Do older brothers Sheldon (Harland Williams) and Ryan (Jay Malone) finally succeed in breaking up baby brother Danny (Randal Edwards)’s romance with Kim (Julia Voth), aka the woman-who-came-between-them, on tonight’s Package Deal season two finale on City? Spoiler alert: I know what happens because I sat in the live studio audience in Burnaby for the breakup. But does it stick?
Standup comics Harland Williams and Jay Malone are the crazy cutups to Randal Edwards and Julia Voth’s more low-key performances as lawyer Danny and tea shop owner Kim but there’s been a believability about them as a couple from the start. Los Angeles-based creator and showrunner Andrew Orenstein says they were “adorable together” in the L.A. casting sessions and “seemed like they could be dating”. They still do.
A rare-for-Canada four-camera situation comedy — A, B and C cameras are dedicated to a specific actor while the X camera moves around and provides extra coverage — Package Deal moved to a modified 10/90 system in the second season used by such American sitcoms as Anger Management to cut costs. Instead of one episode a week, cast and crew shot two with the first of two taping on Mondays and Tuesdays and the second of two on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Capped at week’s end with a live-taping in front of an audience on Fridays. Exhausting? Yes but also exhilerating for cast as long as they kept their scripts and lines straight.
At the season two finale live-taping in mid-May, master ad-libber Harland Williams flubbed a simple scripted line repeatedly. He’d hit the wall juggling scripted lines and ALTS — alternate punchlines inserted into takes on the fly to keep it fresh. So he was easy pickins for a season-end prank when a big burly writer dressed up in a pink wig and dress took the place of Sheldon’s Russian mail-order bride in the final take — and the biggest laugh of the night. But one we won’t see on screen.
Package Deal’s season 2 finale airs after the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Chicago Blackhawks game tonight.