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Series debut: Jason Priestley in HBO Canada’s Call Me Fitz

In television on 09/19/2010 at 4:05 pm

Series name
Call Me Fitz

Debuts
Two back-to-back half-hour episodes Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010 8 p.m. ET on HBO Canada or you can watch the pilot right now.

Regularly airs
Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET on HBO Canada

Premise
Lifelong cad and “award”-winning used-car salesman Richard “Fitz” Fitzpatrick is faced with the consequences of his latest act of deluded self-worship and wrecklessness. Redemption is right in front of him. In the form of a guy in a rabbit suit. Uh, what? But first, he’d like to have sex with a coma-victim. And no, that doesn’t give away any surprises in the pilot episode.

Primary cast and crew
Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210, Medium) is Fitz. Bad guy.

Ernie Grunwald (guesting on Weeds, CSI, Bones) is Larry, new man at the car dealership and possessor of freakishly detailed knowledge of Fitz’s past misdeeds. He might be Fitz’s conscience, but he’s also a charceter with his own story, soon to be revealed.

Peter MacNeill (A History of Violence, Rookie Blue) is Fitz’s dad, Ken Fitzpatrick. Crazy. Also bad.

Buzz buzz
Jason Priestley! Not a nice guy! What fun! And what’s that? Already days away from shooting Season 2?

But what do I know anyway? After having seen the pilot I predict…
The buzz is worthwhile if you are thrilled at the prospect of the actor known for uber nice-guy role Brandon (Beverly Hills 90210) Walsh suddenly playing a thorougly rotten tomcat scumbag. But playing shockingly against type is not enough of a trick to sustain even a half-hour comedy so thankfully there’s more to like in Call Me Fitz, although “like” might not be the right word. It’s a redemption story, or maybe just a failed redemption story with dark humour and vigorously drawn characters. Not very likeable characters, but they definitely make an impression. Will it become My Name Is Earl, the now ex-sitcom starring another Jason (Lee) about a petty criminal who devotes his life to redressing his many wrongs? Or will it follow the heartwrenching but often funny path of Saving Grace, wherein Holly Hunter’s Det. Grace Hanadarko fights her angel and the redemption he tries and tries again to make her embrace. At least at first, this will mostly be nasty fun, with very little in the way of redemption, no matter how hard Larry (Ernie Grunwald), tries to save not just Richard but the entire gang at Fitzpatrick Motors. There is a promise, however, that reasons will be revealed  for Fitz’s terrible manners. It just better not get sappy. Please. I love sappy, but that’s not where I hope this show lives.

Official website
Cast and character profiles, the full first episode online (link might disappear soon), background video and other usual stuff, but you can also sign up and get access to the script. Hmm. Show of hands? Who’s like to read the script? Just curious.

Wondering when the other new series and returning series are kicking off?
Click here for my select list of fall 2010 premieres and other important dates. Who am I to tell you what to do, but you could consider bookmarking it…

— Denise Duguay

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