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Twitch City finally coming to DVD

Twitch-CityHey, the 1998 CBC TV series Twitch City is finally coming out on DVD! I managed to find some poor-quality rips from VHS online, and showed them at my movie nights, but it’s always kind of frustrated me that I couldn’t get a decent-quality version anywhere.

I really like Twitch City, and not just because I have a longstanding crush on the freckly and always slightly-off-kilter Molly Parker (she’s played a rabbi, a prospector’s wife, a prostitute and a necrophile; not at the same time, but still, that’s pretty hot). The show came out in the late 90s, in the wake of the indie movie revolution, and it has a very strong indie-slacker aesthetic, thanks to Canadian indie auteurs Bruce Macdonald — who directed — and Don McKellar — who wrote and stars as Curtis. Curtis is an amusingly amoral TV-addicted slacker, who tries to hit on his roommate’s girlfriend (Parker) by offering her expired oysters and her boyfriend’s cognac. In the first episode, the roommate is arrested for accidentally killing a homeless man with a can of catfood, and the rest of the series is about Curtis rotating through a series of weirdo roommates while his old roommate goes through the Canadian legal system. Is that a brilliant concept or what? Combine that with wintery Toronto location shooting (in Kensington Market) and McKellar’s deadpan writing and line delivery, and supporting performances from Callum Keith Rennie, Valerie Buhagiar, two of the Kids in the Hall (playing the same character), and pretty much every other actor working in Canada at the time.

Actually, not to disparage the mother corp too much, but it kind of surprizes me that the CBC ever actually made and showed a series like this. How much cooler would they be if they had made more BBC/Channel4-style cultish sitcoms like Twitch City? A Guy Maddin show about a hockey-playing Icelandic-Canadian family in Winnipeg! A David Cronenberg version of MPD: Psycho! A headbanger sitcom by Michael Dowse!

  • Twitch City on (if you buy from this link, I get a kickback, but I don’t really mind if you support your local video store and rent it there instead)