As announced yesterday at BANFF Connect TO, Bravoâ€™s cheeky mystery-crime drama CARTER, starring Jerry Oâ€™Connell, premieres Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET. CARTER joins Bravoâ€™s exciting roster of diverse, exclusive dramas which includes LIFE SENTENCE, COLONY, SHOOTER and THE HANDMAIDâ€™S TALE. The entire season streams on CraveTV, after its exclusive run on Bravo.
Harley Carter (Oâ€™Connell) was living the dream. After moving to Hollywood from small-town Canada, he became a huge star as a detective on Americaâ€™s #1 TV show. But years in the limelight and an endless blur of parties, premieres, and 16-hour workdays were starting to take a toll. It all bubbles over with a public showdown on a red carpet, prompting Harley to return to his hometown to reconnect with his roots. But as he tries to settle back into his old life, he finds himself in an odd new reality of playing a real-life detective with his childhood friends, no-nonsense police veteran Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier Heartsong) and street-wise, coffee truck owner Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun). Together, theyâ€™re solving crimes, with mixed results.
When Harley returns to his hometown, itâ€™s difficult for people to see past his TV character and take him seriously, including his two best friends Sam and Dave, who think he might be having a midlife crisis. The mayor sees him as a potential tourist attraction for the town, while the police chief wants him nowhere near a crime scene. But Harley has turned a corner in his life and wants to prove that heâ€™s more than a pretty face. Itâ€™s time for him to show the world that he doesnâ€™t just play a detective on TV, but can solve real crimes, including the mystery of his motherâ€™s disappearance 25 years ago.
In the premiere episode, â€œKoji the Killerâ€ (Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET), Carter returns to his hometown of Bishop, Ontario after a public scandal in Los Angeles. His housekeeper-turned guardian of 30 years has been accused of murder, and Harley demands to be included in the investigation. Along the way, he discovers that he has a knack for real detective work and may not return to L.A. so quickly after all.
CARTER also features Brenda Kamino and Koji Yasuda as Harleyâ€™s housekeepers/loving guardians; Varun Saranga as Vijay Gill, Harleyâ€™s enthusiastic but indecisive junior agent; John Bourgeois as Chief Angus Pershing; Joanne Boland as Nicole Walker, the townâ€™s brilliant yet shifty pathologist; Matt Baram as Wes Holm, a highly competent and uptight forensic technician; and Sherry Miller as Mayor Grace Hamilton.
CARTER is written by Garry Campbell (MADTV), developed with writer John Tinker (CHICAGO HOPE), and produced by Amaze Film + Television. Scott Smith (THE MAGICIANS, CALL ME FITZ) directs. Executive producers are Amaze Film + Televisionâ€™s Teza Lawrence and Michael Souther (THE STANLEY DYNAMIC and CALL ME FITZ), and producer is Victoria Hirst (THE STANLEY DYNAMIC).
CARTER is an original series for Bravo and the latest partnership between Bell Media and Amaze Film + Television, who produced the series for Sony Pictures Television Networksâ€™ international channels, including AXN.
The advantage of being a television critic are many. Invites to cool events, the chance to interview folks about their latest projects and seeing episode images and screeners in advance. The disadvantage? In the case of Monday’s new episode of 19-2, seeing images minutes before watching the screener.
The result? I thought I had a pretty good idea of how J.M.’s storyline was going to end up. One image offered for me to use in my review showed Sgt. Suarez lying on the floor next to J.M. His eyes were open, so I wasn’t sure if he was conscious or not. I hoped he was because, as bad as that was, J.M. could still come back from it. Â That image, and the one of J.M. looking down, shattered, was in sharp contrast to the others, with members of 19 at a cottage, shucking corn, barbecuing and consuming cold beer.
But I was totally wrong about J.M.
Monday’s “Labour Day,” written by Lynne Kamm, began with Ben hauntedâ€”literallyâ€”by the ghosts of the men dying amid the mob war in Montreal. After getting up to close his opened front door, Ben returned to see the body of the drug dealer in his seat, plastic bag fastened over his head. Ben didn’t even flinch … he just walked over to the chair and sat down again.
J.M. wasn’t flinching either, at least not on the outside. He walked the gamut of hospital staffers on the way to leaving, thanking them for the sponge bathsâ€”and in some cases smirking “You’re welcome!”â€”before walking out on to the street into the rain. Alone.
After mentioning Montreal’s traffic in last week’s review, it played into a dramatic setting when Audrey and Roxanne came free of bottlenecked construction-affected traffic to find an unmarked car had pulled over a vehicle. Problem was, unmarked cars aren’t used for officers. Audrey and Roxanne knew something was wrong. It was a guy impersonating a cop and brandishing a pellet gun. According to Rozanne, more than one had been collared in the last couple of years … and had been released after being given fines. If you can’t trust the police, who can you trust? It’s a recurring theme this season on 19-2.
The squad converged at Suarez’s rental cottage (all but J.M., that was), ready to let off some steam and relax for two days. It was so good to see the team out of uniform, laughing, Tyler taking over the kitchen and ordering everyone around, the sun dappling on the lake and the tension of their jobs left behind in the strangling city. We also learned, over some serious corn-shucking, that Bear and Roxanne’s date was a success until Bear chickened out at the end of it. Her plan? To unleash the dragon (tattoo) during the weekend. Ben’s trip to the store to get some fresh buns landed him a straddling from Audrey on the way, breaking the tension within them for at least a few hours.
Kamm’s script included a stunning scene couple of scenes involving Dulac. The first between Ben and DulacÂ had the former defending Tyler and his loyalty when the latter disparaged him as “a fuckup waiting to happen.” (I audibly cheered when Tyler opted to pour, rather than consume, the booze he was doling out.) Then, minutes later, Dulac and Suarez recalled their childhoods, with Suarez explaining how his father had hoped he’d become an engineer, but marks meant a police career. Dulac confided his father’s expectation was his son would be a cop.
“Then you haven’t disappointed him,” Suarez said.
“Not yet,” was Dulac’s reply. Those two words had so much meaning. Did Dulac’s reply mean he would inevitably disappoint his father? Was he hinting being a cop wasn’t what he’d wanted to do with his life?
A rawâ€”and overdueâ€”discussion about J.M. followed, with Audrey tearing into the team for not visiting once during his three-week stay.
“He tried to kill himself, and he’s going to try again,” she advised. “What the hell is wrong with you people?! You’re a bunch of cowards. I hope no one visits you.” She had a point, but I understood everyone else’s stance too. J.M. had been such a thorn in their sides over the years it was easier to cut him off than deal with him. As Ben said, he and Nick had pulled J.M. off his wife; if they hadn’t he’d have killed her.
Then it was back to work. J.M. returned to 19â€”gluten cookies in handâ€”to make friends. Ben told him no one wanted him there; Audrey told him that wasn’t true. But instead of J.M. turning his gun on Suarez, it was the impersonator Audrey and Roxanne arrested that did, arriving at 19 in his fake uniform. He opened fire inside, shooting Suarez and the more officers. J.M. stood up and took several shots at the man before he himself was gunned down. J.M. looked relieved as the bullets entered his body … this was his way out, decided by someone else. A hero. The perp killed himself before Tyler, Dulac, Ben and Nick could do it themselves.
J.M. was a remarkable characterÂ and congratulations to Dan Petronijevic for playing him in such a memorable way. He was alternately funny and frustrating, a fiercely loyal officer who believed in fairness for his fellow men and ladies in blue. He had his flaws, but I’m going to miss him as the rest of this final season rolls out.
What did you think of this week’s episode of 19-2? Were you glad J.M. was a hero in the end? Let me know in the comments below.
It’s no secret to 19-2 fans that anything can happen to the fine men and ladies who patrol Montreal’s streets.
That was certainly the case in last Monday’s Season 4 returnÂ when a bombing connected to the city’s underworld ripped through a restaurant. That set off a chain of eventsâ€”the suspected bomber drove through the streets to escape with Audrey and Ben in pursuitâ€”that led to Audrey running over a university student and killing him. Cue an investigation and Ben taking blame for Audrey, literally saving her jobÂ while putting his in jeopardy. Would Ben lose his job in Episode 2?
During Monday’s newest “Driveby,” in a story by Greg Nelson, teleplay by Lynne Kamm and directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, that storyline did advance while others from last season were revisited. Nightmares seemed to be the theme of the instalment as our favourite characters dealt with them while asleep or awake.
Audrey, who was viciously assaulted in Season 1 and has been dealing with the PTSD and anger issues that emerged from the awful experience, is awakened by the nightmare of running over the 19-year-old. She’s desperate to shake the awful feeling and move on, but how can she? Killing someone, no matter if it’s an accident or not, changes you forever.
For Nick and Ben, the nightmare continued regarding Elise Roberge. She got off on the murder charges and turned state witness, reopening the wound involving Amelie’s death. Ben, who believes in fairness, was shattered by the information a drunk Nick gave him.
Ben was reeling following the news he’ll be cleared of any wrongdoing in the deadly accident. Turns out there were some drugs in the kid’s system, so the police dismissed it as a bad kid who made a wrong step. Trouble is, Ben and Nick know he was an honour student who never got into scrapes with the authorities. As much as I was happy to see Ben get offâ€”remember, he was covering for Audreyâ€”the decision to cover it up was wrong. His decision? Overtime surveillance on the mob where he took mental notes of everything going on. But not before he voiced his disgust at police services and told Nick, “We’re supposed to be better than this.” Ben’s flailing, trying to get his groove back, but things haven’t been right since Amelie’s death. And probably never will be.
Suffering from severe lack of sleep, Ben was visited by Amelie during his stakeout, admonishing him for just sitting there rather than taking photos. His question to her? How she was able to keep her experiences as a social worker from dragging her down. Her answer? It did, but she chose to focus on little victories rather than the big picture. I’m hoping Ben is able to do that. He’s a good cop and it would be a shame if the gig consumed him. But for now, Ben took actionÂ and broke into the car owned by the target and scooped a bag full of cocaine and weapons from the trunk. Ben should never have shown Audrey the guns and drugs he stole, even if it was to prove he doesn’t always have it together. She’s already confessed to J.M. that Ben wasn’t driving the car; I can’t help but think she’ll blab about this too. As for that quick, frenzied sex? Ill-advised. They may have agreed it was just an outlet, but it’s going to stay in the back of Ben’s mind. Thank goodness Ben dumped the drugs and guns off the bridge. (Did anyone catch Ben saying, “Hard no,” the classic response uttered by Jared Keeso’sÂ Letterkenny alter ego, Wayne? I wonder if that was an Easter egg for fans of both shows?)
J.M., meanwhile, faced the nightmare of being shut out by his fellow police. The physical assaults against his wife, Justine, resulted in a suspension. Now, his usual spot at the 19 table is gone and he’s feeling left out. He and Nick traded jabs at the bar until Nick delivered a verbal uppercut: Justine has a new man in her life. You could see a veil drop down over J.M.’s eyes as he walked away from that comment.
I was waiting for “Driveby,” to live up to its episode title; that came in the closing minutes, as Tyler, Dulac, Bear and Audrey came under fire when a car bristling with bullets cruised by the mob picnic the four cops were watching. While everyone was assessing the situation or chasing the baddies, J.M. did the unthinkable: he turned off his radio and shut down. Ben and Nick saw him sitting in his car just before they collared a suspect; the ensuing verbal showdown at 19 completed J.M.’s fall. He may have been an a-hole for three seasons, but you could count on J.M. to have your back in the field.
Now they can’t count on that.
19-2 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.
What did you think of “Driveby”? Will J.M. turn things around? Will Audrey keep Ben’s secret? Let me know in the comments below!
Have you heard of the children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? It’s about a boy who wakes up, and from the moment he does, everything goes wrong. I can’t help but think of that bookâ€”written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruzâ€”every time I watch an episode of 19-2. Every time something goes right for that Montreal police squad, it seems like 20 don’t.
Returning for its fourthâ€”and finalâ€”season on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, 19-2 makes the jump from Bravo to CTV, a well-deserved move that will give more Canadians the opportunity to catch this exceedingly well-written, expertly acted cop drama. (CraveTV subscribers get to see episodes a day early, on Sundays.) Adapted from the Radio Canada series of the same name, showrunner Bruce Smith and his writers have not only managed to set the English version of 19-2 apart from the FrenchÂ but has outlasted it by one season. It’s also gathered a pile of awardsâ€”Canadian Screen Awards for leads Jared Keeso, Adrian Holmes as well as Best Dramaâ€”and critical acclaim in the U.S.
Now it all comes to an end beginning on Monday with the episode entitledÂ “Swimming.” Season 3 ended in a flurry of violence and emotion. Officers Nick Barron (Holmes, above) and Ben Chartier (Keeso) were determined to hunt down Inspector Elise Roberge (Krista Bridges) to avenge the brutal death of Nick’s sister and Ben’s lover, AmelieÂ (Tattiawna Jones). Escalating mob violence in the city has an impact on the 19-2 squad directly, leading to Ben and Audrey (LaurenceÂ Leboeuf) involved in a deadly car accident.
When we first met Nick and Ben we asked, ‘Can these two guys be partners?’ And, after Houle [Conrad Pla] shot himself, and fell into the lake, and the two of them are driving back into the city … the message we were sending to the audience is they’re partners now.
Last November, TV, Eh was part of a press junket to Montreal that included a stop at the set of 19-2, where we chatted with Smith, Keeso and Holmes about Season 4, and the series overall.
Where do we pick up in Season 4?
Bruce Smith: Season 4 picks up exactly where Season 3 left off, not just in terms of plot, but emotionally and in intensity. These are characters in extremis from the beginning. We’re really excited about the way Season 4 starts. It starts with more plot going on than is normal for usâ€”it’s not always about plot with our show, it’s about emotion. And really what we felt is that we spent so much time building up the emotional intensity, particularly for Nick and Ben, that we felt we could keep that intensity going rather than having to build it again. And, really, this final season is really the second of two two-part movies.
When we first met Nick and Ben we asked, ‘Can these two guys be partners?’ And, after Houle [Conrad Pla] shot himself, and fell into the lake, and the two of them are driving back into the city … the message we were sending to the audience is they’re partners now. They have been through the school shooting, through Houle … whatever they feel about each other, they are inseparable. Season 3 and four has been an exploration of that partnership under extremis. The real extremis was the losing of a common loved one between them. It really was like a marriageÂ and the loss of a child causing a marriage to break up. We tracked them almost breaking up last season, and then they came together and move forward into Season 4. They’re not together when we start Season 4.
Can you saywhy?
One of the first things they experience is the weirdness of not being together for a very emotional moment. That’s for both the characters and the audience. There are a series of events that happen and they are physically separated. When they do come back together, it’s strange because they haven’t experienced it together. One of the focuses for us in the writer’s room in Season 4 was to show how much is undone. There are very prominent characters, our core characters, who never really had arcs together before. There are a couple of new pairings and new relationship arcs between core characters in Season 4.
Jared and Adrian, what were your reactions to Amelie’s death last season?
Adrian Holmes: It was a huge shock to me.Â Tattiawna was so great and when you lose an actor it’s hard because it’s like a family we’ve created here. So to not have her around was hard. And for the characters, it’s a huge blow and it’s something that adds a lot of tension and friction. The characters have to rise above that and find a way to still keep the marriage together. It was a big shock, but these are the things that make 19-2 so unique and special. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. The shock value is very high on our show and we take a lot of pride in it.
Once you do an episode about a school shooting, the second episode really needs to be about what that feels like. That’s it. It’s very challenging to write and very challenging to act, but if you can do it, you get rewarded for facing those challenges.
Jared Keeso: I think it was the first time that I read the script, and I texted Smitty and said, ‘This is a great opportunity for us as actors to play something like this.’ I’ve certainly never played anything that heavy before. The good thing about our show is it’s earned. It’s all about the writing on our show. It builds and builds and builds, and then boom. All the context is there and that’s a huge advantage for us as actors as well.
I always watch 19-2 cringing because no one is safe. That’s by design, correct?
Bruce Smith: From the beginning of the show and certainly by Season 3 we saw,Â from the reaction of the audience, that we had done our jobs. We want to train the audience to be afraid. When you have happiness, be a bit nervous but also cherish it. With the cast that we built up and the writers and directors we’ve had, we felt early on what we were really good at. We were really good at provoking intense emotion in the audience and in the characters. It’s a show about first responders. It’s not a show about abstraction and putting things together and solving something. It’s about being stuck in awful or exhilarating or wonderful moments and then dealing with the aftermath of just that moment.
Once you do an episode about a school shooting, the second episode really needs to be about what that feels like. That’s it. It’s very challenging to write and very challenging to act, but if you can do it, you get rewarded for facing those challenges. In Season 4, we’re coming in hot and there is intense feeling from the top and you’re on an emotional roller coaster with these characters.
Do you think fans will be happy with the series finale episode?
Bruce Smith: I sure hope so.
Season 4 of 19-2 will also get a CraveTV First Look with all new episodes premiering one day earlier, Sundays at 10 p.m. ET beginning July 30. Seasons 1 â€“ 3 of the critically acclaimed drama are streaming now, exclusively on CraveTV.
Winner of multiple Canadian Screen Awards including Best Drama as well as Best Actor for both Keeso and Holmes, 19-2 has garnered much critical acclaim and accolades throughout its three-season run. Cited as a series that â€œdefies expectationsâ€ by the New York Times, and â€œexcitingâ€ by the Wall Street Journal, the series was also nominated for a 2016 International EmmyÂ®Award.
Season 4 of 19-2 begins with Nick and Ben working to avenge the death of Nickâ€™s sister and Benâ€™s lover, Amelie. In the process, they find themselves pulled into an escalating cycle of mob violence and revenge. While Nick is determined to move forward, Ben fights to keep his faith in justice and in himself. As a raging gang war intensifies, the entire squad is pushed to their limits and forced to depend on each other more than ever.
In the Season 4 premiere episode, â€œSwimming,â€ (Monday, July 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV) Nick and Ben are set on taking down Inspector Elise Roberge (Krista Bridges, RANSOM) in order to avenge the brutal murder of Nickâ€™s sister Amelie. Nick is first on site at a horrific event with many casualties. Meanwhile, Ben and Audrey are implicated in a tragic accident.
Writers Bruce Smith (CRACKED), Nikolijne Troubetzkoy (CALL ME FITZ), Lynne Kamm (8 Count) return, with Jackie May (Van Helsing) and Greg Nelson (SAVING HOPE) joining the writerâ€™s room this season. Louis Choquette (THIS LIFE, VERSAILLES) and Sturla Gunnarsson (MOTIVE), return to direct.