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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Female-led web series Ghost BFF returns for Season 2

From a media release:

Creator, producer, and star Vanessa Matsui alongside producers Katie Nolan and Lindsay Tapscott of Babe Nation Films today announced Ghost BFF will return to Shaftesbury’s KindaTV for its second season on July 7. Ghost BFF, which stars Matsui (The Handmaid’s TaleShadowhuntersThe Smurfs 2) and Kaniehtiio Horn (Barskins, Letterkenny) in the lead roles, launched in 2018 and received two Canadian Screen Award nominations in 2019 for Best Web Series, Fiction and Best Lead Performance in a Digital Program or Series (Matsui). Award-winning actors Angela Asher (Bad Blood), Jean Yoon (Kim’s Convenience) and Dani Kind (Workin’ Moms), along with Steve Lund (Schitt’s CreekBitten), Yani Gellman (The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Pretty Little Liars), and Thomas Colford (Backstreet) join season one regulars Jane Moffat (Backstage), Dan Beirne (Workin’ MomsMurdoch Mysteries) and Rick Roberts (Fortunate SonThis Life), as part of this season’s stellar cast.

Filmed in Toronto, the fully female-led dark comedy Ghost BFF continues its exploration of mental health as it follows two best friends, Amy (Matsui) and Tara (Horn), one alive, one dead, across planes of existence, as they struggle to find themselves and right past wrongs following Tara’s suicide. Season Two delves deeper into Amy’s struggles as she addresses unemployment, singledom, unexpected challenges, and the grief of missing her friend. Tara returns once again as a ghost to find closure with her mother (Asher), to help Amy heal, and to gain a better understanding of her own narrative of what happened the day she died.

As part of the Ghost BFF experience, eight mental health PSAs have been created by the production team to accompany the eight series’ episodes and will be launched in parallel as a supportive element to discuss mindfulness, depression, anxiety, boundaries, and self-care.

Created and written by Vanessa Matsui, the series is produced by Katie Nolan and Lindsay Tapscott of Babe Nation Films, and is directed by Lindsay MacKay (Wet BumRunning with Violet). Matsui, who is a recent fellow of the Sundance Institute | YouTube New Voices Lab Program where Season Two was developed, also acts as Executive Producer and directs episode #6. Produced with the assistance of the Ontario creates, Bell Fund, Telus, Canada Media Fund. Shaftesbury holds worldwide distribution rights, excluding the U.S.

Season One is currently available on KindaTV.

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Links: Dead Still

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: Studios aren’t the only thing Dead Still on TV today
One of the most curious TV shows promoted at the most recent Television Critics Association press tour back in January was Dead Still. Continue reading.

From Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star:

Link: He shoots dead people: Acorn TV’s delightful ‘Dead Still’ blends the macabre art of post-mortem photography with period mystery
Google the words “post-mortem photography” and your screen will fill with sepia-toned family portraits in which something seems a little off. Look more closely and you may discern why: if it’s a true post-mortem photo, one of the subjects is dead. Continue reading.

From Kaila Hale-Stern of The Mary Sue:

Link: Dead Still is the darkly comic Victorian murder mystery series you didn’t know you needed
Dead Still is unique not just in its subject matter—which zooms in on practices of grieving that can feel profoundly alien to a modern audience—but in its co-mingling of dark humour, ghastly pastimes, and tongue-in-cheek period representation. Continue reading.

From Tracy Palmer of Signal Horizon Magazine:

Link: Acorn TV’s Dead Still is the morbidly hilarious series you can’t miss
The series succeeds because of these actors. So achingly determined, Logan exudes sincerity. O’Higgins gives just enough innocence to Nancy that even when she is insufferable, you still like her, and Smiley is a revelation. Continue reading.

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Comments and queries for the week of May 15

I was crying through the last season of Cardinal and blubbering so hard during the last episode (rather incongruous for a murder mystery, I know). I’m glad that it wasn’t a tidy ending in that Delorme does end up going and Cardinal just starts on another case. I understand the actors would willingly return if there is a chance for more stories. I hope it happens. —John

I loved this show from the first episode in Season 1. Billy and Karine are unforgettable as Cardinal and Lise. I love them both. The music, the scenery, the shots … it was a treat to watch and I looked forward to every episode. Farewell, parting is such sweet sorrow.  Hope to see Karine again soon, but don’t expect that Billy is going to leave Denmark/Norway anytime soon. At least we had him for four [brief] seasons. —Judy

Canadian TV at its absolute best and on a par with Motive. I’m sad it has come to an end but how many more deranged serial killers could there be in Algonquin Bay?! Still, I’ll miss the scenery and stellar cast. —Paresh

On one level it was a shame the TV show attempted to blend the novels together. Each book alone could have been one season! On another level, some of the scenes in the novels couldn’t be filmed, right? But this show did an amazing job of bringing the books to life. Damn, I don’t want it to end!! —Stephen

Will miss this hauntingly beautiful show; maybe, just maybe, they can muster up another season or movie. The scenery’s too beautiful to waste, along with the fabulous leads. One can hope. —D Mac

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

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Canada’s Drag Race premieres Thursday, July 2, only on Crave

From a media release:

As Canada prepares to honour one of the world’s most iconic queens on Victoria Day, Crave announces the cast of its majestic inaugural season of CANADA’S DRAG RACE. Season 1 of the Crave Original Series promises to have viewers clutching their royal pearls as 12 of the fiercest queens in the land showcase their Canadian Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent to compete to become Canada’s First Drag Superstar, and win the $100,000 grand prize.

Crave also announced today that in celebration of Canada Day, the herstorical first season premieres Thursday, July 2 only on Crave. New episodes roll out weekly, Thursday nights on Crave’s TV channel, Crave.ca, and the Crave app.

With Snatch Game, Rumail, the reading challenge, puppets, makeovers, and gag-worthy untucked sessions, CANADA’S DRAG RACE serves up fan-favourites from RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE, but with a dash of maple-flavoured Canadian realness. Each episode tests the queens’ talents, and challenges them to master singing, dancing, acting, impersonation, costume making, and improvisation. One competitor sashays away at the end of each episode, until the last queen standing is announced the inaugural winner. Throughout this journey, the queens share their personal struggles and successes, highlighting their individuality.

As previously announced, presiding over each of the 10 episodes is a panel of expert judges – Brooke Lynn Hytes, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and Stacey McKenzie – while ETALK Senior Correspondent Traci Melchor is Canada’s very first Squirrel Friend, making appearances throughout the season and adding her trademark fabulousness to the werkroom, challenges, and the main stage. Weekly celebrity guest hosts also join the panel, and will be announced in the coming weeks.

As previously announced, Crave and OUTtv formed an unprecedented partnership that extends the reach of international television phenomenon, RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE in Canada. This partnership includes the new Crave Original Series, CANADA’S DRAG RACE, the first-ever Canadian adaptation of the show, and all past seasons of RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE, currently available on Crave.

In association with Crave, CANADA’S DRAG RACE is produced by Blue Ant Studios. Executive producers for World of Wonder are Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, and Tom Campbell. RuPaul serves as Executive Producer. Executive producers for Blue Ant Studios are Michael Kot, Laura Michalchyshyn, Mike Bickerton, and Betty Orr.

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