Not much TV to keep you on the couch here

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Brad Oswald

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.

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