This is going to get me into a world of trouble, but I’m going to say it anyway: on the whole, Canadian TV is not very good (let he who has not changed the channel on something saying “Ugh, this looks Canadian” cast the first stone). I know we’re not supposed to ADMIT that, because God bless all the folks behind these shows, it’s a Herculean task to get something made in this country – but as someone with a nerd’s pedigree in television watching (and a tendency to really, really TRY to like every show we produce), I am disappointed. OFTEN.
Every now and then, though, Samsonow and I find a Canadian television show, web series, or movie that really blows our hair back – and we drive everyone nuts, badgering them relentlessly to “watchitwatchitwatchitwatchitrightnow“. We do this because despite what most of us non-industry-types tend to think, there is substantially more to Can-con than rural dramas, sketch comedy shows and Danger Bay reruns. Finding something made here at home that we love, can relate to, and best of all, can share, is an unsurpassed thrill – and we really need to rally behind the good stuff when we find it, or else one day the Canadian TV industry will be nothing more than one channel, broadcasting a single episode of CityLine on a loop 24 hours a day.
It is in this spirit that I’ll be conducting an ongoing series of interviews with some of our favorite Canadian Content creators – we can support them and enjoy their work, and they, in turn, can share their knowledge and experience with us.
Mark De Angelis is more than just an affable guy who’s willing to take my Skype call at 9 a.m. on a Thursday – he’s also an accomplished Canadian performer and writer, and one half of the team behind Bill and Sons Towing, the hilarious web series we told you about last week (Mark co-created the show with writer/producer Charles Ketchabaw).
In case you jerks didn’t do your homework (dammit, I have to do everything around here!), Bill and Sons is a webcom about four brothers trying to keep their father’s tow truck business afloat, and it stars Nicholas Campbell (Da Vinci’s Inquest) and my favorite Canadian comedy troupe, the Imponderables.
Jeff and I discovered Bill and Sons Towing last year, through the Indepedent Production Fund’s web series website. (What is the Independent Production Fund, you ask?). We were instantly addicted to the show with its remarkable blend of heart, silliness and killer one-liners (“Lee Aaron – who’s that?”).
I had a chance to speak to Mark by Skype earlier this month about comedy writing, web series producing and more. Start with the video, and if you’re hardcore, the full Q&A is after the jump: