Essex County TV series is all about ‘hope and connection and healing’
A TV series called County of Essexwhich is set in the region of the same name, will air Sunday, March 19 on CBC and CBC Gem.
Based on a graphic novel by Jeff Lemire – who also wrote the show – the five-part limited series focuses on four separate characters who are linked by bloodlines.
Executive producer Eilis Kirwan said the series is about “hope and connection and healing” and is about a boy, an old man, a middle-aged woman and a farmer.
“They are all at a crossroads in their lives, coming out of lives of isolation to connect, heal and uncover family secrets that will transform their lives in the future.”
A child who ‘never has confidence’
The series stars include Molly Parker, Brian J. Smith, Stephen McHattie, Daniel Maslany, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong and more.
Wojtak-Hissong, who plays 11-year-old Lester, said his character is a “complicated kid”.
As a withdrawn child, Wojtak-Hissong’s character was only close to his mother.
“When she died, I think everything fell apart [Lester].”
He spoke about the empathy he felt for the character.
“You feel sorry for Lester, you want to help him even though you can’t help him.”
In the trailer, Lester wears a mask and cape that Wojtak-Hissong says was made by his mother.
“[Wearing it] is a way for him to find confidence because Lester is the type of kid who never has confidence.”
Something unique to Canadian television
The series was filmed in North Bay, Ontario. Part of the job for director Andrew Cividino and location manager was finding locations in North Bay that resembled the author’s vision of Essex County.
“Definitely the places and the landscape [are] almost like a character on the show,” Kirwan said.
“Because it’s shot so beautifully that it really has that wide angle and that epic feel.”
She said she hopes the show will feel authentic to people in the area.
“There’s a bit of nostalgia about the way of life, I think, in County of Essex If [a character in the series] was younger, and things like that that people might resonate with.”
She said the show is about “change, transformation and progression” and is “unlike anything that has been shown on Canadian television before”.
“Tune in to this show if you want to see a story about real people at extraordinary moments in their lives struggling to find hope. She’s full of imagination.”