Not much TV to keep you on the couch here
Rachel David, Adam Wylde An aspirational reality-TV show in which nine privileged young people are led to believe they’ve won a six-week “trip of a lifetime,” but in fact have been chosen to work as volunteers on the construction of a centre for orphans in Guatemala. Lowdown: Actual première date is Sept. 23; series’ first-run episodes will air Mondays at 9 p.m., simultaneously on Citytv and OLN. Bottom line: No preview available at press time, but clips show plenty of whiny 20-something misbehaviour before the work actually gets done.
According to Global’s press materials, “a documentary series that chronicles the extraordinary and unusual worlds of personal obsessions.” Each episode will examine the issues being dealt with by different people with unusual fixations. Lowdown: No preview available, but this feels like low-budget filler whose main purpose is satisfying Global’s Canadian-content requirements. Bottom line: Unlikely to result in a compulsive need to watch this show. Citytv/Sept. 28/7 p.m. THE PROJECT: GUATEMALA Starring: Premise: Global/Sept. 28/7 p.m. OBSESSIONS Premise: valuables they can resell for profit. Lowdown: U.S. cable’s A&E network has already beaten this format to death. This north-of-the-border versions has no particularly Canadian attributes, and there are no apparent stars in its cast. Bottom line: There’s nothing unexpectedly valuable to be found here. Citytv/Sept. 29/7:30 p.m. MEET THE FAMILY Starring: A different cast each episode Premise: Based on a popular British prank-show format called Meet the Parents, this “reality” series follows a different couple in each episode as they explore the timeless question of whether a new romance can survive that first meeting with “the family.” Lowdown: Produced for Citytv by Winnipeg-based Frantic Films, this Canuck spin is built around the central gag that the person meeting the family is actually the victim of an elaborate prank in which all the so-called relatives are actors. Bottom line: No preview available; reviews of the Brit original were decidedly more dismissive than praiseful. ABC/Citytv/Sept. 29/9 p.m. BETRAYAL Starring: Hannah Ware, Stuart Townsend and James Cromwell Premise: A married female photographer and an equally attached male attorney embark on a passionate affair; their delicate situation becomes dangerously complicated when a murder case pits the lawyer against his lover’s prosecutor husband. Lowdown: Stylish and smooth, Betrayal could make a nice Sunday-night companion piece for Revenge, and Brit import Ware, who played opposite Kelsey Grammer in the cable drama Boss, could emerge as a breakout star. Quotable: “Our whole writers’ room is pretty much married, and we spend the day kind of… rooting for all of (the characters), which is confusing and real and complicated and makes it not the typical infidelity story at all. I think it’s very much how it really goes down — there’s no clear bad guys, and no clear, like, unfettered joy. It’s sort of like it’s wish fulfilment and also very complicated and dirty and uncomfortable.” — executive producer Lisa Zwerling. Bottom line: With a solid lead-in and not much nonsports competition, could retain a large portion of Revenge’s audience and become an out-of-the-gate success.