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If the F-bomb “Fitz,” say it; Call Me Fitz swears it’s the new Trailer Park Boys

- November 30th, 2012

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Call Me Fitz continues to try to top Trailer Park Boys for rapid-fire usage of foul language. In a comedic way, of course.

What is it about the East Coast?

Pushing the F-bombs-per-minute meter into the red, the original Canadian series Call Me Fitz airs its third-season finale this Sunday, Dec. 2, on HBO Canada.

Fittingly, the finale has an F-bomb in its episode title, specifically, “And Baby Makes … F—! Part Two.” Part One aired last weekend, but it repeats just before the debut of Part Two on Sunday.

If you saw Part One, you know that lead character Fitz (Jason Priestley) was sent to jail. It was part of a setup by Fitz’s alter-ego Larry (Ernie Grunwald) to reunite Fitz with his estranged father Ken (Peter MacNeill), who also happened to be in jail.

Of course, the rivalry between father and son merely intensified behind bars as the two of them battled for control of “the yard.”

In the finale, with Ali (Kathleen Munroe) in labour, Fitz sets out to buy back the car dealership before his son is born, and also before his own father buys it back first.

Guest-starring as “Sean the Gay” – the head of the homosexual mafia – is Steve Schirripa, who you’ll remember for his role as Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos.

Not that there was any foul language on THAT show. Hope Schirripa remembered to cover his sensitive ears.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

The Moy the merrier on 2 Broke Girls

- November 28th, 2012

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Matthew Moy has an ability to laugh at himself and a good sense of self-esteem. He needs both those things for his role as diner owner Han Lee on 2 Broke Girls.

Han gets picked on a lot by the other characters, particularly Max, played by Kat Dennings. Han’s clothes, his height, his race, his culture, nothing is off-limits.

“At least on our show, we make a point of ragging on everybody,” said Moy (pictured above). “It’s kind of the way we show that we love each other.

“But you’re right, you need a high sense of self-esteem to take it. When you look like I do, you know, you take it.”

In one episode of 2 Broke Girls, which is in its second season and airs Mondays on CBS and Citytv, there were multiple references to Han being a 53-year-old man. “I’m 29!” an exasperated Han kept correcting.

“That’s so funny, right?” said Moy, who started his career in voice-over work for animation and videogames, and has guest-starred in series such as How I Met Your Mother, The Middle and iCarly. “It’s something I’ve encountered my whole life, I’m very used to being younger and older.

“I’m 28 in real life, but I’m used to people thinking I’m between 12 and 40.”

2 Broke Girls stars Dennings and Beth Behrs as, well, two broke girls. The difference being, Behrs’ character, Caroline, is not used to being broke, whereas Dennings’ Max has plenty of experience in that area.

Max and Caroline have a dream of starting their own cupcake business, but in the meantime they’re paying the bills by working at a greasy-spoon diner owned by Han.

“I’m so thankful for the people on my show, we have such great chemistry, Beth and Kat are like best friends in real life,” Moy said. “We’re super funny, we’re edgy, we get everybody in and out. It’s very fast.

“I’ll be honest, our episodes are written a little longer than what’s shown on TV. So you’re missing a lot of stuff that hopefully comes out on the DVDs. We pack it in, we get as many laughs as we can. That’s the advantage of a live studio audience, too, so we can get that feedback.”

The Han character is Korean, and occasionally Moy has to speak it. Which is interesting, because Moy is not Korean.

“I’m third- or fourth-generation Chinese-American,” said Moy, who, unlike his character, speaks English with no accent at all. A native of San Francisco, Moy also majored in Japanese in college.

“That is legit Korean that Han is speaking,” Moy added. “I spent about three days with a coach. Thankfully it works on the show.

“I’ve had a couple of Koreans talk to me and ask, ‘Do you really speak Korean? Because you don’t sound like you’re from Korea, but you sound like a second-generation Korean, someone who was born in America.’

“Hey, I’ll take that. I’ll take it as a newbie who spent three days learning it.”

2 Broke Girls clearly is benefiting from Matthew Moy’s full array of linguistic and comedic skills.

He can take a joke, too. Thank goodness.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

(EXTRA: For the column I wrote in September with Dennings (below left) talking about how important it is for women to know their “real bra size,” click here.)

Kat Dennings, Matthew Moy, Beth Behrs

First Charlie Sheen, now Angus T. Jones; is it all Jon Cryer’s fault?

- November 27th, 2012

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So what is it about Jon Cryer that pushes his co-stars to such extremes?

Another question: Will the newly God-fearing Angus T. Jones (pictured above, getting closer to God) give back all the money he has earned from “trashy” Two and a Half Men?

If you haven’t heard about it, this week some online videos emerged featuring Jones urging people to stop watching Two and a Half Men. The kicker, of course, is that Jones is on Two and a Half Men, playing Jake, the son of Cryer’s character Alan.

These videos have not gone viral by accident. Jones wanted them to come out, even saying at one point, “Maybe this will mean more coming from me.”

I’m kidding, of course, about Cryer (pictured below left, with Jones at right) somehow being responsible for all this. But it is intriguing that Two and a Half Men is the same show from which Charlie Sheen’s bizarre, self-destructive behaviour emerged last spring.

Sheen eventually was fired. And he was the series lead. One would have to assume that the producers of Two and a Half Men would lose less sleep over the jettisoning of Jones, who was hilarious when he was a squirt but in truth has been dead weight on Two and a Half Men for at least three or four years.

So the 19-year-old Jones has found God. What goes on between the two of them is none of my business. But Jones should stay out of everyone else’s business, too.

It’s easier to be preachy once you’ve made a fortune from the very thing you’re preaching against.

Angus T. Jones says he doesn’t want to be on Two and a Half Men any more. Christmas is coming. Please, please, please, grant him this gift.

And if you’re really seriously saying that you’ve found religion, Angus, give all the cash back from the “filth” machine that is Two and a Half Men. Money where your mouth is, kid.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

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Chaz Bono is Degrassi’s Simon Cowell in a battle of the bands

- November 22nd, 2012

Chaz Bono on Degrassi

Degrassi is adding a little “Chaz-matazz” to its lineup this week.

The long-running Canadian teen-targeted series, which is airing on Much in its current incarnation, has back-to-back new episodes – titled Tonight, Tonight, parts one and two – on Friday, Nov. 23. In the second episode, none other than Chaz Bono guest-stars as himself.

Bono, of course, is the only child of iconic showbiz duo Sonny & Cher. Bono was born a girl – Chastity – but underwent female-to-male gender transition a few years ago.

In Degrassi, Bono not only serves as a judge in a “battle of the bands” (wonder if anyone sings I Got You Babe?), but also is involved in the story line with transgender character Adam Torres, played by Gemini Award winner Jordan Todosey.

And you probably thought the odds were low that you’d ever see another acting “Chaz” after Chazz Palminteri. Wrong.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Yannick Bisson and Murdoch Mysteries “take flight” at their new CBC home

- November 21st, 2012

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New century. New network.

New Murdoch Mysteries?

Yes and no, according to lead actor Yannick Bisson (pictured above).

A sixth season of Murdoch Mysteries makes its debut early in the new year, on Jan. 7, on its new network, CBC. The Canadian series previously existed for five seasons on Citytv.

As it turned out, the previous season ended as the clock struck midnight and a new century – the 1900s – was born.

“It’s almost like it was pre-ordained somehow,” said Bisson, who plays William Murdoch, an innovative police detective with an eye toward the future.

“New century, new broadcaster, it really did fall that way. Man, nobody is happier than me.”

Bisson was asked if fans of Murdoch Mysteries are going to notice a difference from broadcaster to broadcaster, other than merely having to click to a different channel. Is the transition intended to be seamless, or do the creators want viewers to perceive that something has changed?

“It’s actually not really either in terminology for me,” Bisson said. “Really what we’re doing is continuing to give the audience what has been working. They love the show the way it is. We’ve given them new, more, extra of what they’ve liked so far. And to be honest it has been business as usual. It hasn’t been different in content or approach at all.

“But having a home (on CBC), having more people talking about the show, having a consistent time slot, having publicity, getting ancillary publicity on different platforms, knowing that we’re wanted, maybe that has changed us a fair bit.

“Confidence is such a big part of this. So definitely, I would say that aspect has changed.”

As far as story lines go, Murdoch Mysteries always has existed in a fortuitous time period, because so much of what we take for granted today was invented or conceived in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

“Now with the new century we’re able to talk about things like flight,” Bisson said. “So there is an aspect of that coming up in season six. If you can picture the Murdoch character experiencing flight, that gives you an idea. It’s going to be great.

“We also have people who come into historical prominence later on, and we always take a bit of creative licence with stuff like this. But we’re bringing Winston Churchill to the show, with all of his young man’s sort of foibles (Churchill is portrayed by Thomas Howes, who played William on Downton Abbey).

“Some of it is really trivial, little things like sticky tape. Stupid little things like that, but it puts a smile on your face. And at the end of the day, we’re entertained just as much as the viewer by this stuff. I absolutely love doing the show for those little moments. ‘Canned meat? Who are you trying to kid? That will never take off!’ ”

As long as Murdoch Mysteries continues to take off – literally and figuratively – Yannick Bisson will have his head in the clouds.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv