Joel Oulette on Bringing CBC's Supernatural Family Drama Trickster to The CW

In the absence of the long-running series Supernatural, The CW arguably has a hole in its schedule that can most easily be filled by a show about family, featuring some spooky demons and leaning heavily on mythology. If that's what a chunk of the audience is looking for, Trickster -- which debuted last year on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), but will premiere tonight on The CW -- is a pretty solid candidate. The series stars Joel Oulette as a serious-minded young man who is working to support both of his flaky parents -- a mother with a serious drug problem and a father who lives on disability due to health issues -- following their divorce.

The twist, of course, is that there's some dark magic afoot. Jared (Oulette) finds himself questioning everything he knows not just about himself, but about the nature of the universe, as things start to get spooky fast.

"That there is really no one dimensional character [in the show]," Oulette told ComicBook last week. "They all have their own levels of craziness and uniqueness that makes them interesting. In channelling Jared, there were so many things in the pilot that I was like, 'Whoa, I would not do this.' Like, like his guy is so courageous and brave and so loyal, but at the same time, like he has his own hill to climb; he has his own troubles. He's dealing with the same thing, everyone else is, but he's the one that is providing for everyone else. So he's slowly losing, losing it. When he starts seeing things and hearing things...that's the stuff that I could not relate to, but that's the stuff that I've found really, really interesting."

One aspect of the series that has attracted a lot of attention in Canada is its case of predominantly indigenous actors. While the series was filmed in Ontario, it is set in British Columbia, and most of the lead characters come from a First Nations background. It's an important aspect of the show not just from a representation standpoint, but because the source material is a trilogy of novels by Eden Robinson, which center on the Haisla trickster Wee'jit.

0comments

"It's no Tonto, and it's no Dances With Wolves. It's itself," Oulette explained. "It's so unique in its entirety, and it centers around actual native actors, which is awesome. I don't think you get to see that, for the most part on CBC or The CW, and that's exciting for us."

The series, which currently has a 91% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has already been picked up for a second season by the CBC. It is not yet guaranteed that The CW will air those episodes in the United States, although it seems likely. Another CBC series, Burden of Truth, which stars Smallville veteran Kristen Kreuk, has been airing on the network since 2018.