Winter premieres continue this week with the return of CBC’s Little Dog, airing tonight at 9:30pm/10NT.
Set in Newfoundland, it’s the story of Tommy “Little Dog” Ross (Joel Thomas Hynes), a lightweight boxer looking for redemption after walking away from a championship fight five years previously. That decision derailed his career and made him a pariah in his tightly knit family.
[WARNING: Season 1 spoilers and mild Season 2 spoilers ahead.]
In Season 1 of Little Dog, we saw Tommy get his career back on track while dealing with his family, headed by his fame-hungry mother. The season ended with Tommy winning a fight he was supposed to throw, Sylvia losing her house because Tommy didn’t lose, and Tommy’s ex, Pamela, standing outside with a little boy who could possibly be Tommy’s son.
While Season 1 dealt heavily with the mother-son relationship and staging Tommy’s comeback, Season 2 is shifting gears to the issue of fatherhood. I spoke with Little Dog‘s creator/star Joel Thomas Hynes and showrunner Sherry White about the second round of this comedic gem.
What can you share about the overarching story in Season 2 of Little Dog?
Sherry: The second season is exploring the fallout of [Tommy winning the fight], and his relationship with his father, Lowly Sr. (Andy Jones). In the first season, we looked at Tommy’s relationship with his mom, but now we’re diving into fatherhood.
Joel: The first season focused on Sylvia (Ger Ryan) and motherhood and the dynamic of the matriarch, but we’re moving into different turf with fathers and sons.
In the first episode, Tommy’s on the run from Tucker (Mary Walsh). He finds himself in a rather interesting situation, hiding out in the woods.
Joel: That was probably the most gruelling part of the shoot. For my performance, I was mostly alone in the woods. Tommy is sick with food poisoning, battered from the fight, and trying to have a victory [party] in private, knowing that it’s a major loss in a way. It was a lot of running around in the woods and falling and trucks chasing you.
Sherry: Ultimately, Tommy wants to prove himself to his family. He wants to prove that he’s not this cursed individual. He’s not a loser. He’s more important than all that.
Tommy is not in Sylvia’s good graces since she’s lost her home. How does that affect their already strained relationship?
Sherry: Tommy doesn’t play by his mom’s rules, and that’s his biggest downfall because everyone else feeds into what her ego needs and wants.
Joel: He won’t drink the Kool-Aid.
Sherry: In a way, he’s the kid calling out the emperor for not wearing clothes. But on other side of it, he’s outside of his family, and that makes life hard for him because he wants to be in it.
Everyone ends up living in very close quarters, leading to drama and laughs. Is this something that carries throughout the season?
Sherry: They never get away from each other for long. Their living arrangements shift and morph throughout the season in really surprising ways. In a way, that’s a recurring theme in the show that bookends it. Every attempt Tommy makes to create distance, he’s met with banging into his family in some way or another.
Is Tommy working toward another big fight in Season 2?
Joel: Yes, but it doesn’t get launched in the first episode.
Sherry: In the first season, [the fight] was a very clear, classic challenge. [We were wondering] if he was going to take it or not, was he going to back out, and would he win? That’s a classic boxing story. This one’s a little less traditional, but definitely shapes the arc of the season.
Joel: We’ve got some fun boxing [coming up].
Any final teases for the upcoming episodes?
Sherry: There’s something for everybody. There’s a wedding this season. There are some very unique Ginny seminars. There’s some fun boxing. And there’s some unique sex.
Stay tuned for more from our interview with Sherry White and Joel Thomas Hynes in the coming week!
Photo Courtesy of CBC