As the first Canadian drama starring a Black woman, Diggstown offered a perspective not represented nearly enough on screen, highlighting the Black community in Nova Scotia. Throughout its first two episodes, the series has also proven to be a character driven drama that has already drawn viewers in. Airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC, Diggstown follows Marcie Diggs (Vinessa Antoine) as she makes the transition from being a star corporate lawyer to joining a firm that focuses on helping the community find justice. Along the way, the drama looks to explore themes of racism, poverty and gender bias.
That exploration continues on this week’s episode after Marcie’s client is grabbed off the street by law enforcement, leaving her to butt heads with guest star Natalie Brown as she searches for the truth behind what happened to him. Marcie’s personal life also continues to get more complicated as well, as she keeps butting up against a past with Avery (Dwain Murphy) and a potential future relationship with Constable Carson Myers (Tim Rozon).
To get a closer look into what it’s like playing Marcie, The TV Junkies recently spoke with Antoine. She previews this week’s episode, while also sharing some insight into Marcie’s complicated personal life, which includes a family that doesn’t want to deal with the fallout from her Aunt Rolanda’s (Karen LeBlanc) suicide.
The TV Junkies:I love that the show is set in Nova Scotia. What was it like filming there and getting to represent that community on screen?
Vinessa Antoine: It’s so important to show all communities of Canada, but this Black community hasn’t been really shown. It’s a nice feeling to be able to bring that to the Canadian audience.
TTVJ: I’m one of those people who never thought I’d see surfing in a Canadian show. I sure hope the wet suits worked!
VA: They worked! [laughs] We shot in the summer so it wasn’t that bad. There were some scenes that were cold later on, but in the beginning it was really quite hot. Nova Scotia has a huge surf community and I think if it was a more tropical environment it’d probably be a big tourist destination. The waves are really awesome.
TTVJ: We really get to see Marcie’s complicated relationship with her family, especially how the death of her aunt affected them all. Why is it so important to bring Marcie’s family into the fold?
VA: Part of what makes the relationship with her parents so complicated is the absence of real conversation in regards to mental health, how religion plays in Black families and these conversations are sometimes kept behind closed doors or hushed. That’s what’s making this journey with Marcie and her family so difficult is that there are real issues to deal with in mental health and suicide. Those issues sometimes get swept under the carpet with the big church broom. We just scrape the surface in six episodes, but it is a theme that will continue to play in her life for sure.
TTVJ: Not only is Marcie’s family complicated, but she’s also got relationship issues with both a past with Avery and something burgeoning maybe with Constable Myers. What kind of complications do both of them bring?
VA: Avery is very complicated because he’s very much like Marcie. He’s a lawyer, involved in Rolanda’s case and dealing with issues of guilt in connection to her suicide. He has his own way of dealing with it and comes off as a bit of an asshole, but we’ll start to see more of him unraveling. Avery has a very special place in Marcie’s heart. In the past they were growing together as a couple, she thought it could be something, but now with her darkness and his darkness, unless they have a real conversation about it they are always going to butt heads. They are going to use cases and the court to do that and fight.
With Constable Myers, that’s something that’s fresh and very new. He has his own mystery, but she’s very intrigued. I don’t want to give too much away, but she’s very intrigued.
TTVJ: Can you preview a little bit about this week’s episode, especially how Marcie may butt heads with guest star Natalie Brown?
VA: She is a feisty one and her and I definitely have it out! This episode touches on immigration and terrorism. We’re not shoving it in your face, but Canada, especially now, is having some issues, so this is heavy action. In the beginning it starts off kind of calm, but then it takes you on a really long ride and Marcie is looking for a client that was abducted. Natalie’s character is involved and you’ll have to tune in to see the ride!
TTVJ: You have a ton of fans in the U.S. from your General Hospital days that are dying to check out Diggstown. Are you hopeful they’ll be able to see you soon?
VA: Yes, I am! Every day I get asked how people in the U.S. can watch. I can’t give an answer. Hopefully one day it’ll get to the States and sooner than later!
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Diggstown airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC and is available on CBC Gem.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.