News: Frankie Drake Mysteries

Two bits of news to share this week! First up: I’m working on a project with the communications team at Shaftesbury, producers of CBC’s Frankie Drake Mysteries. What does that mean? Read on…

I won’t bore you with the details but the long and short of it is, we want to find new fans, engage new and existing fans, help people find the show, and deliver some cool content.

This is a new experience for me, and a good ways outside of my comfort zone; I don’t have much in the way of B2C (or B2Fan, if you will) experience, and social media has not been a huge focus of my work on the B2B side either. But I do know content, and I have tons of ideas for content to share!

It’s a fun, interesting and exciting challenge.

What is Frankie Drake Mysteries?

Frankie Drake Mysteries is a spin-off of the popular Murdoch Mysteries. Set in 1920s Toronto, the show follows the adventures of the Drake Private Detectives: PI Frankie Drake and her associate Trudy Clarke, Toronto’s first and only all-female detective agency. They’re helped out by Toronto police morality officer Mary and mortician Flo. Regulars include Wendy Quon, who operates a Chinese Cafe and Speakeasy; Moses Page, a boxer and romantic interest for Frankie; and Nora, Wendy’s estranged mother. Their investigations take them all around 1920s Toronto, including the waterfront and Toronto Island, Chinatown, the jazz scene, the burgeoning motion picture industry and more.

Is it any good?

Yes. 🙂 It’s Canadian TV so you can take that for what it’s worth. But I will say this: Canadian TV today is better than what most people my age and older think of Canadian TV. The “high bar” of the Beachcombers and Degrassi has long been surpassed, and Murdoch Mysteries—now in its 11th season!—has been one of the standouts.

Frankie Drake Mysteries is fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously but treats its characters with respect. The cast is diverse and probably not one you’d expect to see in a 1920s-era drama, and that makes it pretty refreshing. Women and people of colour were certainly marginalized in the era, and were rarely in control of their own destinies; everyone in this show feels empowered and in position to make their own choices and decisions. And that’s pretty cool.

If you like Murdoch, shows featured empowered women, and/or mystery shows that don’t take themselves too seriously, you’ll probably dig Frankie Drake Mysteries.

Who’s in it?

Lauren Lee Smith stars as the lead, Frankie Drake. You’ve seen her in CSI, Mutant X, The L Word and most recently in The Shape of Water as the wife of Michael Shannon’s character, Strickland. Chantel Riley plays Trudy Clarke; she appeared in the film Race, but this is her most notable role to date, and she’s excellent.

Rebecca Liddiard is Mary Shaw; she’s been on Houdini and Doyle, Netflix’ Slasher and recently played Mary Whitney in the CBC’s Alias Grace adaptation. Sharon Matthews plays Flo, the mortician; she’s had small roles in Mean Girls, Cinderella Man and Hairspray.

Grace Lynn Kung and Wendy Crewson guest as Wendy and Nora, respectively; Emmanuel Kabongo plays boxer Page.

Where can I see it?

It’s on the CBC, Monday at 9 (right after Murdoch). You can also stream it for free on the CBC app or via the CBC website.

What’s the social media hook?

We’re on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I won’t ask you to follow, but if you feel inclined, go for it!

While (obviously) we use each channel to promote the show and when and where to see it, and share the usual promotional videos and teasers, we’re using the channels to make the world of 1920s Toronto come to life. So we’ve got cool historical facts and articles to share, “then and now” photos and stories, behind the scenes stuff of how the cast and crew make it happen, and more.

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So that’s the deal! Check it out sometime if you’re interested and let me know what you think.

As for the second piece of news I mentioned… check back tomorrow!

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