Watching television qualifies as homework for Ben Mulroney. As host of the highly rated entertainment program etalk, he's fully immersed in showbiz and frequently finds himself interviewing the biggest stars of the small screen. And Mulroney's passion for television reaches back further than most people realize.
The son of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, he began his broadcast career as the Quebec City correspondent on the talktv series The Chatroom. Once a week, Mulroney would beam in via webcam to supply news and views on the TV world. He later became a Chatroom co-host before moving on to the new role of entertainment reporter on Canada AM. Over the years, Mulroney hosted Canadian Idol and has been pressed into red-carpet duty covering the Oscars, Golden Globes and other awards shows.
On the personal front, Mulroney and his wife Jessica Brownstein are new parents to four-month-old twin boys, so watching TV occasionally provides respite from the daily feeding and diapers routine. Talking by cellphone from the streets of New York – 20 minutes before interviewing the Kardashian sisters – Mulroney described three of his current favourite shows.
Boardwalk Empire I've always been captivated by the rise and fall of cities, especially in the U.S., so watching a show set during the heyday of Atlantic City is very novel to me. I think some people don't like it because they get caught up in the visual trappings, so they think it's a one-trick pony, but it's really a great character drama. I'm a big Steve Buscemi fan and the acting on the show is exceptional. And from an Irishman's point of view, I like that his character is Irish.
Dexter The current season started slow and then got great when Lumen [Julia Stiles] appeared. The show itself took a really interesting turn this year. Getting rid of Dexter's wife at the end of last season freed him up to be an undistilled version of himself. And as always, Michael C. Hall is outstanding as Dexter. He's one of those original TV characters that will live on forever. Like most viewers, I have no idea how this season is going to finish.
The Walking Dead This is the only show I don't share with my wife -- she won't watch it with me. I've always been more of a zombie fan than a vampire fan, and I'm so glad they're getting their due right now. It's unique because the show itself is not overwhelmed with zombies. It's actually a small show about relationships being put to the test. Putting people into extreme situations is when you see their true colours come out.