Apparently the Canadians are making sitcoms now. Who knew? I don’t mean that as a slight on my North American cousins (who, lest we forget, gave us Kids in the Hall, arguably the greatest sketch comedy series of all time), but more as a criticism of the broadcasters here in Blighty who are happy to buy any old tat the Yanks offer them, and endlessly repeat Friends like some sort of yuppie rosary, but seem far less interested in introducing us to the output of other English-speaking nations. I only bring this up because yesterday’s musing about Ginger Snaps got me Googling for updates on Emily Perkins, leading me to this great fansite, where I discovered that she is currently appearing in a Canadian sitcom called Hiccups.
The show premiered on CTV on March 1st, and is set to run until May 24th. The series centres around an eccentric children’s author prone to occasional ranty outbursts (politely referred to as “hiccups”), who decides to engage the services of a life coach to help her control her rage. As you can see from the trailer that was posted on YouTube, the show looks pretty funny, and it’s clearly got some talented people in the lead roles, even if they aren’t familiar to foreign eyes. Having watched the first episode, I have to say I found it very enjoyable. Nancy Robertson plays the lead character as rather sweet and endearingly kooky, in between her “hiccups”… and Brent Butt as her otherwise clientless coach downplays everything very nicely. Hopefully in later episodes they’ll explain how he managed to score such a ridiculously young and attractive wife because, other than the fact that Butt also happens to be the series writer/creator, I ain’t seeing it.
Perkins plays Crystal, a slack, snarky receptionist who “works” for the author’s publisher… but was only really hired so that the publisher could get a mortgage from her father’s bank. She doesn’t get a lot of screentime in the first episode, but her character name does crop up in a lot of the episode summaries, so I’m guessing she does more than simply sit behind a desk answering/ignoring phones. Judging from the lines she was given, her character could easily have been cast as a sort of vacuous “Valley Girl” type, but the nice thing about Perkins is she’s playing her more surly and sullen… so it’s not that she doesn’t understand what her job is, she just doesn’t care what her job is… which takes it in a far more interesting direction, I think. Really, it’s just nice to see her playing a less freaky character for once… even if she does play those freaks so brilliantly.
I’d definitely want to watch the full run of this show, and hopefully it will be a big hit… if only so I can pick it up on DVD someday!