May 15, 2011

TV Review | In Short 1.1, 1.2 – “Pride/Humility,” “Envy/Kindness”

In Short (Bravo!: Bravo!FACT/Bell Media, 2011) is an hour-long short-film program.  I don’t understand why short films aren’t televised more often.  If they are, they’re in shows like In Short and its spiritual predecessor, Bravo!FACT Presents.  At least Bravo! still funds new shorts, something The Comedy Network doesn’t do enough of.

In Short‘s chief weakness reveals itself within the first viewing.  In Short mostly shows clips from the shorts themselves, rather than the full shorts.  In effect, this is a long-form advertisement for Bravo!FACT.

In Short’s Out Long Review

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September 21, 2010

DVD News: Spectacle Season 2 DVD/Blu-ray out December 14, 2010

The second season of Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… will come out on DVD and Blu-ray December 14, 2010.  The two-disc set is being released through VSC.  All episodes are extended from their original CTV/Bravo! broadcasts.

Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…‘s second season includes interviews with Neko Case, Sheryl Crow, Ron Sexsmith, Jesse Winchester, Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson, Allen Toussaint, Levon Helm, Bono and The Edge of U2, John Prine, Lyle Lovett and Ray Lamontagne.

Bruce Springsteen rates a two-part interview.  Mary-Louise Parker of Weeds even interviews Costello in one episode.  Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…‘s second season is seven episodes long, which makes the high-profile guest appearances all the more impressive.

Special features include a behind-the-scenes documentary, mounted by Spectacle executive producer David Furnish.  Spectacle‘s DVD and Blu-ray releases will also contain bonus songs, not a surprising extra for a music-oriented talk show.

I’m not sure how well Spectacle‘s second season will sell.  Spectacle‘s second season aired Saturdays at 10:00 PM ET on CTV.  That’s a traditional death slot for any show.  Mind you, Spectacle also aired Sundays at 8:00 PM ET on Bravo!, but CTV’s the commercial draw.

Frankly, it’s a minor miracle that 20 episodes of Spectacle were produced in the first place.  Elvis Costello is a good interviewer, but the show’s middle-of-the-road guests might have prevented this show from becoming more than niche.  If Spectacle comes back for a third season, I’ll be amazed.

 
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April 9, 2010

News: CanCon Potrzebie – Rookie Blue, Living in Your Car, More

Sorry for lumping stories in like this.  I usually don’t, but Canadian television news hasn’t been this active since URBMN began talking about these shows back in 2008.  I’ve fallen behind a bit.  Apologies if you’ve read this before.


Rookie Blue, the cop show formerly known as Copper, will debut Thursday, June 24, 2010.  The show will air on both Global and ABC at 9:00 PM ET/PT.

Rookie Blue focuses on five newbie cops learning the ropes in the generic world of “big-city policing.”  It is unknown whether the show will contain vomiting.

Rookie Blue is an odd name for a show.  Copper, while generic, makes more sense.  I guess ABC and Canwest are banking on people remembering NYPD Blue and Hill Street Blues.  This show has never had a good name.

Yeah, yeah, Cra$h & Burn, but that’s different.  See, the character’s named Jimmy Burn, and he’s an insurance claims adjuster.  The title fits the show.  What Canwest and ABC have done is swap ambiguities.  It’s like taking Cybersix and calling it A Girl and Her Panther.

I don’t have high hopes for Rookie Blue.  One doesn’t schedule a surefire hit in the middle of June.  At least the show’s out.  I hope it gets promoted.


Living in Your Car will debut on HBO Canada Friday, May 7, 2010, at 9:30 PM ET/MT.  The show follows Steve Unger (John Ralston), a business executive charged with fraud, obstruction and racketeering.  After cutting a deal to escape prison time, Unger loses everything aside from his sedan.  This explains Living in Your Car‘s title and premise.  See how this works, Canwest?

Here’s a ninety-second preview of Living in Your Car.  Star John Ralston might be more familiar to viewers as Derek Venturi’s father on Life with Derek.  He also played Ming the Merciless on the 2007-08 Flash Gordon reboot.  Ralston gets around.


Continuing with the subject of HBO Canada, NSI Canada has announced that Less Than Kind will get a third season.

It’s not a detailed story, and HBO Canada hasn’t formally announced a third season for Less Than Kind.  At the same time, I can’t see why the National Screen Institute would falsify the renewal of a show it helped develop.

Congratulations to Less Than Kind.  I thought the show would die after its second season.  It’s not often that I can write about a Canadian show’s renewal, rather than its untimely death.


Two upcoming shows in the pipeline: CTV/Bravo!/Showtime’s The Borgias and Showcase’s Lost Girl.  Lost Girl is set to debut “Fall 2010″ (*snort* heard that one before), while The Borgias will air in 2011.

Lost Girl is in production.  It’s about a succubus on a path to self-discovery.  The Borgias, which is still in pre-production, is about the Italian/Spanish House of Borgia and its path to self-destruction.  I’m sure sex will feature heavily in both shows.

The Borgias‘ cast includes Colm Feore, Jeremy Irons and Fran├žois Arnaud.  Director/screenwriter Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Ondine) will write and direct The Borgias‘ first two episodes.

The Borgias intrigues me.  I hate The Tudors with a passion, but this show might be different.  Neil Jordan might focus The Borgias more on politico-religious themes than trying to sex up history for a premium-cable audience.  As long as Fran├žois Arnaud doesn’t eat up scenery like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, the show will do fine.

I’m not as sold on Lost Girl.  It comes across as a gender-swapped Blood Ties.  If the show is a detective drama WITH DEMONS!, I’m bailing.

Horror, fantasy and sci-fi themes are invading mainstream television with increased regularity.  Supernatural, The Secret Saturdays, Ugly Americans, True Blood, Dead Set, Being Human…it gets to be a bit much after a while.

I’m not saying Lost Girl will suck, but the show might get lost in the shuffle.  Add to that Canwest’s wanting to turn its cable channels into virtual Global clones…on second thought, I don’t want to think about that.  I value my sanity.  I hate Canadian television so much.

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