Tag Archives: Barenaked Ladies

Jennifer Holness and Sudz Sutherland return to TV with Shoot the Messenger

Jennifer Holness and Sudz Sutherland have been creating gritty, thought-provoking projects for television for years. There was 2009’s Guns, a two-part miniseries for CBC about Toronto detectives following a 23-year-old gun trafficker. Before that was 2006’s Doomstown, a TV-movie documenting the violence in a housing project. Now the writers and executive producers (and real-life couple) are back with Shoot the Messenger.

Debuting Monday, Oct. 10, at 9 p.m. on CBC, the eight-part series stars Elyse Levesque as Daisy Channing, an entertainment reporter at Toronto’s fictional newspaper The Gazette, who’s finally got her big scoop since transferring to the news department: the death of a young Somali man. Eager to impress her editor Mary Foster (Alex Kingston), Daisy makes a rookie mistake, throwing her into a foreign world she’s unprepared for, and turning to co-worker Simon Olenski (Lucas Bryant) for guidance.

“She wants to be in investigative journalism and prove herself,” Levesque says alongside Bryant during a break in filming. “She is massively ambitious to a fault, and receives a phone call about a huge tip that will blow the lid off this town.” Levesque and Bryant just finished filming a scene outside, where Daisy and Simon met to discuss the latest regarding the story. Standing on the top of a high-rise (in real life the TIFF Bell Lightbox complex) with Toronto below them, the danger of what Daisy uncovered hit home. Why was this young man killed? Who is involved in the conspiracies? The only thing she knows for sure is she’s in way over her head.

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Lyriq Bent and Elyse Levesque

Complicating things for Elyse even more? She’s romantically involved with the detective on the case, Kevin Lutz (Lyriq Bent). That causes problems during the investigation and could jeopardize his career.

“Kevin wants to be an ordinary dude,” Bent says. “He wants to have a normal life away from work. He’s caring, considerate and thoughtful. And I think his relationship with Daisy is refreshing for Canadian TV and definitely for CBC.”

Shoot the Messenger‘s supporting cast is a whos who of the Canadian television world, including Nicholas Campbell, Ron Lea, Kim’s Convenience leads Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon, as well as appearances by The Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson, the Toronto Raptor’s Jamaal Magloire and ex-NBAer turned television star Rick Fox.

“He is my dickhead cousin,” Bryant says of Robertson’s role. “He’s a sports agent and he’s really good. I was a huge Barenaked Ladies fan and was looking forward to meeting him and he was humble, funny and fantastic. He told me that all he ever wanted to do when he was growing up was be a rock star and star in one of Sudz’ movies.”

Shoot the Messenger airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Preview: Four Senses continues tasty TV recipe for AMI-tv

There have been changes both in front of and behind the scenes at Four Senses, but the show’s main recipe has stayed the same.

Season 2, returning tonight on AMI-tv, continues with blind MasterChef winner Christine Ha and sighted Top Chef Canada champ Carl Heinrich at the helm. The program once again features embedded description, with Ha, Heinrich and their guests—tonight Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson—describing their actions for viewers who are blind or partially sighted. (Future guests include Frank Ferragine from BT Toronto, chef Bonnie SternCanadian Living food director Annabelle Waugh and Looneyspoons’ sisters Janet and Greta Podleski.) And everyone continues to create wonderfully tasty dishes.

As for the changes, the biggest is the setting for Four Senses. Instead of filming in a slapdash arrangement in downtown Toronto, Varner Productions decamped to Pie in the Sky Studios in East York. The spot enabled them to create a more effective studio kitchen tricked out by bright colours and a more cozy environment. The on-screen relationship between Ha and Heinrich has grown in this sophomore season as well. Any first-year jitters they had are gone and the culinary duo have developed a witty, entertaining repartee that oozes fun.

Another new ingredient to the show finds Ha and Heinrich hitting the road for on-location shoots. Friday’s return plants Heinrich in Enniskillen, Ont., where he visits Eric Baldwin, owner of Gallery on the Farm, a family run cattle farm. That provides an important farm to table link to Heinrich’s main dish during tonight’s “Roasted and Toasted” episode: a braised hunk of beef. Heinrich, Ha and Robertson all take turns serving as sous chefs while creating the beef, Ha’s side dish of roasted potatoes and Robertson’s awesome-looking chocolate chip studded banana bread.

Four Senses may offer description for those blind and partially sighted, but it’s a also a first-rate cooking show for anyone interested in making healthy, tasty meals. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some banana bread to make.

Four Senses airs Fridays at 4 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m. ET/PT on AMI-tv.

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