Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

One of the great things about television is the predictability. American network execs admit that they devote time to reading up on hit shows from decades ago, wondering in their weird little way whether the concept can be revived.

Successful shows are copied and old hits brought back from the dead. It doesn't only happen in La La Land -- this weekend in Canada, the big deal is the return of the Degrassi franchise. My friends, you haven't seen the last of Joey Jeremiah and his hat.

One of the other great things about television is that it makes fun of itself. There are movies about the making of movies, but they always seem precious. The drudgery of making a movie -- even with idiotic, egotistical stars and a skirt-chasing director -- isn't all that interesting.

Story continues below advertisement

TV, on the other hand, is sensationally stupid on a daily basis and the business is filled with megalomaniacs, morons and a few decent people.

Beggars and Choosers, The Larry Sanders Show and The Newsroom were terrifically entertaining at the expense of TV. There's never enough of it. Made in Canada (CBC, 9:30 p.m.) is back tonight, thank goodness. Rick Mercer's deft deflation of the Canadian TV production business -- and by inference, all television -- is addictive. It's not that you have to know about the internal politics of TV. Everybody watches TV, so everybody knows about its inanities.

The head of Pyramid Productions, Alan Roy (Peter Keleghan), is as shallow as ever. He wants to end a season of the long-running Beaver Creek by killing the cast, the better to help with contract negotiations.

He also hires a guy for some show ideas -- "I love you creative people. If you didn't work in TV, you'd be in a mental hospital."

Among the creative ideas that emerge is a new version of Moby Dick that is -- wait for it -- told from the whale's point of view. That's just goofy, but there's a vicious edge to a remark by the ruthless Richard (Mercer): "In showbiz, you fail upwards, not down." So true.

By the way, This Hour Has 22 Minutes also returns tonight (CBC, 8 p.m.). Yeah, I know -- putting it on Friday nights seems strange. Let me know if you think that's a dumb move. Shot in the Heart (Saturday, TMN and Movie Central) is one reason why you pay extra for some cable channels. This HBO movie based on the book by Mikal Gilmore about his notorious brother Gary -- the man who demanded to be executed in 1977 -- is excellent.

Directed by Agnieszka Holland and produced by the team that gave us Homicide: Life on the Street, it is a tough, flinty film about complex family relationships. Gary Gilmore was the subject of Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, but his younger's brother's perspective is far more intimate. Giovanni Ribisi plays Mikal, Elias Koteas is Gary, and much of the movie is a dramatization of their prison conversations just before Gary was executed.

Story continues below advertisement

Asked to try to persuade Gary to withdraw his acceptance of execution, Mikal talks, argues, cajoles and sometimes consoles the fiercely independent, wily and soul-destroyed Gary. It is a deeply troubling picture of life in the underbelly of America. Blue Murder (Saturday, Global 10 p.m.) is also back, and jazzed-up. I never liked this shallow crime drama, with it's fashion-model feel (the police boss and main detective are glamorous figures played by Mimi Kuzyk and Maria Del Mar) and forced coolness. Mind you, it's up for a bunch of Gemini Awards, so somebody loves it.

The second season has the welcome addition of Maurice Dean Wint as an RCMP officer dropped into the Toronto beat. Tonight's story features several murders of young women and one nerdy suspect who, of course, didn't do it. It's a competent crime drama of average quality. Degrassi: The Next Generation (Sunday, CTV, 7 p.m.) is, well, a must-see for curiosity value alone.

To set up the new series, we get a high-school reunion featuring much of the old cast, and then the new kids take over. Joey (Pat Mastroianni) is selling cars and a widower. Caitlin (Stacie Mistysyn) is a TV star and brings her Hollywood boyfriend (Don McKellar), of whom nobody approves. (Caitlin's stardom is established with a bit of convergence/product placement. Twice, we see her picture on the cover of The Globe and Mail's Globe Television magazine. It's unnerving from this end.)

In the introduction of the new generation, it is Emma (Miriam McDonald), the daughter of Spike (Amanda Stepto, who doesn't have a spiked hairdo any more) who dominates.

Directed by Bruce McDonald, this Degrassi revival will please the numerous fanatical followers of the original, but lacks its charm. The appealing ordinariness and sometimes awkward sincerity is missing, replaced by a sheen of glibness.

The secret of Degrassi's success was its low-key cordiality and utter lack of glamour. This one's aiming for glam, but that won't matter much to the fanatics. Dates and times may vary across the country. Please check local listings or visit

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies