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Ready or Not (Canadian TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ready or Not
Ready or Not (TV series).jpg
Title card
Created byAlyse Rosenberg
StarringLaura Bertram
Lani Billard
Gail Kerbel
John Lefebvre
Diana Reis
Gerry Mendicino
Joseph Griffin
Fab Filippo
Jason Deline
ComposersAsher Ettinger
Tony Kosinec
Country of originCanada
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes65
Executive producersJohn Brunton
Barbara Bowlby
Alyse Rosenberg
Running time26 minutes
Production companyInsight Production Company Ltd.
Original networkGlobal Television Network
Original releaseApril 3, 1993 (1993-04-03) –
1997 (1997)

Ready or Not is a Canadian teen drama television series that aired on the Showtime Movie Channel (April 3, 1993[1] – 1997) and later on The Disney Channel (April 4, 1996[2] – 2000) and Global Television Network for five seasons and 65 episodes between 1993 and 1997 in both Canada and the United States.[3]

The show centered on two adolescent girls and their friendship and coming-of-age, addressing difficult topics like divorce, racism, consent, and body image. As of June 2021, the show is in preliminary development for a reboot series.[4]


The program follows two teenage girls in the suburbs of Toronto, best friends Amanda Zimm (Laura Bertram) and Elizabeth "Busy" Ramone (Lani Billard), throughout life's struggles as well as showcasing the different households they grew up in.[5][6] Amanda was an only child raised by liberal former hippie parents including a Mother that was into New Age philosophy and often tried to incorporate it into her parenting. Busy, in contrast, was from a more conservative and traditional Italian Canadian Catholic household with three older brothers. Busy and Amanda's personalities and interests are opposites;[7] while Busy is a tomboy who drums and loves sports, Amanda is a girly girl who is boy-crazy and dreams of being a model or actress. The show's 5-year run starts with the girls as sixth graders and ends when they are in the ninth grade. In the series finale, a flashback shows how Busy and Amanda met as young girls.



  • Laura Bertram as Amanda Zimm
  • Lani Billard as Elizabeth "Busy" Maria Teresa Carlita Ramone
  • Gail Kerbel as Phyllis Zimm
  • John Lefebvre as Leonard Zimm
  • Diana Reis as Lucy Ramone
  • Gerry Mendicino as Sam Ramone
  • Joseph Griffin as Manny Ramone
  • Fab Filippo as Dominick "Dom" Ramone (main seasons 1-3, guest season 5)
  • Noah Plener as Frankie Ramone


  • Amy Smith as Chrissy Frazer (seasons 1-2)
  • Jesse Nilsson as Justin (season 1)
  • Omari Moore as Troy Edwards (seasons 1-2)
  • Keram Malicki-Sanchez as The Lizard, The Liz (seasons 1, 3-4)
  • Keith White as Petrocelli (seasons 1, 3-4)
  • Amos Crawley as Bernie Sagittarius "Sag" Chearney (seasons 3-4)
  • Jason Deline as Ernie Lipnit (season 4)
  • Tamara Podemski as Carla (seasons 4-5)
  • Benjamin Plener as Michael "Monkey Ears"
  • Kari Matchett as Sheila (seasons 4-5)
  • Karl Pruner as Stephen Bennett (season 1)
  • Daniel Enright as Milan (season 5)
  • Ross Hull as Danny Masters (seasons 2-3)


In 1988, Alyse Rosenberg wrote a pilot for a show based on her own experience of wearing a bra to school for the first time,[8] saying, "I wrote the series so kids wouldn’t feel so alone. Adolescence is such an incredible period of life. It makes or breaks the sense of self".[8] Two years later, Global Television Network showed interest in her pilot and agreed to produce it.[8] The series originated as a short film, titled Thirty-Two Double A. Eventually the producers saw that the show had the potential to be popular and turned it into a series. Director and screenwriter Nicole Holofcener’s first professional job was writing for the show.[9] At the time of Ready or Not's original run, there were few shows that showed a realistic portrayal of adolescence. Speaking about the lack of programming for teens and pre-teens, Rosenberg said, “Television has a huge effect on teens, especially on girls, who can be made to feel completely inadequate. We are trying to offer alternative ways to navigate the rocky road of adolescence, without being cutesy".[8] As the series creator and executive producer, Rosenberg "wanted to make sure that the show’s situations about real-life issues mirror real-life responses, which don’t always produce the happiest of endings," saying, "The world is not just black and white".[6]


Ready or Not gained a cult following for being a rare show that depicted adolescence through the perspectives of two female best friends. Kathleen Newman-Bremang of Refinery29 wrote, “For a very specific demo (older Canadian millennials, mostly women), Ready or Not episodes are seared into our brains like Backstreet Boys lyrics or Spice Girls outfits.”[3] The show was notable for depicting situations ranging from interracial relationships, homophobia,[10] bullying, and peer pressure, “and for not shying away from conversations about sex or the societal expectations associated with it.”[11] It has been compared to My So-Called Life, another 1990s TV show that dealt with similar topics.[8] Though the show Degrassi is the more well-known Canadian teen TV series, Newman-Bremang argued Ready or Not was at times more adept at “navigating life’s big problems with nuance,” commenting, “teen girls are often portrayed on television as one-note bratty caricatures, but Ready or Not gave us two with depth, and the show treated girlhood mistakes with the levity and gravitas they deserve.”[3][12] In 1996, Ready or Not won a Gemini Award for best youth series.[8] The show has been said to be in development for a reboot.[4]


Season 1 (1993)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Thirty-Two Double A"Alyse RosenbergAlyse RosenbergApril 3, 1993 (1993-04-03)
After some attention from an older boy Amanda thinks she is ready for a bra, even though her breasts haven't developed. Once she gets to school however, she realizes maybe she's not.
22"Smoke Screen"Graeme CampbellStory by : Alyse Rosenberg
Teleplay by : Hart Hanson
1993 (1993)
Busy's brother Frankie starts hanging with a tough new crowd and smoking. After Busy tries to stop him, she decides to act like him in order to hang out with him again.
33"Model Perfect"Sandy WilsonStory by : Alyse Rosenberg
Teleplay by : Beverley Cooper
1993 (1993)
After joining the swim team, Amanda is wishing her body looked more like Chrissy’s. At home her parents try to lose weight for an upcoming high school reunion giving Amanda the idea to diet.
44"Busy's Curse"Alyse RosenbergStory by : Alyse Rosenberg
Teleplay by : Nicole Holofcener
1993 (1993)
Busy starts her period. She doesn’t see becoming a woman as her mom and Amanda do and worries she won't be the same person she was before.
55"The Big Gulp"Graeme CampbellAlyse Rosenberg1993 (1993)
Amanda and Busy crash Chrissy's girls-only slumber party, followed by Justin and his friends who drink too much and humiliate one of Justin's shy friends into playing a kissing game.
66"Members Only"Stacey Stewart CurtisAlyse Rosenberg1993 (1993)
Chrissy's rich friends exclude her from a party at their country club. Wanting to show she can afford things they have, she lures Amanda into shoplifting a sweater with the promise of being shown how to be cool.
77"The Worst Thing That Happened and The Best Thing That Didn't"Alyse RosenbergStory by : Alyse Rosenberg
Teleplay by : Marlene Matthews
1993 (1993)
After Busy's pregnant mom loses the baby, Busy blames herself and her family for not helping their mom around the house. Amanda asks her crush, Justin, to attend a party with her; but with the upcoming funeral she can't decide which to attend.
88"He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not"Stacey Stewart CurtisStory by : Alyse Rosenberg
Teleplay by : Nicole Holofcener
1993 (1993)
Busy develops a crush on her karate instructor, only to see him kiss another man. Busy wonders if that makes her gay and if being gay is wrong.
99"Double Talk"Graeme CampbellStory by : Alyse Rosenberg
Teleplay by : John May & Suzanne Bolch
1993 (1993)
On an overnight band trip, Amanda walks in on Chrissy and Justin in a closet. When the two do not return until morning, rumors spread. While Justin is praised, everyone calls Chrissy a slut.
1010"Black or White or Maybe Grey"Alyse RosenbergStory by : Alyse Rosenberg
Teleplay by : Nicole Holofcener
1993 (1993)
Troy gets a job working for Busy's dad. However, after money goes missing, Busy's father fires Troy and shows his racist side.
1111"Origins of Man"Stefan ScainiStory by : Alyse Rosenberg
Teleplay by : Hart Hanson
1993 (1993)
Amanda is paired up with Michael to do a report of the origins of man but their religious upbringings conflict with evolution. Michael develops a crush on Amanda and learns about how boys reach puberty.
1212"Wild Life"Graeme CampbellMarlene Matthews1993 (1993)
A garage band catches the eye of both Amanda and Busy. Busy is asked to play drums but Amanda’s role as band manager is nothing but humiliating.
1313"Tricky Kisses"Alyse RosenbergAlyse Rosenberg1993 (1993)
Busy's mother decides to move out to re-think her life. Amanda throws a party with the hopes of having her first kiss.

Season 2 (1994)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
141"Beyond the Birds and the Bees"Stacey Stewart CurtisStory by : Sheri Elwood
Teleplay by : Anna Bourque
1994 (1994)
While babysitting, the girls find a "guide to sex" book. In a panic, Amanda takes the book home and then to school. Michael then steals the book, photocopies it, then sells to students.
152"First Date"TBATBA1994 (1994)
Busy gets asked on a date by Troy. After taking advice from everyone, she decides to get dressed up and look more feminine.
163"Family Therapy"TBATBA1994 (1994)
Busy's mom agrees to return home only if the family attends therapy together. Busy decides to take on the role as housewife in order to keep her mom from leaving again.
174"Poor Little Rich Girl"TBATBA1994 (1994)
When Amanda's father loses his job she decides to earn the money for new clothes herself by getting a job or winning a $1000 dance-a-thon contest.
185"A Little White Lie"TBATBA1994 (1994)
After winning tickets to a concert, Busy lies to Amanda in order to take Troy. Amanda, still wanting to go to the concert, asks her mom to pull a few strings to get some tickets.
196"White Girls Can't Jump"TBATBA1994 (1994)
Busy tries out for the senior basketball team. While in an argument with the black captain, she repeats comments her father made and is labeled a racist.
207"Break Up"TBATBA1994 (1994)
Amanda's father moves out. Unable to cope with the issues at home, Amanda decides to live in the mall.
218"Amanda's Romance"TBATBA1994 (1994)
Amanda and her mother move into a new apartment, where she meets Danny. Unfortunately Danny's constant jokes and teasing goes too far.
229"Dear Troy"TBATBA1994 (1994)
Troy gives Busy a special ring. Busy is unsure about whether she is ready to be that close and avoids Troy.
2310"The New Deal"TBATBA1994 (1994)
Amanda's mom starts dating and it appears like she’s dating a different guy every night. After her mom poses nude in an art class, Amanda has had enough.
2411"Monkey See, Monkey Do"TBATBA1994 (1994)
Busy is asked by Peter, an aspiring rock star, to play the drum on his demo tape. However, while practicing at his house, Busy sees where Peter gets his abusive temper.
2512"Flunky"TBATBA1994 (1994)
When Chrissy is moved to the 7th grade English class, Amanda is asked to tutor her. In an attempt to brush off the teacher's pet persona, Amanda tries to be more cool.
2613"Am I Perverted or What?"TBATBA1994 (1994)
When Amanda and Busy listen to a sex talk radio station, they believe that Busy's brother Dom is one of the callers and is having sex. Amanda thinks her curiosity of intimacy means she's a sex-crazed pervert.

Season 3 (1995)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
271"My Buddy Buddy"Alyse RosenbergAlyse Rosenberg1995 (1995)
Amanda and Busy go to summer camp only to find they were placed in different cabins. Amanda tries to fit in with her cabin by teasing a younger girl, Jessica.
282"The Last Hurrah"Alan KroekerSusin Nielsen1995 (1995)
While trying to steal the boys' flag, things take a turn for the worse. That same night, Amanda starts her period.
293"Tongue Tied"Alyse RosenbergAlyse Rosenberg1995 (1995)
After overhearing and misinterpreting the French-speaking boys staying at Amanda’s; Busy thinks her bust is too small and tries on different bras in the hopes one will make her more appealing.
304"Under One Roof"Allan KingAlyse Rosenberg1995 (1995)
Busy's band starts to influence her; she refuses to eat meat and pierces her nose creating a rift between her and her father. When the band finally lands a gig, it’s the same day as her family reunion.
315"Crossing the Line"Joanna McIntyreAnna Bourque1995 (1995)
Busy and Amanda go to a sports park with Frankie. A guy Busy likes assaults her when they are alone. Amanda and Frankie kiss.
326"Three's a Crowd"Allan KingSusin Nielsen1995 (1995)
Busy begins to notice Amanda and Frankie's relationship and does not like it. Frankie gets teased for dating a younger girl.
337"Crater Face"Alyse RosenbergLeila Basen1995 (1995)
When Danny returns from New York with terrible acne, Amanda worries what everyone will think of her.
348"Thin Ice"Peter RoweAlyse Rosenberg1995 (1995)
A casting director picks Busy for an audition over Amanda for a commercial starring Kurt Browning.
359"Swear to God"Alyse RosenbergAlyse Rosenberg1995 (1995)
After being embarrassed for not knowing her religion (due in large part to being raised in a rather agnostic household), Amanda studies Judaism but is unsure if she can handle the abuse the other Jewish kids go through.
3610"Just Friends"E. Jane ThompsonSusin Nielsen1995 (1995)
Busy's friend takes more interest in Amanda than her, so Busy attempts to change this.
3711"Sweet Thirteen"Joanna McIntyreSusin Nielsen1995 (1995)
Amanda is disappointed when she finds she hadn’t done the things she hoped she would have done by the time she turned 13. In an attempt to cross some things off her list, she invites some older kids over who promise to show her a good time.
3812"Sister, Sister"Joanna McIntyreSheri Elwood1995 (1995)
Amanda's mother's boyfriend, Mel, invites Amanda and her mom over for the weekend to meet his daughter, but Amanda becomes jealous when her mom gives Mel's daughter special treatment. When someone mistakes the two as mother and daughter Amanda reaches her breaking point.
3913"Nothing in Common"Peter RoweAlyse Rosenberg1995 (1995)
When Busy’s Uncle comes to visit, Amanda sees it as an opportunity to get her writings read by a real author, but when Busy loses Amanda's box of writings the two argue, deciding they have nothing in common, and stop being friends.

Season 4 (1996)

No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
401"First Day of Junior High"Stacey Stewart CurtisDawn Ritchie1996 (1996)
New to junior high, Busy is worried about being beat-up by the same family that attacked her brothers. Amanda hopes to become one of the popular girls.
412"The Grass is Greener"Peter RoweAlyse Rosenberg1996 (1996)
After complaining about how the other has it made, Busy and Amanda switch lives for the weekend.
423"Where Do I Belong?"Allan KroekerStory by : Edwina Follows
Teleplay by : Barry Stevens
1996 (1996)
Busy's band decides to replace her with another drummer who's much better than she is.
434"Glamour Girl"E. Jane ThompsonStory by : Alyse Rosenberg
Teleplay by : Anna Bourque
1996 (1996)
Amanda gets the chance to be a model, but it's not all what she expected and when she overhears the director say she would need a nose job Amanda debates whether or not she really wants to be a model.
445"I Do, I Don't"Allan KingDawn Ritchie1996 (1996)
When Busy's brother gets married and moves into the family's house, she doesn't know how she feels about all the changes.
456"The Girlfriend"Stacey Stewart CurtisStory by : Edwina Follows
Teleplay by : Susin Nielsen
1996 (1996)
When Sag's old girlfriend moves back, Busy realizes she may have feelings for him. Amanda wants to try bungee jumping.
467"Prince Charming"John L'EcuyerAlyse Rosenberg1996 (1996)
Amanda develops a crush on her art teacher when she gets sick of living with her mother.
478"Family Album"Allan KroekerEdgar Lyall1996 (1996)
Amanda finds a photo of her father with another woman with whom she thinks he was cheating on her mother.
489"First Serious Party"Alex ChappleStory by : Sheri Elwood
Teleplay by : Barry Stevens
1996 (1996)
When Amanda's mom goes out of town, she hosts a party with non-alcoholic beer.
4910"Heroes"TBATBA1996 (1996)
A boy in a wheelchair joins the school, making Busy uncomfortable when he is around.
5011"Warts and All"Allan KroekerStory by : Anna Bourque
Teleplay by : Anita Kapila
1996 (1996)
When a group of girls invite Amanda out but not Busy, she decides to even the playing field by telling them about Amanda's wart.
5112"Girls Night In"E. Jane ThompsonDeborah Jarvis1996 (1996)
Busy invites Amanda over to watch a racy softcore French film on video when everyone is out of the house. Unfortunately, her brother's interfering wife decides to come home early.
5213"What's Yours is Mine"Alan GoluboffStory by : Dawn Ritchie
Teleplay by : Deborah Jarvis & Edgar Lyall
1996 (1996)
Amanda wants to attend an exclusive arts camp but with the deadline approaching she decides to use someone else's work as her own.

Season 5 (1997)

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
531"Coming Home"Alan GoluboffJulie Lacey1997 (1997)
Busy runs into Dom in town, who has not been home from college in weeks. She suspects something is wrong.
542"Your Fifteen Minutes are Up"Alan GoluboffAnn Macnaughton1997 (1997)
Busy rescues a girl who fell in the river, and everyone wants to hear their story. However, Busy becomes overwhelmed with the sudden attention.
553"Cross My Heart"Bruce McDonaldAlyse Rosenberg1997 (1997)
Amanda is entrusted to babysit Steven's daughter when she would rather go to her acting group.
564"Your Own Money"Allan KingEdwina Follows1997 (1997)
Busy decides to get a real job so she can afford Steven's old keyboard. When her father finds out about it, he starts charging her rent and utilities.
575"Let Me Make My Own Mistakes"Stephen WithrowSondra Kelly1997 (1997)
Amanda's grades start dropping and it seems her involvement in the after-school arts program is the reason.
586"When a Kiss is Just a Kiss"Roz OwenJennifer Cowan1997 (1997)
Busy has a crush on two guys at the same time, and what she thinks is an innocent kiss was viewed by one of the guys.
597"Get a Life"Alex ChappleBarry Stevens1997 (1997)
The girls are not aware they have the option to attend an arts high school. Amanda looks promising but Busy might have trouble getting in.
608"Saint Carla"John L'ecuyerDawn Ritchie1997 (1997)
A classmate dies in a car accident. Busy does not understand why she is not as upset as everyone else. Amanda is asked to take over Carla's lead role in the school play.
619"Graduation"Alan GoluboffEdgar Lyall1997 (1997)
The girls graduate from the 9th grade. Amanda debates inviting her father, and Busy finds out the truth about her own father's high school education.
6210"Second Generation"John L'ecuyerBarbara O'kelly1997 (1997)
While working the family hot dog stand, Busy meets the competition: the son of her father's rival.
6311"All or Nothing"Bruce McDonaldEdwina Follows1997 (1997)
Amanda joins an animal rights group, but without the support of Milan, she thinks she may need to end the relationship.
6412"Great is... Great"Allan KroekerAnn Macnaughton1997 (1997)
Amanda's mother finally marries Steven, making Amanda think of her own wedding and her feelings for Milan.
6513"Hello, Goodbye"Alyse RosenbergAlyse Rosenberg1997 (1997)
Amanda has to move to the west coast, leaving Busy behind. An accident at a party held in an old building may change those plans forever. The episode also features a flashback revealing the girls' first meeting.


In the late 1990s, the Disney Channel began airing Ready or Not in syndication.[2] However, certain episodes Disney felt were inappropriate for their audience, such as “Origins of Man” and “Am I Perverted or What?”, were not aired on the network.

International broadcasts

  • In Mexico, the show was dubbed into Spanish as "Tiempos inolvidables" and aired on Televisa from 1996 to 2001.[13]
  • In the Czech Republic, the show was dubbed into Czech as "Připraveny nebo ne" and aired in the late 1990s.[13]
  • In Australia,[13] the show aired on ABC TV and was shown every Friday at 5:30pm. It debuted in 1994 and again aired from 1996 to 1998. It was also shown on weekday mornings at 11:30am during the school holidays between 1997 and 1998.
  • In Brazil,[13] the show aired on Rede Globo and was named “Tudo em Cima (Everything Alright)”. It was shown every Saturday at 12pm dubbed into Portuguese. It debuted in 1994. In 1995, it was shown in the early hours from Friday to Saturday.
  • In Nigeria,[13] the show aired on RSTV, a regional TV channel serving the southern city of Portharcout and neighbouring states. It was shown on Friday at 5:00pm, at the end of a kids block known as K-Time. It aired in 2005 to 2006.


  1. ^ Heffley, Lynne (3 April 1993). "TV REVIEWS : Showtime Series Target Older Children". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b The Disney Channel Magazine, Vol. 14, no. 3 (typo in magazine: should be "no. 2"), April/May 1996: pp. 5, 28, 39.
  3. ^ a b c Newman-Bremang, Kathleen (3 April 2020). "11 Ready Or Not Episodes That Soothed My COVID-19 Anxiety". Refinery29.
  4. ^ a b "Laura Bertram & Lani Billard Reveal 'Ready Or Not' Revival, Talk Guest Star Ryan Gosling | EXTENDED". ET Canada. 1 June 2020. (time index 08:18)
  5. ^ Griffin, Dominic (1993-10-25). "Ready or Not". Variety.
  6. ^ a b Mendoza, N.F. (1994-08-21). "SHOWS FOR YOUNGSTERS AND THEIR PARENTS TOO : 'Ready or Not,' here come the teen years and tough troubles". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ "Ready or Not". Insight Productions.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Chisholm, Patricia (17 June 1996). "Ready to Educate and Entertain Young Teens". Maclean's.
  9. ^ Schneller, Johanna (8 May 2010). "Nicole Holofcener still likes to shock". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  10. ^ Mangan, Jennifer (20 October 1993). "'Ready or Not' Takes on Homosexuality". Chicago Tribune.
  11. ^ T. Donahue, Anne (2020-01-23). "It's been 25 years since My So-Called Life was abruptly cancelled. Could Canadian TV have saved it?". CBC.
  12. ^ West, Rachel (2020-06-01). "'Ready Or Not' Stars Laura Bertram And Lani Billard Reminisce On The Iconic Canadian Series And That Time Ryan Gosling Was A Guest Star". ET Canada.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Ready or Not | Release Info". IMDb.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 September 2021, at 08:35
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