Tag Archives: Don McKellar

Link: Twenty years later, Twitch City is a work of genius and a reminder of what Canadian TV lacks

From Calum Marsh of the National Post:

Link: Twenty years later, Twitch City is a work of genius and a reminder of what Canadian TV lacks
Just about 20 years ago, the CBC inconspicuously broadcast the pilot episode of what remains, two decades later, perhaps the finest program in Canadian television history. It was called Twitch City, and with near-miraculous daring, it defied every trapping and convention of mainstream TV. Conceived by Don McKellar, who stars, in collaboration with Bruce McDonald, who directs, the series was, broadly speaking, an “anti-sitcom” — a misanthropic comedy that seemed actively hostile to the form. Continue reading.


Saving Hope: Sensitive Skin’s Don McKellar guest-stars

Will Hope Zion lose any more members? Last week, Maggie bid farewell to Zach, Alex and her co-workers to throw caution to the wind and jet to London to be with Sydney. Syd skipped her flight to stay and be with Maggie … so is Maggie still going to leave Hope Zion or will she be back?

That isn’t revealed in Thursday’s new episode, “Problem Child,” but we do get a treasure trove of other emotional goodies and notable guest stars. Here’s what CTV says about the instalment.

Dr. Alex Reid struggles to find out what’s causing the erratic behaviour of a former model student when he comes into the E.R. after hurting himself breaking into his neighbour’s house. As Alex works to determine the problem, Dr. Charlie Harris speaks with the spirit version of the child to try to find out what has been causing his behavioural changes. When one of Dr. Dev Sekara’s childhood friends is brought into the hospital after being beaten, questions arise as to who’s at fault, and if the beating was racially motivated. Meanwhile, Dr. Dawn Bell’s favourite heart patient becomes discouraged by the amount of time’s spent waiting for his transplant. A lottery winner, he’s given almost all of his prize money away, and with the remainder would like to open an animal sanctuary, so Dawn comes up with an idea that will allow him to leave the hospital and do his good Samaritan work.

And here are some non-spoilery storyline details we can give after watching the episode written by Aaron Bala and Patrick Tarr and directed by Teresa Hannigan.

Shahir in shorts!
Now that he’s back on board with regard to adopting, Shahir goes all out to impress in his and Jonathan’s interview. That includes the classic “Dad look.”

Don McKellar guest stars
We’re still sad over Sensitive Skin‘s cancellation, so it’s great to see McKellar back on TV and in such a juicy storyline. McKellar is Dr. Amos Carver, the new staff psychiatrist. And with everything that’s been going on in Charlie’s life, let’s just say the good doctor is keen to have a chat. And keep your eyes peeled for Sunnyside co-creator Dan Redican, who has an impact on Dawn’s heart transplant patient.

Dawn + Zach = a bit of conflict
Introducing someone new to your children can be complicated, as the duo is quickly finding out.

Dev gets some airtime
We love the key cast as much as anyone else, but we enjoy it when the (relative) newbies get screen time. Dev gets plenty on Thursday when his childhood best friend is brought into the ER in rough shape. A police officer’s strange reaction leads to a shocking truth about what happened to Dev’s friend … and an intimate conversation with Shahir.

Saving Hope airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Sensitive Skin cancelled by HBO Canada

Sensitive Skin will not return for a third season on HBO Canada. That’s the word from the show’s official Twitter account, which posted the news on Sunday morning.

Bell Media issued a statement to TV, Eh? on Monday afternoon:

“Several months ago, we informed the SENSITIVE SKIN team that we had made the decision not to renew the series for a third season. In our view, Davina’s journey came to a moving and elegant conclusion at the end of Season 2. We are very proud to have been part of this amazing show, which won over audiences and critics around the world. We remain huge fans of the creative team behind SENSITIVE SKIN and hope to work with them again in the future.”

Starring Kim Cattrall and directed by Don McKellar, Sensitive Skin garnered a 2015 International Emmy nomination in the Best Comedy Series category and Season 1 captured four Canadian Screen Awards, including the Bell Media Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role (McKellar); Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series (McKellar); Best Photography in a Comedy Program or Series (Douglas Koch) and Best Picture Editing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series (Matthew Hannam).

Cattrall played Davina, a fiftysomething Toronto woman who was adjusting to her life as an older woman while married to her neurotic husband, Al (McKellar). Davina was worried she hadn’t done anything of note with her life and set out to change that. In Season 2, Davina was coping with life as a widow and moved to the Toronto Islands and attempted to make new friends. Sensitive Skin co-starred Nicolas Wright, Bob Martin, Colm Feore, Joanna Gleason, Clé Bennett, Elliott Gould and Marc-André Grondin.

Season 1 of Sensitive Skin was written by Bob Martin; Susan Coyne, Rosa Labordé and Lynne Coady wrote Season 2.

Fans were not happy to hear the news and took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

Consider us in that group too.

How do you feel about Sensitive Skin being cancelled? Let me know in the comments section below.


Sensitive Skin returns for more quiet reflection in Season 2

I’m so used to watching series featuring gals dispatching biker demons, Second World War spies, vikings attacking Paris and serial killers slaughtering small-town folk that Sensitive Skin made an immediate impact.

Returning Sunday on HBO Canada for Season 2, the Kim Cattrall-led drama doesn’t feature a gun owned by Wyatt Earp, Nazis or longboat battles. It’s a slow, spare character analysis of a woman trying to find her place in the world. The first season ended with Davina Jackson (Cattrall) at a crossroads in her life. Unhappy in her life and marriage to Al (Don McKellar), things were shaken up when Al suffered a heart attack and then flatlined in the season’s closing moments.

Now, picking up after that incident, Davina is moving on. But how? Would finding a new place make her happy? Would living with sister Veronica (Joanna Gleason) and brother-in-law Roger (Colm Feore) fill a hole in her life? She doesn’t know, though Theodore (Clé Bennett) goes a long way to helping her come to a decision. And while Davina is certainly the focus of Sensitive Skin, I was constantly drawn to Theodore. Sure, he deals drugs outside of her condo building, but the guy definitely has some viewpoints on life and is dead-on about many of them. (“They’re building one of those bath bomb places across the street, so you’d have to be smelling that hippy shit all day. That ain’t no way to live, right?” is one of his sage statements.)

Several segments in Episode 1 are very much about words left unsaid. Rather than fill a scene with conversation, head writer Bob Martin’s scripts boast precious seconds slowed down and set to a simple horn and strings as Davina quietly contemplates her next life move. She caresses a kitchen counter here, stares out a ceiling to floor window there; you can see the internal discussion going on in Davina’s head without her having to say the words aloud. It sets Sensitive Skin apart from other series, and I like that. A lot.

Sensitive Skin airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET/MT on HBO Canada.


Kim Cattrall returns to HBO Canada in Season 2 of Sensitive Skin on May 15

From a media release:

HBO Canada announced today that its critically acclaimed, award-winning Original Series SENSITIVE SKIN returns for a six-episode second season on Sunday, May 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Following the HBO Canada premiere of the first episode, the entire second season will be made available to subscribers at once on multiple platforms, including TMN GO.

Starring Canadian superstar Kim Cattrall (SEX AND THE CITY), and directed by one of the most acclaimed figures in Canadian film and television, Don McKellar (The Grand Seduction), SENSITIVE SKIN picks up after the highly emotional cliff-hanger ending of the first season and sees Cattrall’s Davina enter a new phase of her life. In the first episode, Davina searches for a new home but discovers that moving on isn’t as easy as she’d hoped, and soon finds herself in the picturesque Toronto Islands.

SENSITIVE SKIN also sees executive producer and series director Don McKellar reprise his award-winning role as Davina’s husband Al. Returning cast members include Bob Martin (MICHAEL: TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS) as Davina’s colleague Sam; Nicolas Wright (White House Down) as Davina’s neurotic son Orlando; Gemini Award-winner Colm Feore (GOTHAM) as Davina’s brother-in-law Roger; Tony® Award winner Joanna Gleason (Last Vegas) as her conservative older sister Veronica; Gemini Award-winner Mary Walsh (THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES) as Sarah Thorn, a well-known radio personality; and Gemini Award winner Clé Bennett (FLASHPOINT) as Theodore. New cast members this season include Tom McCamus (Room) as Roger’s lawyer; Brigitte Robinson (Crimson Peak) as Cheryl, Orlando’s much-older, born-again-Christian fiancé; and Rick Roberts (SAVING HOPE) and renowned Brazilian actor Felipe Camargo as a potential love interests for Davina.

Season 2 of SENSITIVE SKIN sees the return of multiple Gemini Award winner and Tony Award® winner Bob Martin (Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays) as executive producer. Season 2 of SENSITIVE SKIN is written by Susan Coyne (SLINGS AND ARROWS), Rosa Labordé (Léo), and Lynne Coady (The Antagonist). SENSITIVE SKIN was shot on location on the picturesque Toronto Islands, and is adapted from the acclaimed BBC Two program of the same name, which starred Joanna Lumley (ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS).