From Kelly Townsend of Playback:
Blood and Water is one of the best—and groundbreaking—series on Canadian television. And, sadly, it’s been one of the hardest to find.
The second block of Season 1’s half-hour episodes were broadcast on Omni Television back in November of 2016 at 10:30 p.m. ET. Now Season 2 is set to bow … on Sundays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Omni. It’s hard enough to gain traction as a television show in this country. But to throw in an almost two-year absence coupled with a 7:30 p.m. timeslot? It’s a shame, really, because Breakthrough Entertainment, creator and executive producer Diane Boehme and the cast and crew have created something really special and unique in this drama.
Blood and Water is the first trilingual series (English, Mandarin and Cantonese) produced by Canadian television and was celebrating diversity in its cast and storylines before Kim’s Convenience made such a splash. (Fun fact: Kim’s actor Simu Liu starred in Season 1. Listen to his 2015 podcast chat, along with then co-star Loretta Yu, with Anthony Marco.)
But enough of my bitching. Let’s get into Season 2.
Friday’s new adventure begins with a bloody, cold-blooded murder and a phone call from Teresa Fai (Loretta Yu) to Detective Jo Bradley (Steph Song). Teresa’s boyfriend, Jimmy (Andy Yu) witnessed the killing of his uncle and is now on the run. Can she look for Jimmy before he’s killed too? Jo and Detective Evan Ong (Byron Mann) help Teresa and, quickly, they’re pulled back into a case that involves a mysterious envelope and, once again, Ron Xie (Oscar Hu).
I continue to be amazed at how much evolving story and character development Boehme and her team can pack into just over 22 minutes of broadcast time. Once again, Song and Mann crackle on-screen; you can’t look away when they share scenes. New this season are cast members in Yu, Amanda Zhou and Selena Lee. Lee is a Hong Kong-born Canadian actress who has collected a bunch of awards and is a stalwart of TVB in Hong Kong. She’s wonderful here as Michelle Chang, a deadly and complicated character who factors into Jo and Evan’s investigation.
Add in a soundtrack that hints at dread around every turn and a dark, spooky visual palette—via director of photography Fraser Brown and director Felipe Rodriguez—and Blood and Water is a feast for the senses. Please watch the second season. You’ll be glad you did.
Blood and Water airs Sundays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Omni Television.
Images courtesy of Rogers Media.
From a media release:
Detective Josephine ‘Jo’ Bradley (Steph Song, Outsiders, War) is back on the case as Blood and Water, the Canadian Screen Award-nominee, returns for a compelling second season, beginning Sunday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on OMNI Television (check local listings). Starring Canadian Steph Song, the eight-part, 30-minute episode season sees another murder that spins Jo into a web of lies as she juggles family drama after returning home from China.
Season 2 rings in with a frantic phone call to Detective Jo Bradley from her friend, Teresa Fai (Loretta Yu, Save Me, Between), whose boyfriend Jimmy Lin (Andy Yu, Fargo, Bad Blood) is on the run after witnessing a brutal murder. But finding Jimmy will once again bring Jo and her partner Detective Evan Ong (Byron Mann, Skyscraper, Altered Carbon, The Big Short) into the orbit of Teresa’s father-in-law, ruthless billionaire Ron Xie (Oscar Hsu, The Recruit, Blindness) and the undertow of his dark secrets. The stakes escalate when Jo’s investigation forces Evan to make a fateful and, potentially, tragic decision.
The second season of Blood and Water features additional new cast members including Amanda Zhou (Fang Wang, Warrior) and award-winning Selena Lee (Michelle Chang, Spouse for House), winner of ‘Best Actress’ at the Los Angeles Film Awards, Los Angeles Movie Awards, and at the European Cinematography Awards. Selena Lee Sze-wa is a Hong Kong-born Canadian actress and former Miss Hong Kong 2003 contestant. Prior to entering the Miss Hong Kong pageant, Selena attended the University of Toronto, studying for a Bachelor of Business Commerce degree. She is now a popular actress with TVB (Television Broadcasts Limited) in Hong Kong. Additional returning performers include: Elfina Luk (Anna Xie, Skyscraper), Fiona Fu (Weiran Xie, Power Rangers), B.C. Lee (Victor Li, Almost Human, Fringe), Maria Ricossa (Professor Colleen Bradley), and Aidan Devine (Lt. Dan Barron).
Audiences can catch-up on previous episodes on the OMNI Television website and on Rogers on Demand.
Breakthrough Entertainment produces Blood and Water in association with OMNI Television, a division of Rogers Media. Creator and Executive Producer is Diane Boehme, followed by Executive Producers Ira Levy, Michael McGuigan, Nat Abraham, Peter Williamson, Al Kratina, and Steph Song.
From a media release:
Following the successful launch of multilingual newscasts across the country, OMNI Regional is furthering its commitment to delivering premium multicultural Canadian content to communities across Canada by greenlighting brand-new seasons of original series Blood & Water, Mangoes, and Second Jen. Currently in various stages of development, the series are slated to air in 2018, with additional broadcast details to be announced at a later date.
With production scheduled to begin in November on eight new half-hour episodes, critically acclaimed and Canadian Screen Award-nominated OMNI original drama Blood & Water returns with a compelling new season. Jo Bradley (Steph Song) returns home from her dramatic departure to China at the end of Season 1 and, unable to face the reality of meeting her biological family, is back at work, living again with her former partner, and now estranged from her adopted mother, Colleen (Maria Ricossa). But it isn’t long before another murder brings Jo back into a web of lies and crime involving the Xie family dynasty.
Following an overwhelming response from South Asian audiences, the multilingual – featuring Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, and English – digital dramedy Mangoes joins the OMNI Regional programming lineup with six new half-hour episodes. From creators, stars, and brothers Adeel Suhrwardy and Khurram Suhrwardy, Mangoes is an invigorating tale of Canadian South Asian youth, capturing the optimism and potential of the younger generation living as ‘global citizens’ and intrepid individuals. New to Canada, Sami (Adeel Suhrwardy), Asha (Maha Warsi), and Rakey (Khurram Suhrwardy) are on a journey to explore, integrate, and contribute towards the building of their new home. Writing on the series is currently underway with production scheduled to begin in January.
And back with six all-new half-hour episodes is original comedy Second Jen, slated to air on both OMNI Regional and City in 2018. A diverse, female-driven comedy from creators and stars Amanda Joy and Samantha Wan, the series follows two second-generation Chinese and Filipino-Canadian millennials as they tackle even more “firsts” while branching out on their own in Toronto. Writing is currently underway with production scheduled to begin in January.
CTV’s Motive, Omni’s Blood and Water and CBC’s This Life are among the top vote-getters for the upcoming Leo Awards. The program salutes television and film projects filming in British Columbia.
Motive is up for several awards, including Best Program, Direction, Screenwriting for Dennis Heaton, Sarah Dodd and Julie Puckrin, and Lead Performance Female for star Kristin Lehman. Blood and Water is nominated for Supporting Performance Male for BC Lee and Supporting Performance Female for Elfina Luk. This Life gets the nod in Screenwriting for Rachel Langer and Supporting Performance Female for Lauren Lee Smith.
In the Music, Comedy or Variety Program or Series, Letterkenny receives three nominations for Program and Performance, Kim’s Convenience for Screenwriting and Performance, Crash Gallery for Program and The Beaverton for Performance.
The winners will be announced during a three-day event and gala in Vancouver on May 27 and June 3 and 4.
The full list of nominees is available here.