Thursday, May 31, 2012

Emmanuelle Chriqui on genre series work

Canadian actress Emmanuelle Chriqui is immersing herself in yet another groundbreaking series.

While known most notably for her role as Sloan on Entourage – that series was a fictional look at the life of an emerging Hollywood star and his friends – Chriqui has been cast alongside top performers in an all-new animated offering from Disney.

Tron Uprising, premiering June 7 and running for 18 episodes on Disney XD, is set between the events of the original feature film and the 2011 blockbuster followup, Tron Legacy. Beck, a young program, voiced by Elijah Wood, is destined to become the next top renegade of the computer world known as "The Grid". Trained by its past champion Tron, Beck will soon lead a revolution against the villainous Clu and main protagonist General Tesler.

In a press conference for the series first season, Chriqui who voices Paige, the general's young field commander, says she treated the role as if it were a live-action program. While not plugged into the world of science fiction, she could not help but be drawn in by the script and the journey each character was set to embark upon, she told the press at a series launch interview.

Chriqui and Wood will also be joined vocally by the likes of Bruce Boxleitner, who portrayed Tron in both theatrical releases, as well as Mandy Moore and Lance Henriksen.

This is the in-between feature filler Tron fans won't want to miss.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

When all has been said about Shavuot

Compared to most other holidays on the Jewish calendar, Shavuot is perhaps one of the dullest ritually speaking.

Consuming dairy products, hardly stacks up against the symbols and rituals associated with the High Holidays, such as blowing the shofar and listening to the familiar strains of Kol Nidre, or Passover, when we recall the Exodus from Eqypt and spend eight days eating matzah.

Last year The CJN's Rabbi Michael Stavsky discussed the Tikun Leil Shavuot – the custom of studying Torah all night and the recitation of the tikun composition – which for many is the most difficult Shavuot custom to observe.

After all the readings have been exhausted and the mind needs a rest check out Jewish Humor Central where among their posts you'll find this scene from Mel Brooks' classic film History of the World - Part 1. In it Brooks, playing Moses, gives us his explanation of how we ended up with "only" 10 commandments. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Shatner guest stars on ABC summer hit

One of the most anticipated shows returning to this summer's TV schedule is ABC's Rookie Blue. The fictional cop drama with an almost all-Canadian cast, kicks off its third season with rookie Andy McNally (played by B.C.'s Missy Peregrym's) return from suspension.

Among his many roles, William Shatner, who portrayed police sergeant T.J. Hooker on the series of the same name from 1982 to 1986, guest stars in the Rookie Blue season 3 premiere, as a drunk driver with an axe to grind against the city's police force.

Watch the promos from ABC and Global TV below; then tune in for all the action next Thursday May 24, at 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cohabitation vs. marriage

Dear Ella,

My granddaughter Megan, a bright and beautiful 25-year-old, has been dating Carey for the past year. They have recently finished school and have started new careers.

They are ready to move on to Phase 2 of their relationship: cohabitation. Now that they both have an income, they can move out of their parents’ homes and afford to rent something modest.

When I asked Megan why she wanted to live with Carey instead of getting married, she looked at me like I had two heads.

“It’s a test, Bubbie, to see if we are compatible for marriage. Everyone lives together first.” She was so excited about this new venture I didn’t have the heart to burst her bubble.

I’m not old-fashioned, but I don’t believe that living together before marriage is a good test to see if a couple is compatible. It somehow blurs the lines of commitment. There are far better ways to tell if the person you are with is the right one.

I don’t want Megan to make a mistake that will cost her years of her life. Am I wrong?

Bummed-out Bubbie

Dear Bummed-out Bubbie,

Many people, like Megan, feel that living together is the first step to take before committing to marriage. You get to see how grumpy your partner is in the morning, how messy they leave the bathroom sink, and how they handle day-to-day finances and regular household chores. But does that prepare them for a lasting marriage?

Statistics show that the majority of young adults in their 20s will live with a romantic partner at least once, and more than half of all marriages will be preceded by cohabitation.

It usually starts quite innocently. You date, you spend more time at each other’s homes, and then you move to regular sleepovers. The next natural and most convenient step is to move in together. But there are pros and cons to cohabitation before marriage. Living together does allow you to “try it on” before making the final purchase. Does it suit you? Is it a good fit? Does it bring out the best in you?

Is it trendy or something that will never grow old?

Living together as a test can also backfire. Often couples will get comfortable in a cohabitation lifestyle, and you’re right when you say this can blur the lines of commitment for some. When two people vow to stand under a chupah before God, family and friends, there’s something very solid about that as a commitment versus simply saying, “Let’s move in together.”

There’s a more lax attitude that comes with living together. It allows you to think you can leave easily, but once you’ve melded your finances, bought furniture, enjoy the same friends and invested so much time in each other, you may feel it’s easier to just get married than to start all over.

It’s hard to get young people to listen. Growing up means making decisions, even if some of them end up being mistakes. Your job as her bubbie is to be there for her no matter what. You can certainly help by offering articles, books and statistics, but in the end, Megan will do what she feels is best.

Either way, there are no guarantees.

Readers may submit their questions to Ella at The CJN, e-mail: But Ella is not a professional counsellor. She brings to the questions posed by readers her unique brand of earthy wisdom. Her advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Getting design ideas reading No Place Like Home

Our annual residential lifestyle supplement No Place Like Home arrives in next week's pages of The CJN and will also be posted online to

In it you'll find new and fresh ideas for lighting, kitchen renovations, furnishings and trends for 2012 in high-rise, mid-rise and retirement living.

If it'll be your first time flipping through, take a look at last year's edition by clicking here.