The 23rd edition of the Gemini Awards, Canada's version of the Emmys, airs this Friday at 8:00 PM ET on Showcase and E! Canwest seems to be admitting that Canada's red-headed stepchild of awards presentations won't attract an audience.
The move isn't illogical. Showcase is a better fit for the Gemini Awards than a broadcast network, as the awards appeal to Showcase's niche audience. If this means actual comedy writers write sketches this year instead of The Hour's crack writing staff, I'm all for it. I still remember this sketch. The Hour cannot do comedy worth a damn.
This isn't going to be an exhaustive list of Gemini predictions. Since reconfiguring my site to be more media-oriented, I've focused a lot more on Canadian television. Although I am one of those Canadians who actually watch Canadian television (har), I haven't watched enough of it to gauge who will win Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role or Best Direction in a Dramatic Series. Maybe next year, or by 2014.
Having three industry nights plus the gala broadcast is ridiculous. The Geminis do not need to be handed out over four nights. When I reviewed the 20th Annual Gemini Awards for Blogcritics three years ago I thought three nights was too much. Four nights is insane.
In addition, something like Best Animated Program or Series can take the place of Best News Anchor in the Broadcast Gala. For those wondering who won Best Animated Program or Series this year, it was Chop Socky Chooks. I know, that show is awful, but Aardman and all that.
Best Dramatic Series
- The Border (CBC)
- Durham County (The Movie Network)
- Intelligence (CBC)
- Murdoch Mysteries (CityTV)
- The Tudors (CBC)
Should Win: Durham County. The list of dramatic series is fairly high quality this year, but Durham County is just too good.
Will Win: Intelligence, just to make up for last year's loss. Also, Chris Haddock needs something to razz CBC with as Intelligence was cancelled earlier this year.
Why Is This Choice Even There: I don't get The Tudors. I find the show a historic soap opera with histrionic overacting from Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Ooh, watch Henry VIII aim his pimp hand at the Roman Catholic Church! See him execute another wife who can't produce a male unit! SEXY!
Best Comedy Program or Series
- Cock'd Gunns (Showcase)
- Corner Gas (CTV)
- Kenny vs. Spenny (Showcase)
- Odd Job Jack (The Comedy Network)
- Rent-A-Goalie (Showcase)
- This Hour Has 22 Minutes (CBC)
Should Win: Kenny vs. Spenny. Regardless of what one thinks of the show – people either love it or hate it, and I'm not a KvS hater – its time is due. It's one of the strongest Canadian exports since… oh, let's just say Kids in the Hall. I like being controversial.
Will Win: Corner Gas. It's won three years in a row. There isn't one show other than Kenny vs. Spenny strong enough to dethrone the bland-yet-popular denizens of Dog River, Saskatchewan. It's the Canadian equivalent of Frasier winning the Emmy five years in a row despite the show being an upscale Three's Company.
Why Is This Choice Even There: Odd Job Jack. Honestly, there weren't any shows better than Odd Job Jack this year? Billable Hours deserves the nomination more than Odd Job Jack. At least Air Farce Live wasn't nominated.
Best Reality Program or Series
- Canada's Next Top Model (CityTV)
- Dragons' Den (CBC)
- Project Runway Canada (Slice)
- Triple Sensation (CBC)
- The Week the Women Went (CBC)
Why Is This Choice Even There: I don't think Canadian versions of existing reality shows should be in this category. Unfortunately, this would just leave Triple Sensation, and who wants to see Garth Drabinsky win an award?
Should Win: Mantracker. It's not nominated, yet Project Runway Canada is. No one can tell me that Mantracker isn't better than Project Runway Canada.
Will Win: Dragons' Den. People pitching horrible ideas to businessmen has a certain train-wreck appeal.
Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series
- Brooks Gray, Andy King, Leo Scherman, Morgan Waters (Cock'd Gunns, "Ready, Aim, Fire" – Showcase)
- Graeme Manson (Rent-A-Goalie, "Everybody's A Fag" – Showcase)
- Paul Mather, Irwin Barker, Greg Eckler, Chris Finn, Rick Mercer, Tim Steeves (Rick Mercer Report, Episode 8 – CBC)
- Adam Reid, Max Reid (Billable Hours, "One Hit Wonder" – Showcase)
- Jennifer Whalen, Andrew Bush, Gavin Crawford, Mark Critch, Nathan Fielder, Geri Hall, Albert Howell, Dean Jenkinson, Tim McAuliffe, Gary Pearson, Kyle Tingley (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Episode 3 – CBC)
Should Win: I have to side with the Showcase program I actually find funny, Billable Hours.
Will Win: Rick Mercer Report. Irwin Barker has four prior nominations, no wins and terminal cancer. There might not be a chance to award him come next year.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
- Hugh Dillon (Durham County, "Life In The Dollhouse" – The Movie Network)
- Justin Louis (Durham County, "What Lies Beneath" – The Movie Network)
- James McGowan (The Border, "Blowback" – CBC)
- Peter Outerbridge (ReGenesis, "TB or not TB" – The Movie Network)
- Ian Tracey (Intelligence, "A Dark Alliance" – CBC)
Should/Will Win: Either Hugh Dillon or Justin Louis. Dillon has carved quite a niche for himself as an actor, playing the role of conflicted homicide detective Mike Sweeney. Justin Louis is almost as good as Sweeney's neighbour/high school associate Ray Prager, who might also be a serial killer. Without these two leads, Durham County would not be as strong. It's as simple as that. Ian Tracey could win for Intelligence, but Dillon's also in Flashpoint and has the career momentum.
Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series
- Christopher Bolton, Stephen Amell, Oliver Becker, Michael Bodnar, Sarain Boylan, Inga Cadranel, Louis Di Bianco, Carlos Diaz, Matt Gordon, Gabriel Hogan, Mayko Nguyen, Pascal Petardi, Joe Pingue, Jeff Pustil, Philip Riccio, Maria Vacratsis, Jeremy Wright (Rent-A-Goalie, "Domi Daze" – Showcase)
- John Catucci, David Mesiano (The Canadian Comedy Awards: Best of the Fest 2007, The Comedy Network)
- Mark Critch, Gavin Crawford, Geri Hall, Cathy Jones (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Episode 6 – CBC)
- Fabrizio Filippo, David Alpay, Jennifer Baxter, Mike Beaver, Robin Brûlé, Jayne Eastwood, Ennis Esmer, Brandon Firla, Ron Gabriel, Peter Keleghan, Arnold Pinnock, Aron Tager (Billable Hours, "Monopoly Man" – Showcase)
- Inessa Annie Frantowski, Brooks Gray, Andy King, Rebecca McMahon, Leo Scherman, Morgan Waters (Cock'd Gunns, "A Taste of Success" – Showcase)
Should Win: Billable Hours. The actors have a rapport with each other and the timing of the show is solid. Also, I can never say no to a show featuring Peter Keleghan.
Will Win: Rent-A-Goalie. It's a toss-up between this and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. I find Rent-A-Goalie boring and unfunny, but the Geminis will probably give it at least one award this year since "Domi Daze" gave the show the most press.
Why Is This Choice Even There: Who nominates a comedy awards show for this category? If that counts as an "ensemble performance," just nominate a Just For Laughs television gala. I hate Da Kink in My Hair, but it deserved a nomination far more than The Canadian Comedy Awards: Best of the Fest 2007.
Best News Anchor
- Ian Hanomansing (CBC News at Six [Vancouver])
- Peter Mansbridge (CBC News: The National)
- Kevin Newman (Global National)
Should Win: Kevin Newman. He's just the most personable news anchor in Canada. The nominations are safe and sane this year. Peter Mansbridge must get nominated every year.
Will Win: Ian Hanomansing. Kevin Newman already has two Geminis. Gord Martineau won the Gemini in this category last year, which I still find bizarre. Every Canadian news anchor gets a turn! Next year, it'll be Anne-Marie Mediwake!
Best Host or Interviewer in a Sports Program or Sportscast
- James Duthie (NHL on TSN TradeCentre '08)
- Ron MacLean (Hockey Day in Canada, CBC)
- Scott Russell (FIFA U20 World Cup: Final Game, CBC)
Should Win: James Duthie. He hasn't won a Gemini award the five times he's been nominated. Ron MacLean's won nine Geminis. Scott Russell has a Gemini. Duthie's due.
Will Win: Ron MacLean, since apparently he's the face of sports broadcasting in Canada. I'd like to see James Duthie score a win for CTVglobemedia as CBC dominates this category every year, but I can't see that happening.
Why Is This Choice Even There: I'm sorry…NINE Geminis? Ron MacLean isn't that friggin' good.
Best Host or Interviewer in a General/Human Interest or Talk Program or Series
- Jeff Douglas (Ancestors in the Attic, "Ghost Ranch" – History Television)
- Jeff Douglas (Working Over Time, "Building Up" – History Television)
- Peter Mansbridge (Mansbridge One on One, CBC Newsworld)
- Les Stroud (Survivorman, "Kalahari" – OLN)
- George Stroumboulopoulos (The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, CBC)
Should Win: Les Stroud, for lack of better choices. The Hour is not a good program, and George Stroumboulopoulos' patter is more forced than Superman's fist in Lex Luthor's face.
Will Win: "Strombo." He's got a soul patch and is "hip!"Powered by Sidelines