Brad Oswald

  • Just cloning around

    You might think it would be easier the second time around. You'd be wrong.
  • Fargo an excellent series... that we can't watch

    First the good news: Fargo is an excellent new TV series, and you really should tune in when it premières tonight on FX Canada. Now, the not-so-good news: Fargo is an excellent show that you really should watch, but after tonight's debut you won't be able to, because the series' subsequent episodes will air on the newly launched FXX network, and Winnipeg's major TV-content providers, Shaw and MTS, have not yet made deals with FXX owner Rogers to carry it in this market.
  • The Game is afoot!

    There are dark and dangerous days ahead for the House Lannister. And that's about as close to a Game of Thrones spoiler as you're going to get from this column, because I'm well aware that tipping off any actual storyline details prior to Sunday's fourth-season première (HBO Canada; check listings for time) would make me about as popular as a Westeros wedding planner.
  • High-tech hilarity

    It's one of the most basic pieces of advice anyone stuck staring at a blank page or computer screen can receive: Write what you know. And by doing just that, Mike Judge has created something smart, special and uniquely funny.
  • Stick to the singing

    AS awards-show telecasts go, The 2014 Juno Awards was, well, another awards-show telecast. Buoyed by some crackling performances and dressed up nicely by a killer set, but dragged back down by dry-as-dust category intros, acceptance speeches and rather tepid attempts at comedy, Sunday night's two-hour broadcast was a decidedly middle-of-the-road affair.
  • Overture, curtain, lights, this is it... Junos night

    It's like staging a big-time touring rock concert, except for one small detail. "A rock show is something that's done over and over again," says Karel Noordover, technical producer of The 2014 Juno Awards.
  • Jacked up: Actor best known for dramatic work survives move to comedy

    It takes a tough guy to deliver tough love. That's the sentiment that drives Surviving Jack, a new comedy from the guy who brought you $#*! My Dad Says. The series, which premières March 27 on Fox and CTV, is a sort-of-retro sitcom (it's set all the way back in 1991) that stars a guy more known for stone-faced drama than slapstick hilarity.
  • Stunning episode of The Good Wife leaves fans' jaws on the floor

    It was a shocker. And definitely a talker. And in the age of spoiler alerts, PVR-delayed gratification and incessant social-media blurting, it sent TV viewers into a frenzy as fans of The Good Wife in need of next-morning water-cooler debriefing were shouted into silence by co-workers who hadn't yet seen what all the fuss was about. The death of Will Gardner in the CBS drama's March 22 episode, Dramatics, Your Honor, was stunning for a lot of reasons, but perhaps the most unexpected and impressive thing about it is how well the show's producers and cast kept the departure of a central character secret right up until the fateful on-screen moment.
  • CBC doc puts poverty, programs in spotlight

    There's no denying the gang background -- drugs, crime, violence and jail time -- but for the purposes of this documentary about the challenges facing 21st-century parents and children, inner-city Winnipeg resident Kelson is just a dad who wants the best for his kids. "I went to jail, did a lot of time in jail, had a lot of friends killed. I don't want that for my kids," says the young aboriginal father of six, one of several Manitobans featured in the CBC/Doc Zone feature Angry Kids & Stressed-Out Parents, which airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on CBC.
  • The ambitious, adventurous journalists at Vice practise 'immersionism'

    "We're not action junkies or anything like that. We just want to get the good story.” That's what host/producer/reporter Shane Smith had to say when the HBO news/documentary series Vice was launched last year, introducing a 10-episode season of aggressive, in-the-line-of-fire reporting that included examinations of Taliban-recruited child suicide bombers in Afghanistan, political assassinations in the Philippines, the dangerous politics of the world's deadliest border, oil-patch piracy in Nigeria, and Dennis Rodman's controversial "diplomatic" trip to North Korea.
  • A whole lot of squirming, but not very much laughing

    First, you squirm. Then, you laugh. At least, that seems to be the game plan best-pal actresses Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom) and Dolly Wells (Bridget Jones's Diary) had in mind when they imagined a semi-improvised, sort-of-fictional series in which they play off-kilter renderings of themselves functioning within a slightly skewed version of Hollywood.
  • Comic-book geeks' ambitious strategy a Marvel of an idea

    As it turns out, Fox's Cosmos isn't the only U.S.-network TV program exploring the vast possibilities of space and time. Over at ABC, there's another prime-time offering that considers the big questions of how it all started and what the seemingly unlimited future might hold. Except this time, it's all focused on circumstances and beings that exist only in the fevered imaginations of some very creative people.
  • Tense drama will hook audience

    2For most people, the answers to these questions are direct and emphatic. And that's why they create a strong foundation for the appropriately titled new NBC drama Crisis. Crisis, which premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on NBC, is a limited-run series that follows what happens after a busload of high-school students is taken hostage while en route to a field trip. What makes the scenario intriguing, rather than merely appalling, is that the school in question is a private academy in Washington, D.C., and the parents of the kidnapped teens include some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world, up to and including the president of the United States.
  • Perfect pick: Collecting antiques just one of reality-show star's interests

    If you refer to Danielle Colby as a renaissance woman, the suggestion is more likely to elicit a laugh than a nod of agreement. Her diverse and somewhat exotic resumé includes designing clothing and jewelry, running a clothing boutique, managing and performing in a burlesque troupe and, most notably, co-starring in the hugely popular History TV reality series American Pickers, but the 38-year-old native of Davenport, Iowa, is reluctant to attach any flowery foreign-language descriptives to the various things she does.
  • Into the wild

    Well, this makes perfect sense. As film and television production technology continues to advance, one of the genres that has benefited greatly is the nature documentary. Thanks to high-definition, super-slow-motion, extreme-elements-proof cameras and digital-editing capabilities, we are seeing Earth's natural wonders in ways that, just a few years ago, were beyond the scope of the imagination.
  • Nothing to be Leary about if you like his brand of funny

    There's nothing wrong with setting modest goals, as long as you work hard at achieving them. Take Denis Leary, for example, whose latest TV project, Sirens, arrives with substantially less lofty ambitions than his previous effort, Rescue Me.
  • New sitcom combines law and laughs

    With a career that spans more than four decades and has included television, feature films and Broadway plays, there must have been something special about Working the Engels that attracted Andrea Martin back to the small screen. It's a sitcom. A Canadian sitcom. Clearly, this can't have been a career move motivated by money.
  • To infinity... and beyond!

    Talk about exploring the final TV frontier. No, not space -- that's been done, both fictionally, in Star Trek and dozens of other scripted series, and in a factual fashion, with the landmark 1980 PBS series Cosmos and numerous other science-minded projects. But a serious, measured, academic examination of time and space, broadcast in Fox Broadcasting's usually cartoon-silly Sunday-night block and co-produced by the guy who brought you Family Guy, American Dad and Ted?
  • On TV

    Hannibal The BAU team works toward solving a string of brutal murders in the new episode Sakizuki. Narrowing the likely origins of the discarded bodies, they get closer to discovering who the killer is. Cynthia Nixon and Gillian Anderson guest star. NBC/Citytv, 9 p.m.
  • The kids are all right: Pint-sized personnel play key roles in ABC's Resurrection, NBC's Believe

    Congrats if your child is an A student. Kudos, too, if your youngster is a future NHLer, a musical prodigy or the next-pint-sized big-screen star. As great as they may be -- or, at least, as your parental pride pushes you to believe they are -- your exceedingly gifted offspring are going to seem inferior compared to a tandem of TV tykes arriving in prime time this week.
  • Don't let laugh track fool you; nothing funny to see here

    There is, sadly, no way to spin this into a good-news story. The arrival this week of CTV's newest homegrown sitcom property is bound to become a public-relations nightmare, which is ironic, because the woefully bad Spun Out takes place inside a fictional PR firm, supposedly the best at what it does.
  • Bjorn to be wild

    Many young men dream of going into the family business. Bjorn Lothbrok is one such teenager, who wants nothing more than to follow in his father's footsteps and do the family name proud.
  • Give ABC series a look...then make up your mind

    It's a bit of an ironic twist -- in this case, the real-life ABC network could use the help of the fictional firm at the centre of its latest drama series. Mind Games, which premieres tonight at 9 on ABC (and, in Canada, Citytv), tells the story of a unique company that specializes in changing people's minds without them knowing that they've been manipulated. It's an unusual premise for a TV drama, and it might take a special and subtle kind of convincing to get viewers to give this somewhat intriguing mid-season entry a try.
  • James on solid ground now after shaky start in showbiz

    Ask Ron James if he feels like he's finally "made it," and there's bound to be a pause in the conversation. He's working at a level few entertainers reach in Canadian showbiz -- filling theatres for standup-comedy tours and starring in a CBC series that bears his name and has survived into its about-to-launch fifth season in what is surely the most budget-challenged era in the public broadcaster's history.
  • Global series offers dose of Canadian drama relief

    It's pretty good medicine, but there's nothing in the way of a miracle cure happening here. Global TV's new homegrown drama Remedy, which premières Monday at 8 p.m., is a well-cast and generally likable series that -- at least, based on the two episodes that were made available for preview -- fully deserves the coveted spot it has been given in the regular-season prime-time lineup.

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