Tag Archives: Bravo

Link: ‘19-2,’ a Police Drama on Acorn TV, Is a Slow Burn

From Neil Gunslinger of The New York Times:

‘19-2,’ a Police Drama on Acorn TV, Is a Slow Burn
We’ve seen partners who don’t get along before, of course, but convention leads us to expect them to be thoroughly bonded by the end of the film or of the first episode. Not here. Detente comes slowly, and not easily.

That puts a lot of responsibility on the actors’ shoulders, and Mr. Holmes and Mr. Keeso work the prickly dynamic smartly. They have to, because the writers here (the show is based on a French-Canadian series) don’t resort to shootouts and chases every 10 minutes as some stateside procedurals do. There are major crimes in “19-2,” but there are far more minor ones, just as in real life. A domestic dispute call. A guy complaining that someone else’s car is blocking his driveway. A birthday party that has grown too loud. A man sitting naked in a coin laundry. Continue reading. 


More Amelie and Ben in Season 3 of 19-2?

If Tom Hastings has his way, Season 3 of 19-2 will be much “warmer” when it comes to storylines, and the relationship between Amelie (Tattiawna Jones) and Ben (Jared Keeso) will be explored more deeply.

That’s the wish of the director of Independent Production for Bell Media, who made the remark at the conclusion of “Inside the Writers Room on 19-2” at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference on Saturday. Bravo just greenlit production of 19-2 for Season 3, but development had already begun, meaning showrunner Bruce M. Smith has put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) on the first four episodes.

Smith participated in the TSC’s inaugural Writing Room Intensive, where he and six television writers spent Friday developing the basic elements of a tentpole episode of 19-2. He and Ian Carpenter, Roslyn Muir, Caitlin Fryers, Amanda Smith-Kolic, Nathalie Younglai and Tamara Moulin put their heads together and came up with an exciting episode that, while just an exercise, was as compelling as any of the stories told on the show. The group’s plot found the cops of 19 dealing with the shutting down of a halfway house and the affect it has on the neighbourhood. Escalating emotions and over-the-top reactions reach a fever pitch when a child is abducted and the men in the halfway house are accused of the crime.

After outlining the episode to the packed theatre in Daniels Spectrum, Hastings joined the group to provide his network notes, a real-life conversation he has with Smith when 19-2 is in production. Hastings made several interesting points about the script, noting it was too soon after key events of Season 2—pedophile and eviction storylines—to revisit those themes again. He also noted the panel didn’t have much for Nick (Adrian Holmes) to do in their script, so that would have to be addressed. Overall, he was pleased with what the group had created in just one day.

It may have been a made-up script, but I’d watch it.


Review: The mole revealed on 19-2

Turns out I’d aimed a little too high in 19 when I thought that Commander Gendron was the mole. I should have gone one level lower to Sgt. Houle. Yes, the man who had the best connection with his officers—not to mention the nicest house—was identified by Ben and Nick as the one leaking information out of the squad house and to the bad guys.

But, as is the case with 19-2, that wasn’t the only news regarding Houle. In a tragic twist I didn’t see coming, Houle is a pedophile who was a participant in the child sex ring that involved the late Mr. Tremblay. The fact Houle had a palatial home was glossed over in Season 1 during the pool party; now it looks like the funds he got from being a mole paid for the place. All it took was a quick visit to Houle’s home for Ben to put the pieces together, especially after he spotted Houle interacting with that young girl in the greenhouse. I actually said, “Oh no!” out loud when everything clicked in my head.

The conclusion of “Orphans” showed a police house shattered when one of their own stood accused of transgressions. Isabelle was rocked by the news and Gendron … the poor bugger. Now he knows why his daughter keeps running away and doing drugs: Houle took care of her several times when she was younger. Gendron was unknowingly offering his daughter up to him thinking that she was in good hands.

But rather than view Houle as a villain I wanted to see bad things happen to, I truly felt badly for him. 19-2‘s writers and actor Conrad Pla have been so good at breathing life into this guy that I genuinely felt sorry for Houle as he spoke in the group therapy session.

Next week is the Season 2 finale of 19-2, and there are a few loose storylines that need to be wrapped up:

  1. Will Audrey return to 19, or is she done being a cop?
  2. Where is Kaz, and will he turn up as a dead body or arrested?
  3. Will Bear book that trip to Thailand and leave Montreal in her rear-view mirror?
  4. Will the blonde J.M. attempted to collar return to cause more trouble for him?

What do you think will happen in the season finale? Comment below or via @tv_eh.

Notes and quotes

  • “Bad shit happens when we get together.” Truer words were never spoken, Kaz.
  • Not to be a stickler for details, but those kids playing street hockey should have yelled “Car!” and “Game on!” once Ben’s car had gone past.
  • “If I wanted any lip from you, I’d rattle my zipper.” J.M.’s message to the rookie was funny and pretty disgusting.

19-2 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.


Review: Confusion reigns on 19-2

Monday’s newest episode of 19-2 was called “Babylon,” and a quick dictionary search came up with, in addition to being a city in Mesopotamia, the term “confuse.” That certainly jibes with what happened during the last 44 minutes of storyline.

There was chaos and confusion from the get-go, whether it meant 19 was helping clear out a warehouse occupied by protestors facing off against the police, or the circumstances surrounding Audrey’s two-month paid leave. The poor girl has been at the end of her rope this season and being assaulted by a protester in the dark, shooting a dog charging at Tyler and being doused by a bucket of human waste finally drove her over the edge: she attacked the douser with pepper spray and was given time off.

Confusion settled its claustrophobic grip around Tyler’s chest; the poor dude is afraid of the dark and being in the dim warehouse, lost and choking on tear gas caused him to leave Bear behind where she was kicked in the ribs and left injured. I’m not sure whether cops are tested for a fear of the dark, but I could certainly feel for Tyler; I was sitting on the couch in the daylight and I was having trouble breathing. Same goes for the scene between he and Paul. I rightly supposed the evicted man and his stroke-affected wife would return this week and they did in heart-wrenching fashion. After he pawned their TV, Paul’s wife was arrested trying to take it back, leaving him distraught enough he doused himself in gasoline and readied to flick his Bic. Enter Tyler, who soaked himself down in the liquid and talked Paul into calling off dying.

The Gendron storyline was almost a relief, but no less dramatic as Nick is convinced he is the mole in 19 and, even worse, may have molested his own daughter. That seems a little far-fetched even for 19-2, but then you never know. The show has thrown us shocking stories before.

Notes and quotes

  • Who else misses Vince?
  • Who else is upset there are only two episodes of 19-2 left?
  • Who is afraid that a major member of 19 is going to die by the end of this season?

19-2 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.


Interview: 19-2’s Jared Keeso teases his new effing comedy project

For Jared Keeso, AC/DC will forever be burned into his brain as the soundtrack to the next step in his television career. A tune by the Aussie rockers was blaring from his cellphone the day he found out his Internet series, Letterkenny Problems had been ordered to TV.

Keeso’s creation, about a foul-mouthed pair of dudes living in the fictional small town of Letterkenny, is the first original Canadian series to air on Bell Media’s CraveTV followed by broadcast on Comedy Network. Last Thursday’s announcement caps off one heck of a week for Keeso that started the previous Sunday when he captured a Canadian Screen Award for his lead role on Bravo’s 19-2.

Congratulations on the Canadian Screen Award. Did you know what you were going to say in your acceptance speech?
Jared Keeso: I had an idea of what I was going to say. I had some points, but I can’t believe I got through it without too many ums and uhs. I managed to seem pretty organized up there. As soon as they called my name the nerves shut off and I was pretty comfortable up on the stage.

How long ago did you find out that Letterkenny was a go? And did Bell Media contact you via phone call, email, text?
They called the producers, Mark Montefiore and Patrick O’Sullivan of New Metric Media. I was in Montreal doing press for 19-2 at the time. We were expecting the green light or red light call. I was in between interviews for 19-2 and my phone rang and it was Montefiore and I knew it. This is the call. I pick up and say ‘Hello?’ and there is AC/DC music playing. [Laughs.] They let that go for 10 for 15 seconds while they were probably dancing around their offices and then Montefiore yells out, ‘Six episodes greenlit, baby!’ I was speechless. I could tell that it was a big a deal to them as it was to me. Everybody at Bell has been so supportive and seem so enthusiastic. Working with them has been a pleasure.

I’m almost positive on CraveTV we can say the f-word as much as we want.

Letterkenny is the first Canadian original to be commissioned for first window on CraveTV. How does that feel to be breaking new ground?

I couldn’t be happier about the decision to make us the first original Canadian show to be on CraveTV and then shift us over to Comedy after that. I really like it because I’m almost positive on CraveTV we can say the f-word as much as we want. And that’s good because the way things are scripted right now I think I have one page with a baker’s dozen f-words on it. It’s in every line and sometimes twice per line. Hopefully we get away with it.

Had you guys been aiming for a six-episode order?
A six-episode order is exactly what we wanted. It’s my first time being paid as a writer—it’s my first rodeo—and having six episodes to cut my teeth on gives us a great opportunity to launch without having to water down anything with a larger order. I don’t think I’m able to really pack a punch in 10 or 12 episodes.

Who is writing it? You mentioned yourself already. Is your Letterkenny Problems’ co-star Nathan Dales writing too?
Nate’s not involved in the writing. Jacob Tierney and I are writing every episode and we have Mike Dowse from FUBAR and Goon as our script consultant. And I’ll tell you, that guy is just so valuable to the process. Not only does he bring a ton of expertise to it but he speaks English very, very well. His notes are very concrete and it’s easy for us to understand what he means. We’ve done a lot of moving and shaking based on his advice. It’s pretty crazy to be working with the guy who made one of my favourite movies of all time in FUBAR.

What are you learning about yourself as a writer? Are you a lazy writer? Are you able to whip stuff off?
I’m certainly learning what my strengths and weaknesses are. I’m glad that we’re going the sitcom route with this. My strength is the dialogue, as many laughs as possible. Big story and character arc is not my strength. Working on a show like 19-2 makes me appreciate guys like Bruce Smith and Jesse McKeown that much more because what they do I simply could not do.

Growing up on Listowel, Ont., I’m so proud to have come from that town. But growing up there, getting your ass kicked was a legitimate concern on a day-to-day basis.

Give me a lowdown on the setup of the show. The release says ‘The residents of Letterkenny belong to one of three groups: Hicks, Skids, and Hockey Players. The three groups are constantly feuding with each other over seemingly trivial matters.’

Growing up in Listowel, Ont. … I’m so proud to have come from that town. But growing up there, getting your ass kicked was a legitimate concern on a day-to-day basis. And I think that was because we were all in this small town with nothing better to do so we drink and we fight. We drink we fight and we dance, actually. It is true to life in that you were in one of those three groups. In high school I was friends with everybody so I can draw from actual experiences there. Letterkenny doesn’t drift too far into the absurd. The dialogue is nutty but we do keep it true to real life for the most part.

But I wanted to make sure that the show was tough. We think that’s what sold so much of our audience with Letterkenny Problems. It’s funny but it’s still tough. I don’t think you’d want to eff with either of those two guys.

Where will you be filming?
We’re going to Sudbury, Ont. I’ve only been there once, but I know from growing up and playing hockey that those guys used to come down and just beat the shit out of us physically on and off the scoreboard. There are a lot of tough dudes in that town.

The elephant in the room, of course, is 19-2. When do you expect to hear about a third season of that and how will it impact on Letterkenny‘s production schedule?
We found out about Season 2 of 19-2 a couple of days before the first season finale aired and I think we’d all love to find out around that same time again. That was great, watching the last episode and knowing we were all going back to do it again. I think everybody is pretty optimistic about it and it would be a shame if we didn’t get to go back and do it. Six episodes of Letterkenny is tailored to not get in the way if 19-2 goes back.

Meanwhile, Keeso’s 19-2 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.