Tammy Gillis as the doctor attending Kiera Cameron in the CONTINUUM Season 4 premiere
The very beginning of CONTINUUM‘s Season 4 has Kiera Cameron waking up in hospital after a battle with time travelers from 2039. Her doctor is played by Tammy Gillis. If you’re in Canada, you can stream that now on the Showcase site. Episode one will premiere on Showcase on 4 September, and on SyFy (US) on 11 September at 11pm. Two of the time troopers who send Cameron to the hospital are Lisa Berry (Serena in LOST GIRL 1.7), and Kyra Zagorsky (Julia Walker on HELIX).
Gillis as Carla Martin in TIES THAT BIND
Tammy Gillis will be Carla Martin in Episode 3 of TIES THAT BIND, the UP network’s first scripted series, which centers around Allison McLean (Kelli Williams), a police detective in suburban Seattle. When Allison and her partner (Dion Johnstone) arrest her brother (Luke Perry) for aggravated assault, her world drastically changes because when he’s sent to prison, she ends up caring for his two teenage children. In Episode 3, titled Ghosts, Allison comes face-to face with the man who shot her and time is running out to get him off the streets. “Ghosts” will air 26 August at 9pm.
Tammy Gillis and Mark Valley on location in Victoria, B.C. for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Impossible Dream
Gillis will appear in the next two SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED films. According to Wingman Magazine, she will play Randilynn, an army medic (seen only in flashbacks) who goes off on a mission and is never seen again. In the first film, Truth Be Told, due to air 13 September at 9pm, The Postables work to deliver a soldier’s letter from Afghanistan to a teenager who is being relentlessly bullied. The second film, The Impossible Dream, has a scheduled broadcast date of 4 October. It was filmed in Victoria, B.C., but little more than that is known at this time.
Laura Carly Miller, Lily Zarif, and Sydney Doberstein, creators and stars of THE SUPPORT GROUP, a new webseries directed by Tammy Gillis
SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED is about a group of post office detectives (The Postables) who solve the mysteries behind undeliverable packages fron the past. It began as a 10 episode series in 2014, and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for James Jandrisch‘s music. Rather than continue it as a weekly series, HALLMARK launched a series of SSD films, the first of which aired in June.
On top of all that, Gillis will direct THE SUPPORT GROUP, a six episode comedic webseries created and produced by Sydney Doberstein, Laura Carly Miller, and Lily Zarif of Beyond Theatre Productions. The three also star in the series as unlikely friends Raina, Alexis, and Courtney, who try to prevent their support group from shutting down for lack of money.
And for those going to the Toronto International Film Festival (10-20 September), Tammy Gillis has a small part in NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT, which is a TIFF Official Selection. The Mark Sawers feature is a science fiction mocumentary about a world where women have become asexual and are no longer giving birth to males. (Gillis is a “female pundit” in the film.) Sawers’ last film, CAMERA SHY, won a bunch of Leo Awards in 2013.
Julie Brar in the title role of the 2011 short film SHIVA. Brar will co-produce and star in a Toronto production of the David Mamet play GLENGARRY GLENN ROSS in April
Jenny Raven as Libra in LOST GIRL episode 3 O Kappa My Kappa
Jenny Raven (Libra the Sorority Girl in LOST GIRL Episode 3) is in three films being released this year. She will be Nadine in the heist movie COLD DECK (Kate Trotter, The Norn, is also in that). She will be Kelly in LEN AND COMPANY, a film based on Carly Mensch’s play LEN, ASLEEP IN VINYL, and centered on an unhappy record producer’s unexpected journey of self-discovery. (Elias Toufexis, The Will-o-the-Wisp‘s son, also appears in that.) And she will be Sam in LET’S RAP, a romantic comedy about a quick-witted but unlucky brother and sister team (Rachel Wilson and Brendan Gall) trying to get their own talk show.
Raven also plays a private investigator in the teaser for Jennifer Liao‘s proposed webseries MINDCRIMES, in which she and her partner (played by Janet Porter) continue the work of their deceased (and possibly murdered) employer by infiltrating and investigating cults.
Emmanuelle Vaugier will appear as Niko, a tough, sexy bartender in six episodes of Season 3 of ABC’s MISTRESSES, due to premiere sometime in June. MISTRESSES’ third season will be filmed in Vancouver (the first two were shot in Los Angeles). The change in location prompted Alyssa Milano to leave the series for financial reasons. Jennifer Esposito will join the show, and Milano’s character will not be recast.
Emmanuelle Vaugier in Seattle for Emerald City Comic Con
Julie Brar (Suneetha the Cabbitt in LOST GIRL episodes 47 and 48) will be John Williamson in GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, a play by David Mamet (that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984) about the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, and society’s obsession with wealth. The production will have an all-female cast, which will include Elizabeth Saunders (ORPHAN BLACK’s Dr. Anita Bauer), and Robinne Fanfair who was Pearl in five episodes of BOMB GIRLS. The play will run from 16-19 April and 22-26 April at the Red Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto. The production is raising funds with an Indiegogo page. NOTE: The 1992 film adaptation of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS can be streamed on Netflix (US).
Tammy Gillis will appear as a doctor in CONTINUUM episodes 4.1 and 4.2. She tweeted this photo of herself with a new (shorter) hairstyle on 11 March.
Seth Cooperman (Suneetha’s bartender husband in Hail, Hale) has written a one-hour action drama SLEEPLESS that might turn into a TV series. It’s about a university student who, due to a genetic disorder, takes over the bodies of other people while she sleeps. The first time it happens she finds herself in the body of an FBI agent. The teaser stars Hannah Anderson (Persephone in Like Hell, Part 2) and Anthony Lemke (Ryan the Loki from LG season 2).
Tammy Gillis (Marissa the maitre’d in Table for Fae) will play a doctor in the first two episodes of the final season of CONTINUUM, which will premiere 26 July on Showcase Canada. And Gillis is Holly Dumont in the film NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT, a science-fiction dramedy set in an alternate future where women have become asexual and are no longer giving birth to males. According to director Mark Sawers, the film is less about gender politics than it is a satire of what he called “male ineptitude”. The film premiered at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam last January.
“When you’re in a story meeting and you’re talking about something truly ridiculous, and you’re laughing your ass off, it doesn’t get any better than that. I get paid to come up with funny ideas and to laugh. In fact, you’re really encouraged to remain an eternal adolescent. I get to do sophisticated wordplay and make fart jokes.”
— Eriksen to Matthew Hays of Writers Guild of Canada
Here’s what is known about Shelley Eriksen. Her twitter is @badlady, her nickname is A.J., and she often works as an uncredited ‘script doctor’. Eriksen has a knack for focusing on what’s really important in the story and shoving the irrelevant crap aside. That focus results in memorable TV scenes. All four of her CONTINUUM episodes had different directors, and those four episodes are the best of the series so far. (Her most recent effort The Dying Minutes was the best episode of anything I saw on TV this year.) I encourage everyone to watch (or rewatch) another Eriksen effort, episode 5 of BOMB GIRLS. And she did participate in the writing of the abbreviated fourth and final season of CONTINUUM, which will air this spring.
“I played with Barbies for way, way too long,” Eriksen told Matthew Hays, “I went a couple of years past the date that most girls put them in the closet. I blame Barbie! I just loved telling stories, and that was a way to do it.”
#9 – LORDE
Lorde with her boyfriend James Lowe
“I’ll let you in on something big
I am not a white teeth teen
I tried to join but never did
The way they are, the way they seem is something else, it’s in the blood
Their molars blinking like the lights”
— Lorde (from White Teeth Teen)
I never watch the Grammys, but this year there was all this fuss about Lorde and I had never heard her or seen her. The fuss, as it turns out, was justified. Lorde (full name Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor), who recently turned 18, has released one truly exceptional album (PURE HEROINE). She’s an unpretentious, extremely talented singer with plenty to say, and that made her performance delightfully out of place at the Grammys. Speaking to Sinead Garvan of the BBC Lorde had this to say about her next album: “I’m working on stuff quite tentatively, it’s definitely still at the beginning and yeah, it’s totally different. I wrote the last album about that world which was the suburb where I grew up and populated by my friends and people who were really familiar to me. Now I’m in a different place every day and I’m with new people every day and it’s a different vibe.”
#8 – BYE BYE BLONDIE
Emmanuelle Beart in BYE BYE BLONDIE
“Bye Bye Blondie is adapted from the novel of the same name, which has been described as ‘punk-rock romantic comedy; by its author. It tells the story of a youthful love between two women, Gloria and Frances, that was resurrected twenty years after having been abruptly interrupted. One of the lovers, played by Béatrice Dalle, lives in Nancy, without work or family while the second, played by Emmanuelle Béart, lives in Paris where she is a television news presenter. And while, in the book, Frances is a man named Eric, Despentes deliberately wanted to film a love story between lesbians.
— Bruno Boutsen
This film was released in 2012 but I didn’t watch it until 2014 because i have been waiting for a version with English subtitles. Finally, I gave up and settled for Dutch subtitles (my French is not good enough to follow the dialogue, but by combining my limited French with my small understanding of Dutch, I was able to follow things. Alfred Hitchcock once said, “If it’s a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on.” This is a good movie.
BYE BYE BLONDIE is a beautifully romantic and very funny film, with a great cast. (Now I want to see everything with Emmanuelle Beart in it.) It is Virginie Despentes second feature and I am puzzled why it has not been dubbed into English and released in North America.
She is in 7 films due to be released next year including THE DELICATE ART OF PUPPETRY, a comedy about a misfit puppeteer and his two abusive puppets (trailer on right), and PEELERS, a horror flick set in a Vancouver strip club. She will act in and produce THE TIGER PROJECT, a feature length action thriller set to film on location in Bangladesh.
Komogata also does restaurant reviews for the Vancouver lifestyle TV show 24/604, and can be seen (briefly) in the film AMBROSIA now streaming on Netflix (US).
#6 – DARKNET
Lina Roessler in DARKNET
The show describes itself this way: “DARKNET offers snippets of people’s lives being interrupted by vivid instances of unexpected violence or shocking strangeness. Shot in a visceral style that cranks up the creep factor, viewers become part of the Darknet, a mysterious closed network of disturbing imagery and stories that exist just under the surface of our ordered and safe society.”
There needs to be a Season Two of this show. It also needs its own genre. It is not merely horror, it is “horror that makes you think”. There have been six episodes so far, each with a different director and each with a different writer. In an interview with Katie Uhlmann, Show creators Vincenzo Natali and Steven Hoban described why DARKNET is different from other TV:
The creators of DARKNET – Vincenzo Natali and Steve Hoban
“It’s a show that’s very organic to the internet. It’s going to be on Superchannel [in Canada] but it is also accessible online and viewable in a different way online…and in someways I think it’s more organic to the digital experience because each half hour show is segmented into several little stories and when you log onto the DARKNET site, you will be able to experience the stories in any particular order that you want…not necessarily the way that they’re going to be seen on television…in addition, the Darknet site is also part of the narrative, so the characters in the show are interacting with the same site that the viewers will interact with.”
Ellen Fox watches intently as Penn and Teller demonstrate a magic trick
WIZARD WARS will be returning to SyFy 29 January at 10pm. It’s a nice little show that explains a bit about magic and is more entertaining than one might at first think, mainly thanks to host Ellen Fox. You may remember Fox from when she did film reviews for ROTTEN TOMATOES. Penn and Teller are WIZARD WARS judges, but have overall a fairly small role in the show.
The show is a competition challenging two teams of magicians each week to create entertaining illusions using randomly specified objects. The winning team in the first round then take on an expert “home team”: Magicians Gregory Wilson. Shimshi, and Justin Flom, along with mentalist Angela Funovits. SyFy (US) will run a WIZARD WARS marathon (all 6 episodes) on Christmas Eve.
Ellen Fox will host New Years Eve festivities at this year’s Prohibition NYE 31 December at LA’s Union Station. Tickets can be had at prohibitionnye.com.
#4 – DRINKS AT THE DAL
If you wish you had friends to discuss LOST GIRL with, this podcast will make you happy. DRINKS AT THE DAL published its first episode on 3 June 2013. Last week was episode #80. Stephanie, Kris, and Annie conduct intelligent and hilarious analyses of LOST GIRL every week. They live-stream a rambling unrestricted discussion that can go on for hours, and that takes a bit of patience to sit through, but once edited, the show is very entertaining and informative, and usually about an hour long. All 80 episodes are great, but if you’re time-challenged, the best are:
Episode 20 – Tamsin: The Maltese Valkyrie
episode 30 – Interview with Emily Andras
Episode 56 – The Colours of Lost Girl Season 4
Episode 71 – Interview with Rick Howland.
The people who run DRINKS AT THE DAL do just as fine a job on their Orphan Black podcast, TATIANA IS EVERYONE.
#3 – STRANGE EMPIRE
The two sheriffs – Cara Gee and Tahmoh Penikett – on STRANGE EMPIRE
“It’s not Sir John A. (Macdonald)’s history — it’s the history of the people who were actually in that part of the west — the Métis and natives and Chinese and black people and women, of course. If it goes beyond the first season, it takes place over the 15 years between Louis Riel leaving Red River and going to Montana and going back.”
— Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik
Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik, STRANGE EMPIRE’s creator
In 1869 Captain Slotter and his wife Isabelle are trying to operate a coal mine in Alberta near the Montana border. Slotter has enough men to mine the coal, but needs hookers to keep them happy. His solution is to find a group of people travelling through, ambush and kill the men (blaming the attack on Indians) and coerce the now-widowed females into prostitution. Like most of Slotter’s plans, this one doesn’t work out well for him, and he ends up with a female sheriff and a female doctor and a bunch of disgruntled women, only a few of whom have joined his whorehouse.
In an interview with Melissa Hank of Postmedia News, creator Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik said STRAMGE EMPIRE is an attempt to correct the Canadian misconception “…that we’re heirs of a European nation-state is misguided. We’re more like wild Australians. We’re very multicultural at root. Because the first people who came here, the Scots and French, they married into the native tribes.”
There are five women at the center of STRANGE EMPIRE. Kat Loving (Cara Gee), Rebecca Blithely (Melissa Farman), Fiona Briggs (Ali Liebert), Isabelle Slotter (Tattiawna Jones), and Mrs. Briggs (Fiona’s mother, played by Anne Marie DeLuise). Historical accuracy seems to be the rule, although Dr. Rebecca seems quite surprised and intrigued by the effects of electricity on muscles. One wonders how she somehow avoided reading about the experiments of Galvani some 80 years previous. She seems otherwise quite well read.
#2 – CHRISTINE HORNE
Christine Horne in the 2013 short film WE WANTED MORE. (Skyler Wexler, now Kira on ORPHAN BLACK was also in the cast.)
Christine Horne had two really great roles this year. First she was The Keeper, leader of the Una Mens. The Una Mens were the best villains ever on LOST GIRL, and, once we learned that Trick knew The Keeper’s pre-unamens name, it was impossible not to hope that Trick would somehow restore her to being Arabella. Alas, that was not to be, but Horne did have the best death scene anywhere in the series.
Then she was Suzanne, the intensely screwed-up daughter of Alice in the wonderful film TRU LOVE. The film’s story is sufficient unto itself, but a sequel would not be entirely a bad thing. We know what happens to Tru and Alice, but Suzanne’s future is so far undetermined. There are peripheral characters like the Pussy Whisperer who could be given larger roles in a second film. I really want to know what happens next in Suzanne’s life. (TRU LOVE will have a theatrical release in Toronto at the Carleton Cinema, 20 Carlton St – 23-29 January at 2pm and 7pm. Advance tickets are now on sale.)
We can look forward to seeing Horne as Jennifer in the Afganistan war film HYENA ROAD, which is due out in 2015. Paul Gross, who wrote and directed the film, was Darryl Van Horne in the short-lived but excellent 2009 TV series EASTWICK. Unfortunately, no description of Horne’s HYENA ROAD character seems to be available.
#1 – SKATING POLLY
Peyton and Kelli (Skating Polly) in front of Club Dada in Dallas
Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse have been Skating Polly since 2009 and they call their music Ugly Pop. They are from Oklahoma City, which is not a place normally associated with anything other than country music (there is nothing even remotely country about Skating Polly). It was Soko‘s endorsement that (fairly recently) brought them to my attention, and their latest album, Fuzz Steillacoom, is really good. There is no ‘best track’. The album is solid all the way through, and I am at a loss to find something with which to compare it. If I had to pick a favourite song from this, it would be Van Gogh, but that might change tomorrow. Here’s the beginning of that song:
“Don’t sketch a house from the trace in our head
Grow it from the ground and live there instead
Take everything we own and move it to our brain
Pretend for days we’re Magdalene and Jefferson May.”
(Chorus) “I don’t know a thing about love before Van Gogh
I don’t know a thing about love before stereo.”
Peyton told Dennis Speilman of Uncovering Oklahoma how the latest album got its name, and at the same time gave us some insight about Skating Polly’s creative process: “We recorded our album at Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia and on the drive up there we were always thinking of possible titles for the album. One morning during breakfast the news was on and a guy named Fuzz Hogan was speaking and Kelli was like “Fuzz Hogan…that would be a cool album title”, but we didn’t want to give him that much credit so we started pairing the word “fuzz” with everything we saw. Once we actually got into Olympia on the first morning we were recording we saw Sleater-Kinney Road on the way to the studio and we learned that Sleater-Kinney named their band after that road where they had a practice studio. Anyway, we thought that was extremely cool and the house we were staying at was on Steilacoom Road, and we really loved how Steilacoom sounded paired with fuzz.”