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Last Night on TV: Girl Meets World still delights, but about that Farkle kid…

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If that’s not the child of Cory Matthews, I don’t know up from down. Rowan Blanchard was a great casting choice and has definitely managed to create her own brand of goofy but heartfelt that fits in the Boy Meets World legacy. BUT, I do have some notes: 

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Filed under Girl Meets World Boy Meets World Sarah Carpenter Britt Robertson Rowan Blanchard Disney Channel Disney Last Night on TV gifs

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Last Night on TV: Circadian rhythms, bobsled martinis and the darkest Diaz

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Note: Apologies for not writing the usual Last Night on TV column. Business as usual next week - I just needed to share some Rookie Blue memories this time. 

It has been a year since I sat down with Travis Milne at Global’s headquarters in downtown Toronto and he told me Chris Diaz was going dark. Back in July 2012, I don’t think he could have predicted he’d hit the darkest timeline a year later. I know I wouldn’t have guessed it.

This past spring, however, he promised me ALL the darkness. Of course, we were standing in a semi-darkened bar in the middle of the day as episode four - “Going Under” - was shooting. I think I watched Milne order a bobsled martini at least 10 times during my brief visit. I was slightly skeptical in 2012, but this time, as I stood in front of a bunch of fake $20s rolled into a giant wade and a bunch of prop dime bags with baking soda (I assume) on a makeshift prop table, I kinda believed him. Chris Diaz has come a long way from small town, eager beaver; Milne too. 

It was my first time interviewing Greg Smith, but Milne and I have crossed paths a couple times over the course of the series. (He’s not the only one - man, do I miss getting a high fives/hugs from Rachael Ancheril at occasional events around town.)  Both of the guys are personable and enthusiastic to be back on set after an extended hiatus from the last season. Smith dished on directing (he’d already tackled one episode this season and had a second coming up); I expressed envy of Milne’s hiatus project - a movie starring Martin Sheen. (Milne still owes me details about that shoot.) Every interview I’ve had with this cast over its four seasons have been easy-going, friendly and genuinely fun experiences. When I moved to LA a month later, I realised running into the Rookie Blue cast while I galavanted around Toronto was no longer going to be a regular occurrence. Future seasons’ set visits, no longer a sure thing.

Which is probably why I now get a little too nostalgic (and a little sad) every week watching Rookie Blue. I spent nine years living and walking the streets of Toronto, taking a little extra pride when the city popped up on my TV. But I also have a lot of (probably misguided) pride seeing what this show has become over the past four seasons. It’s moved to a new studio/lot three times. It’s managed to add new cast members every season and make viewers care about them as fiercely as the original gang. (Oh come on, admit it, you LOVE Nick Collins. You should. I do! Duncan, fine, we can be iffy on him together.) And its actors - especially Milne - have grown and flourished as actors. 

I may never have a chance to visit the set and be a bystander in this gang’s shenanigans; never find myself chatting to Ancheril, Milne, Mooney or any other cast member I run into at 1am at a TIFF bash; never have the tremendous privilege of advance screeners (well…I may hold on to that perk as I continue to write about TV from Los Angeles); but I’ll always feel a little too invested in the show. And be a little too proud of its Canadian roots, its victories, big and small. 

Filed under Rookie Blue Gregory Smith Travils Milne Dov Epstein Chris Diaz TV Toronto Last Night on TV hot men

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Last Night on TV: Chasing Life’s rendition of “Confessions Part II”

THESE ARE MY CONFESSIONS……Well, that song is going to be stuck in my head all day. I suppose there are worse things.

Do you know what I like most about Chasing Life? There are no unnecessary wardrobe changes. (And I say this even after last week’s formal dress montage.) This week April wore the same red and white striped shirt for the whole hour. And by the end, I wanted one. And a blazer.

April was forced into dropping her leukemia bomb on her mother and grandmother. Other confessions included: my mother’s in prison (Dominic) and I have a secret sister (April to Dominic).

I’m actually way more interested in this show’s b-plot line with Brenna and Grier and hot tattoo boy whose name escapes me right now. I like this awesome friendship/possible grey zone they’re developing. BUT if I’m sharing my own confession: I spent 90% of my time being more excited for this week’s Young & Hungry which features the return of the Tis (aka Ashley Tisdale) to TV!

As a biker chick, lesbian….? Stay tuned.

Filed under Chasing Life Young and Hungry ABC Family Ashley Tisdale Last Night on TV

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Last Night on TV: Home town dates on the Bachelorette makes the boys cry

Now, this may have been the fault of the two glasses of vino consumed at the TCAs opening night cocktail party (Thanks National Geographic!), but I almost welled up watching each of the four remaining dudes tear up telling their families how much they were in love with Andi during their hometown dates.

But then - without fail, every season - I pictured what a hypothetical hometown date with my family (read: mother…AND younger sister) would be like should I ever EVER be on this show (I can’t be: I’m 30 and therefore too old) and as per usual, I began to giggle. I honestly think my friends would buy tickets to see my sister or myself on a “hometown date” where my mother was present. It could be its own mini-series.

Moving along, Andi’s signature drunk face made more than one cameo (see above) while talking to the mothers of her current suitors. And then, after all the various “you could be a homemaker” comments and manly tears, we had actual drama and real sadness when we were invited into Chris Harrison’s home (oh man, do I want to poke around in there) and everyone was informed of former contestant Eric Hill’s death. Naturally, Andi made it sliiiightly about her with “my last conversation with him was me being an asshole!” YES, I’m PARAPHRASING.

Truthfully though, ABC did a really good job being respectful while doling out the news. The usual shitty instrumental music replaced by stark and difficult silence and sniffles from Andi and the guys; the real time shaky camera work; the whole crew and “cast” hugging, crying, dealing with the reality of what has happened; Andi crying and genuinely upset with how she ended her “relationship” with him. It was all real. The realest reality TV you’ll ever see.

And then we came to a rose ceremony, where a Bachelorette must decide which three men she wants to sleep with (or just a lot of off-camera fooling around) before this “journey” is over. We all know that it was really down to Marcus or Chris in terms of who was getting the final boink spot, right? Nick was not a question. Josh was DEFINITELY not a question. I think Marcus is too sensitive to be the next Bachelor, so my money’s on hunky farmer Chris returning to find his dream “homemaker” in this time slot. Unless he’s booked on Bachelor in Paradise (which I CANNOT wait for!). 

Filed under The Bachelorette reality TV Andi Dorfman hometown dates Last Night on TV Eric Hill

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It’s been a WEEK since I’ve written anything. And I definitely have THOUGHTS about TV — especially all the pilots I’ve been watching this past week when I should have been writing about current TV. (I mean, obviously I haven’t forgotten Rookie Blue, especially now that Chris/Travis’ plot line is FINALLY coming out. I’ve been sitting on that for awhile now, you guys. It was hard to keep it from you.) 
So stay tuned please! I’ve got TCAs for the next two weeks (on top of the normal 9 to 6 gig) and, as you can see from the above, I’m working hard at blending in as a Canadian in America Land. (I ACED my first Fourth of July, obviously.)

It’s been a WEEK since I’ve written anything. And I definitely have THOUGHTS about TV — especially all the pilots I’ve been watching this past week when I should have been writing about current TV. (I mean, obviously I haven’t forgotten Rookie Blue, especially now that Chris/Travis’ plot line is FINALLY coming out. I’ve been sitting on that for awhile now, you guys. It was hard to keep it from you.)

So stay tuned please! I’ve got TCAs for the next two weeks (on top of the normal 9 to 6 gig) and, as you can see from the above, I’m working hard at blending in as a Canadian in America Land. (I ACED my first Fourth of July, obviously.)

Filed under America Canadian in America Land TV Rookie Blue my life

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Last Night on TV: Pregnant pauses become toddlers on The Bachelorette

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Did you hate it? Squirm? As Nick came back from his extended group date with a rose on his lapel and faced the brooding rejected boys in their hotel suite and the silence just ate them all? I died laughing. Think about the usual amount of awkward silence or momentary pauses that happen in real life. Now think about how often that makes it into reality TV. You only see it when the drama merits it. 

Last night on The Bachelorette merited it. Some how a room with six GROWN-ASS men became a 13 year-old girl’s bedroom; the only thing that didn’t match the situation was the timbre of those six men’s voices. I could almost hear “Oh my GOD, Becky! I can’t believe you did that to us! You kissed him and you don’t even LIKE him like I DOOO!” That was basically the gist of that fight. 

In other words, five dudes threw around the “you’re not here for the right reasons” phraseology we know so well, while Nick got the villain edit because in reality this season has no actual villain unlike past seasons. In fact, I’d argue it’s really creative to edit Nick into bad guy central because obviously the easier edit would have been Josh, the (ex?) athlete with a lady-riddled past.

Oy, I just wish the guys had found out about Nick sneaking out to see Andi after Marcus’ one-on-one. It could have incited a slap flight.

At least last night’s editing left no surprise in revealing Josh, Nick, Marcus and farmer Chris would be the ones going on hometown dates. So thank you for that, editors and producers. 

Switched at Birth was not my favourite but it went through a LOT of plot. Daphne tried to prove she was Latina. Emmett’s dad had a surprise wedding at his house warming party and THEN announced he was having a baby. Bay found out that Melody was interviewing and probably taking a job in Wisconsin. The Kennishes offered to pay for Daphne’s college. There was a lot of stuff with Travis and Mary-Beth talking about their families…or not talking about them. Plus a cameo with the NFL’s Derrick Coleman which was SUPER cute. As is having Bay and Emmett back together. Those two are not going to have a smooth road ahead. Boo. 

Filed under Last Night on TV The Bachelorette Andi Dorfman reality TV Switched At Birth

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Last Night on TV: Spelling money can buy Tori another TV show but it will never fix her face

The world can’t fault Jennie Garth for being involved in Mystery Girls. She’s an actress. She needs a job and a paycheque. She’s cashing in on rampant ’90s nostalgia by pairing up with her 90210 co-star Tori Spelling, in Tori’s quest to be culturally relevant beyond her multitude of reality TV shows.

But we can fault Tori Spelling for not ponying up for a better show. Better writing, better gay BFF, better lighting. Well, even better lighting maaaay not help her face situation.

Moving on to Young & Hungry, ABC’s other new summer sitcom. Emily Osment is cute enough as a desperate chef angling for a gig. Jonathan Sadowski, who’s probably best known as Viola’s gay BFF in She’s the Man (surely, one of the greatest movies of our time), plays the young billionaire boss. I think he’s straight in real life, but it didn’t reeeeallly translate into chemistry with any of the women on the show. That being said, at least this show is cute in a Baby Daddy kind of way. It’s watchable enough to give it time for Osment’s Gabi to tone down her shrill-ish squeaky panicky moments and for Sadowski’s Josh to acquire chemistry.

And then there’s Suits, which is obviously miiiiiiles above any of the aforementioned shows. Turns out that I, like Donna, am worried about Harvey and Mike’s bromance. And as this season’s takeover one-upmanship plot continued to play out last night, I became even more concerned; but there was a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel as Mike gave Harvey his dad’s master tapes. HOPE AND GOODNESS ARE STILL ALIVE. Somewhere. Disguised in three-piece suits.  

Filed under Suits Mystery Girls Young & Hungry TV ABC Family USA Network Last Night on TV

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Last Night on TV: Checking in with Chasing Life

You knew the reveal was coming too, right? Leo in the cancer support group? It was obvious. Especially when April pitched the story about him last week and her boss waved her off. “He gets a free pass”…because he’s sick. 

Not that the obviousness bothered me. I’m more concerned how they’re going to set up this love triangle. Is it going to be a love triangle? Because a lot of effort was put in to making Dominic look like a player who’s changed his game for April. Yes, he doesn’t know about the cancer; is that where he’ll freak out and bail on her? With Leo waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces?

The show’s walking the fine line between the usual ABC Family PG-rating and the fact that its lead is actually in her twenties and has a job and is by all means, an adult. So yes, she’s allowed to have sex, sleep over at a guy’s place, act a little slutty (kinda)….but we don’t get to SEE a lot of it. Would this show benefit from a little CW treatment? Maybe. But I think that would also mean it can’t deal with the cancer story lines in an ABC Family way, which is to deal with it head on in a realistic capacity. And that’s the thing that will make this show better and better, week after week. 

Filed under Chasing Life ABC Family TV Last Night on TV