Volume 91, Issue 63

Wednesday, January 21, 1998

grape vine


Telly Talk

By Lisa Weaver
Gazette Staff

Two nights ago a truly revolutionary half hour was witnessed on television – and Canadian television at that. The brilliance that is making independent Canadian film so popular finally made its way to the small screen. Enter Twitch City.

Twitch City is conceived and written by experienced filmmaker/ actor/screenwriter Don McKellar and directed by indie film man Bruce McDonald. Starring Molly Parker (Kissed), Callum Keith Rennie (Hard Core Logo), Daniel MacIvor (House) and McKellar himself, with the support of Kids in the Hall's Bruce McCulloch and King of Kensington's Al Waxman, Twitch City was bound to please from the start.

Stefan Brogen also made an appearance on Monday's episode as a boy who had fallen in love with his mother. Remember him from Degrassi High? (He was Snake, the cute and shy one.) With this mix of the best of Canada's young talent, even the most basic script could be turned into a masterpiece.

The plot is very simple: two housemates, one girlfriend, a convenience store clerk and a television. The setting is Kensington Market in downtown Toronto. Add background music by Canadian great Bob Wiseman. These ingredients don't seem to make much at first – until they are combined with McKellar's signature subtle humour.

Twitch City is a parody within itself. The main character is Curtis (McKellar), who is addicted to television – especially his favourite talk show, hosted by Rex Reilly (Bruce McCullough). Twitch City pokes fun at the television-addicted culture of society and portrays it well, provoking both laughter and introspection, as ironically we find ourselves hooked to the television ourselves.

Airing Monday nights at 9:30 p.m. on CBC, the first episode of Twitch City was short but sweet. Although only six episodes of the show have been shot so far, place your bets on more to come. Twitch City is sure to revolutionize the meaning of the television sitcom – and make us think twice about the way it affects us.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998