Tag Archives: Remedy

Interview: Greg Spottiswood reflects on Remedy’s second (and final) season

This interview with Remedy showrunner Greg Spottiswood was supposed to be a recap of the show’s second season. A look back at the Connor clan’s struggles and a peek forward to what was to come.

Unfortunately, our chat serves more as an epitaph: Global cancelled Remedy the day after we spoke. Here’s what Spottiswood had to say about Griffin’s addiction story and why Sandy ended up being hit by a truck.

At first I wanted Griffin to get past his addiction and move on. But after Dillon Casey touched base with me, I realized Griff’s story is like real life, and there are no easy answers.
Greg Spottiswood: Dillon is very protective of that character. What we aspire to do is make the audience feel towards Griffin the way his family felt. They loved him, they cared about him and were rooting for him but at a certain point they kind of had enough of him. When we decided to go down this road, I told the network and I told [executive producer] Bernie Zukerman that if we were going to do a story about addiction that we would do it as accurately as a television show can, which is never fully accurate. We were going to talk to consultants and define it not as a flaw in this person’s character. A lot of stories about addiction on television are very much individual journeys and while Griffin had a distinct path this season, really the Trojan horse of it is to define the addiction as a family disease and to look at what happens to a family and how their feelings can be corrupted or warped when dealing with addiction. That was really our big project. The real question was, can we get the audience back? He really doesn’t hit bottom until the finale when Sandy tells him to leave the room. He doesn’t have one ally in his family. I feel like we accomplished what we set out to do.


By the end of the finale, Griffin was headed to rehab with Frank, PJ and Bruno giving him a ride, and Sandy was OK after that horrible car accident.
Sandy being hit by the truck was a fairly late change to the script. Originally, the design was that Griffin was either going to OD, or something else that was terrible would happen. We had been working on the script—Greg Nelson wrote it—and I came in one day and said, ‘It’s not Griffin, it’s Sandy. Bottom can’t be Griffin hurting himself, bottom has to be Griffin hurting the one person in the family who has never let him down and who he’s closest to.’ And people were uncomfortable in the writers’ room. ‘Really? You’re gonna hit Sandy with a truck?’ ‘I know it’s the right thing to do.’ Everybody got on board. That’s the interesting thing about television. You have this plan and everybody has signed on and then as a showrunner you’re in the shower or driving to work and you realize, ‘No, we’ve made a mistake.’

It was interesting, and effective, to not show the actual accident, but just Sandy being brought into the ER.
There were some interesting conversations about that. Would we show the headlights? Did we want to have a horn honk? And I said, ‘Some people will see it coming, some people will hope it’s not coming, but if we do it right …’ We put Zoe in the ER because we wanted the audience to think she saw Griff so that we could keep the misdirect going just a little longer.

Griffin’s journey as a rough one. Did you sit down and talk to Dillon Casey about it beforehand and give him any advice?
What we talked about at the beginning of the season was that he’d have to take really good care of himself because it was going to get uncomfortable. He was going to go to some dark places and be unsympathetic, which for a lot of actors is very hard to do especially on a network television show. He was embracing it but I told him he’d have to take care of his health because he was playing a very unhealthy guy. He took that to heart and approached the whole season with a great commitment and discipline and desire to understand what this guy was going through.


Another plot point I really enjoyed was bringing Allen down into the ER and seeing him as a doctor and inspiration to others. Had that been in the works since Season 1?
No. By the end of the first season, I went to Bernie and the network and said, ‘I don’t think we’re using everything that Rico has to offer as an actor well enough in Allen’s current role.’ I pitched the idea of moving him down to the ER and Bernie embraced it right away, but there was a certain skepticism at one point from the network. I felt like we had this great actor in Rico with great comic chops, great dramatic chops and because of Flashpoint he’s got this father figure position that we exploit. I said, ‘I just want to make him be the underdog.’ I’m really proud of everyone this season, especially of Rico because he relished it. When I went and told him what we were going to do, he blinked once and said, ‘OK, here we go.’

Sara Canning and Sarah Allen were fantastic this season too. Speaking of comic chops, they both have them.
Sara Canning and Sarah Allen as individuals are really stellar human beings and incredibly talented actors. We did chemistry reads when we were casting the show, so we knew that there was something there, but I don’t think any of us would have predicted how well those two have worked together, how close they would become as friends. They have a genuine affection for each other. They’re also very generous actors too. They listen to one another and are sensitive to each other’s needs and trust the writing, and you get this kind of magic.

Do you have a message for the Remedy folks? Comment below or via our Twitter account at @tv_eh.


Review: Remedy closes out Season 2 with hope

For me, the single most dramatic moment of Remedy‘s two episode second season finale wasn’t the shocking conclusion to the first hour, when Sandy had been hit head-on by a truck while driving around Toronto looking for Griffin, or the subsequent roller coaster surgery on her leg. It was that quiet scene between Griffin and Allen in the hospital chapel, a respite from the insanity of the world around them. And the perfect place for Allen to seek confession from his son.

“You don’t have to be a doctor. You don’t have to be anything. I’ll still love you, OK?” Allen said to Griffin during those spare minutes, tears in his eyes. Neither man knew then if Sandy’s leg would be saved by Dr. Jake (with help from Sam and Mel), but Allen took the first important steps to mending their fractured relationship. Congratulations to Dillon Casey, Enrico Colantoni, the episode’s writers, John Callaghan and Greg Spottiswood and director David Frazee for a scene that oozed emotion via body language, facial expressions and soft dialogue.

“Fight or Flight” began the night by serving as a set-up to the season finale, “Day One,” in several ways, the key being Cutler and Mel’s impending outbound flight to Dallas and Griffin’s drop further down the mineshaft of addiction. An attempted intervention for him held by Allen, Sandy, Zoe, Mel and Rebecca had the results I expected—Griff bolted after saying he’d go into rehab—and by nightfall he was literally teetering on the edge of an apartment building.

Which led to this:


And then this:

“I’m quitting. Today. I promise,” Griffin told Allen while Sandy was in surgery.

“And all it took was your sister being hit by a truck?” Allen responded.

Seeing the sister he could always rely on to support him like that shook Griffin to his core, especially when she told him post-surgery she already had one baby to take care of and couldn’t play mother to him anymore. That, paired with the time in the chapel with Allen, confirmed he needed to get better and for that he had to get away from his family. The final scene, where he, Frank, PJ and Bruno took a road trip to the Guelph rehab centre was a bro moment and established to Griffin that those three dudes would be there for him when he gets out.

Oh, and Mel is staying at Bethune. No surprise, though the news Cutler is sticking around too was.

Notes and quotes

  • Nurse Patel busting Cutler’s balls for leaving was fantastic. I laughed out loud at her having him paged as Dr. Quitter and scaring him by pretending to be a dead patient.
  • “We can just drive and eat and be miserable. You know, like a proper family.” — Rebecca
  • “Righty-tighty, lefty-loosy.” I hope someone comes up with an excuse to keep Jake around.
  • Did anyone else channel Forrest Gump when Allen took that bite of a chocolate?
  • Those Remedy folks sure come up with interesting ailments to spotlight. I was surprised to discover (via Google of course) that Kleine-Levin Syndrome or “Sleeping Beauty” syndrome really exists.
  • It was great to see Flashpoint‘s Michael Cram drop by for a guest gig on Remedy. Can we book Sergio Di Zio for Season 3?

What did you think of Season 2 of Remedy? Comment below or via @tv_eh.


Review: Broken hearts and ruined plans on Remedy

“You’re not alone, Griffin. You’re not alone.” Unfortunately, Allen’s cell phone plea fell on deaf ears. Last week I wondered just how far Griff could fall; if he goes any further Dillon Casey will be looking for another gig because Griffin is going to be dead.

By the time “Looking for Satellites” concluded, Griff had lied to Sandy, taken $1,000 of her money and bought coke with it. His face dusted with blow, he sat in a drugged-out haze in the apartment. I complained last week about Griff’s actions because I genuinely want him to succeed and kick the habit. Mirroring real life, it’s clear showrunner Greg Spottiswood isn’t going to do that with Griff this year. With just two more episodes left in the season, no epiphany is going to save Griff. I can only hope he doesn’t die.

Allen, meanwhile, did everything he could to get his son’s job back. He succeeded—and scored a tasty-looking omelette to boot—by threatening to let Frank’s job be eliminated, but he got the job done. But I fear it was all in vain. Griff has no interest in listening to Mel or Allen or in working at Bethune.

Monday’s new episode of Remedy wasn’t all about Griffin. Mel was waffling over her decision to move to Dallas with Cutler and it looked like she might not end up going … until EMT Nicole Foster (Kate Hewlett, The Stanley Dynamic and Stargate: Atlantis) walked into the ER looking to see the body of her dead wife, cop Stephanie. The sorrow in Nicole’s voice as she recounted how she and Stephanie met gave me a lump in my throat. I admit things got a little dusty on my couch when Nicole collapsed of a literal broken heart. That close call was enough to strengthen Mel’s resolve—and feelings for Cutler—and finalize her plans to move away.

The season is coming to an end, Remedy fans. Will Griffin die? Will Mel really move to Dallas? Sandy will find out about Griffin’s lie; will she forgive him?

Notes and quotes

  • “All my everything turned upside down.” Nicole with a perfect way to describe love.
  • “You’ve seen my face. Beauty rest. It’s the only shot I’ve got Conner.” Gotta love Sam.
  • “You’re too wild. Too alive.” Ooo, Marla.
  • “He has a vision. It involves a fertility clinic and a stripper.” Can Hugh hang out with Griffin every week?
  • Did Jerry really think kissing Mel would win her back? I just felt badly for the dude.
  • Lanagan Pike? Just where do the Remedy writers come up with these cool names?

Remedy‘s two-hour season finale airs Tuesday, May 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global.


Comments and queries for the week of May 8

Rock bottom on Remedy

As for Zoe and Griff, I never bought into them as a couple. I always found their pairing a tad contrived with zero chemistry and much too rushed–they moved in together way too soon. Also, Griff needs to spend a heck of a lot more time sober before he can even think of being in a relationship. He really should have stayed living with his father. I’m really disappointed that the writers decided to make Griff relapse–hopefully they’ll be able to write his character back to better health soon.

I really hope Cutler stays at Beth-H. I really think the character was a great addition to the show and we only just met him. And I will be mad if Mel is gone because the best parts of the show are her interactions with her sister but I doubt she’s leaving.

We saw a brief glimpse of Bruno. I feel he’s a sorely underused character that I want to know more about.

I am really liking Remedy this year. I think it’s caught its stride. I look forward to it week after week and I watch the show soon after it airs which is more than I can say for a lot of Canadian shows. —Alicia

What is your fave Canadian TV show of the 1970s?

Kids of Degrassi Street and The Forest Rangers are on DVD, though TFR is likely out of print and wasn’t released past the first season. The only shows on that list that have “proper” DVD representation are Frightenstein and SCTV.

One show people remember that should have replaced The Trouble with Tracy: Global/TVOntario series Witness to Yesterday. That was a show from Global’s initial 1974 season which endured in reruns, IIRC. —Cameron

Over the air antenna, you complete me

I have a Monoprice antenna that’s OK. I can only get one channel, though. Sometimes if I’m lucky, I can get a second. I think a large part of my problem is because I live at the bottom of a hill. I’m interested to try the Micron XG (or the Winegard). So, I’d like to be entered into a draw for the XG. These days, I rely mostly on Internet streams from the broadcasters and Netflix (on my Apple TV). —Tim

I miss TV for my Jays games. To finagle a better wifi connection, I’ve done plenty of trial and error walking about the condo. The Micron XG might be just the right size for all that walking! —JaysGirl

This information is great, these would be the only channels I’d want to get. I’ll have to think about investing in an antennae.

Please review more, it’s difficult enough to know what streaming devices stream what without having to double check if the article is about the U.S. version. It took a few articles and waiting before I found out both the ChromeCast and AppleTV in Canada wouldn’t get HBO NOW. It would be very appreciated. —Smoonie

TV shows to binge-watch this summer

If we’re looking beyond contemporary series, I definitely agree about Slings & Arrows. And I was on the fence about Blackstone for the first two seasons, but then watched all of the third season over a week or so (sort of binging) and got into it more. So either it had found it’s groove, or it’s a series that benefits from immersing yourself in it.

And since a binge-able series is, perhaps, ideally one that has a story arc and develops from episode-to-episode I might suggest a kind of dark horse — Peter Benchley’s Amazon. This was a Canada-U.S. co-production circa 2000 that was kind of Lost before there was Lost. Next to no one’s heard of it, and maybe I remember it unduly well, but it was a weird, ambitious series with a complex, evolving storyline ideal for binging (though was cancelled after one season). It was released to DVD at one point.

And speaking of weird and ambitious — ZOS: Zone of Separation was an R-rated 2008 mini-series about U.N. peacekeepers that can best be described as Apocalypse Now meets Deadwood. Worth keeping an eye out for — though good luck, as I’m not sure it’s in circulation much. Which, admittedly, kind of defeats the purpose of recommending it here! —DK

Got a comment or question about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.


Review: Rock bottom on Remedy

So Griff is back at square one, and I gotta say I’m not too happy about it.

See, I thought Griff and Zoe were going to be an unstoppable team, a couple that supported each other through good and bad. After everything Griff went through last season—kicking drugs, earning his family’s trust and deserving a second chance to be a dependable dude—and this is where we’re left? Griff fired from work, kicked out of the apartment and walking down the street alone? I trust Remedy‘s writing team immensely and having Griff backslide is certainly realistic. But as a Remedy fan? I don’t like that I’ve gone through a roller coaster with him this year only to see this happen again. With only three more episodes to go, can Griff pull off a happy ending? Doubtful.

Mel certainly looks happy, doesn’t she? Though part of me really wanted to see Mel play floor hockey, she and Cutler needed to chat about Dallas. And unless there is a major shakeup on the show, Mel won’t be going to the Lone Star state. Still, Cutler is good for her and perhaps she’ll spend a few weeks with him down there. Assuming, of course, that he really does leave Beth-H in his rear view mirror. After spending her time worrying about what her family thinks, it was a major triumph for Mel to shed that and let loose with Cutler for the night. (And she looked pretty damned good in that cowboy hat.)

“Everything in Moderation” also featured an interesting storyline concerning Faith (Bahia Watson), a young woman with anxiety issues and missing her dead mother. Migraine headaches, coughing up blood and dizziness concerned Allen immensely and it took until nearly the end of the episode for him to figure out Faith had become infected with a hantavirus from mouse droppings. (Insert shudder here.) Allen’s need to parent Griff matched perfectly with Faith’s feeling of loss; the two made a cute pair if just for a few moments.

Also, was anyone else hoping Darryl Sittler would do a little more than what he did?

Notes and quotes

  • I love Nurse Patel. There, I said it.
  • Sandy trying to get her patient to eat by treating her like Maya was hilarious.
  • That young guy really, really, doesn’t want to work construction.

Remedy airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.