Tag Archives: City

Review: Package Deal’s sloppy seconds

“Sloppy Seconds” is the title of Package Deal‘s second episode, but it might as well refer to how the sitcom was treated last week. Airing U.S. shows in simulcast meant the Canadian original was bumped off City’s primetime lineup last Friday for Utopia, not the best of news for a sitcom that attracted under 100,000 viewers for its Season 2 return.

Friday’s script, written by Denise Moss, saw the gang keeping various secrets from each other. In the case of Kim, it meant trying to keep several from Danny. Sheldon staying at his little brother’s place while asbestos was removed from his apartment (asbestos he had put there himself, it should be noted) bothered Kim so much she left for her own place, Danny in tow. The revelation that she was an utter slob–clothes were strewn everywhere and takeout Chinese food was rotting on the coffee table–grossed out the finicky Danny. Tempering that turn-off was the titillating second secret: Kim used to sport a D-cup and had her breasts reduced. Kim’s trust in Danny was shattered when she left for work and Sheldon, Danny and Ryan started snooping and found a list of men Kim had slept with.

Danny, unable to control his jealous streak, just wasn’t able to keep the list to himself and the pair had a spat. I took sides with Kim on this one; that all was in the past and had no bearing on the couple now.

The B-story concerned an interesting little fling between Ryan and Nikki, and Ryan keeping the tryst from his brothers for, like, a minute. Ryan and Nikki, from sides of the track so far apart you’d need binoculars to see them, nonetheless were attracted by those differences and–with a muscular bully as the lightning rod–tumbled into the sack together. Jay Malone’s high-strung Ryan paired with Jill Morrison’s Nikki made for an entertaining handful of scenes and I’m hoping the duo keep this thing going. A natural plot evolution would see Nikki and Sheldon hook up, putting the brothers at odds over the flame-haired vixen.

Friday’s episode advanced the character of Kim–we learned about her past and were shown she had somewhere to sleep when she’s not at Danny’s–and I’m looking forward to more tidbits. I’m also hoping City is able to keep Package Deal on their schedule for viewers to find it.

Package Deal airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on City.


Review: Photo shoots and first dates on The Bachelor Canada

It usually takes several weeks for a bachelorette to get mistrustful and jealous of her competition and protective of the bachelor, but Kaylynn got things going early and often on Thursday night.

It began with her scoring the first one-on-one of the season with Tim; the pair swooped over Vancouver in a helicopter before taking a gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain where they shared a meal and smooches before he handed her a rose. Tim explained he’d chosen Kaylynn for the first date because of their almost instant connection and discussions surrounding bullying. Kaylynn bookended the episode by breaking down in tears during the cocktail party and after those who got roses were celebrating. The focus of her ire? Martha, who had tried to be supportive of Kaylynn by trying to assuage her jealousy, explaining that Tim had given her a rose–the first of the week–and that Kaylynn should therefore be happy. Instead, tearful Kaylynn wanted to punch Martha and Tim had to intervene.

I know it makes for great TV, but Kaylynn sure came off like a spoiled brat. Rather than be happy to be sticking around and giving the girls who were eliminated– ER doctor Renee-Anne and nurse Alison–a hug, she made the end of the week all about her. Maybe it’s in her game plan to have Tim come running every time she cries, but I pretty much guarantee he’ll get tired of that and cut her loose.

Tim certainly doesn’t let things go on if they’re not working out. Just ask Sonia the lingerie model, who failed to make a connection with Tim during what was supposed to be a sultry photo shoot for Flare magazine. Despite making a living at being a model, there was just awkwardness between the two and Tim pulled her aside long enough to explain that there was no place for her in the mansion. Natalie the school teacher (and my Bachelor pool pick), on the other hand, assured herself of another week in the mansion by planting a kiss on Tim while the cameras snapped away.

The other group date of the episode–a dragon boat race in the pouring rain–allowed Tim to see enough of Rileigh to keep her around despite her orders that “Show Tim” be put on the shelf in favour of honesty. The fact she accused him of acting a certain way in front of the cameras was a bold move that clearly paid off. Speaking of cameras, The Bachelor Canada looks stellar and slick this season despite dealing with horrible weather that they don’t contend with in Los Angeles.

Next week the guy and the gals head to Cabo where they’ll be bathed in sunlight and saturated with booze.

The Bachelor Canada airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on City.


Review: Bachelor Canada returns with tears and twists

He’s muscular. He’s got three-day stubble. He looks pensively off into the distance while pausing during a walk on the beach. And he’s looking for love. Canada, meet Tim Warmels. Thus encapsulated the first 20 seconds of Thursday’s two-hour Season 2 return of City’s romantic reality series.

Before nary a limousine door had opened viewers were told things were going to be different. “Four girls, not two, will be going home,” he announced in a teaser clip. Audible gasps from the girls he was speaking to. Yup, Tim is dead serious about finding the girl of his dreams. And, after a quickie introduction where we learned Tim was a Bay St. trader turned tech company owner turned builder, our hero  jetted to Vancouver to start his journey. But not until he’d showered, pulled pants up over his boxer briefs and buttoned a crisp white shirt over his naked midriff.

Of course, there were 25 ladies battling for a few precious seconds of Tim’s time. Among them a 42-year-old lingerie model, a philosophy student whose philosophy outside of the classroom is to party, an ER nurse, a real estate agent with a troubled past, a burlesque dancer who waxes crotches, and an annoying blonde who boasts she’s a “joyologist.” Whatever that is.

At the mansion, the most notable of the ladies who spilled out of the limos and into Tim’s arms were Rileigh the philosophy student who presented Tim with a tray of shots (perhaps forgetting the mansion was stocked with libations); Sachelle, who gave Tim a seashell to remember her by (because the name Sachelle wasn’t unique enough?); Ritiuska, who was shocked Tim could converse with her in Spanish (of course Tim knows Spanish, he’s the Bachelor!); Sarah, who made Tim swear under his breath as she walked towards him and was playing the “mysterious” card; Natalie the French teacher who may very well be the crazy gal of the season; and April the burlesque dancer/wax artist who exited the limo in a spray of confetti. She’ll be sticking around for a few weeks just for laughs.

Kaylynn, a slow-talking ballerina, connected with Tim over their childhoods (they were both bullied) and he admitted to producers that he wanted to kiss her, as did Rileigh, who Tim confessed had hoped she would grab him for a few minutes. Most awkward exchange of the night went to Christine the music teacher who decided to sing to Tim. You could cut the uncomfortableness with the knife Kelsey used to open a bottle of bubbly. So imagine my surprise when Christine was given the First Impression rose from Tim and instantly made her the target for derision from the remaining girls.

Tim wasn’t done there, though. Tossing around roses like host Tyler Harcott had bushels of them backstage, Tim gave flowers to Natalie and Sachelle, which sent Kaylynn into a spiral of self-doubt and excess mucous. In the end Tim showed the door to 10 ladies, the most notable of who was Jennifer the joyologist, who struck me as a really good friend rather than a girlfriend and, sadly, Raelee, who Bachelor Canada fans voted into the competition.

An extended teaser for the coming season shows Tim entertaining the ladies in Italy and idyllic isles, the return of one competitor and Lisa being labelled the villain of the show.

The Bachelor Canada airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on City.


Bachelor Tim Warmels teases Season 2

Tim Warmels can’t tell me who he chose from any of the 25 bachelorettes to be his betrothed. He can’t even tell me if he picked a lass to be his lucky lady at the end of his Bachelor Canada journey. But he’s quick to explain why he didn’t do it.

“I don’t plan on having a career in TV after this,” the 28-year-old entrepreneur says matter-of-factly. “I’m not planning on using this as a springboard to anything. I was there to find love.” Thursday’s Season 2 return finds the Cambellville, Ont., native welcoming over two dozen women to a top-secret location where he’ll begin the process of whittling the girls down to a few precious finalists via dates (group and one-on-ones) set against the backdrop of luxurious locations. That hasn’t changed in The Bachelor franchise formula. What has changed is the role of host Tyler Harcott, who served as sounding board and confidante for Season 1’s Brad Smith.

“The show was a slightly different format,” Warmels divulges. “A lot of that was actually my decision. You’ll have to wait and see. This is supposed to be an odyssey and it’s a journey that you take very solo.”

Unlike the ladies and who answered a cross-country casting call to participate in the sophomore season, Warmels skipped the line thanks to a friend of the show’s producers, Good Human Productions, who suggested he give them a call. Presented with the opportunity to take part, Warmels explains he had a decision to make: continue the search for a mate like he’d done for the last six years or “try this amazingly different thing.”

And, at times, amazingly difficult. The premise, of course, is to eliminate ladies each week, leading to heartbreak and tears. The Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario Honours grad never liked that part of his odyssey.

“The timeline is so constricted that you’re always second-guessing yourself,” he admits. “You’re expected to be this all-knowing god-like man and the only way that you can really connect on the show is when you’re willing to show them your faults and be vulnerable. You have to be open and willing to show everything about yourself to these women. And they need to be willing to do the same.”

The Bachelor Canada returns Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on City.


Package Deal tightens up for Season 2

Change is good, and for City’s Package Deal it may end up being great. The Canadian original sitcom is back for a second season on a new night–Fridays at 9 p.m.–a new promotional campaign and an evolution in the creative process.

“The writing is tighter and edgier than it was last season,” Randal Edwards says. The West Coast native is back as lawyer Danny White, straight man to brothers Sheldon (Harland Williams) and Ryan (Jay Malone) and boyfriend to Kim Mattingly (Julia Voth). As with the first season, Danny is still struggling to break free from Sheldon and Ryan and establish his own life with Kim. It doesn’t always work; Friday’s return, “Silverball,” spotlights the reaction the boys have when they discover Danny went to see the newest James Bond flick with Kim rather than keep up the tradition the trio had of seeing the spy movies together.

And while Season 1 of Package Deal was pitched to TV writers and the viewing public as a series to watch because it was a rare Canadian primetime laffer shot with multiple cameras, a rarity here though commonplace in the U.S., Season 2 is a focus on the characters. Now that creator and executive producer Andrew Orenstein and the writers know what the cast can do, Edwards explains, they’ve let ’em rip. Aside from the main cast, Jill Morrison (When Calls the Heart) has been upped from recurring to a full-time cast member as Nikki, Kim’s acerbic friend and co-worker.

Every series goes through some growing pains, and Season 1 of Package Deal was no different. You could see the cast getting more comfortable in their roles and in front of the live studio audience (a sitcom was a first for both Edwards and Voth) but by the end everyone was firing on all cylinders. Friday’s return is one of a cast that know their characters intimately and are game to play them.

Jumping into the sand box to play as guest stars are Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary) and Jason Priestley (Call Me Fitz).

“Amanda plays my boss, and she’s just fantastic. A total pro,” Edwards enthuses. He laughs when he admits to being a little in awe of Priestley, who comes on board to portray Storm Chambers, a slick, over-the-top TV weatherman.

“In one scene I’m in his face, yelling at him and I just kind of zoned out for a second, and Jason said to me, quietly, ‘I know, I know,'” Edwards recalls. “And he was saying that because he knew I was thrown off by working with him. This guy was on posters in my sister’s bedroom!”

Package Deal airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on City.