September is a busy month for the CBC. There are several new shows to debut and a pile of returning ones to schedule; it can be easy to miss Strays. Returning for its second season, Strays grabbed a lot of headlines last year because it is the companion series to that cancelled-to-soon award-winner Kim’s Convenience.
Unfairly or not, Strays—which follows Shannon Ross as she leaves Toronto and Handy car rental behind for Hamilton and a gig as manager at Hamilton East Animal Shelter—was compared to Kim’s. Though it features Nicole Power in the lead role of Shannon and boasts many Kim’s creative staff, Strays quickly established itself as a project worthy of standing on its own.
Returning Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on CBC, “Friends and Neighbours,” written by co-creators and executive producers Kevin White and Anita Kapila, Shannon deals with an unwanted guest in the parking lot and then struggles to balance her commitment to the community with her desire to impress a new board member, Tonya. Meanwhile, a dance party at the shelter leaves Kristian yearning for his perfect “moment” with Lara.
The strength of Strays will always be Power’s portrayal of Shannon’s adorable kindness and awkwardness, as the centrepiece to an incredibly strong supporting cast and their characters. Standouts continue to be Kevin Vidal’s Liam, Nikki Duval’s Nikki, Tony Nappo’s Paul, Tina Jung’s Joy, Emily Piggoford’s Lara and Frank Cox-O’Connell’s Kristian. Tuesday’s return sees guest gigs by Dennis Andres (Workin’ Moms) as the aforementioned unwanted guest and Varun Sanga (Wynonna Earp) as Lara’s boyfriend, who complement the key cast.
Strays airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on CBC.
Image courtesy of CBC.