Everything about Mr. D, eh?

Preview: CBC’s Cavendish brings the weird and wonderful

“That’s a weird show, man.” Mark Little says that during an ad for Cavendish on CBC. And though it’s not clear which show he’s talking about as he looks at a television set, the inference is he’s talking about Cavendish. And he’s not wrong.

Premiering Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. on CBC, Cavendish is weird and wonderful, second only to Crawford in its strangeness, creativity and difference from the rest of the network’s winter lineup.

Created, executive produced, showrun and starring Little and Andrew Bush (Carter‘s Garry Campbell is credited as a creator too), the pair play Mark and Andy, brothers who have spent the decades following their parent’s divorce living with their mother in Toronto. Now the pair has returned to Cavendish, PEI, to care for their ailing dad, Rollie (Kevin Eldon), and reacquaint themselves with the community they left behind. (Look for Kathryn Greenwood, Kevin Hanchard, Joe Cobden, Teresa Pavlinek and Carolyn Taylor in Season 1.)

Little is probably best-known for playing Simon Hunt on Mr. D, but he and Bush have extensive backgrounds in writing and performing sketch. These skills are the bread and butter of Cavendish, which begins in Tuesday’s debut with Andy and Mark driving to the red-soiled province. It’s obvious within seconds the personalities at play here; Mark is innocent and looks on the bright side of things while Andy is quiet, morose and to many townsfolk, forgettable. This Ying and Yang results in plenty of funny moments, from Mark wondering if they’ll be able to converse with their Dad or if he’ll be “a husk,” and arguing over Andy’s high forehead.

Oddities rule the day in Cavendish, from the stuffed baby deer, fetus in a jar and sarcophagus—all pieces in their father’s home—to the beast living in the forest that emerges once a year to consume someone and an Anne of Green Gables cult. Yes, Cavendish isn’t like other towns. And Cavendish isn’t like other series.

Cavendish airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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Link: Q&A with Gerry Dee on the finale season of Mr. D

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: Q&A with Gerry Dee on the finale season of Mr. D
“We ended season seven in a way that we handcuffed ourselves a bit. That could have been the last episode, right? When we decided to come back for one more, our conversation with CBC we had to get creative. How does Gerry get back? There’s the easy way where it’s a bad dream and it wasn’t true but we wanted to think of something that was a little more clever so we think that we have done that with this.” Continue reading.

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Preview: Mr. D clocks in for his final year

I remember the first few seasons of Mr. D well. Debuting in 2012 just as the U.S version of The Office was winding down, the CBC sitcom revelled in the uncomfortable and cringe-worthy. Every scene centring on mediocre teacher-coach Gerry Duncan (Gerry Dee) was an exercise in wincing. What would he say to embarrass himself? What would he do to make my stomach turn into nervous knots?

But over the last seven seasons, the award-winning show has evolved. Yes, Gerry is still putting his foot in his mouth, but the characters around him have grown to take on the comedy lifting and inject a ton of heart into the show as well. I credit that maturation to co-creators Dee and Mike Volpe, the show’s writers and cast for allowing the show to grow and breathe and become what it is today: a funny, heartfelt family comedy.

Now it’s coming to an end. Season 8 kicks off Wednesday at 9 p.m. on CBC with two back-to-back episodes. The first, “Big in Japan,” picks up right where the Season 7 finale left off: Gerry boarding a flight to Japan after an investigative report labelled him the “Nation’s Worst Teacher.” Hoping for a fresh start, Gerry decides (with Bill’s help) that being an ESL teacher in Japan would be best.

But hold on. Turns out firing Gerry would admit the exposé was all true. Instead, Robert (Jonathan Torrens) is instructed to hire Gerry back and claim the report was, you guessed it, fake news. While Robert is trying to do that, things at Xavier Academy are in a bit of a disarray. Lisa (Lauren Hammersley) is doing some investigating of her own and it appears new phys ed. teacher/librarian Emma Terdie (Kathleen Phillips) is making outrageous claims of her own. Mr. D has boasted a brilliant use of music as part of its storytelling; it’s used to great effect in Wednesday’s first episode as Gerry teaches two children English while Alphaville’s “Big in Japan” plays. And, by the end of the episode, a curveball is thrown that appears to affect the tone and direction this final season will take.

Tune in and enjoy Mr. D‘s final ride. I certainly will.

Mr. D airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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