Allan Hawco’s appearance on the first season of Moonshine was a surprise for fans of the rookie series, as well as the character of Lidia Bennett. Played by Jennifer Finnigan, Lidia’s attempt to keep the family campground, the Moonshine, out of debt and make a profit meant doing what she hoped was a one-time drug drop for Hawco’s outlaw biker, Gale.
Turns out there’s a lot more dirty dealing—and Gale—in Moonshine.
“[Creator] Sheri Elwood and I were talking about other things, and she asked me point-blank if I wanted to be in it,” Hawco says on the line from Nova Scotia, where filming of Season 3 is currently underway. “We discussed one role that we didn’t feel was the right thing and then she called me back with this other idea that eventually ended up being Gale.”
Returning for its sophomore go-round on CBC this Sunday at 9 p.m., Episode 1, “Three Sisters of Fate,” written and directed by Elwood, picks up just a few days after the Season 1 finale. In it, a mysterious package arrives at the Moonshine, which makes the Finley-Cullen clan question what their goals once were, and if they are still attainable. For Bea (Corrine Koslo) and Ben (Peter MacNeill), that means a career change; for Rhian (Anastasia Phillips), it shapes up to be a career boost; for Nora (Emma Hunter), a committed relationship; for Sammy (Alexander Nunez) a deep dig into his past; and Ryan (Tom Stevens), finding a purpose.
Moonshine‘s strengths, to me, are Elwood’s knack for creating characters that are immediately relatable, a world that is wistful and easily recalled, and a killer soundtrack. Hawco, who has experience with that through Republic of Doyle and Caught, agrees.
“It’s not something that you’re going to see anywhere else,” he says. “Being inside Sheri Elwood’s head is a terrifyingly hilarious place. I love the way she writes, I love her sense of humour and I love her approach to things that we may see situations or scenarios in other circumstances but she treats them with her own lens and it truly feels original.”
But back to Lidia and Gale.
Sunday’s return sees the pair reunite both in Lidia’s mind—there is a hilarious scene where she’s driving and caught up in a fantasy about the denim-clad miscreant—and discussing a new project Gale proposes. Their scenes crackle with energy and animal magnetism. There is no will-they-or-won’t they question for this pair; rather it’s when and how often?
“It’s the most fun, ridiculous experience I’ve ever had,” Hawco says of the fantasy scene he filmed with Finnigan. “Jennifer Finnigan is the most generous actor and a wonderful human being. She is so much fun to play with. We clicked right away. She’s a wonderful leader and she leads the cast with all the spirit you would hope for a No. 1.”
Following last week’s Season 1 finale of original east coast Canadian family dramedy series Moonshine (8×60), CBC is revealing casting and production details for Season 2. Created by Sheri Elwood (Lucifer, Call Me Fitz) and produced by Six Eleven Media and Entertainment One (eOne), the series follows the Finley-Cullens, a dysfunctional clan of adult half-siblings battling for control of their family business – a ramshackle summer campground called The Moonshine. Production on the eight-episode second season recently wrapped in Nova Scotia and is set to premiere on CBC in fall 2022, with the entire first season now available to stream on CBC Gem.
The new season will see renowned Canadian star, Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle, Caught, Frontier, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Another Life) join the cast as biker Gale Favreau, following his steamy meeting with Lidia (Jennifer Finnigan) in the Season 1 finale. Picking up where the first season ends, Season 2 will include epic dance routines, dirty bingo, snow crab-jacking and a high stakes turf war with a band of outlaw bikers. Fate will manifest very differently for the entire family, with characters fighting their destiny tooth and nail as Lidia goes to extremes to save the business from financial ruin.
Moonshine stars Jennifer Finnigan (Salvation), Anastasia Phillips (Reign), Emma Hunter (Mr. D), Tom Stevens (Wayward Pines), Alexander Nunez (Avocado Toast), Corrine Koslo (Anne with an E), Peter MacNeill (This Life), Erin Darke (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Farid Yazdani (Suits), Allegra Fulton (The Shape of Water), James Gilbert (Salvation), Celia Owen (A Small Fortune), and Calem MacDonald (Umbrella Academy).
Guest stars rounding out the cast in Season 2 include Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s), Shelley Thompson (Trailer Park Boys), Jonathan Torrens (Mr. D), Leigh Ann Rose (The Young and the Restless), Ernie Grunwald (Call Me Fitz), Joe Cobden (The Sinner), and Kirstin Howell (Diggstown).
A CBC original series, Moonshine is produced by Six Eleven Media and eOne. Created by Sheri Elwood, who is also showrunner, the show is executive produced alongside Six Eleven Media’s Charles Bishop. Jocelyn Hamilton serves as executive producer for eOne. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Sarah Adams is Executive in Charge of Production; and Gosia Kamela is Executive in Charge of Production, Drama. The series is produced with the assistance of the Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund. Additionally, funding comes from the Canada Media Fund, Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit. Moonshine is distributed internationally by eOne.
After a few weeks away, Hudson & Rex returned to Citytv last week on a new night. Now airing on Thursdays, Charlie, Rex, Sarah, Joe and Jesse are back at it, taking a bite out of crime (I know, I’m sorry) in and around St. John’s, Newfoundland.
This week’s new episode is “Fast Eddies,” and Rogers Media has this to say about the storyline:
After a reviled restaurateurâ€™s food truck explodes, killing one of his employees, Charlie and Rex find themselves with a few too many suspects. Plus, a flirtation has Charlie torn between a possible new love interest and Rex, who makes no secret of his feelings on the matter.
The return of Hudson & Rex also marks the return of our behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew. This week we caught up with locations manager Tony Butt.
How did you get into the industry in the first place?
Tony Butt: I had spent myÂ 20s in the oil industry and I quit because I didn’t like what I was doing and didn’t know what I was doing. I went on a motorcycle trip and was sitting in a theatre in New Orleans, watching a film festival and said, ‘That’s what I’ll do.’ So, I came back to St. John’s and started dabbling in the incredible co-operative called the Newfoundland Independent Film Co-operative. I walked in one day and they were training for films and the only job left was locations, so I took it. I’ve spent a bunch of years doing that.
I’ve worked in other departments and have been out of the industry for six or seven years and then I [joined Hudson & Rex].
Where does the location manager fit into the production schedule? You’re somewhere between the initial script and the filming.
TB: The script comes down and the art director vets it. We sit down together and bring in the director as soon as possible and we look at everyone’s vision. I then go out and scout locations, keeping in mind practicality, aesthetics and the needs of both the director and the production. And then I present as many options as I can get. And you try and cluster locations as much as you can. There were some challenges on Hudson & Rex because they wanted a cosmopolitan feel with a lot of modern buildings. We don’t have a lot of that, per se, so we had to work with those restrictions. And we shot in winter but they didn’t want to see snow. That didn’t have much to do with me, but it did have some. Everyone pulled together and I was really impressed.
Have you got locations in your back pocket for reference so you have an idea of a place as soon as you see it in a script?
TB: Absolutely. And, also, St. John’s is a small city that has developed in segments. You know the neighbourhoods. This one was developed in the 80s, this one was developed in the 60s, so you can really narrow down your search. And then, you try to build a day around one location without having to move the unit, ideally. And you have people to help you, like real estate agents and people who manage properties. So, yeah, you have properties that you go to first and then go further if you have to.
Hudson & Rex airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv.
I couldn’t get enough of Flashpoint when it was on the air. The characters, the writing and the production values were incredible; every week I knew the writers would throw a storyline my way that would draw me in. And it all started with that iconic opening theme music.
Whether it be instrumental or with words, a TV show’s theme is very often the audience’s first look at a program, and sets the tone for the rest of the broadcast. And, in the case of old shows, the opening strains trigger memories of what you were doing at the time in your life when the show was on.
Here’s a look at some of my favouriteÂ Canadian TV show themes; let me know if you agree, disagree or list your fave in the Comments below.
Why I like it: The mix of brief shots of Toronto’s skyline and that melody hooked me right away, followed by the one-two images of the main cast. But the biggest impact Flashpoint‘s opening theme still has on me is the percussion that ramps up in intensity until the final note, punctuated by the clicking off of the rifle’s safety. That signified to me that the drama was about to begin, and no one was safe from harm.
Why I like it:Traders spotlit the world of investment banking, and the theme reflected that with strings and a vocal section delivering what sounds like a hymn to money. Steady and stately, the rising crescendo plays underneath shots of the lead characters looking serious while lightning crackles, tanks roll and protesters rage.
Why I like it:Â In my house, no one is allowed to fast-forward through the Murdoch Mysteries theme. Robert Carli’s bass-heavy score trundles along with wispy, tinkly, almost supernatural notes above it. That in itself is cool enough, but by adding in those shots of the magnifying glass going over the Toronto Gazette, a hand and its fingermarks and the morgue instruments makes MM an instant classic. (Carli is responsible for a ton of Canadian TV themes, including Remedy, Cracked, Still Life: A White Pines Mystery, Bomb Girls, Good Dog and Wild Roses.)
The Littlest Hobo
Why I like it:Â Hobo was in my wheelhouse as a lad, a weekend staple on my grandparents’ television set when I was over for a visit. Looking back on it now, Hobo is almost crying-worthy in its cheesiness and the theme reflects that. With those memorable first lines,Â “There’s a voice, keeps on callin’ me, down the road, that’s where I’ll always be. Every stop I make, I make a new friend…” theÂ tune lets viewers know not only that we’re in for an adventure, but that the dog is always on the move and will be getting into scrapes along the way. (And the dog can apparently sing too; the song is written as if the pooch is performing it.) “Maybe Tomorrow,” composed and performed by Terry Bush, can be purchased in the iTunes store. Yes, I checked.
Why I like it:Â No list of Canadian TV themes is complete without The Beachcombers and it was my first real introduction into television outside Sesame Street, Polka Dot Door and Mr. Dressup. And while I don’t really recall any storylines other than every week seemed to pit Nick against Relic, I remember the theme fondly. B.C.’s rugged coast is paired with fast-flying motorboats juxtaposed over a jaunty orchestral production that beckoned me west for adventure … and pie at Molly’s Reach.
The King of Kensington
Why I like it:Â Admittedly, I wasn’t a huge fan of King of Kensington when it was on, but that opening theme always drew me in. AÂ little love letter to Kensington Market, those bustling streets always fascinated me. I always equated Larry King with being like Archie Bunker, the king of his own little neighbourhood, so to see him walking around those streets, slapping backs and shaking hands like a politician held me in thrall. The theme song is pretty straight-forward, introducing Larry, his long-suffering wife Cathy and mother Gladys, who says her son is the “only King around without a buuuuuck.” Good stuff.
Why I like it:Â There might not have been a lot going on in Corner Gas, but the theme sure did. “Not a Lot Goin’ On,” written by Craig Northey and Jesse Valenzuela, not only works as a theme song but a legitimately good tune on its own. Sly nods to the flatness of Saskatchewan are interspersed with shots of the cast of characters toÂ let you know wackiness will ensue. This and the theme from Friends are my favourite “themes that are real songs.”
The Kids in the Hall
Why I like it:Â I didn’t watch The Kids on the Hall on the regular, but I sure loved the theme, “Having an Average Weekend.” Written and performed by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, it’s twangy and fun and comes off more as a music video than introduction to the show. It certainly didn’t give any hint as to the off-the-wall sketches to come.
Hilarious House of Frightenstein
Why I like it:Â Vincent Price at his creepiest + endless crackles of lightning + a Moog synthesizer = classic TV.
Why I like it:Â Thanks to the fact every Canadian (or Ontario) kid is given a recorder in Grade 4, we all learned to play the theme for Friendly Giant. And why not? It was easy and non-threatening, just like the show. As an aside, I always wanted to sit in the rocking chair and look up. Look waaaaay up.
Why I like it:Â I’ve become a big fan of Heartland since I’ve been reviewing it full-time here on the site, and every Sunday this tune worms its way into my brain where it replays at least midway into Monday. Written by Jenn Grant, just the chorus of “Dreamer” is used by CBC’s long-running family drama but it’s enough to let you know the show is about living your dreamâ€”and lifeâ€”to the fullest.
Republic of Doyle
Why I like it:Â Smash cuts of St. Johns’s, cast shots jumping across the screen, the beloved GTO pealing around a corner, the chorus of Great Big Sea’s rocking’ tuneÂ lets you know in scant seconds that you are in for one hell of a fun ride. Oh yeah!
What did I miss? What are your favourite Canadian TV show themes? Let me know below.