Brad Oswald

  • Fresh out of the box

    For some people, it’s the falling leaves. For others, it’s the arrival of that first overnight frost. For parents, seeing the young’uns off on their back-to-school journey is the signal. And for sports fans, the kickoff of the NFL season and the opening of NHL training camps are the first sure signs that autumn has arrived. For TV watchers, however, the changing of the seasons happens first on the ol’ flat screen, when summer’s wave of new-show promos give way to the actual arrival of television’s new and returning series. And this week, the primetimenal equinox — the moment at which all the major TV networks roll out their new schedules at precisely the same moment — is finally here.
  • There's no mystery here; Messing's new show stinks

    DEBRA Messing is a lot of things: funny, charming, talented, an A-list television star, an Emmy winner and performer whose past TV-series accomplishments have earned her a mention in anyone's list of NBC's best-ever shows and stars. Here is one thing she is not: a miracle worker.
  • Science vs. sentiment

    To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? That it's even a question being asked in the 21st century is a source of immense frustration to health-care providers who've dedicated their lives and careers to keeping kids safe and healthy. "Those (parents) who choose not to vaccinate their children are making a bad and misinformed choice that puts not only their children at risk, but also those with whom their children come in contact," said Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious-diseases specialist who figures prominently in the PBS/Nova documentary Vaccines: Calling the Shots, which airs Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Prairie Public TV. "It's a terrible decision that can have terrible consequences."
  • Local comedian Chantel Marostica opening for Russell Peters

    When it comes to career-advancing opportunities, this really needs to be viewed as a grand opening. Thanks to her recent advancement to the finals of SiriusXM's Top Comic contest, local comedian Chantel Marostica has been handed the opening slot when Russell Peters' Almost Famous Tour stops in Winnipeg.
  • Special looks back at life, career of comedy genius

    It speaks volumes about Robin Williams that his peers -- accomplished comedians, some of the funniest people on the planet -- remained forever in awe of his unique talent. Many of the late comedian/actor's contemporaries -- including Louie Anderson, Paul Rodriguez, Jimmie Walker, Whoopi Goldberg, Yakov Smirnoff and Pauly Shore -- share reminiscences and insights in the thoughtfully crafted Robin Williams Remembered -- A Pioneers of Television Special, which airs tonight at 8 on PBS.
  • Raise a glass to Boardwalk Empire's final season

    If ever there were a TV series whose narrative had logical starting and ending points, it's Boardwalk Empire. It's a show about gangsters in Prohibition-era America. Its opening episode began with a final toast to legal drinking as the U.S. entered the 1920s, the period in which consumption of alcohol was banned by federal statute.
  • Utopia? Ha! Good one!

    Without conflict, there is no drama. Without contrivance and manipulation, there is no "reality."
  • Supernatural drama never gets its wings

    What if it turned out that angels weren't so, well, angelic? If angels were more like the devils from which, in traditional mythology, they're dispatched to protect us, it's likely we humans would be in quite an unheavenly mess.
  • Holmes Jr. a wood chip off the old block

    Think back for a moment to all those times your dad would hover over you as you attended to some chore or other, and how he'd offer critical assessments at every step and drone on about how anything worth doing is worth doing right. Then imagine what that experience might be like if your dad happened to be Canada's favourite contractor, ol' Mr. Make It Right himself, Mike Holmes.
  • Former Trailer Park Boys' movie, website tear the taste envelope wide open

    It's a digital-age version of the timeless chicken-or-egg question: Which came first, the fictional movie about the development of the real-life website, or the real-life website that's developed into the fictional movie?
  • Cloaks, daggers too familiar, but they do the trick for TV

    Legends is not legendary -- not in its design, and not in its execution. But that doesn't mean it isn't a perfectly competent, well-acted and watchable TV drama.
  • Emmys sorely lacking in laughs and excitement

    He promised a no-gimmicks opening, and Seth Meyers delivered just that -- a strictly old-school, straight-from-the-cue-cards, absolutely-no-singing-dancing-or-video-gags monologue that ground out a few laughs but brought nothing in the way of excitement to the top of Monday's broadcast of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. After a very brief clip-snippet countdown, Meyers -- host of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers and former anchor of SNL's Weekend Update segment -- strode onstage in a traditional tuxedo and launched into an eight-minute opening monologue so conventional that it would have been more suited to 10:35 or 11:35 p.m. than in a prime-time show, awards-oriented or otherwise.
  • Emmy-barrassment of riches

    The Emmy Awards have a problem. It's a pretty high-class problem, to be sure, but it's a problem nonetheless, and it will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the number of TV viewers who think the medium's annual trophy handout has become irrelevant.
  • Old TV show gave novelist time and place for Outlander series

    As the old saying goes, time flies when you're having fun. But as it turns out, time doesn't necessarily fly when you're flying through time. And in the context of historical-fantasy storytelling, maybe that's not such a bad thing.
  • In conversation with... TV stars

    Every trip to Los Angeles for the semi-annual TV press tour results in a notebook overflowing with quips, observations and assorted amusing quotes about all things television. Here, in no particular order, are some of the most memorable talking points from this summer's tour:  
  • Doc delves into dire straits of flood evacuees

    It isn't an easy story to watch; clearly, it has been a far, far more difficult one to live. The new locally produced documentary Treading Water: Plight of the Manitoba First Nation Flood Evacuees is the straightforward telling of an intensely frustrating tale. The film, which airs Saturday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. on CBC, showcases the raw emotions and beyond-exhausted patience of a group of displaced Manitobans who just want to go home.
  • Clean-scrubbed comedy came naturally to Regan

    A college education can be very important in deciding your life's direction, because it helps you figure out what you're good at doing. Or, as in Brian Regan's case, what you're not so good at doing.
  • Rock 'n' roll all night, and market every day

    For a show that features two of rock 'n' roll's most bombastic, flamboyant personalities, 4th and Loud is a surprisingly mild-mannered affair. The new docu-reality series offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the inaugural season of the L.A. Kiss, the Arena Football League expansion franchise co-owned by Kiss frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.
  • This One Night Stand could lead to long-term relationship

    There's a school of thought -- adhered to by pretty much every teenager's dad -- that states nothing good ever happens after midnight. Annie Sibonney doesn't share that point of view.

    When you hear the term "medical drama," it's likely that your thoughts turn to stories about brilliant, heroic doctors who use courage, intellect and the latest technology to save patients from ailments and injuries that might otherwise prove fatal. The Knick is not that kind of medical drama. Not even close.
  • Missing the target

    It was a tough one to watch. And a much, much tougher one to endure. The elimination of Winnipeggers Nicole and Cormac Foster in this week's instalment of The Amazing Race Canada surely ranked as one of the most heart-wrenching exits in the reality/competition franchise's history, with mom Nicole struggling mightily to pick off a series of rifle-range targets during a "Yukon biathlon" challenge while son Cormac did his best to stay upbeat long after the pair's Race fate had been decided.
  • Grammer-Lawrence sitcom has mouldy '70s stink

    Back in the 1970s, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall struck TV-sitcom gold playing complete opposites -- one a neat freak, the other a slob -- forced by circumstance to coexist. As The Odd Couple's fastidious Felix and oafish Oscar, the pair enjoyed five successful seasons in roles originally created, first for stage and then for the big screen, by playwright Neil Simon. Despite nearly being cancelled several times, The Odd Couple ran for 114 episodes and is remembered by nostalgia-TV fans as one of the best sitcoms of its era.
  • Uprooted teen discovers she has two moms in complex, compelling drama

    HOLLYWOOD -- The relationships between mothers and daughters are, without exception, complicated. Just imagine the challenges facing a daughter with two mothers.
  • Idiotic shark-storm TV movie takes a big, hilarious, deliciously entertaining bite out of the Big Apple

    Stupid. Pointless. Mindless. Ridiculous. Flimsy. Cheap. Clumsy. These are all aptly chosen adjectives for last year's surprise-hit made-for-cable movie Sharknado and its about-to-attack followup, Sharknado 2: The Second One.
  • Fargo embraces Canadian winter

    HOLLYWOOD -- During a career than spans more than three decades in the television industry, Warren Littlefield has been a lot of things -- a development executive, a network entertainment president, an independent producer and the author of a bestselling book about the inner workings of the TV biz. But there was, until recently, one thing that he had not been: Really, really, really, really freakin' cold.


Should the Canadian Museum for Human Rights use the word 'genocide' in exhibits on Indian residential schools?

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