Brad Oswald

  • Win? Rogers, Shaw just trying not to lose

    It's your move, CraveTV. By announcing Wednesday their streaming-content service, Shomi, will soon be made available to all Canadians, media giants Rogers and Shaw (which co-own Shomi) have put an unexpected and extremely interesting spin on the way this country's badly bungled launch of Netflix-like content providers might evolve.
  • Supernatural drama series screams summer pleasure

    Ah, kids... they say the darnedest things, don't they? And if they happen to be saying those things to an imaginary friend with nefarious intentions, those same kids can end up doing the darnedest things, too --- you know, like blowing up daddy's workplace or pushing mommy out of a tree house.
  • Win? Rogers, Shaw just trying not to lose

    It’s your move, CraveTV. By announcing Wednesday its streaming-content service, Shomi, will soon be made available to all Canadians, media giants Rogers and Shaw (which co-own Shomi) have put an unexpected and extremely interesting spin on the way this country’s badly bungled launch of Netflix-like content providers might evolve.
  • Martin Short... in his own words

    Martin Short isn't talking. But that's OK, since he's already said so much.
  • Marilyn's secret life? Well...

    If you begin the title of a celebrity-biography movie with The Secret Life of..., the clear implication is you're offering your audience a fresh perspective on your subject, delivering newly discovered information or biographical details that had previously been kept hidden from public view. And if your chosen subject is screen legend Marilyn Monroe, whose life and career have almost certainly been examined, dissected, analyzed and conspiracy-theorized more than those of any other celebrity, living or dead, you've got quite a challenge on your hands when it comes to living up to such a lofty titular promise.
  • NBC takes bumpy ride on binge bandwagon

    It could fairly be argued that Aquarius represents the dawning of a new age. After all, NBC is using the limited-run summer series as an experiment in Netflix-age programming, making all 13 of its episodes available (to U.S. viewers) online immediately after its Thursday-night première.
  • Remember the Alamo, forget about Texas Rising

    They tell you down in the Lone Star State not to mess with Texas. But is it messing with Texas to say that Texas is, well, kind of a mess?
  • Letterman goes out on a high note

    Classy. I think most people would agree that that’s the best kind of exit to make; I also believe that anyone who watched David Letterman’s final edition of The Late Show would state without hesitation that “classy” is the best possible descriptive to attach to his Wednesday-night farewell.
  • For the Hall of it — Kids return to live stage

    Here’s the thing about the Kids in the Hall: in case you hadn’t noticed, they aren’t kids anymore. When they last reunited for a major tour, seven years ago, the members of Canada’s most famed sketch-comedy troupe had already long since transitioned into full-fledged adulthood. And now, as they work their way across Canada and through parts of the U.S. on a brand-new set of theatre shows, it’s fair to say that the Kids — all of whom are comfortably into their 50s — are more suited to the “men of a certain age” bracket.
  • Kids in the Hall the holy grail for new Winnipeg sketch troupe

    The main thing Tim Gray wants you to know about Winnipeg's newest sketch-comedy troupe, H.U.N.K.S., is that its members aren't kidding around when it comes to being funny. "As silly as we all are, and as much fun as we like to have, we're all taking this very seriously," says the 28-year-old comedian and actor, who will join his five castmates to present the second edition of the H.U.N.K.S. Sketch Comedy series, with special guests Outside Joke, tonight at 8 at the Park Theatre (admission is $10). "We don't want to waste anybody's time; we don't want to waste our own time. This is what we want to do, so we're trying very hard to make it happen for ourselves."
  • Latifah stunning as complex singer

    The word that springs to mind is "formidable." As a performer, Queen Latifah is an imposing presence, whether she's singing or rapping or acting or simply making talk-show conversation.
  • If you drop by Wayward Pines do not try to leave... or ask questions

    Here's the question you need to ask yourself before deciding whether you're going to watch Fox's mysterious new 10-part "event" series: Just exactly how important is it to have some vague understanding of what the hell is going on in Wayward Pines?
  • American Idol will soon sing its swan song but there’s no denying its impact on prime-time TV

    It isn’t about the music; it’s about the math. In the end, American Idol — which will come to an end next year with a 15th and final season — fell victim to the same simple arithmetical truth as all of its eliminated contestants over the years: America voted (by tuning out in vast numbers), and the show simply wasn’t popular enough to be kept around.
  • With TV this good, there's no need to feel guilty if you binge-watch all day

    It can no longer be regarded as a passing fad, or a trend that exists only on the fringes of pop-culture entertainment. Binge-watching is a fact of TV life, and the seismic shift in the way people consume video content is forcing the television industry to reconsider the way it does business. Consider this: NBC, one of U.S. television's traditional Big 3 commercial networks, announced recently that it will follow the strategy made popular by Netflix and release all 13 episodes of its summer series Aquarius online (in the U.S.) immediately after the Manson-murder drama's first episode premières in prime time.
  • Septuagenarian cast of Hollywood heavy hitters handle punchlines with aplomb

    The cast is great. The show is only pretty good. Whether that will be enough to prompt Netflix users to add the elder-years relationship comedy Grace and Frankie to the streaming-content service's list of binge-worthy titles remains to be seen, but there's certainly enough in the new series' star power to ensure that it will be heavily sampled when its 13 episodes are released on Friday, May 8.
  • Heroes emerge in look at end of Vietnam War

    The images are both powerful and plentiful, but in this case it’s the words — the recollections of those whose experiences and memories are reflected in those pictures — that really tell the story. The Oscar-nominated documentary Last Days in Vietnam, which has its TV debut on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on PBS’s American Experience, does a masterful job of combining archival footage with present-day interviews to create a fascinating look at the chaotic end of a difficult chapter in U.S. history.
  • Ethical by design

    It's the most popular and painfully over-posed question on pop-culture pedestrian parade routes: "Who are you wearing?"
  • Irish comic heralds impotence (if it happens to come to that)

    There's a moment in every relationship when it becomes important for one party to have the other's undivided attention. And when that is, in fact, the case, a deeper kind of affection can be achieved.
  • Destiny's child: Comedy is in Shawn Wayans' DNA

    In the end, there really was no other choice. Shawn Wayans was going to be a comedian. "I've had the benefit of being blessed with some tremendous comedic role models," says Wayans, who brings his standup-comedy act to Winnipeg for a series of hot-ticket shows at Rumor's Comedy Club from April 16 to 19. "I've watched them climb through the ranks, and learned the tricks of the trade and what (comedy) is all about. I've been very well-prepared for this since I was a young guy."
  • Sci-fi series Orphan Black is upping its game as it returns for a third season

    There's no more "under the radar" for Orphan Black; no more "best-kept secret" status for its star, Tatiana Maslany. The sci-fi show about the cloning experiment run amok, in which Saskatchewan-born Maslany plays a wide range of very different characters sporting the same DNA sequence, has become a huge hit and, in the process, a fully mainstream TV property.
  • Big laughs, big numbers for annual comedy-palooza

    More shows, new, larger venues and a diverse lineup of acts resulted in one of the most well-attended Winnipeg Comedy Festivals ever. Festival organizers announced a paid-attendance total of 13,159 for this year's event, which ran from April 6 to 12 at numerous locations around Winnipeg. Last year's fest had paid attendance of 10,232.
  • Gunnarson dedicated to his craft, but it doesn't translate into great TV

    It's impossible not to have a grudging kind of admiration for Dean Gunnarson. He has, for more than 30 years, remained determined in his quest to be known as the world's greatest escape artist, despite the fact it isn't a title to which many lay claim these days, and it's an entertainment form that doesn't command nearly the kind of public attention it did during the long-ago era of his hero, Harry Houdini.
  • Raking him over the coals... but with respect

    If you're looking to describe something as hip, current and cool, one of the easiest and most overused shorthand descriptions involves distancing that thing from your parents' generational tastes. "This is not your father's Oldsmobile."
  • A feast for the senses

    It has often been said that the best way to travel through life is by viewing it as a journey rather than a destination. The same can be said for the experience of watching Game of Thrones -- if you can let go of the notion that its multi-layered, tightly woven stories need to get anywhere in a hurry, you can sit back and fully enjoy one of the most beautifully crafted and wondrously entertaining stories ever created for any screen of any size, anywhere.
  • Former Saskatoon hairdresser delights in doing the dirty on standup stage

    It's a dirty job -- actually, a dark and dirty job -- and Shannon Laverty is just the kind of somebody who's happy to do it. Laverty, a 25-year veteran of the standup-comedy circuit, is known for her frank and sometimes graphic perspectives on life and relationships, so artistic director Al Rae figured she was a logical choice to host the Winnipeg Comedy Festival's edgiest event, WCF After Dark (formerly known as The Dark and Stormy Show).

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