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Gregory 'Dominic' Odjig
"Mixed Blessings" is a real blessing for Canadians. It showcases 3 popular cultures from our mosaic landscape: the Cree Indians, the Ukranians, and mixed families. The makers of this series seem to be making this series in a piecemeal style, releasing about 5 episodes a year, not exactly prolific by USA standards but creating a nice body of work. The creators/writers include Drew Hayden Taylor, a man well known in the Native Theatre circles. "Mixed Blessings" usually includes DHT's patented blend of humour and sentiment. The film is set in the bustling community of Fort MacMurray, Alberta which is appropriate as it is a town that nicely intersects the White and Native populations of Canadian North West. The series begins as a Canuck "Brady Bunch". By the third season, with the arrival of a new baby, the plot lines become reminiscent of YOURS, MINE, AND OURS. Besides the ready made step brothers and step sisters, we have other extended family members coming and going. One of the most interesting of the secondary characters is the sexy, self absorbed sister in law played by the charming Michelle Thrush who played Nobody's wife in Jim Jarmusch's DEAD MAN. The father is also played by an actor with Hollywood experience: Gary Basaraba was one of the disciples on Martin Scorsese's LAST TEMPTATION OF Christ. I can see this show having a successful syndication run in countries like Australia and Germany but it seems to have universal appeal that may allow it into many more homes than the originators may have ever imagined.
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