Tag Archives: Saving Hope

Review: Alex’s awkward return on Saving Hope

My biggest fear going into the third season of Saving Hope with Alex on the operating table was that she’d spend most of the season in a coma, expanding on a premise set up in Season 1. Thankfully, Alex woke up after only two episodes. Less fortunately for her, she might have a bit of a mess on her hands—assuming she remembers anything.

I can’t think of an episode of Saving Hope that has managed to put together as many awkward moments as this one. Just as Alex and Charlie seem to have made up from the fallout of last season’s reveal and decided they wanted to have a baby together, Joel decided to go in for the Sleeping Beauty kiss and we were left wondering which of the two (if any) were responsible for waking the good doctor up. In between this and last week’s fisticuffs, I’ve got a feeling our quietly simmering love triangle is about to explode—at least on the men’s side of things, that is, since we don’t know how much of her time with Charlie that Alex is going to remember, or if she’s even aware of Joel planting one on her.

Hopefully her subconscious will at least do Dawn the service of forgetting about her early morning routine. As adorable as it was to watch her sing to the pet she grudgingly took on to help one of Gavin’s patients, I couldn’t help but feel like this was some gross violation of her privacy. And while it’s not the first time Charlie has tried using a ghost to get intel on someone in the hospital, I was a bit surprised Alex went along with it. Maybe she was expecting something as simple as an early morning nap, and maybe she’ll keep that info to herself, but a woman should be allowed to sing a lullaby to her guinea pig in the privacy of her own office without her ghost of a colleague butting in. Or at least she should be, if there’s any decency in the world.

Also high on the awkward spectrum was almost the entirety of Maggie’s day, now that she’s got a new doctor in the form of Degrassi’s Stacey Farber (also lately a troublemaker on Rookie Blue). While I was enjoying Dr. Katz’ directness, especially about the Kalfis debacle, it was definitely throwing Maggie off in a way I appreciated after she not only broke up with Gavin (understandable under the circumstances) but then kept twisting the knife in. I was really hoping that split would be a blip in things after losing the baby, but her strange elevator proposition to Joel—along with her new residency on the couch—are starting to worry me. Not only does it spell the end of my favourite Saving Hope couple, but I suspect it just might put a damper on Gavin’s trademark sass.

As for the two cases of the week, Joel had a gruesome (and I do mean gruesome, thanks to the graphic effects) infected plate to deal with—before opting out of an amputation to try and save the leg of his drug addict patient. Meanwhile, Maggie and Katz were trying to convince David (Vampire High’s Joris Jarsky) to keep his wife on life support long enough for their baby to live. With Charlie’s help, David finally conceded that as much as he hated people (and kids) he just might like his own, but unfortunately Joel’s string of bad luck only continued. Now that Alex is back, things just might turn around for him, but it’s far more likely he’ll be ending up with another black eye.

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

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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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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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Esta Spalding on her WGC Screenwriting Award Nomination for Saving Hope

Esta SpaldingThis year’s Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award winners will be announced on April 22. We’ve been catching up with many of the writers nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Saving Hope‘s Esta Spalding was nominated for her episode “Bea, Again”.

Can you describe the episode “Bea, Again” and how it fit into the Saving Hope season?

The episode “Bea, Again” was the episode of Saving Hope that came after the three week break the series had taken so that CTV could air the Olympics.  Right before the break, in episode 8, there was a very big cliffhanger:  Charlie (a lead character who has been in a coma since the first episode and has been walking around the hospital as a ghost) is unplugged from life support.  Alex, his fiancee, is devastated.  In my episode, Charlie has to survive this process.  The plug is pulled in episode 8, but he needs to be hanging between life and death and only declared alive at the end of episode 9.  Now, in real life, once the plug is pulled you either live or die.  So the challenge was to make that process last for a TV-hour without having it last for an actual hour.  I also knew that dramatically Alex needed to be with Charlie, at his bedside, but that the show’s mandate was for her to have a high-stakes medical case each week. How could I do both things?  It was such a strange, challenging crossword puzzle.  Maybe because of my background as a poet, I found all of the limitations really energizing and I came up with a very fun structure and story.

What does this recognition mean to you?

This recognition means so much to me.  There’s no higher honor than to be honored by your peers — your fellow writers in the trenches. I am thrilled to have been nominated.

If there was one Canadian show that is no longer on the air that you could see honored at this year’s awards, what would it be? (If you have a specific episode, even better).

I’ve been watching Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom show on HBO and thinking how much better Semi Chellas’s Eleventh Hour was.  There was always great critical acclaim for that show, but I wish that show had found a larger audience while it was on the air.  It’s a show I’d still be happy to be writing for, all these years later.

Saving Hope season one airs Saturday nights on CTV Two. Season two is slated to air this summer.

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