Archive | Canadian TV

An archive of blog entries about Canadian TV programmes and production.


June 27, 2013

Thursday's "Rhys Ifans heads to Elementary, FX developing Last of the Mohicans and S4C budget cut" news

Posted on June 27, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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Film casting

Trailers
  • Trailer for Thanks For Sharing, with Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins and Pink
  • Trailer for Hell Baby with Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb

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New US TV shows New US TV show casting

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June 25, 2013

Review: Satisfaction 1x1 (CTV)

Posted on June 25, 2013 | comments | Bookmark and Share

Satisfaction

In Canada: Mondays, 8pm, CTV

Usually, there's a situation in a sitcom. That's where the word comes from.

Satisfaction laughs at that perfunctory requirement. It doesn't even bother to explain what its situation is, although you can probably guess by the end of the first episode: hot, young, upwardly mobile couple find their style slightly cramped by the slobby friend/lodger who's always getting in the way of their couple-y fun.

Yet for all the focus placed on this situation in the pilot episode, it might as well be about the difficulties of keeping meat fresh in the summer, that's how little interest the premise is to the writers. But stop right there. This isn't necessarily a bad thing in Canadian sitcoms: place too much emphasis on the sit instead of the com and you end up with high-concept shows, such as InSecurity and Seed, with well developed situations that don't actually make you laugh.

Satisfaction, however, which foregoes not just situation but also much similarity to reality, despite being based on "real life experiences", does at least pass the critical "five laughs per episode" threshold for a sitcom.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, break open the champagne: we actually have a moderately funny Canadian sitcom on our hands. Here's a trailer:

Continue reading "Review: Satisfaction 1x1 (CTV)"

June 21, 2013

What did you watch this week? Including The White Queen, The Returned, Man of Steel, Continuum, Hannibal and Graceland

Posted on June 21, 2013 | comments | Bookmark and Share

It's "What did you watch this week?, my chance to tell you what I movies and TV I've watched this week that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

First, the usual recommendations:

  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy)
  • The Daily Show (Comedy Central)
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living)

And here's what I thought of them and others:

  • Continuum (Showcase/SyFy): The action is definitely amping up now, even if the amount of sense the show is making isn't. Some surprises to be had, some revelations that weren't, and some weird twists that were probably just there for weirdness's sake. Nevertheless, it's definitely getting back on track as a show.
  • Graceland (USA): I'm still watching episode three, which is a marked improvement on its predecessors (full third-episode verdict on Monday). But episode 2 was soporific, derivative rubbish.
  • Hannibal (NBC/Sky Living): An exquisite end to a fabulous season. Always surprising, always keeping you guessing, with some astonishing moments along the way from writing staff, directors and cast alike. The final scene was just perfect, too. Why do we have to wait for a year for it to come back? Sigh.
  • The Returned (Canal+/Channel 4): A bunch of French people in a small town who have all been bereaved – for better or for worse – wake up one day to find their dead loved ones are back. Then they have to adjust – and find out what's happening, and potentially kill off some of the dead people. So far, a bit lightweight but a couple of interesting episodes establishing the main characters, and there's a very creepy kid called Victor. I'll probably stick with it, just for the music which oddly enough is by Mogwai.
  • The White Queen (BBC1/Starz): To me, a very dull historical potboiler, with surprising additional witchcraft. To my lovely wife, a brilliant, faithful adaption of a great book. Therefore, YMMV. Will air on Starz in the US in August with more sex. Quelle surprise.

And in movies:

Man of Steel
A reboot of the Superman franchise, with an origin story that sees Russell Crowe as Superman's real dad, Kevin Costner and Superman's adoptive dad, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General "Kneel Before" Zod, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and some bloke called Henry Cavill as Superman. On many levels awesome in its more literal sense, with some astonishing action set pieces and effects that finally do justice to the entire range of Superman's super-powers. On the other hand, a very bitty, very nerdy story that only really works when it's all about hitting people very hard, bar a few isolated moments, most of them involving Kevin Costner, only one or two of them involving Lois Lane. A little bit too po-faced, too. But a lot better than you might have thought of Zack Snyder, not as good as you'd have thought of Christopher Nolan and about right for David Goyer. The cast are all great, and there's a good kick-ass female baddie, too, which makes a nice change.

Lovely wife found it astonishingly boring, though, although she hates anything by Christopher Nolan.

"What did you watch this week?" is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid - and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I've watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you've seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?

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