Tag Archives: Crave

Letterkenny returns for a twelfth and final season, December 25 on Crave

From a media release:

After 75 episodes and eight specials, and amassing 12 Canadian Screen Awards, international critical acclaim, a U.S. streaming deal with Hulu, high-profile brand extensions, some beauty celebrity fans, and an official spinoff, Crave’s award-winning original series LETTERKENNY drops its twelfth and final season, on Monday, December 25. The iconic Canadian series is created by, and stars, Jared Keeso, and is produced by New Metric Media in association with Play Fun Games and Crave.

As Crave’s first-ever original series, LETTERKENNY premiered in 2016 as a breakout hit and quickly solidified a loyal fanbase. The series continues to be a top-performer on Crave, and, overall, is the most-streamed Canadian show on the platform for the past several years. The series is based on the internet sensation Letterkenny Problems, a five-part series of shorts, which to date has garnered more than 21 million views.

In Season 12, the small town contends with a comedy night at Modean’s, a country music hit, the Degens’ bad influence, a new nightclub, and an encore at the Ag Hall. And that’s just for starters.

LETTERKENNY is produced by New Metric Media, in association with Play Fun Games and Bell Media, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and the Bell Fund, with the assistance of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and Ontario Creates. The series is distributed by New Metric Media. Jared Keeso is executive producer, co-writer, star, and creator. Jacob Tierney is executive producer, director, and co-writer. Mark Montefiore is executive producer and Kara Haflidson is producer for New Metric Media.

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It’s a hat trick for Shoresy! Crave confirms its hit original comedy series is returning for a third season

From a media release:

Ahead of its Season 2 finale, Crave confirmed today a Season 3 order for its smash-hit original series, SHORESY. Created by and starring Jared Keeso, and produced by New Metric Media in association with Play Fun Games and Crave, the hockey comedy continues to follow the foul-mouthed, chirp-serving, mother-loving, fan-favourite character, Shoresy (Keeso), and the Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs of the Northern Ontario Senior Hockey Organization (The NOSHO). Production on Season 3 begins in Sudbury, Ont. in November.

Returning cast starring alongside Keeso are: Tasya Teles (THE 100) as Nat; Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat (Prey) as Sanguinet; Blair Lamora (Paranormal Nightshift) as Ziigwan; and Keilani Rose (FLIMSY) as Miigwan. From, Blainville, QC, rapper Jonathan-Ismael Diaby stars as Dolo; and former Montréal Canadien, author, and actor Terry Ryan stars as Hitch. Ryan McDonell (THE CROSSING) stars as Michaels, Max Bouffard (LETTERKENNY) is JJ Frankie JJ, and former Kahnawake Condor and MMA fighter Andrew “The Canon” Antsanen returns as Goody. Legendary all-time tough guy Jon “Nasty” Mirasty, former ‘Canes centre Brandon Nolan, and three time Stanley Cup winner, Jordan Nolan star as Jim, Jim, and Jim, respectively, with Listowel’s Keegan Long as Liam, and North Bay’s Bourke Cazabon as Cory.

Developed by Bell Media for Crave, SHORESY is produced by New Metric Media, in partnership with Play Fun Games in association with Bell Media, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, the Bell Fund, OMDC Tax Credits, and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, and is distributed by WildBrain, New Metric Media is the exclusive sales agent. Jared Keeso is executive producer, writer, star, and creator. Kaniehtiio Horn is producer. Mark Montefiore and Kara Haflidson are Executive Producers for New Metric Media.

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Carolyn Taylor scores a perfect 10 with Crave’s I Have Nothing

The last project I saw Carolyn Taylor in was Baroness Von Sketch Show. The five-season sketch series for CBC featured Taylor and fellow executive producers/performers Jennifer Whalen, Aurora Browne and Meredith MacNeill playing outrageous characters.

Now Taylor is back in I Have Nothing playing just one: herself.

Available for streaming on Crave, I Have Nothing follows Taylor on a quest to choreograph the perfect, full-length pairs figure skating routine to Whitney Houston’s 1992 iconic hit song, “I Have Nothing.” What first started as a bit of a lark quickly turned into something a lot more daunting and real once legendary figure skater and choreographer Sandra Bezic signed on to not only help Taylor craft the routine but elicited David Pelletier, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Kurt Browning, Paul Martini and Barbara Underhill to help out.

We spoke to Taylor about how I Have Nothing Came about and its journey to TV.

This did kind of start as a lark and then it got serious, right? Once Sandra said, ‘OK, I’m going to connect you with people, figure skaters, and my reputation is on the line.’ So is the realization that we saw on screen legitimately the realization where it dawns on you, ‘Am I really going to do this?’
Carolyn Taylor: Yeah, when she says, this is no longer a joke. Now knowing, of course, it’s still a comedy docuseries, we’re still leaning into funny stuff and having those moments. When I’m working with those skaters, I’m legit doing my best. I’m doing my best, but I’m not, and I am leaning into my own foibles at the same time. It’s real, but it’s not a mockumentary.

Obviously, whenever there’s an Olympics in Canada, I have that certain amount of pride. It was so cool for you to actually tell your personal story about your feelings for Katerina Witt. Unlike on Baroness Von Sketch, for instance, where you were playing characters, this is really you talking about your feelings at the time.
CT: There is such a vulnerability to that because as a comedian and actor, there’s a critical distance and you’re summarizing what you see and you’re observing and you’re assuming characters. But then to sort of strip that away and lean into it and take the piss out of yourself, but at the same time just be yourself, but then sometimes lean into the more absurd parts of your own personality. It was the biggest challenge. It was a huge challenge. It was hard, and it was fun. [Executive producer and director] Zach Russell and I, we would just talk, we were constantly having existential talks about the nature of reality and what are dreams and what is fantasy and what is time and what is it to have something and what is it to have nothing. I think as you get deeper into the series, it keeps tilting and tilting reality, but yet it’s actually happening. It’s happening, but we’re leaning into some quirks and weird shit too.

Sandra Bezic, Carolyn Taylor and Kurt Browning

This is a unique idea to pitch to production companies. How did you pitch it to Julie Bristow at Catalyst?
CT: Well, there was an immediate connection. A friend of mine had worked with Julie and said, ‘Oh, you’ve got to pitch Julie. She just started a new production company.’ And so I met with her, and I wasn’t even sure I was even going to pitch this. It was just like, ‘Hey, let’s chat.’ She’s like, ‘Anything you’re thinking of?’ I’m like, ‘Well, I do have this obsession, this skating routine. I’d like to turn it into a series.’ And she was like, ‘I was obsessed with Katerina too. I was a skater.’ And she got it. And she understands the queer sensibility behind it. She also has connections in the skating world, and she is someone who puts trust in the people she collaborates with. So she and Vibika Bianchi at Catalyst are amazing. They said, ‘We want you to see your vision through, we want to help.’ And they really did have the connections and resources and the niche interest in this very niche project.

And then the same thing kind of happened with Bell and Crave. We talked to a few networks, but it was Bell who understood it. They understood that they didn’t understand parts, and we had to talk it through, and they were, but I am so grateful that they got behind it and said, yeah, this is our kind of weird, and we want to try it and we trust and let’s go for it. So they were great.

And was it Sandra Bezic who opened that door to Kristi Yamaguchi and other high-profile figure skaters? It’s one thing to pitch networks and production companies, but what about getting those names on board?
CT: That was definitely Sandra. Those are all people she’s choreographed, people she’s worked with over the years on Stars On Ice, the Olympics, other competitions, et cetera, and they all know each other. They all like each other. So anything celebrating their sport and their cohort of skaters and Sandra and that world… I mean, they were skeptical. I think some of them were like, ‘What is this?’ Everyone was like that. But we also encouraged them. We said, ‘You’ve got doubts. Lay ’em out.’ So they really played in the world, but the things they’re saying are true. But it was pretty amazing that everyone got on board.

Let’s get a little bit into the writing. My initial question was about the writing and whether you were the sole writer, but it sounds as though there was a lot of improv.
CT: It was unscripted. It was Zack and I working on the beat sheets. We wrote beats and we had a couple of people consult his story editors who came in. Alison Johnson was a story editor on the project throughout. So she was on set and would have ideas, and we collaborated at the end of the day and tried to figure out what the next day and what was going to happen. It really was chaos and control coming together because you couldn’t know.

What do you want viewers to experience when they watch I Have Nothing?
CT: I want them to feel something. I want them to go on the ride and know that I am opening myself up and saying, ‘If anyone wants to come with me, come and let’s go on this ride together.’ I would hope that they do feel also some joy from it. I was talking to Xtra Magazine about that idea of queer joy and, ‘It’s okay, and we can have queer joy and we can have celebratory moments, and it’s okay if things work out and if there are triumphs.’

I’d be happy if it just generates conversation and questioning why we pursue what we pursue and why we don’t. And the 15-year-old who lives in us and who are we now versus who we were then who did we valorize and what would it mean to meet them?

Season 1 of I Have Nothing is available now on Crave.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Links: Bria Mack Gets a Life, Season 1

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: Preview: There’s plenty to love with Bria Mack Gets a Life
Credit creator-director-writer Sasha Leigh Henry with busting down a stereotypical wall or two with Bria Mack. Like her main character, Henry is a Black Canadian who survived a University of Waterloo education. Her credits include a stint as story editor on Workin’ Moms as well as accolades at the Toronto International Film Festival for an earlier incarnation of Bria Mack. Continue reading.

From Sabina Wex of CBC Arts:

Link: Bria Mack Gets a Life turns the awkwardness of young adulthood into comedy gold
“It felt like the female ensemble, female Black comedy lead was missing. I thought we could use that in Canada. I had this idea of a woman who, on her first day on the job, experiences someone trying to touch her hair. Instead of seeing the shitty, poorly handled HR meeting, where nothing really happens, what if we go with her and her brain to where she actually wants to go and how she would want to react? And we get to play that out.” Continue reading.

From Elisabetta Bianchini of Yahoo! News:

Link: ‘Bria Mack Gets A Life’ doesn’t shy away from specifics, and will ‘up the ante’ for comedy
In a world with countless streaming TV shows at our fingertips, a series that actually stands out for being funny, compelling, with a truly entertaining script, is a big deal. For Canadians, that show is Bria Mack Gets A Life on Crave, created by Sasha Leigh Henry, starring Malaika Hennie-Hamadi and Hannan Younis. Continue reading.

From Courtney Small of That Shelf:

Link: Interview: Sasha Leigh Henry on Bria Mack Gets A Life
“It might be cheesy to say, but I don’t think I picked comedy, so much as comedy picked me. The things my family liked to watch when I was growing up, and resonated with, were often comedic.” Continue reading.

From Annemarie Cutruzzola of She Does The City:

Link: Bria Mack Gets a Life: A Chaotic New Comedy from Sasha Leigh Henry
Bria Mack Gets a Life is a show for the burnt-out post-secondary grads, for the cuspies (those straddling the line between Gen Z and Millenial) and for anyone who copes with microaggressions by daydreaming about the ultimate comeback. Continue reading.

From Kevin Bourne of Shifter:

Link: Bria Mack Gets a Life is funny, well-written and pretty much perfect
Since the success of Kim’s Convenience, some have wondered when Caribbean people would get a comedy series of our own. Well, that day is just around the corner with the upcoming Crave Original Series Bria Mack Gets A Life, a coming-of-age comedy about a young Black woman’s transition from college student to adulthood. Continue reading.

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Fantastical new Crave original comedy series, Bria Mack Gets a Life premieres October 13

From a media release:

On the heels of its world premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, the Crave Original series BRIA MACK GETS A LIFE premieres on Crave on Friday, Oct. 13. The hysterical six-episode, half-hour comedy is the vision of creator and showrunner Sasha Leigh Henry, who was named one of Variety’s “10 Canadians to watch” in 2022 and is behind critically acclaimed short films Black Bodies and Sinking Ship. BRIA MACK GETS A LIFE follows a 25-year-old Black woman as she navigates adulthood in a predominantly white world, made all the more difficult, but also more tolerable, by Black Attack, her invisible hype girl.

Episodes 1-3 of BRIA MACK GET A LIFE drop on Friday, Oct. 13 with episodes 3-6 dropping on Friday, Oct. 20. The official trailer for the series is available HERE.

After seven long years in University, fresh graduate and newly minted valedictorian, Bria McFarlane (Malaika Hennie-Hamadi), moves back home to the suburbs ready to finally take a break. But when her mother Marie (Leslie Adlam) shares her plan to retire early – and soon – Bria must coordinate her life, friends, dating, a place to live, and most importantly, a job, to fund it all, before time runs out. With her hype girl and most-trusted imaginary confidant, Black Attack (Hannan Younis), by her side, the series follows the pair as they take on the world… one microaggression at a time.

Led by Hennie-Hamadi and Younis, the unfiltered comedy features a predominantly BIPOC cast including Adlam; Manuel Rodriguez-Saenz; Amalia Williamson; Marlee Sansom; Preeti Torul; Robert Bazzocchi; Nia Cummins; Robert Clarke; Femi Lawson; Shannon Jardine; Catherine De Sève; and Mark Forward. Over the course of the season, the series illustrates the varied ways navigating adulthood can manifest anxiety, especially for a young, clever, Black woman. Punctuated by inner monologues and fantasies, BRIA MACK GETS A LIFE acutely explores what it feels like to figure out who you want to be in a world too eager to tell you who you are.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, New Metric Media hosts the special event, BRIA MACK GETS A LIFE LIVE! at Comedy Bar in Toronto. The event features stand-up comedy, musical performances, and a screening of episode 1 and 2. For more information, please visit www.BriaMackGetsALife.tv.

BRIA MACK GETS A LIFE is produced by New Metric Media in association with Bell Media’s Crave with the participation of the Bell Fund. Executive producers are Sasha Leigh-Henry, Mark Montefiore, and Tania Thompson; Angelique Knights and Tamar Bird serve as producers; and directors are Sasha Leigh-Henry and Kelly Fyffe-Marshall.

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