Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Dr. Keri: Prairie Vet returns December 13 to Animal Planet

From a media release:

Dr. Keri: Prairie Vet, the hit documentary series featuring the tough, but lovable hardworking vet on wheels Keri Hudson Reykdal, will return to Animal Planet for its third season on December 13th, 2019. The season 3 premiere, ‘The Doctor is in… And Out’, follows Dr. Keri as she figures out how to maintain a work/life balance. After weeks of working 24/7 and a full day on the road in her mobile vet clinic, Keri is finally looking forward to heading home when she gets an urgent call – her beloved dog Siri is seriously ill. It’s another all-nighter for Keri as she investigates the potential causes. Juggling her mobile vet clinic practice, the clinic in town and the frequent emergencies on the farm has left Keri completely exhausted. It’s time for a little work/life balance and a weekend’s camping with Calvin and her horse on the island is the perfect answer.

EP1 The Doctor is in … and Out – Dec 13
Dr. Keri needs a break and a weekend’s camping trip is just what the doctor ordered.

After weeks of working 24/7 and a full day on the road in the mobile vet clinic, Keri is finally looking forward to heading home when she gets an urgent call – her beloved dog Siri is seriously ill. It’s another all-nighter for Keri and Calvin as they investigate the potential causes. Juggling her mobile vet clinic practice, the clinic in town and the frequent emergencies on the farm has left Keri completely exhausted. It’s time for a little work/life balance and a weekend’s camping with Calvin and her horse on the island is the perfect answer.

Dr Keri: Prairie Vet is produced by Merit Motion Pictures in association with Animal Planet Canada, and with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Manitoba Films & Video Production Tax Credit, the Canadian Film & Video Production Tax Credit and Rogers Telefund. For Merit Motion Pictures, Merit Jensen Carr is Executive Producer and Shereen Jerrett is Series Director and Showrunner.

Merit Motion Pictures is one of Canada’s leading producers of factual entertainment programming. Founded by executive producer and industry veteran Merit Jensen Carr, Merit Motion Pictures is known for producing multi-platform programs that amaze, inform and delight. Recent highlights include the feature documentaries Call of the Forest and Almost Almost Famous, as well as the television specials Turtle Beach and What Trees Talk About, produced for CBC’s The Nature of Things.

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Why is gambling such a common theme for TV?

Gambling is one of the most popular pastimes in Canada, and it has been found that nearly 70 percent of the population has participated in some form of gambling in the past. Gambling games are characterized by being generally exciting yet simple to understand. With such a high number of Canadians being familiar with gambling, it has often been used as a theme within TV shows. Certain series have had gambling-specific episodes, while game shows have taken the concept of gambling and made it into a reality competition.

Thrilling and Relatable
One of the major reasons that gambling is often depicted on screen is down to the fact that it is strongly associated with excitement. A common trick to upping the thrill levels in a TV series is to include some elements of chance and gambling, in which the fate of the characters could go either way.

One recurring theme from works of fiction is to give the protagonist a tough ultimatum to deliberate. This dilemma, the result of which could go either way, is often used as a way to form a cliffhanger at the end of the episode. It isn’t always explicitly linked to chance or gambling, but the character’s choice can have dramatic consequences down the line. Jesse Pinkman opting to kill Gale at the end of Breaking Bad Season 3 is an example of this. The character had to wrestle the emotions of murdering an innocent man in order to save his own skin.

There have been some Memorable Gambling Scenes in TV Series
When TV writers want to up the ante in a more obvious way, they often send their characters to the casino. Here, they tend to play well-known games that viewers can relate to. With the rise of online gambling, more people are familiar with the rules of table games like roulette and blackjack, along with slot machines. When it comes to thinking of the most memorable gambling scenes that have been in a fictional TV series, there are quite a few strong moments to choose from.

Fans of Friends will fondly remember “The One in Vegas,” which was the double-length finale to Season 5. There were a lot of gambling scenes throughout the episode, but the most iconic was when Monica was on a run of good fortune at the craps table. Chandler joins her at the table and shouts out various promises to the crowd if she wins, such as that they will buy everyone a round of drinks. He eventually says they’ll get married if she rolls a hard eight, and she does.

Another hilarious gambling scene featured in the British sitcom, Peep Show. The protagonists decide to host a poker night because Mark believes that it is a manly pastime, and he wants to impress Sophie’s new boyfriend, Jeff. Mark doesn’t want to take any risks so folds at every opportunity, while Jez doesn’t know how to play the game but manages to bluff his way through.

Along with fictional series, many viewers will look back with delight on occasions in reality TV shows when people have gambled. There have been a few times in Deal or No Deal when players have been left with a choice between gambling the Banker’s deal to see if they can win the jackpot. Who Wants to be a Millionaire is also renowned for putting players in some tough spots as they aim to take down the ultimate prize.

Gambling is a Great Format for Game Shows
The developers of some of the most popular game shows ever invented have taken elements from gambling in order to create an exciting experience for viewers. Deal or No Deal, mentioned above, is one of the prime examples of a format in which players are constantly required to gamble. The original show was a Dutch offering called Miljoenenjacht, which means Hunt for Money. The 26 box format with regular monetary offers from a banker went on to be used in over forty different countries, including Canada in 2007.

The thrilling aspect of Deal or No Deal is the fact that players are constantly put into a position in which they could potentially lose or gain a lot money. In Canada, Cash Cab is one of the longest-running and most popular game shows. The Discovery Channel show presented by Adam Growe has been on air since 2008 and gives players the chance to gamble frequently with double or nothing questions. It seems that the easy to understand concept of gambling is one that translates perfectly to game show audiences.

Gambling is a common theme for TV series and game shows because it’s something that most viewers can relate to. While not everyone likes to gamble, they may enjoy the thrill of living these tough decisions vicariously through characters or contestants.

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The Brigade: Race to the Hudson paddles into the past on Cottage Life

I’ve made no bones about my love of Canadian history on this website. From slightly fictionalized stories in Frontier to documentary series like Future History, 1491: The Untold History of the Americas and even The Other Side, I love it all. But would a program retracing the route of The York Factory Express, the 19th-century fur trade route, pique my interest?

Heck yeah.

Airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life, the eight-part The Brigade: Race to the Hudson, follows 750 miles of the 2,600-mile fur trade route linking waterways from the coast of Oregon, through two states, four Canadian provinces, two mountain ranges and five river systems before ending on the icy shores of Hudson Bay in Manitoba. As an added bonus, the series cast 10 participants and placed $500,000 to split at the finish line. The catch? Working together as a team, just like the traders of the past, is key. And, with 750 miles of the route to cover in 28 days—from Castlegar, B.C., to York Factory—the task proved to be tough.

In last week’s debut, we were introduced to the participants, told no modern-day things like GPS or cell phones were allowed, and headed out. Food and other key supplies were planted along the way and the only way out was to quit or be medically evacuated. And, with military veterans, noodlers and folks used to the outdoors, spirits were high. But, as the miles passed by, bugs descended and dehydration became a concern, reality set in. This was going to be immensely difficult.

In Tuesday’s newest instalment, concerns surrounding Vincent are swirling. Will he be the first to go? Meanwhile, reaching the first cache successfully bolsters everyone’s spirits and gives them some much-need energy via vittles. But some bright yellow helmets hint at the white water coming up and navigational mistakes threaten to derail the team.

And while there is a cache of cash at the end of this journey, this isn’t Survivor or The Bachelor. People aren’t voted off. You have to work together to survive, success and cash in.

The Brigade: Race to the Hudson airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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CTV and Netflix partner for inspiring wedding series I Do, Redo starring Jessica Mulroney

From a media release:

Internationally acclaimed wedding expert and celebrity stylist Jessica Mulroney will helm the all-new original wedding series I DO, REDO for CTV and Netflix, it was announced today. In her first television series, CTV’s newest lifestyle star Mulroney revisits first-time wedding disasters before re-making the wedding dreams of 10 devoted couples.

The 10-episode, 30-minute series from Insight Productions (a Boat Rocker company) is currently in production in Canada and the U.S. The latest collaboration between Bell Media and Netflix, I DO, REDO is set to premiere in 2020 on CTV, CTV Life Channel, and Crave in Canada, and on Netflix internationally. 

Mulroney has built an illustrious career in fashion, weddings, and consulting and currently serves as a fashion contributor on GOOD MORNING AMERICA. I DO, REDO is Mulroney’s inaugural collaboration with CTV and Netflix.

I DO, REDO is produced by Insight Productions in association with CTV and distributed globally by Boat Rocker Studios. John Brunton is Executive Producer and Erin Brock serves as both Executive Producer and Showrunner.

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TV Eh B Cs Podcast 90 — Baking something sweet with Jean Parker and Rachel Smith

Jean and Rachel started from humble beginnings; their single mother baked butter tarts out of their mobile home in Bayside as a way to earn money for the family.

It wasn’t until Jean and Rachel became mothers themselves that the pair cofounded Maple Key Tart Co., a boutique butter tart company operating in Toronto and Prince Edward County. They began with their mom’s recipe and infused it with their own flavour and style to come up with Maple Key Tart Co.’s signature butter tart.

In just two short years they have grown their business into a sweet success!

You can find Maple Key Tart Co.’s butter tarts in over 20 select locations across Southern Ontario. They are permanent vendors at the bustling Wellington Farmers Market in PEC, The Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market in Toronto, and the highly curated Upmarket in Yorkville Village. This holiday the girls are excited to be partnering with Holt Renfrew.

When not baking butter tarts, you can catch this sister duo as the hosts of Food Network Canada’s The Baker Sisters, now airing on Global TV. This delectable travel series follows Jean and Rachel as they visit bakeries across North America and discover how their delicious desserts are made.

The pair have also appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show as baking experts and are launching their own YouTube channel in the new year. They are seasoned judges at the Midland Butter Tart Festival as well as other sweet show-downs across the province.

Visit Maple Key Tart Co. and Food Network Canada for more information on their company and show!

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