Tag Archives: CBC

Review: Republic of Saul

I always like it when Jake is challenged by someone on Republic of Doyle. Kevin Crocker and Maurice Becker jump immediately to mind as two dudes who’ve rubbed our P.I. hero the wrong way and insulted his intelligence to great effect and made for noteworthy scenes. So I’ve been thrilled with the addition of Vick Saul and Alisha Maracle.

Wednesday’s episode, “The Driver,” was particularly fun because Jake was literally at the beck and call of Alisha, who took insane pleasure in treating Jake like a dog. With Sloan constantly in danger of being killed by Saul if Jake didn’t do the man’s bidding, Jake was instructed to work with Alisha to steal a cache of weapons from Alex Marshall (Justified‘s A.J. Buckley) and deliver them to Saul. I was hoping Buckley would have a little bit more of a role in the episode, but I had to make due with Alex appearing in the latter half sporting a Danny Crowe-esque Southern drawl.

I also had my fingers crossed that Saul and Alisha would stick around for more instalments, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards either. By episode’s end the guns had been captured by the police and Saul’s biggest rival was arrested, clearing the way to him to claim the east coast as his sole criminal domain. The result? He called off the threat on Sloan.

Meanwhile, Leslie is attending her therapy sessions, but it looks like Dr. Ronan may have ulterior motives when it comes to them. I couldn’t help but suspect he was working for someone else when he used his phone to demand all the files the precinct had on Jake. On second thought, Dr. Ronan may be tied to the crooked cop everyone suspects took Brogan’s laptop and wiped it clean of footage clearing Jake in Clark’s murder. Krystin Pellerin turned in a strong performance in Leslie’s scene between she and Brogan. She vowed to find out who tipped him off that she would be at Clark’s and would ensure he’d never get out of prison.

Notes and Quotes

  • It was good to see Christian pop up at episode’s end. The announcement that he’s getting married will no doubt lead to a shocking revelation of who his wife-to-be is. Will it be someone from Jake’s past? Probably.
  • “Des, let’s go be stupid outdoors.”–Mal
  • Did anyone else find the scene with Alisha taping the wire to Jake a little steamy?
  • “You’re my bitch today.”–Alisha to Jake
  • “Why do I picture you with a whip and one hand and some guy’s pride in the other?”–Jake to Alisha
  • “Elaborate, stunjaws!”–Mal to Jake
  • Do you think Lola Tash looks a little like Demi Lovato?

Republic of Doyle airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

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Interview: Murdoch Mysteries ties the knot

It took eight seasons, but Murdoch Mysteries fans got the storyline they wanted. After what felt like an endless string of will-they-or-won’t-they moments Dr. Julia Ogden and Det. William Murdoch finally tied the knot in front of friends and family in a ceremony that wasn’t without hiccups. Script writer Paul Aitken threw one more wrinkle at the pair by having them realize who the real culprit in a murder case was while kneeling at the altar. Cracking the case caused the pair to stand up and make ready to depart the proceedings … until Inspector Brackenreid ordered them to say their vows and make the wedding official.

In what I hope will become a weekly column with Murdoch‘s writers for the rest of the season, I spoke to co-executive producer and writer Aitken about Monday’s landmark 100th episode and the wedding we’d all be waiting for.

After teasing fans for so long, it was fun to have that final twist where it looked like William and Julia would forgo their vows one final time to solve a crime.
Paul Aitken: We came up with the wedding idea before we even came up with the central plot. And we wanted them to do exactly that; run away from the altar and then have Brackenreid stop them. We built the rest of the episode kind of around that moment. What we didn’t want to do was what they did on Bones, which was essentially to devote the last act entirely to their kind of gushy wedding. We wanted to basically play a bit with our fans who have been expecting, I think, something to go wrong and immediately set that right.

Was there a point when everyone decided the wedding would happen this season and during the 100th episode, or did it happen that way as a happy coincidence?
PA: It was entirely a happy coincidence. Because the wedding was going to be a special episode and the 100th was going to be a special episode, we had actually planned for two special episodes out of this. The original plan was to have the Murdoch origin episode, which was written by Maureen Jennings, be the 100th episode. But we found it was difficult to work the present mystery into the origin mystery so we couldn’t solve that in time. So we defaulted to the wedding being the 100th episode, and in the end I think it was the right decision.

Did anyone on the team want to wait and perhaps have the wedding at the end of this season or even push it to future seasons. Or have them never get together?
PA: No. Never having them get together was never an option. We’ve been promising the audience pretty much from the get-go that these two belong together and you simply can’t end the series without them ultimately being together. We would have absolutely kept them apart if we could think of a single reason how. Without stretching plausibility to the breaking point. Everyone is a little nervous that they’re married now and there won’t be the same dramatic kind of thrust to the show and we’ll see what the audience thinks. We may lose some audience, but we simply could not maintain it dramatically and have it be at all believable.

Do you have those same fears?
PA: Not too much. Ultimately we’re a murder mystery. We always tell good mysteries and our return audience will always be there. I think those that were in the show only because they were waiting for Murdoch and Ogden to get together, we may lose some of those people. I don’t think they were our main audience base and I don’t think people tune into our show to see a soap opera. They tune in to see a mystery that has elements of soaps and of characters and of continuing storylines.

How did the writing of this script go? Did Peter weigh in with some notes or did you have carte blanche because you’ve been with the show for so long as a writer and producer?
PA: This is true on almost every episode; it’s a room-based story. The writer goes away and does a draft and the writers’ room weighs in with notes and it’s very much a product of several different hands and several different voices. It’s very collaborative and this was no different. We broke the story in the room and then I went away and wrote the script and then I got notes. This is the result of all that.

The audience wanted more Margaret Brackenreid [Arwen Humphreys] and you gave it to them. She was great as the frenetic wedding planner.
PA: Arwen is great and I love the character of Margaret Brackenreid. I’ve written her several times and I take particular pleasure in writing her because she is the only person who tops Brackenreid. Brackenreid is the boss of everybody, but she is definitely the boss of Brackenreid!

Is there anything that you’re particularly proud of, looking back over these past 100 episodes?
PA: I’m very proud of the show. I think we hit the sweet spot right out of the gate. We had great characters and great actors playing those characters. As actors do, they bring something to the role that ignites our interest as writers, so we tend to write to that. That happened very quickly. It’s largely luck as much as anything. I feel an enormous amount of pride about the whole enterprise and am very happy that we’ve kept it going as long as we have. When we first started I said, ‘We can only go two seasons because that’s as many ideas that I can come up with!’ I come into every season with zero ideas and somehow it works. Somehow we come up with the ideas as we go through. As long as the audience sticks with us we’ll come up with ideas.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

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Review: Jade and Georgie team up on Heartland

What a difference a week makes. Last Sunday night Jade had basically alienated herself on Heartland after holding a party at the dude ranch, and this week she and Georgie were starring in their own buddy comedy.

Not that it was easy. Things are never easy at Heartland. But thanks to some mighty big patience on the part of Jack, Jade turned her snark into smiles. Learning that Jade was upset with her mother for going to Toronto and finding a new man went a long way to making me understand why the teen was being so hard to get along with. And why she was holding both horses and humans at arm’s length. Credit Georgie with cracking Jade’s hard shell via a mixture of compassion and stubbornness. And give Dash the horse some credit too; if it hadn’t have been for him Jade may not have bonded with the Heartland crew. Putting Georgie in the position of “boss” over Jade was a pretty brilliant idea by Jack: it forced Georgie to test her own patience–something she’s had a short supply of with Amy lately–and delegate tasks too.

Meanwhile, Ty further evolved as a character–and a man–by taking on the poachers. I had a feeling that Bob wasn’t the laid-back stoner we’d been introduced to. The fact he took money from the poachers and then looked the other way when they slaughtered bears for their gall bladders got me hot under the collar too, so I was totally behind Ty’s high-flying tackle of that one dude. Amy may not be happy with the direction Ty is going in his life but I’m think it’s a fascinating story angle. Reporting Bob to Wildlife and Game was a bold move and apologizing to Scott was a mature one. And I’m happy that Ty is back working with Scott again; their partnership is just too good to ignore.

Alas, Amy and Ty’s partnership is still fizzling. The most awkward scene of the night was at the end, when Amy and Ty passed each other on the road. After a few stilted lines of dialogue, Ty looked off into the distance and rebuffed Amy’s “I miss you” with a dimissive “take care of yourself.” Ouch.

Heartland airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBC.

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CBC lands broadcast rights to 2018 and 2020 Olympics

The CBC is headed back to the Olympics with some help from Bell Media and Rogers Media.

“This is a great day for the public broadcaster. This is a great day for Canadian sport,” Scott Russell said Tuesday afternoon from the CBC atrium in Toronto.

Head honcho Hubert Lacroix announced that CBC/Radio-Canada secured the broadcast rights to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games. The network also has the rights to the upcoming 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“This is clear recognition of the exceptional coverage CBC/Radio-Canada provided for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games — the most watched in history,” Lacroix said in a press release. “The agreement also reflects the [International Olympic Committee’s] belief that we will continue to provide relevant, compelling Canadian experiences to Canadians by building on our accomplishments, as well as what we promise to bring with our coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games.”

CBC will work with broadcast partner Bell Media, along with Rogers Media, to provide full access to the Olympic Games. Sportsnet, TSN and RDS will provide additional coverage of the Olympics much like they have in the past, providing blanket coverage of the athletic spectacle.

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Review: Wolf pups and soul searching on Heartland

I understand those Heartland fans who are upset that Ty and Amy have broken up yet again. I’ve gotten your emails, and I admit I’m kind of in the same boat. But as actress Amber Marshall explained a couple of weeks ago, Amy is basically starting all over again from the bottom and working herself back up again this season.

That means she and Ty are, yes, taking a break, which led to lots of awkward moments during Sunday’s episode, “Endings and Beginnings.” Those moments came courtesy of Georgie, who kept calling Ty with fake concerns over the orphaned wolf pup in hopes that once he arrived at Heartland the sparks would fly and the lovebirds would get back together again. Instead we were treated to awkwardness.

The most interesting of the characters to me in Sunday’s episode (and the season so far) was Ty. As a relative newbie to the show, I’m fascinated not only by Graham Wardle’s portrayal of him, but the direction the character is going. His business pairing with Caleb and job at the wildlife sanctuary is the mark of a young man trying to figure out his place in the world and what his passions are. Rather than just take the easy road by working for Tim, he has partnered with Caleb on what may be a dubious business venture. But if it does fail, he’ll at least have gained some valuable knowledge into the way the business world works. Or sometimes doesn’t.

Meanwhile, his discovery of the dead black bear mother devoid of her gall bladder unleashed an angry, environmental side of Ty. Enraged at learning the bladders are a hot commodity on the black market, he cut down the poacher’s camera. The hunters, of course, came looking for Ty and beat him up, but I have a feeling that won’t stop Ty from doing what he believes in. Sadly, he also believes that time away from Amy is what he needs to. As he told Jack, he doesn’t want to hold Amy back from the incredible opportunities her gift as a horse trainer (how great was she with Hustle and Flirty?) has afforded her.

But I think Ty wonders if Amy might be holding him back as well.

Other notes

  • I want a wolf pup.
  • What is it with Jade, Heartland fans? Has she been around for a few seasons? Is she a former friend of Amy’s?
  • Jesse Stanton is supposed to get on my nerves, right?

Heartland airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBC.

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