Tag Archives: CTV

Review: Saving Hope delves deep

Well the good news after that Saving Hope cliffhanger season finale is that Alex isn’t dead. The bad news is she’s still in a coma and Charlie seems pretty happy about that. Things picked up right where Season 2 left them, with Alex’s body on the operating table and Dawn and Maggie scrambling to save her, while spirit Alex and Charlie tried to figure out what this new situation meant.

I’ll admit I got a kick out of Dawn repeatedly telling Charlie to stop talking—although I wish someone had taken it one step further and demanded to know just who he was talking to when the supposed love of his life was nearly dying in front of him. It was one of a handful of lighter moments that balanced out the very dark place Alex went to almost immediately after her short bonding session with Charlie.

While the whole coma-meets-alternate-life isn’t a new thing to television, I do appreciate the direction Saving Hope went in—instead of giving Alex a glimpse at a life (and husband?) she would wake up wanting, we got a shocking look into her past when it eventually came out that Alex had witnessed her father’s suicide. If it came as a jarring transition as her fictional daughter turned into her, I missed it because I was completely caught up in Luke’s return.

If there was anything I would have wanted to come out of Alex’s attack, it would be a chance for her to see her brother again—though ideally not with their dead father suspended next to them. But as the two finally got to talk again, the possibility that the two siblings could spend the rest of eternity hanging out in their childhood home and having barbeques seemed like a nice alternative to recovering from a brutal scissor stabbing and diving back into the complicated mess that is Charlie’s unique set of abilities and a very unresolved love triangle. Then again, maybe I’m just really partial to Luke.

Because as soon as Alex disappeared from Charlie’s sight, that love triangle was kicked into high gear. While I should probably preface my feelings on Charlie deciding to beat up Joel with an admission that I’m hands down Team Joel, that wasn’t a particularly mature or constructive way to deal with the horrifying things happening at Hope Zion—and it certainly wasn’t going to do Alex any good.

Not that Joel needed a physical pummeling to go with his emotional one when he got hit with the double whammy that his patient was the one who stabbed Alex (while he was asleep, no less) but that said patient then went on to throw himself off the hospital roof. And despite how hopeless it was, Joel and Zach were doing all they could to save the guy until he demanded Joel let him sleep—the kind of medical decision I’m sure wouldn’t fly in court, if anyone ever checks up on this. I’ve got the feeling making that call will be sticking with Joel for a while, and not just because he was being tailed by a ghost.

More Hope-ful moments:

  • “Maggie, are you crying? Because if you move, she dies.” Dawn is probably not the most reassuring person in a crisis.
  • “Godzilla, Mothra, do you want to shake paws and call it even?” What Gavin didn’t say was who was who?
  • “Mothra didn’t have paws, man. She was a moth.” I am pleased to report there was also plenty of Reycraft in this episode.
  • “That’s disgusting. What are you, like a teen hooker?” Dawn on Gavin’s sugar to coffee ratio
  • “I read in a paper that we’ve reached peak beard, but I’m not so sure.” Zach should definitely take advantage of his Armenian half and really show us what peak beard is.
  • Charlie: “I can see you, and I’m glad.” Alex: “I’m in a coma, Charlie.” Basically says it all.

Saving Hope returns to its regular time period on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

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Review: And the Amazing Race winners are…

The only way to win the final Leg of The Amazing Race Canada is to be perfect and hope that your competitors make a mistake or falter. Best buds Mickey and Pete ran the perfect final Leg–and their competitors Meaghan and Natalie and Ryan and Rob struggled–and the boys from Muskoka, Ont., won The Amazing Race Canada.

The two fellows with the luxurious heads of hair arrived first on the mat at Ottawa’s Rideau Hall in front of host Jon Montgomery and those eliminated earlier this season, promptly pulled off their shorts and embraced. The friends, once they put their pants back on, will pocket $250,000, fly free for a year anywhere Air Canada flies worldwide in Business Class, plus two Chevrolet Silverado High Country Edition Pickup Trucks and a lifetime supply of gas courtesy of Petro Canada. Winter Olympians Meaghan and Natalie captured the silver medal while Ryan and Rob received bronze.

Rob and Ryan started the final Leg in first place after grabbing a cab upon arrival in Ottawa from New Brunswick but their cab driver headed to the wrong address and the other two teams passed them and they never made up the ground. Instead, they were forced to play catchup for the remainder of the Race. Meaghan and Natalie, meanwhile, got their inflatable kayak first but were out-raced to the water by Mickey and Pete. The boys’ knowledge of white water rafting–and the girls’ being rookies at it–meant they got ahead and never relinquished the lead. That said, things got very, very close several times and the leads could have switched at least twice.

A trip to John Diefenbaker’s Diefenbunker–a sprawling Cold War nuclear bunker outside of Ottawa–challenged teams to find miniature military models and if Natalie had been a little more diligent in her searches she would have been done first. Meaghan, meanwhile, had her own issues when her increasingly painful right hand was subjected to stress during a vertical rope climb to the top of the Canadian Museum of Nature. I was willing her to complete the task as quickly as possible, but she just couldn’t catch Mickey.

The final task–using  everyone’s memory to put together paintings of the countries the teams had visited–found all three teams in the same room and just minutes apart in completing it from one another.  Mickey and Pete appeared to arrive at Rideau Hall mere minutes before the other two teams did.

I’ve really enjoyed this second season of The Amazing Race Canada. Though I criticized producers for taking the show outside of the country, Legs to China and France (Juno Beach was a tear-jerker of a Pit Stop) enriched the show and made it an entertaining season.

The hour-long After the Race special hosted by James Duthie was a fairly lighthearted affair, revisiting key moments with all of the teams and announcing that there will indeed be a Season 3 of The Amazing Race Canada. They’re taking applications now.

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Comments and queries for the week of Sept. 19

How many viewers must a CBC show have (on average) to warrant a renewal? Is there a trend or magic number?@staceyfarber18

Hey Stacey, thanks for the question and congrats on the Saving Hope gig. Can’t wait for your portrayal of Dr. Sydney Katz this season. Television ratings are complicated at the best of times what with the advent of live +7 ratings being taken into account thanks to PVRs and the fact that every network has different expectations from others.

I’m not saying the following are the case at the CBC, but there is certainly concern for a series that garners under 500,000 viewers per week. Another factor may be what a network has lined up in development or already in production; if the thought is that something new may grab viewers more than what’s currently on the air, that can spell the end of a series. An older-skewing television show with lower ratings is always going to be a target for cancellation before one comfortably in the 18-49 demo, a.k.a. the sweet spot for advertisers. And sometimes showrunners or stars decide that it’s time to move on to other things.

I am looking for all three series of Paradise Falls on DVD.Gary

I have some bad news for you Gary. Paradise Falls, which lasted for three seasons on Showcase, is currently unavailable for purchase on DVD.

While I would be happy to see any of these three remaining Amazing Race Canada teams win, I have to applaud Meaghan and Natalie for showing what true sportsmanship is all about. You did not mention in this article that the brother and sister had lost their clue with important information on the task. They asked other teams to help, and I suspect after the manner they had played the last few weeks two of the three other teams were not interested in providing an assist. The hockey ladies chose to share their clue, and possibly put themselves in jeopardy as they had not completed the task yet. These two are already winners in my mind.–Trina

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Review: Racers flex their mussels in Charlottetown

Who else is amazed by the performance of Mickey and Pete on The Amazing Race? In a classic case of “never judge a book by its cover,” the duo from Muskoka, Ont., have not only made it to the semifinals but they could end up being the winners of Season 2.

Mickey in particular has excelled in several cases, mostly due to the fact that he successfully keeps his superpowers hidden behind a stoner, easygoing façade. Those skills were first unveiled in France, when his science background helped with the making of Calvados. During Tuesday’s Leg in Charlottetown, he showed off his running skills by pulling Pete around a racetrack. Every other team took turns running, but not Mickey. He pulled his brunette-maned bud around that course the whole time. At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mickey was a surgeon or opera singer.

Meanwhile, Olympians Meaghan and Natalie are in disarray. Their calm, cool, demeanour has shown cracks, particularly with Meaghan, who is easily rattled when things don’t go her way immediately. Her struggles remembering the 10 men who helped shape Canada at the Charlottetown Conference left her shaken and upset; exactly the opposite formula for success on The Amazing Race Canada.

Sukhi and Jinder continue to surprise me; the kids that overlooked clue boxes right in front of them have been replaced by siblings who have found inner strength, able to muscle their way through what looked like a disgusting mussel harvesting challenge and outrunning Meaghan and Natalie to the mat for another first-place finish. The look on the mud-spattered face of Sukhi told it all last night: she wants to win this competition.

Alas, it won’t be Alain and Audrey cashing in the cheque at the end of the show. The pair from Quebec were eliminated during a close race between they and Ryan and Rob.

“I’m sad this experience is over,” Audrey told host Jon Montgomery on the mat. “But we’re gonna start our life together and that’s absolutely wonderful.”

Ryan and Rob were tasked with the most disgusting challenges of the Leg so far when they had to complete a Speed Bump that involved digging for three bottles of moonshine hidden in a massive, steaming pile of cow manure. Add to that they mussel harvesting challenge and I’m betting those boy were pretty darned ripe.

Next week the final four teams head to New Brunswick to decide who will be in season finale.

Here’s how the teams finished:

  • Sukhi and Jinder
  • Meaghan and Natalie
  • Mickey and Pete
  • Ryan and Rob
  • Alain and Audrey (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

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Review: Race’s full Monty with Monty in Montreal

We may not know who the winners of The Amazing Race Canada will be at this point, but we do know one thing: Ryan and Rob are the luckiest guys of the season. The friends and co-workers were once again saved by host Jon Montgomery, who informed the last-to-the-mat duo that Tuesday’s Leg in Montreal was a non-elimination and they were still competing.

It was a stunning turn of fortune for the two and perhaps a little deserved in the eyes of fate. After all, they chose to try the Fast Forward despite knowing that Sukhi and Jinder were already doing it and gambling they would complete it before the siblings did. As a matter of fact, perhaps fate shone on both teams, allowing the brother a sister the first-place finish while giving the co-workers another shot at success. After all, they were the only teams bold enough to strip down all in the name of the Amazing Race Canada title.

Both teams raced to the Parisian Laundry for the Fast Forward, mistakenly assuming they would be washing some clothes. Instead, they were instructed to doff their tops, pants … everything but their underwear and pose for burgeoning artists who sketched them. The second phase of the Fast Forward challenged each to pose naked, which after a second of debate Jinder and Sukhi did.

“Don’t look forward!” Jinder told his sister.

“Don’t look backward!” she responded. What followed was the most entertaining and cringe-inducing moments of this season and perhaps the history of The Amazing Race franchise. Jinder’s wooden stare belied the horror going on inside of him. I can’t help but wonder if these two kids will be scarred for life. Since Jinder and Sukhi completed the Fast Forward first, Rob and Ryan had to get dressed–their nude pose meant Ryan’s genitals would have been dangling near Rob’s ear so perhaps this was for the best–and then complete one of the Detours. Their choice to make glass beads took them well into the night while the Fast Forward winners arrived on the mat in first place.

As for the rest of the teams, a seemingly enjoyable grilled cheese eating contest–the other Detour–slowed down, not to mention filled up, the remaining duos save Audrey and Alain who made beads. I’m a massive grilled cheese fan, but the idea of eating dozens of bites made from different varieties of cheese alternated with a 50-mentre sprint to a food truck to identify what I had just eaten would have left me heaving into the St. Lawrence River. Meaghan and Natalie in particular had a hard time of it and bickered back and forth while buds Mickey and Pete chowed down and then departed.

Here’s how the teams finished:

  • Sukhi and Jinder
  • Mickey and Pete
  • Meaghan and Natalie
  • Alain and Audrey
  • Rob and Ryan (non-elimination)

The Amazing Race airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

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