Q

How Don McKellar's revival of the Michael comedy series adds a bit of mystery to the show

The director opens up about why he wanted to revisit the CBC-TV comedy series five years after the first season.
Canadian actor, writer, and filmmaker Don McKellar. (Courtesy of CBC)

Five years after the first season of Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays, the comedy series returns to CBC-TV on January 15 as Michael: Every Day. Set in Ottawa, the show follows the intertwining lives of a man and his therapist, as they battle his fear of flying. Michael, played by Matt Watts, is now well established in his new city, while his therapist David, played by the show's co-creator Bob Martin, struggles to continue his practice without the comfort of his twice weekly sessions with Michael.  Returning as the director and executive producer is writer and filmmaker Don McKellar. McKellar's work includes films like Roadkill and Highway 61, which he wrote and starred in, as well as TV series Twitch City and Sensitive Skin. The director says the five year gap created a hole in the storyline, adding an element of mystery to the show.

Matt Watts and Bob Martin return to CBC-TV in the series Michael: Every Day. (CBC)

"It's about psychiatry and what would happen in people's lives," says Mckellar, "this five year hole, coming back after that and using that as a little mystery for the viewer to solve seemed really exciting." The director says the characters were able to develop during their time off, "they're falling apart in certain ways and in other ways they have been successful." McKellar uses the second season to redraw the characters and explore the new lives they have created, leaving the audience to ask, "what happened in those five years?"

Canadian actor, writer, and filmmaker Don McKellar. (Olivia Pasquarelli)

McKellar admits that you don't need to have seen the first season to watch Michael: Every Day. "It might work well in the reverse," says the director. After watching the new series, you might be intrigued to find out what happened in season one. "You see our stars age," says McKellar, "things have changed in their lives." The director adds, "there is something inherently fascinating seeing time and its effects on people."

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