Everything about Still Standing, eh?

Link: CBC’s Still Standing gets laughs in small-town Canada

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

CBC’s Still Standing gets laughs in small-town Canada
This is the sort of Canadian concept-show that could go horribly wrong. It’s a retro-CBC premise and on paper it reeks of CBC dutifully fulfilling its public broadcast mandate and showing Canada to Canadians.

But there is a delightful quality to Harris’s genuine curiosity about the people in obscure places, and there is great skill in his ability to lampoon the town without crossing any line into superciliousness. He’s a caution. Continue reading.


Comments and queries for the week of July 3

Murdoch Mysteries star celebrates small-town Canada

I watched the first episode. Really enjoyed it. The clips I have seen of the second episode make me think it is going to be just as good. Looking forward to it. —William

I really enjoyed the first episode of this show. I love that it showcased small town Canada in a humourous light. I’m excited to see Jonny Harris traverse across the country visiting these places and finding comedy in them. I wish it was titled differently though. It’s a very plain jane title and not descriptive at all about what the show is really about. Also, there was an American series with the same name. I’m afraid Still Standing will get overlooked on the channel guide and its a shame. With the right title and timeslot I think it could have done a lot better. —Alicia

Has the CRTC lost touch with Canadians?

I think part of the issue is some of the speakers at the Let’s Talk debate—such as we need to kick all American content out now—were connected to Canadian companies.

There were some that did not make it clear they were speaking on behalf of a company but you could tell they were by saying such things as Cancon should be far higher and the CRTC needs to do everything to protect Canadian channels, etc.

How can the CRTC get a sense of what Canadians want, be it surveys or groups etc., pushing hard to give Canadians less choice? —Jayme

Orphan Black: All Together Now

I was really sad to see Delphine shot. I thought Evelyne Brochu was fantastic in the role and a primary reason I continued to watch a show I felt was really losing its way. I also hate when writers shove another love interest at a character right away, so Shay is a no-go for me.

I’m also tired of Alison adding nothing to the plot and the whole conspiracy is getting too convoluted for its own good.

Taking Orphan Black off my watch list, sadly. —Ariana


Got a comment or question about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.


Link: Comic Stripped: New CBC comedy a celebration of all that is Canadian, and it’s hilarious

From Mark Breslin of Post City Toronto:

Comic Stripped: New CBC comedy a celebration of all that is Canadian, and it’s hilarious
I was impressed that Harris could come up with a new five minutes each week. Then I found out he performed a new 45 minutes each week, which was edited down to five for the TV cut. That’s like writing a new novel every week. Wow.

These towns are not well-to-do and have known their share of woe. In Coleman, Alta., the town still reels from a series of mining disasters that snuffed out a lot of lives and decimated families. But Harris made them laugh. Continue reading.


Tonight: Fool Canada, Still Standing, Escape or Die, Illusions of Grandeur

Fool Canada, CBC
British bachelor Roland Shaftesbury (Will Sasso) tries to find a Canadian girl to marry; the Dead People’s Clothes vintage store opens in Kensington Market; the Angry Ranger (Craig Lauzon) enforces park rules in BC; and Kyle the Theatre Guy (Will Sasso) sells discount theatre tickets at Toronto’s Harbourfront.

Still Standing, CBC – “Coleman”
Jonny digs up the dirt on the Rocky Mountain mining town of Coleman, Alberta.

Escape or Die!, OLN – “Underwater Coffin (Nassau, Bahamas)”
The last time Dean Gunnarson attempted Houdini’s famous underwater coffin escape, he died and was miraculously brought back to life. Thirty years later, he takes a second chance and attempts to escape a coffin chained underwater in the shark-infested waters of the Bahamas.

Illusions of Grandeur, OLN – “Los Angeles”
Zack arrives at the end of his journey with one final goal – audition for, and become a member of, the legendary Magic Castle. The Castle is an exclusive club frequented by the best magicians in the world – but to pledge magic’s ultimate fraternity, Zack will have to overcome his fear of performing in front of other magicians.


Comments and queries for the week of June 26

South of the border love for Murdoch Mysteries

I am a Bostonian and I currently live in the L.A. area and I find most of our syndicated television dramas/comedies to be “cookie-cutter” programs. When a new and fresh program idea comes along that garners my interest and gains popularity, it eventually gets so diluted (cast/writing changes) and repeated to death it quickly loses its appeal.

It is SO REFRESHING to have found this gem known as Murdoch Mysteries/The Artful Detective.  The core cast are all brilliant in their portrayals of their diverse characters. The continuity of storylines and the character development is a tribute to the writing teams. This TV series has been like opening a very good book and being drawn to the characters, chapter by chapter and always anticipating what will happen next. (Yes, I do realize the basis of this TV show is Ms. Jennings book series—which I am now hoping to read this summer.)

THANK YOU, CANADA and the men and women involved in its total production—quality programming at its best. I also have to thank my sister in Boston. When she told me of the premise (a Toronto detective from the turn the century who solves murders that involve the basic “whodunit” woven with historical characters), I took the bait. BEEN HOOKED ever since. I very much look forward to the next chapter in Season 9. —Corrinna

Murdoch Mysteries star celebrates small-town Canada with laughter

Nice! Love Murdoch Mysteries. It’s my buffer for the rough action that never ends on Game of Thrones. Jonny Harris has a dry sense of humour that I can relate to being a Mainer-Portland, Maine that is. Best wishes to him for success with this endeavor!—Lenora

Is Canada ready for another late-night talk show?

Strombo’s The Hour/Tonight was the closest (and best) we’ve ever come to a viable late-night model. Re-invented the format, top-notch host with smart interview style, top-notch guests (leaning heavily on BIG stars with some windows for Canadian up and comers) and a bold and flashy style. It was the perfect storm that I don’t think can be easily replicated. Someone will want to do it cheap, have low-rent guests, hire a host who thinks they’re better at it than they will be and the writing will be sub-par. And it has to find an audience. But maybe I’m wrong … a reboot of Thicke of the Night? I hear Alan’s schedule is wide open. —Jon

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.