricia Isaac? Well, the good doctor has certainly revealed a lot in the last two episodes. Turns out she’s not only a brilliant doctor but a kleptomaniac with a secret. That came to light in Ginny’s (Katherine Isabelle) anger class when Vaani revealed she was verbally abused by her husband. We spoke to Isaac about her character, Vaani’s relationship with Tommy and her circuitous route to acting.

Give me the Coles Notes version of how you got into the industry. Your bio says you were the youngest account executive for a major IT corporation. When did you decide acting was what you wanted to do?
Patricia Isaac: I was in Alberta, where I’m from, and it wasn’t so much as a decision as something I couldn’t not do. I’d been performing, singing and writing since I was a little kid and it’s not something that’s necessarily culturally encouraged. Math, science and business is just what we do. It feels safe. All of a sudden I had this grownup’s job and I said to myself, ‘Is this it?’ I just had to give acting a shot. I made a friend in the industry, we hit it off and I was encouraged to take the leap and head to Vancouver to check it out. I ended up going on my first audition, booked it and took it as a sign. I lived out of my suitcase for a few months and never went back.

How did your family feel about that?
My family is very supportive of taking a risk and seeing that it all works out. If you don’t spend decades going at it aimlessly then you’re all good! My family does have a lot of art in its background too, so there is that.

How did you land the role of Vaani? Did you audition or did some folks have you in mind because you’d been on Republic of Doyle?
It was both, actually. I did know Joel from before when I was on Doyle. But I auditioned. I taped here in Los Angeles and did the callback with [showrunner Sherry White]. What made it so great was the fact that we did have that history.

St. John’s is such a fantastic city to work in and you got to do it twice. You must have been pinching yourself.
It is a dream. It’s such a special place. I spent some time by myself on Signal Hill and there was nobody else there. I watched the sun rise at Cape Spear … there is something so sacred about both of those experiences.

Let’s get into these characters. Vaani and Tommy have a history and there seems to be a bit of an attraction there. Can you comment on that?
[Laughs.] They are kind of a safe place for each other. She doesn’t want anything from him and he’s kind of the one person in his world who doesn’t. That allows her to be the straight-shooter that she is. Also, they can be vulnerable around each other. There is something really sweet about it and honest about it. The fact that they did know each other in high school even though he didn’t recognize her. I definitely related to her. It took me awhile to look like a girl, so I can appreciate Dr. Vaani. He was one of the few people who was kind to her in high school. Even though they seem to be from different sides of the tracks there is also an outsider quality for both of them that connects them. It’s a really sweet relationship. Where it goes … we don’t know. But it feels like an opportunity to go anywhere.

You see all of these other relationships on the show and here is this girl who was married and comes back to town after it exploded and now finds herself working with her dad in this old neighbourhood where people remember her the way they remembered her in Episode 1. She’s kind of having to rebuild herself.

It’s good these two have a safe place to go because Sylvia is on them all the time.
[Laughs.] It’s so funny because Ger and I in real life love spending time together. She is just a wonderful human being, so it made it that much more enjoyable to play these characters. I think the situation with Sylvia is very common in real life. We make assumptions about being judged or project that onto the other person. I feel like her character does that. She is going to judge me before I can judge her. We’ll definitely see more of that. There is that commonality between Tommy and Vaani and I am almost protective of him and he is that way as well.

Tommy comes across as such a tough guy because of the way he looks and dresses and carries himself. But once you start to chip away at that, he’s a sensitive guy.
Yes, and Vaani is like that too. I know a lot of girls that have done this and I have too; you find the thing that you can hide behind for protection. Vaani hides behind a lab coat in some ways and is doing her best to keep up appearances.

Little Dog airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Featured image courtesy of James Branaman.

 

 

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Links: Little Dog, Season 1

From Bill Brioux of the Canadian Press:

Link: Joel Thomas Hynes says CBC series ‘Little Dog’ is about comebacks
“Rocky” long ago proved that when it comes to boxing movies, audiences love an underdog.

The new made-in-Canada series “Little Dog” will test whether that also holds true for television. The black comedy steps into the ring Thursday on CBC. Continue reading.

From Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star:

Link: In Little Dog, Joel Thomas Hynes and Sherry White give us a boxer who’s more vulnerable than macho
It was physical pain that led Joel Thomas Hynes to create his first TV series, Little Dog, which is fitting since it’s about a boxer.

Tommy “Little Dog” Ross, played by Hynes, is a former contender in the superwelterweight division in Newfoundland; he walked out of a bout five years before and has been living with the shame and notoriety ever since. The dark half-hour comedy debuts Thursday, March 1 at 9 p.m. on CBC. Continue reading.

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Link: CBC’s Little Dog is a rockin’ raucous gem of a serious comedy
It’s an old idea but usually a promising one – a down-on-his-luck boxer sets out on the comeback trail.

That’s the gist of Little Dog (starts Thursday, 9 p.m. on CBC with two episodes) and it has a clean, raw vivacity, made even more enjoyable by a large injection of rough Newfoundland humour. This is very much a rollicking, bawdy Newfoundland drama-comedy made with characteristic vigour and equally characteristic absurdity. It is, in the context of a wave of bland mid-season TV, a breath of fresh air. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: How Little Dog’s female lens adds a new layer to what could be a typical macho story
“But with a female lens on it, and exploring that vulnerability and broken masculinity in the hands of women telling that story, I feel it’s quite interesting. Joel had full faith and trust and totally gave over to that. He didn’t want to tell a typical macho story, even though he has all that armour, he’s aware that it’s hiding a vulnerability and it’s part of why he wanted to tell this story.” Continue reading.

From Melissa Girimonte of The Televixen:

Link: Family is the true opponent in new comedy series Little Dog
“He basically dumped his boxing career down the drain. We’re picking up five years later and it all comes back. He gets into a bar fight that somebody records, it goes viral, and he ends up back in the news. His old rival makes a challenge and he ends up on the road to a rematch with this guy.” Continue reading.

From Doug Sarti of The Georgia Strait:

Link: Katharine Isabelle goes from scream queen to just screaming on Little Dog
Little Dog, the dark new comedy series from CBC, is about a lot things. There’s redemption, second chances, boxing, and most of all, family.

But there’s one part of the show which really taps into the simmering attitudes of the current zeitgeist: Luv Yourself Mean, an encounter group which decidedly focuses on the negative. Run by “holistic advisor” Ginny Ross (Katharine Isabelle), it’s the perfect pop-therapy cure for the Trump era. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Patricia Isaac on the many layers of her Little Dog doctor
“When I first learned about the details of the project, I, like most people do, fell for the story of one person’s quest for redemption. Second, I found the script hilarious and have always been a massive fan of smart comedy. But on top of that, I fell for the humanity.” Continue reading.

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Joel Thomas Hynes’ Little Dog delivers comedy KO to CBC’s primetime

I’ve been fascinated with Joel Thomas Hynes for years. I first saw him on Republic of Doyle as Taylor Gossard, a drug trafficker who Jake Doyle ran afoul of numerous times. Since then, I’ve spotted him in The Book of Negroes, Orphan Black and Mary Kills People. Hynes is the type of guy who immediately catches your eye and makes an impression.

Now, the actor, musician, director, producer—and Governor General Award-winning writer—delivers a knockout punch with Little Dog. Debuting Thursday at 9 p.m. on CBC, Little Dog boasts one hell of a hook—the tale of boxer Tommy “Little Dog” Ross (Hynes), who seeks redemption in the ring fives years after walking away from it—delivered alongside a cannonade of hilarious scenes peppered with memorable characters. The seven-episode run stars Dwain Murphy as Rico “Havoc” St. George, Ger Ryan as Tommy’s mother, Sylvia Ross; Stephen Oates as his eldest brother, Loyola “Lowly” Ross Jr; Katharine Isabelle as his sister Ginny Ross; newcomer Billy Cochrane as Ginny’s son Chesley; and Andy Jones as the wily, charming old patriarch of the family, Loyola “Lowly” Ross Sr.

I spoke to Hynes, showrunner Sherry White and executive producer Amy Cameron about the project.

Where did the idea for Little Dog come from?
Sherry White: Joel was developing this show idea and I really wanted to attach myself to it. I really love his voice and I think he’s really unique. [Producer] Perry [Zimel] set up some meetings for us to pitch it and we got it into development at the CBC. We decided to bring it to Cameron Pictures because I have a relationship with Tassie Cameron and we knew they would get the sensibility and the calibre of work we wanted it to be.

What was it about Joel’s pitch that got you so excited?
SW: The show is about this failed boxer who is trying to clean himself up and get a second chance at redemption. I liked that. It wasn’t until he showed me an unbelievable clip of a fight from 2000—I think it was Andrew Golota and Mike Tyson—where Andrew Golota walked out of the ring mid-fight. The trainers and everyone were just losing their shit on this guy and as he was leaving the audience was throwing stuff at him. It was such a visceral, emotional, dramatic kind of thing.

Joel Thomas Hynes: They called him ‘The Pole,’ as in telephone pole. A huge beast of a man.

SW: And you wonder, ‘How can this guy ever come back from this?’ What did he think when he got up the next morning? This is the starting point for this character. It’s five years later when you meet Tommy “Little Dog” Ross. He gets chance to get back into the ring and fight the guy he walked out on. He hasn’t been training and he has this very dysfunctional family who has a lot to say about whether or not he should do this and what it means to them. Because, of course, they lived in the disgrace as well. It’s really great to have a family comedy with this great boxing metaphor that you can draw on.

JTH: Boxing is beside the point after a while. It’s got a good built-in sports drama that leads to the big fight, but boxing is beside the point.

Joel, did you get the idea for Little Dog when you saw that Tyson-Golota fight? Was it immediate?
JTH: That Golota scene came up after, during research. The genesis of the show was already laid out. I used to do a little bit of krav maga and Thursday nights would be unofficial fight night. I was lined up for two weeks down the road to fight this guy who was a prick. He probably thought I was a prick. I hated him and we couldn’t wait to fight each other. I did this fight night—and I’m fighting another guy ahead of the guy two weeks down the road—and I’m not sure what happened. I got a kick or a knee in the chest and broke two ribs and my chest plate. I didn’t know it until the next morning. I went down to do burpees in the conditioning program and cracked my chest plate open. I was in the hospital, really wanting to fight this other guy in two weeks time, waiting for the doctor to come out with my x-rays. She tells me I have two cracked ribs and a split chest plate.

And I say, ‘OK, but can I fight in two weeks?’ She laughed at me and I was devastated and shamefaced knowing that this prick would think, ‘Oh yeah, broken rib.’ I got the idea for the show from that. There were a couple of other incidents that lead me to controlled fighting. I come from fighting. I come from a violent background and, for different reasons, in my early to mid-30s I had to move towards controlled fighting and martial arts for my own sanity. It’s steeped in the personal.

SW: And the tough-guy image … there was something you were interested in exploring. That image that you put forward and it not being true about who he is and what that means.

JTH: The show is also about having the courage to rise up to your full potential which, you know, takes a lot of courage.

Little Dog airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

 

 

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