THE BLOG

Hard Rock Medical: A TV Show By Canadians for Canadians

07/04/2013 06:05 EDT | Updated 07/04/2013 06:05 EDT

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TVO's first commissioned drama series, Hard Rock Medical, provides a fresh and entertaining look at the unique challenges of delivering healthcare in Northern Ontario. Hard Rock Medical follows the lives of eight medical students, their struggles to succeed, and the obstacles they face in adapting to practising rural medicine and living in the North. Patrick McKenna heads a Canadian ensemble cast in this series airing Sundays at 8 p.m., from June 9 to August 25 and at hardrockmedical.com.

The views expressed in TVO's Hard Rock Medical blog series are solely the opinion of the cast and filmmakers.

Seriously rethinking the whole city girl thing...

Being a proud Canadian, I am thrilled to be a part of a television series that is unapologetically Canadian. For years I have watched our cities double for American cities on television. With Hard Rock Medical the landscape of the North is just that -- ours. To me, the beauty of this series is that the ensemble cast truly does reflect the diversity of the people of this great country. Now that is something we can all get behind: our stories, told our way, by our people.

For me as an actor coming off of the comedy series18 to Life, I was looking for a challenge. I remember being asked to audition for both Dr. Helvi and Nancy Siebolski. There was just something in the character of Nancy that resonated with me -- her strength. I knew this was the role I wanted to go after...this was the challenge I was looking for. Here is a woman that despite the fact that her husband has left her for a younger version, she's negotiating her own divorce, while trying to repair a strained relationship with her son, she gives up her job security as a nurse to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. In Nancy's own words, "I know a lot of nurses who would be kick-ass doctors, but I don't know too many doctors who would be kick-ass nurses."

Being the oldest student, the odds are definitely stacked against her. Yet, her determination and belief in herself is beyond inspirational. I hope that she will inspire other women to take that leap of faith and to believe that they too can change their lives no matter what the challenges or circumstances. It has been a privilege to live in Nancy's skin. She is complicated, complex and most of all courageous. As the season unfolds, I believe we as an audience will all root for her. She deserves a little happiness.

Shooting on location has never been one of my favorite things to do. If I am honest here, I thought to myself...'Oh great a real glamour destination. Not!' Being the city girl that I am, I was dreading the whole idea of working outdoors. Suffice to say, I was proven wrong! I had no idea Northern Ontario is that breathtaking. Sitting on a dock watching the sun come up over Lake Wanapitei is one experience I will take with me the rest of my life. It was a magical moment. Shooting scenes amongst this gorgeous landscape of the North -- you couldn't ask for anything more. It really made me aware of how Northern Ontario is our 'Lucky 13' of the ensemble cast. I cannot say enough about the kindness that was extended to us by the people in the North. They were all behind Hard Rock Medical from day one -- a real sense of community. So many of our day players were locals and brought such an authenticity to the show. I am blown away by the talent up there!

From the downtown locations to the forest. From the mine to the moose. From the land to the lakes. For viewers to be able to watch these students of Hard Rock U navigate through this unconventional program is something uniquely Canadian and a part of our history I was sadly unaware of until now. Our fearless leaders Derek Diorio (Co-Creator/Producer/Director/Writer) and Smith Corindia (Co-Creator/Writer) have created something really special for all of us to enjoy. I hope people will love watching this show as much as we loved making it. Seriously rethinking the whole city girl thing...

For more on Angela Asher visit IMDb.

Angela Asher in TVO's Hard Rock Medical