Everything about Kim’s Convenience, eh?

Links: Run the Burbs, Season 1

From Eric Volmers of the Calgary Herald:

Link: Andrew Phung takes on suburbia in new CBC sitcom, Run the Burbs
There will be some Easter eggs in the new CBC sitcom Run the Burbs involving Calgary, little tributes sprinkled throughout the first season that astute viewers from the city’s northeast will recognize. Continue reading.

From Brad Wheeler of The Globe and Mail:

Link: In Kim’s Convenience star Andrew Phung’s new CBC sitcom Run the Burbs, family matters
“I don’t wake up every morning thinking I’m Vietnamese,” says Andrew Phung, co-creator and co-star of the new sitcom Run the Burbs. “I’m Vietnamese-Canadian, and this a show about a contemporary Canadian family.” Continue reading.

From Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star:

Link: Canada, ‘we’re your new family’: Andrew Phung’s ‘Run the Burbs’ picks up the baton from ‘Kim’s Convenience’
Andrew Phung is standing in the middle of the perfect metaphor for what he’s bringing to Canadian television. Continue reading.

From Marriska Fernandes of The Canadian Press:

Link: Andrew Phung on seeking authenticity for Asian family comedy ‘Run the Burbs’
Andrew Phung says he brought plenty of lessons from his hit “Kim’s Convenience” over to his new show “Run the Burbs,” which shifts the focus from a family of Korean immigrants to first-generation kids. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Run the Burbs gives us a family big on love
The Pham fam has a whole lot of love to give and they want to share it with the world around them. Continue reading.

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: Hey, T-Dot: Andrew Phung’s Run the Burbs speaks today’s slang
If you live in the ‘burbs you’ll recognize the family at the heart of Run the Burbs, the second new sitcom to launch this week from CBC. Continue reading.

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Andrew Phung returns to CBC with his own creation, Run the Burbs

Like other fans, I was gutted when Kim’s Convenience came to an end. I missed the laughs, the family dynamic, and the diversity I was seeing on my television screen. Thankfully, that hole has been filled by Andrew Phung—Kim’s Convenience‘s Kimchee—in Run the Burbs.

Co-created by Phung and his best bud and collaborator, filmmaker Scott Townend, Run the Burbs—debuting Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. on CBC—follows the Phams, a young Vietnamese-South Asian-Canadian family living on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs.

“Relatable” was the first word that came to mind as I watched the debut episode of Run the Burbs. In those opening moments, I witnessed something I’ve done myself: trying to deliver a trunkful of groceries from the car into my house in one trip. To see the Phams—father Andrew (Phung), mother Camille (Rakhee Morzaria), daughter Khia (Zoriah Wong) and son Leo (Roman Pesino)—draped like pack mules struggling in the heat, made me laugh out loud at them, and myself.

“For this family, in particular, they make these mundane moments big,” Townend says. “And there are the families around them as well. People are going to say, ‘I have a neighbour like that.’ I’ve got neighbours like this, Andrew’s got neighbours like that. It was important to find the comedy in those everyday moments.”

In the works since the summer of 2019, Phung says Run the Burbs came organically and easily, thanks in large part to their longtime friendship and the way they constantly supported each other. By December of that year, Phung was confident what they had created would end up on a network.

“We had something here that was so fun and full of life and energetic,” Phung says. “What’s wild to me is that, through the process, a lot of it has remained the same.”

At the centre of Run the Burbs is Andrew Pham, a whirling dervish of a man who is full of positivity, good-natured humour and truly believes in the good in everyone. Even when there are down moments, like in Episode 1, when a planned block party seems to be going off the rails, it doesn’t last long. And with high-powered and diverse comedic talent in Phung’s co-stars and supporting roles played by Aurora Browne, Ali Hassan, Julie Nolke, Jonathan Langdon, Chris Locke, Samantha Wan, Simone Miller and the late Candy Palmater, the laughs are loud and last long.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have the cast that we do,” Townend says. “It is a powerhouse of comedy and every episode, every actor brought something new to the part. They took what was on the page, directors included, elevated it and made it better.”

Run the Burbs airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Casting announced for CBC’s new original comedy Run the Burbs

From a media release:

With production underway in and around Toronto and Hamilton, CBC and Pier 21 Films are confirming casting for new, original comedy series RUN THE BURBS, from award-winning comedian, writer, and actor Andrew Phung and his best friend and collaborator filmmaker Scott Townend (The Secret Marathon).

Premiering on CBC and CBC Gem in Winter 2022, Phung executive produces, writes, and stars in the series as a stay-at-home dad – Andrew Pham – living and loving with his entrepreneurial, executive wife and two kids. The Phams are a young, bold Vietnamese-South Asian-Canadian family taking a different approach to living life to the fullest, while changing the way we think about contemporary family values and life in the burbs.

Joining Phung on screen forming the balance of the Pham family are actor and comedian Rakhee Morzaria (Note to Self, Private Eyes) playing Andrew’s wife Camille Pham; and rising young stars Zoriah Wong (Nancy Drew) and Roman Pesino (Odd Squad) as their children Khia and Leo Pham. The Pham fam are joined in the burbs by a cast of friends, family, and neighbours played by an illustrious roster of Canadian talent including Ali Hassan (CBC’s Laugh Out Loud) as Camille’s father Ramesh, YouTube sensation Julie Nolke (Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self) as Camille’s best friend Sam, Jonathan Langdon (Utopia Falls) as next door neighbour Hudson, Simone Miller (Detention Adventure) as Hudson’s daughter Mannix, Samantha Wan (Second Jen) as local bubble tea café owner Cathy, Candy Palmater (The Candy Show) as neighbour Candy, comedian Chris Locke (Workin’ Moms, Mr. D) as neighbour Sebastian, and Baroness von Sketch Show’s Aurora Browne as neighbourhood permit assassin Barb.

“We set out to make a show that goes big. To showcase a family that truly supports one another while going all out every week. It’s a bit of a throwback to classic family sitcoms in the burbs, but with a family that you’ve never seen reflected on television before,” comments Townend.

“We are so hyped and proud of this incredible group of performers that have joined us on this journey. We are introducing Canada to some amazingly talented new faces they may not have met before – including the amazing Rakhee Morzaria – alongside comedy rockstars like Ali Hassan, Aurora Brown, and Candy Palmater – they are all going to blow audiences away and take on the burbs like no one has before. We’re honoured to have this opportunity and it’s been our absolute pleasure working with CBC, Pier 21 Films, and Endeavor Content as we bring Run the Burbs to life,” adds Phung.

Pier 21 Films Executive Producer Laszlo Barna adds, “We are so fortunate to be working with such a talented cast led by our star and co-creator Andrew Phung. We can’t wait for the world to join us in the burbs and meet the Phams and their unforgettable friends and neighbours.”

“We are so excited to watch Andrew’s deeply personal story about family come to life through this remarkable cast and creative team,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual and Sports, CBC. “RUN THE BURBS authentically reflects how Canadians are building new communities in suburbs across the country, and we can’t wait to share it with audiences this winter.”

A CBC original series, RUN THE BURBS is produced by Pier 21 Films. As announced earlier this year, Endeavor Content has picked up the international sales rights. Executive Producers are Laszlo Barna, Nicole Butler and Bill Lundy (for Pier 21 Films), Andrew Phung, Scott Townend, and Aleysa Young. Shebli Zarghami serves as Executive Producer and Showrunner. Jessica Daniel is producer. Co-Executive Producers are Matt Kippen and Wendy Litner. Nelu Handa is Consulting Producer. Season One directors include Aleysa Young, Peter Wellington, Joyce Wong, Melanie Orr, and Justin Wu.

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Nicole Power stars in Kim’s Convenience companion piece Strays

I admit it. I’m going to miss Kim’s Convenience. Certainly the saddest part about its demise is what happened behind the scenes. I won’t go into that here—search on the site for stories about it—but perhaps the best news to come out of that bad situation was Strays.

Bowing Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. on CBC, Strays follows Shannon Ross—Kim’s Convenience‘s Handy car rental manager—as she heads west to become the new executive director of the Hamilton East Animal Shelter. My initial thought surrounding Strays was that it quickly came together as Kim’s Convenience was falling apart. Not so, says star Nicole Power, who reprises Shannon on Strays and serves as consulting producer too.

“At the end of Season 3, I was approached with the opportunity to start developing an idea for a show that would be a companion piece to Kim’s Convenience,” Power says during a conference call. “It would be an expansion of the universe and explore a different side of Shannon and Shannon exploring something new.”

That “something new” is Hamilton, where she is surrounded by new people, clients and fur babies. The new humans in Shannon’s life include her cousin Nikki (Nikki Duval), animal care manager Kristian (Frank Cox-O’Connell), office manager Joy (Tina Jung), landlord Liam (Kevin Vidal) and maintenance guy Paul (Tony Nappo). Nappo, in particular, is a joy to watch on screen, his trademark gruff exterior buffed by Shannon’s cheery countenance.

When Shannon arrives at Hamilton East Animal Shelter, things are in disarray. Nikki is foisted on Shannon, building budgets have been cut and a birthday party for an elderly cat goes horribly awry. But where most would curl up in a corner, Shannon soldiers on, using her unique word choices to get her and others through trying times.

“Shannon always wants to make the best out of a situation and people-please,” Power says, with a laugh. “She is always trying to manage that everyone else is good, so what you’ll see in Strays is just an extension of Shannon’s desire to have the best of the situation be the reality.”

Strays airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Transplant, Schitt’s Creek and Beans win at 2021 Canadian Screen Awards Gala

Transplant and its lead actor, Hamza Haq, Schitt’s Creek and its lead actress, Catherine O’Hara, Kim’s Convenience‘s Paul Sun-Hyung Kim and Beans captured trophies during the Canadian Screen Awards gala.

Thursday’s online gala was narrated by actors Stephan James and Karine Vanasse. The Margaret Collier Award was given to David Shore, the Lifetime Achievement Award to David Suzuki, the Earle Grey Award to Tina Keeper, the Radius Award to Dan Levy and Academy Icon Award to the late Alex Trebek.

Wild Kratts tooks home the Shaw Rocket Fund Kid’s Choice Award while Wynonna Earp‘s Melanie Scrofano received the Cogeco Fund Audience Choice Award, both of which were voted on by fans.

Here are the winners in Thursday’s television and film categories:

Best Lead Actor, Drama Series
Hamza Haq, Transplant

Best Lead Actress, Drama Series
Crystle Lightning, Trickster

Best Drama Series
Transplant

Best Feature-Length Documentary
Wandering: A Rohingya Story

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Michael Greyeyes, Blood Quantum

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit

Achievement in Direction
Deepa Mehta, Funny Boy

Best Motion Picture
Beans

Shaw Rocket Fund Kids’ Choice Award
Wild Kratts

Cogeco Fund Audience Choice Award
Melanie Scrofano

Best Lead Actor, Comedy
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience

Best Lead Actress, Comedy
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

Best Comedy Series
Schitt’s Creek

For the complete list of winners, visit the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television website.

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