Being in this business makes you automatically privy to the inside scoop on various film and television productions, mind-blowing accounts of egos run amok, exorbitant cost overruns, professional ineptness, and just plain bad behavior on the part of people in power.  Anecdotes of these ongoing disasters always command a great deal of attention but, occasionally, amid tales of clueless idiots hiring clueless idiots to mismanage multi-million dollar projects or the atmosphere on certain productions becoming so toxic and tightly wound that it reduces many a cast and crew member to tears, come stories of just the opposite – shows that receive a lot of love by fostering an onset sense of family and collective professionalism.

So rather than discuss the shitshows, let’s instead focus on these beloved locally shot productions that have made fast fans of the guest stars, directors and crew fortunate enough to spend time on their set.

These are the shows I hear great things about…

Murdoch Mysteries: Every so often, someone will work on our show for the first time and compliment us by drawing comparisons to their experience on Murdoch Mysteries.  Heading into its eleventh season, Murdoch Mysteries is clearly doing a lot right and much of it has to do with a supportive and friendly atmosphere, and an overall positive tone set by the show’s producers and star Yannick Bisson.

Kim’s Convenience: I’m a little biased here because stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon guested on Dark Matter’s third season and were an utter delight to work with, but truth is I’d heard great things about Kim’s Convenience well before they graced our awesome Ishida research station set.  As counter-intuitive as it may seem, comedies can often make for the most unpleasant of work environments – but everyone I know who has spent time on Kim’s Convenience has come away mightily impressed.

Orphan Black: Number 1 on the call sheet sets the tone, for better or worse.  If your lead is a jerk, then chances are your production will be hell to work on.  If, on the other hand, you have someone like Tatiana Maslany headlining your show, you should consider yourself very, very lucky because word is, besides being insanely talented, she is also a wonderful person – and that positivity translates to the rest of the production.

Schitt’s Creek: Word is star Eugene Levy is a prince.  But he’s Canadian, so what did you expect?  From everything I’ve heard, this one is a blast to work on.

26
Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
KathyC

Not familiar with the first two; guessing they don’t air here in the US.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Orphan Black. So sad they chose to end the show after five seasons. Glad to hear Tatiana is as awesome in real life as she is in my mind. grin

Schitt’s Creek does air here, but never watched it.

Scifigirl
Scifigirl

Still waiting for the site transfer from WP to Wix. My new site has copyrights so I’ll be posting pictures from the Stargate set tours and conventions. For the possible team up..is it for directing or writing? Martin Wood?

Colleen Scott

As a proud Canadian thank you for this. I love good words about shows I love.

Ponytail
Ponytail

Yes but Joe, why do some show productions have “…mind-blowing accounts of egos run amok, exorbitant cost overruns, professional ineptness, bad behavior on the part of people in power, ongoing disasters, clueless idiots hiring clueless idiots to mismanage multi-million dollar projects, or the atmosphere on certain productions becoming so toxic and tightly wound that it reduces many cast and crew member to tears…”?

Is it too much stress, unrealistic expectations for the success of the show, power struggles, or a bad catering crew? Same can be said for any business or company. Why can’t we all just get along? What is wrong with people?!

Ponytail
Ponytail

Did you see the on-line story of a kindergartener who did not make it to the bathroom and wet her pants? She was very embarrassed and upset. They called her dad to come get her, but before he did, he splashed some water on his pants. He showed up looking like he had wet his pants too and asked his daughter if he could borrow her backpack to cover up his “accident”. It put a smile back on her face (and everyone else’s.)

Build up. Support one another.

gforce

I hear some show called Dark Matter is pretty great, too. wink

It has always surprised me a bit when people from other offices visit and are a bit amazed that everyone in our work section gets along so well and is so relaxed. It’s a reminder that it’s certainly not like that everywhere, but the formula is not difficult. Everyone treats everyone else with care and respect and.. that’s about it. Also, knowing the difference between working hard (usually), yet not taking work too seriously.

glowyzoey
glowyzoey

It’s good to know there are some sets that have a good vibe. I love finding out former co-stars of shows I enjoyed are still friends many years later. I’ll bet the Dark Matter set has a great vibe. wink

Randomness
Randomness

It does surprise me the amount of single season shows produced every television season which are an amalgamation of terrible. The critics destroy said shows, the people who watch leave with a bad impression after a single episode, and the show meets a swift end.

Some shows take a good idea, but get it so very wrong. Naturally I think some writers just don’t have the talent to make good TV. I think first impressions are everything for a new television show. If the audience don’t like what they’re watching, they’re less likely to come back.

I also think some shows suffer from having a good start, a mediocre middle, and an even worse end. Poor season planning, or just bad writing? You see it reflected in the shows ratings when over the course of a single season the show just bleeds viewers until the network is left with no choice but to cancel.

Colin Hollis
Colin Hollis

As if I needed any more reason to watch Dark Matter you’ve gone and added Paul and Jean to season 3. Can’t wait for the season to start.

astrumporta
astrumporta

Very interesting to hear about the good productions! I think TV production must be such a pressure cooker that even otherwise ‘nice’ people show their mean sides at times. But yeah, a day-to-day jerk in charge or starring, must be hell. Amazing how long some productions last despite that.

wrm2me
wrm2me

Even as a journalist you can tell when a show is on a roll because everyone is happy to be involved and to talk about it. Stargate Atlantis and SGU were like that, as were Sanctuary (the 10th anniversary is coming up, btw, so plaudits to everyone involved in that show) and Continuum. From everything I’ve seen on set visits, Dark Matter also definitely deserves to be on the list. Everyone in the cast and crew are so down-to-earth and welcoming that they must be a pleasure to work with.

Shelly

@KathyC: Murdoch Mysteries *does* air in the US, on Ovation, under the title The Artful Detective. (Episodes under the MM moniker are also on Hulu (S1-6) and Netflix (S1-7) and can be purchased through Amazon Instant Video (most if not all seasons except 10, which will likely be available this summer).)

As for Orphan Black, I remember reading in interviews early on that the showrunners’ plan all along was for five seasons.

dasndanger
dasndanger

Murdoch Mysteries is excellent! For those in the US it airs as The Artful Detective on Ovation. You can also find it on Acorn.

It took me a while to get used to, being more familiar with the British style of period mystery drama, and British acting. It felt ‘clunky’ at first…and then, before I realized it, I was in love. It’s not an over-the-top gore and whores type show so common now on both network and premium channels these days. Yes, there are dead bodies, and yes, the occasional romp in the proverbial hay. But this show doesn’t need to slap you in the face with such things to keep your attention. So, what does it have?

It has characters. And I do mean characters! Crabtree and Brackenreid are my favorites; Crabtree as the guileless and loyal constable (with quite a fanciful imagination!) while Brackenreid provides a wonderful contrast as the gruff black-and-white (often politically incorrect!) Inspector. And the reserved, logical Murdoch keeps them all grounded.

It deals with controversial issues by presenting the arguments without taking sides. This makes the show very watchable because I don’t feel personally judged by it for how I stand on certain subjects.

It is a Steampunk junkie’s dream, especially in the earlier seasons when Murdoch was inventing all sorts of contraptions with glass tubes and gears and stuff, all of which exist in reality today. (The Truthizer, for the win! lol )

It references modern pop culture, technology, and science with a fun, tongue-in-cheek approach. The internet, Scrabble, Twitter, zombies, Indiana Jones…they’ve all been winked at in some way, as have many more.

It features real people who really existed. While facts about the person are somewhat condensed or modified to fit the needs of the story, it is great fun to see people like Churchill, Edison, Lovecraft, Tesla, Doyle, Jack London, Buffalo Bill, and Houdini (to name a few) cross paths with Murdoch. And what a treat it was to have William Shatner as Mark Twain! Yup. Good stuff right there.

Canada should be proud for making one of the best, well-rounded shows out there. It is what television should be – entertaining. Not horrifying, or dismally dark and depressing, or angry and hateful, or lustful and violent…it’s just…entertaining, pure and simple. And while it has its moments of sadness, or terror, or passion, it reserves these as the garnishes on the plate instead of making them the heavy main course.

And I think that’s just about the longest thing I’ve ever typed on my tablet…with one finger. razz

das

Jayenkai (@Jayenkai)

Watching these in Britain..

1. Murdoch Mysteries
ITV apparently have the rights for this in the UK, but searching the “ITV Hub” App is proving fruitless. Amazon have the show available for additional purchase, and stream via the Amazon Prime Video app.

2. Kim’s Convenience
Sounds fun! But much like Corner Gas, Little Mosque, and other recent popular Canadian sitcoms, this just plain doesn’t exist over here.

3. Orphan Black
BBC Worldwide have their mitts on this. I’m not sure if it’s actually available on broadcast TV, but it is listed as a BBC Three show.. (BBC Three now only exists as an Online Channel, not a broadcast one!!)
According to the BBC’s site, they’ve recently streamed Season 3, but it’s not available for rewatching at the moment. (BBC’s always shuffling shows around. Even Doctor Who is hard to stream outside of it’s broadcast months)

Seasons 1&2 are, however, currently on Netflix UK, and seasons 1-4 are available for additional purchase on Amazon Prime.

4. Schitt$ Creek
I can’t find anything of this show, anywhere. Doesn’t exist!

Bah, humbug!

At least I can get Dark Matter via iTunes.. That’s the important bit.

Kevin G
Kevin G

Joe,

Is the possible Hollywood writers strike going to affect DM season 4?

TheOtherOne
TheOtherOne

I love Murdock Mysteries.
I love the period ethics and protocols plus the cheeky historical tweeks which add that extra dimension to the storylines. There’s a great feeling of camaraderie on screen so I’m not surprised it’s a great production to work on.
(Pleased to know Dark Matter is the same 😊)
It tickles me to remember Three ‘married’ Murdock and Dr Ogden, don’t know why. And that One was the murdering partner of Murdock’s arch nemesis James Gillies.

I know, I know but it makes me smile ….

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

I love “Murdoch Mysteries”. I’m eagerly awaiting new seasons for it on Netflix. It would be awesome to hear about some of those “behind the scenes” stories. Sharing that info would burn bridges though. Don’t want to get you in trouble.

Katie Sackhoff shared a good tweet today: “I don’t have time for negative energy in my feed”. Wonderful tweet! After the election, I had to drop a few people from my twitter feed. It’s not that I don’t agree with a few of them but it’s too stressful to constantly hear negative, negative, and more negative. Real life is stressful enough.

FargateOne
FargateOne

Bien d’accord avec vous à propos de Murcoch Mysteries. Je ne connais pas les autres séries. L,atmosphère qui règne sur le plateau selon vos dires, transparaît à l’écran. Nous aimons bien Murdoch!

Margaret Clayton

I do love Orphan Black! I have to catch up though, it is not a show to watch lightly or distracted, or I need to backtrack far too much.

TheOtherOne
TheOtherOne

@Jayenkai
Murdock Mysteries is on Alibi in UK – showing both early and new series/episodes.
… And HAH! tomorrow at 7.10am/8.10am is ‘Big Murder on Campus’ with Marc Bendavid !
Hope you can find it …

Mike A.
Mike A.

Orphan Black: Makes sense. Every interview I’ve seen of Tatiana either about her show or otherwise, she seems very genuine and seriously loves what she does. Honestly, I can’t think of a true, professional actor who wouldn’t love that kind of a role where you get to be so many different personalities each with their look, mannerisms, and personalities. It’s kind of a dream role. Plus, she’s got a smile that could melt a glacier. She’s a babe.

Was doing some t-shirt surfing the other day and apparently this exists:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/xfchemist-art/works/23225623-joe-mallozzi?c=584285-stargate&p=t-shirt&rel=carousel&style=mens

You might be glad I didn’t find and post this while you all were still in production. Who know what the cast and crew might have done with this info!

-Mike A.

Petri lahti
Petri lahti

Hi from finland (so sorry my english)

I dont know where to ask but is there any plans to celebrate stargate sg1 for its 20th anniversary? It is THE best show ever so and really deserves new hd remaster smile

MaggieL80
MaggieL80

Have been watching Murdoch Mysteries off and on for years. I don’t watch it regularly but get on a whim where I binge for days.

Sadly I’ve never heard of Kim’s Convenience but it looks like fun. And sadly I don’t watch the 30 minute comedy like I used to. Actually no comedies in my weekly line up unless you count the news.

I watched the first season of Orphan Black but didn’t follow it into the other seasons. I seriously need to begin again. It is a great show and worthy of all the buzz.

Who doesn’t like Eugene Levy? Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, American Pie, Club Paradise, SCTV? He is a comic genius regardless of the medium.

shinyhula
shinyhula

I’ve been wanting to check out some of these shows, I’ll add them to my Netflixing slate as I count down the premiere of DM. My friends and family are Orphan Black obsessed; what does the swan mean? Who is the dude in the hut? I adore Felix and his mod loft.

Susie Gaskins

@KathyC Murdoch Mysteries airs older episodes where I live here in the US on WHMB Channel 10. It’s a great show. Zoie Palmer was on episode 3 from Season 3.