[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]
We’ve been waiting a while for this one, and this Monday, the series premiere of CBC’s new drama, Shoot the Messenger arrives.
A sociopolitical, journalistic crime drama, the eight-episode first season follows news reporter Daisy Channing (Elyse Levesque) as she falls head-first into a case that blows open an intricate web of intrigue in present-day Toronto. She’s joined by fellow journalist, Simon Olenski (Lucas Bryant), and detective Kevin Lutz (Lyriq Bent), who also happens to be her current FWB.
What begins as a seemingly straightforward driveby shooting in a park escalates quickly into religious and gang relations and government corruption. Daisy’s also dealing with drama at home, juggling caregiver responsibilities for her dad, Henry (Nicholas Campbell), with her sister, Chloe (Hannah Emily Anderson).
I’ve chatted with series stars Levesque, Bent, and Bryant, and I’ll have the full interviews over the course of the first season. Here’s a teaser of what each had to say about their roles.
Elyse Levesque on what’s driving Daisy: “[Creators Sudz Sutherland and Jennifer Holness] created all these different characters that force [Daisy] to have to behave differently [with each of them]. She has some deep-seated issues. She’s a survivor,” she explains. “She knows how to play people, especially in the work environment.”
“It’s a quality that a lot of addicts have…they’re very charming and good at getting people to give them what they want. [It’s] also a defense mechanism. She’s looking for truth outside of herself because I think she’s afraid to look at who she really is as a person.”
Lyriq Bent on Kevin’s conflict in Season 1 of Shoot the Messenger: “He has an emotional dilemma between his professional and personal life. He’s not above these emotional feelings. I like the idea of him being tortured and trying to be the best person he can be in the relationship, and the best detective he can be and making sure lines aren’t crossed,” he says. “It shows his flaws and his strengths. He’s got a lot to lose. He’s trying to manage the many conflicts that are placed in front of him.”
Lucas Bryant on what draws Simon to help Daisy, perhaps to his own peril: “The story that he gets pulled into is the initial excitement for him. Daisy has stepped in something yucky and he’s got to come in and bail her out,” he explains. “As the intrigue widens, so too does his excitement about it.”
“It’s a terrible and unfortunate situation, but there’s a bit of journalistic hunger coming from him. Personally, he’s coming from a place where he’s [questioning] things in his own life. Maybe it’s a perfect storm, maybe it’s something very specific about Daisy that unlocks the potential for ruining things in him…”
Shoot the Messenger premieres Thanksgiving Monday, October 10th, at 9 pm/9:30 NT on CBC.
Updated February 2018: WGN America begins airing Season 1 in the US Monday night, February 26th, at 10 pm/9c. Here’s sneak peek.
Photos and Video Courtesy of CBC