Thursday 9 January 2014

Dark new TV series Bitten to launch on SPACE TV January 11

Last year the publicity crew from Bell Media’s Space TV sent me some advance copies of their new drama Orphan Black. It was highly addictive and I became immediately hooked to what is already considered a critically acclaimed series.

Well, they did it again to me with the brand new action-packed, original thriller called Bitten. It premieres on Saturday, January 11 (9 p.m.). Based on the New York Times best-selling novels by Canadian author Kelley Armstrong, Bitten is set in a world where werewolves live undetected amongst humans. Drop dead gorgeous actress Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, Ted) sinks her claws into the role as the world’s only female werewolf, Elena Michaels, in this   one-hour series.

The series is eerily similar to the Montreal-filmed Being Human, which begins its fourth season on Space on Monday, January 13 (9 p.m.). This show deals with werewolves, vampires and a ghost.  The scenes of one of the main characters repeatedly transforming himself into a werewolf were frightening to say the least and this is no different on Bitten.

Shot on location in Toronto, Hamilton, and Hespeler, Ontario, the series follows Elena’s (Laura Vandervoort) dangerous struggle between the new life she’s created in Toronto and her loyalty to   The Pack (as in wolf pack), a.k.a her family. In the premiere episode entitled “Summons,” we first met Elena making love to her boyfriend Philip (Paul Greene). Suddenly she stops, tells him she has to leave and dashes towards an elevator. With another woman next to her texting away, Elena successfully controls her transformation to a werewolf until she gets into an alley.

The main cast of Bitten.
While Elena has left New York for a successful career as a photographer in Toronto, having left The Pack a year earlier, she is drawn back to her former life after the mauled body of a girl shows up on the outskirts of Bear Valley in upstate New York. Suddenly Elena is forced to choose between her new “human” life in Toronto with   Philip   and her past at Pack Headquarters, Stonehaven.  

At Stonehaven we meet Jeremy Danvers (Greg Bryk) , the head of the Pack and Clayton Danvers (Greyston Holt). He is also Elena’s former love. There is a bad blood between them, yet the reason for this is not shown in the first two episodes. Only at the start of episode two do we see a flashback set four years earlier with them as a seemingly happy couple. Did Clayton “bite” Elena and turn her into a werewolf?

The term “Mutt” is used often in this series. While The Pack swear not to kill nor let anyone see them transform, “Mutts” live by no rules and their aim is to destroy.

Bitten also stars  Joel Keller as Pete, Paulino Nunes as Antonio, Steve Lund as Nick and Michael Xavier as Logan.

Here is the trailer.

Monday 6 January 2014

Gurman twins promote MK status at Yeh! Yogurt and Café on Radio Shalom's Money and Business Program

Appearing on Radio Shalom 1650 AM, Canada's only all-Jewish radio station, brothers Jon and Marvin Gurman spoke about their decision to have their Quartier Cavendish Yeh! Yogurt and Café location go under rabbinic supervision. They were guests on the Money and Business Show, co-hosted by Samuel Ezerzer, Adam Eidelmann  and Bryan Wolofsky.

Robert Levy, Marvin Gurman, Samuel Ezerzer and Jon Gurman.
It was an entertaining one hour of radio on a station that really has been inappropriately ignored by the organized Jewish community.  Kudos to founder Robert Levy for his efforts and patience in this endeavor. Besides Ezerzer's excellent program, folks like Howie Silbiger, Stan Asher,  Sidney Dworkin,  Dan "Schmelvis" Hartal and  Avi Kimchi are well worth listening to.

You can hear the entire show by clicking here. It is  in a clever YouTube format developed by Ezerzer.

From the time the   Yeh! store opened last May at Quartier Cavendish, all of the products were kosher. However, the Gurmans decided to take the extra step and seek certification of MK-Canada’s Kosher Certifier and have Cavendish serve as the “flagship store” for kosher franchises. 

The Gurmans respond to a question from Eidelmann.
On the Money and Business Show, the Gurmans offered free yogurt for a year to the first family that decides to have a brith at the Quartier Cavendish location. The brit milah is a Jewish religious male circumcision ceremony performed on eight-day-old male infants (actually on the eighth day of the infant's life).

As for the MK status, Marvin Gurman stated: “It’s a natural merger of two great brands, MK and Yeh!. Our goal is to get MK hashgacha in all nine locations currently in Montreal, and we hope it will lead to kosher franchises in other cities as well.”

In addition to frozen yogurt, Yeh!  also serves dessert crepes, and are working on lunch crepes for the kosher crowd as well.  The stores rotate through several flavours, some of which are pareve. “You will always find pareve chocolate, as well as at least one of mango, grapefruit, or lime sorbets,” says Jon Gurman. “The standard dairy flavours are plain, chocolate, and Greek honey, with five additional rotating flavours that included cheesecake, peanut butter, strawberry, blueberry, and pina colada. Eventually no-sugar-added flavours will be added as well.”

Of course self-serve yogurt is nothing without toppings. In addition to several kinds of fresh fruit, there are other healthy options such as flax, granola, and kashi. Patrons looking for something sweeter can choose sprinkles, cookie dough, Hershey’s chocolate, and Reese’s Pieces.  In addition to the toppings, Yeh! provides Ghirardelli syrup in three flavours, as well as hot toppings such as hot fudge. The yogurts and toppings are all cholov stam (milk or dairy products that have been under constant rabbinic supervision from the time of milking the cows until the completion of production and packaging the product).

With the advent of certification through the MK, Yeh! hopes to add catering to their services. “This would involve pre-packaged portions,” says Marvin Gurman. “We will even be introducing  pink kippot!”

The store at Cavendish has seating for almost 20, and an outdoor patio for summer. The décor, featuring mostly pink, is bright and cheerful. According to Mitchell Simon, who is in charge of store development for the company, the MK certification will be in place for a grand Chanukah celebration.  

For more information log on to If you are interested in a Yeh! franchise,  contact Mark Segall at 514-887 2077.