Tag Archives: Package Deal

Package Deal and Meet the Family cancelled by City

It’s the end of the road for Package Deal and Meet the Family.

On Monday afternoon, Vancouver’s Craigslist posted the following “Huge Set Sale”:

“Tons of chairs, bar stools and tables, banquettes, theatre chairs, church pews (!!) couches, lamps and other lighting, furniture, kitchen items, tea shop and bar paraphernalia, glassware, carpeting, clothing (no kids clothes) and those ever present knickknacks!

April 22nd, 23rd and 24th from 10am — 4pm (NO early birds)

Location: Unit 1B — 2350 Beta Avenue, Burnaby (Street Parking Only)

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to grab some amazing deals!”

Those listed items are the contents of the apartment, tea shop, courtroom and offices featured in the original sitcom during the last two seasons.

City confirmed Tuesday afternoon that both Package Deal and hidden camera sketch series Meet the Family would not return.

“Despite the strong teams behind both series and critical acclaim garnered to date, Package Deal and Meet The Family were unable to connect with the audience needed to continue,” said Nataline Rodrigues, Director of Original Programming of Rogers Media, in a statement. “We remain committed to Canadian originals, and we are proud to have provided our viewers with two fun seasons of both series; it was a real pleasure and privilege to work with the immense talent on these shows – on and off the screen.

Package Deal starred Randal Edwards as Danny, a successful lawyer who met and fell in love with Kim (Julia Voth). The problem? Danny’s two brothers, ne’er-do-well Sheldon (Harland Williams) and fastidious Ryan (Jay Malone), don’t like that Kim is taking Danny away from them. The multi-camera series was created by Andrew Orenstein (Malcolm in the Middle3rd Rock from the Sun) and shot in front of a live audience. Never able to score decent ratings (it was down to 72,000 viewers in mid-October) the second season finale was broadcast in December, and had the feel of a series finale to it.

The news comes the same day that Package Deal‘s production company, Thunderbird, announced both seasons are available for streaming in the U.S. on Hulu starting Tuesday.

Produced by Frantic films and based on the successful U.K. series, Meet the Parents threw unwitting folks into a uncomfortable situation: meeting the downright odd family of their girlfriend or boyfriend. The series starred Terry Barna, Liz Best, Hannah Hogan, Theresa Tova, Don Berns, Heather Hodgson, Ralph Small, Nicole Maroon, Peter Keleghan, Chris Wilson, Miguel Rivas and Matt Bernard.

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Review: Package Deal says goodbye

I’m suspecting it’s the end of the road for Package Deal. Of course, things may change and a third go-round may be ordered, but I’m betting that won’t be the case. Moved to at least three different nights and timeslots since Season 2 bowed last fall, one could argue City attempted to find a night and spot where the Canadian sitcom could attract a larger audience (like right after 2 Broke Girls for a few weeks), but I never saw a commercial promoting Package Deal. If I wasn’t following several of its cast members and the show itself on Twitter I would have lost track of it long ago.

And that’s too bad. Aside from the friendly cast and crew I met while on a set visit for Season 1, this sophomore season has been tighter, funnier and more raw. Sunday’s back-to-back season finale, “The Break Up” parts 1 and 2, plunged couple Kim and Danny into truly stressful territory for the very first time by throwing marriage into the picture. (“This can’t be happening. He’s so young, to be cut down in his prime,” wailed Sheldon. “There’s so much more for you to experience. You haven’t even slept with an albino.”)

The fact that they both waffled independently over the prospect of advancing their relationship to the next level was a departure from the usual light-hearted weekly bickering and allowed actors Julia Voth and Randal Edwards the opportunity to play some very serious moments and heartfelt emotions … at least until Harland Williams’ Sheldon or Jay Malone’s Ryan jumped in to say something ludicrous.

The ensuing break-up that concluded the first instalment made for several interesting moments that carried to the second script, written by creator and executive producer Andrew Orenstein. Danny and Kim both re-entered the dating market and while Danny was disgusting gals with his “dump stink,” Kim found a paramour in TJ (John Dore), the produce guy working at his local market. The addition of Dore ramped up the laughs thanks to his hippie views on life, a stark contrast to Danny’s lawyer profession.

The conclusion of “The Break Up” certainly could have kept Kim and Danny apart–setting up a cliffhanger–but I’m glad that didn’t happen. If this is indeed the final episode of Package Deal, I’d much prefer the pair to be a couple than apart. Thanks, Package Deal, for two seasons of laughs.

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Review: Priestley pumps up Package Deal

I miss Call Me Fitz. The HBO Canada award-winner about a morally-bankrupt used car salesman named Richard “Fitz” Fitzpatrick (Jason Priestley) isn’t officially dead, but it’s as close as you can be without the press release shovelling dirt on it. I loved how Priestley blew his Beverly Hills, 90210 past out of the water by embodying a man who drank too much, chain-smoked, bedded women by the hundreds and elevated personal insults to new levels of atrocity.

And while Fitz may have moved on, Priestley isn’t totally over playing him. The actor chewed up every piece of scenery available as weatherman Storm Chambers in Monday’s episode of Package Deal. Storm may not share the same last name as Fitz, but he was full of his DNA. Smarmy charm? Check. Double-entendre jokes? (“Did you hear the news? There’s a storm brewing’. Down south,” he said to Kim.) Check. A taste for booze? You got it.

“The Imperfect Storm” brought hurricane Storm into Danny, Kim and Sheldon’s lives when Ryan saw the superstar meteorologist blow into the gang’s watering hole. Ryan was star-struck, Kim was repulsed and Danny was irritated, mainly because Storm had once reported sunshine on a day that downpoured on him. No matter; Ryan dropped everything and was at Storm’s beck and call. Late nights, drinking and over-laughter hid a side of Storm that was only revealed when Danny–attempting to make amends for not defending Kim during a robbery at the tea shop–informed Storm that no one really liked him. Shattered, Storm returned to the airwaves on the verge of suicide and only Sheldon’s foster puppy could brighten his day.

I had the chance to see Priestley work a room when he appeared in an episode of Spun Out last year and he’s a pro at it. That showed in “The Imperfect Storm”: he elevated the script to new levels and pushed his co-stars to up their game. The result? A great episode.

Package Deal airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET on City.

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Review: Package Deal gets sexy

Thursday’s newest episode of Package Deal was called “Sex, Sex, Sex,” but “Sex, Sex, No Sex,” was more apt when it came to Danny and Kim. As per Andrew Orenstein’s script, the pair were suffering from a “sex slump” that left them wondering why they weren’t getting horizontal anymore. It should be noted that Julia Voth’s Kim has been dressed in sexy sleepwear every week, so perhaps the issue is actually Danny’s.

It’s always tough for a sitcom to advance the characters and any overarching themes within the boundaries of a 22-minute episode, but Package Deal is doing it. After a season of focusing on the brothers as a unit, they’re branching off into separate storylines this time around, making Sheldon and Ryan a little more rounded and adding an edge to Danny that was missing in Season 1.

But I digress. While Danny was having struggles, his brothers were busy spreading their wild oats. Ryan, who appears to be making up for the dearth of sex he had in Season 1, hopped into bed with a woman for the second episode in a row, though Julie (Genevieve Fleming) was even more adventurous than Nikki: she handcuffed Ryan during one experience and was begging him to add choking to his repertoire, something he didn’t feel comfortable doing. Ryan turned to Nikki for advice, she told him to go for it and he did–once–before showing Julie the door. I’m glad that Jay Malone’s Ryan has grown as a character in Season 2; having him be a germaphobe was funny last season, but a bit stifling when it came to where the character could go.

Sheldon, meanwhile, seemed to have landed the perfect woman in Emma (Erica Cerra, Rush) but he soon learned she was only interested in sex in hotel rooms. “Do you know how much those nightstand cashews cost?” he asked his brunette beauty. His credit cards maxed out, Sheldon attempted to woo Emma with Danny’s loft, to no avail.

Danny and Kim finally got over their slump in a scene skewering the cooking show genre. The two became hot and bothered watching an instalment of their favourite cooking competition, which featured a female chef barely able to wrap her hands around a pastry bag as it spurted icing all over a cake. The duo became so aroused Danny jumped Kim’s bones right there on the couch, and their troubles were over.

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

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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.

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