Jonathan Torrens is feeling “squishy” these days.
But the 37-year-old Canadian television personality isn’t referring to his waistline. He’s talking about something else that changes with age – the warm and fuzzy nostalgia he’s grown for times and TV shows gone by.
That’s why Torrens has returned from Los Angeles to live and work full time in his home province of Nova Scotia, where he can pour his creative juices into projects he’s passionate about and even work with family. He and sister Jackie Torrens are co-writers for his latest venture, TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens, a weekly half-hour examination of the ever-evolving world of television that is produced in Halifax by Arcadia Entertainment and hits airwaves across the country this Friday.
“Everything nowadays is so cocked-eyebrow, smarmy, too-cool-for-the-room kind of stuff,” Torrens said of today’s television. “To do a show that is heartfelt about the history of TV, it doesn’t make sense to cock your eyebrow and make fun of them.”
Instead, Torrens takes an honest look at the shows we used to know and have come to know, with each of the 13 episodes in his first season tackling a different genre, from reality television to paranormal and crime shows. “I guess my question is, ‘Was TV actually better when I was a kid, or am I just nostalgic for a simpler time in my life?’ “
The truth about TV, he said, is “probably a combo platter,” but Torrens doesn’t “think that teenagers watching The Hills are moved in the same way that I was (watching) Family Ties.”
The Charlottetown-born, Halifax-raised Torrens, himself a nostalgic figure for those who grew up watching Street Cents and Jonovision, wears “more hats’ for his latest project, which includes his first kick at the can as director.
And while viewers can expect amusing skits and wit from TV with TV’s JT, he warns not to expect all laughs, something he garnered easily as rapper wannabe J-Roc on the Trailer Park Boys.
“It’s not a comedy show, it’s a show about TV,” he said.