Jen and Mo have said goodbye. After three seasons on Omni, Second Jen will not be back for a fourth.
“It is bittersweet for us to announce that this has been the last season of Second Jen,” co-creators, co-executive producers and stars Amanda Joy and Samantha Wan, and showrunner Carly Heffernan posted on social media following the show’s Sunday season finale. “Thank you to everyone who has supported us. Thank you for the love and laughter over the years.”
“We leave Jen and Mo in a place that feels good; where they’ve grown, and learned, and come into their own,” the post continued. “We are so happy to have shared their journey with all of you. In many ways, their story has echoed our own.”
Over the course of three seasons, Second Jen centred on best friends Jen (Wan) and Mo (Joy) who banded together to tackle life’s ups-and-downs in Toronto.
Nominated for Best Comedy at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards, the Season 3 cast included Nile Séguin, Janet Lo, Timothy Lai, Richard Tse, Tina Jung, Isabel Kanaan and Andrew Bushell. Guest stars included Andrew Phung, Ken Hall, Deb McGrath, Kathryn Greenwood, Ann Pornel, Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll and Kathleen Phillips.
What makes Second Jen so enjoyable is its portrayal of relatable moments.
Part of Sunday’s Season 3 return episode—airing at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Omni—shows a team building exercise that is painfully similar to one I was a part of recently. It was cringe-inducing and uncomfortable at times, just like what Second Jen shows. It’s been part of Second Jen‘s DNA since Day 1.
“I like to start with a premise that speaks to something deeper to me,” says co-creator, co-executive producer, writer/story editor and star Amanda Joy, who wrote three of the season’s six episodes. “Something that speaks to my experience either with my family or something that deeply affects me as an artist and as a person.” That can be anything from workplace discrimination to—she explains with a laugh—being “well over the age of 19” and having her ID checked at the liquor store.
The 2019 Canadian Screen Awards Best Comedy nominee once again explores the friendship between Jennifer “Jen” Wu (co-creator, co-executive producer, writer and director Samantha Wan) and Jennifer “Mo” Monteloyola (Joy). Storylines this season include an exploration of female empowerment, corporate diversity initiatives and family therapy.
Intimacy and relationships are investigated as well. For Mo, that means love interest Scout (Isabel Kanaan); for Jen, it’s Riley (Andrew Bushell).
“[Mo and Scout] are a really fun pairing,” Joy teases. “Mo has been a character who has had these love interests and has always wanted to pursue them and then, for whatever reason, they don’t work out. It’s going to be more interesting because Mo is in a more stable part of her life.”
Family has been a mainstay of Second Jen, and that’s true in Season 3. Joy points to the season finale as being particularly poignant when Mo’s family comes to visit from the Philippines.
“Having more of a Filipino presence, of Filipino culture and more of the Filipino family was something that I’ve been pushing for from the very beginning,” Joy says. “This episode is the culmination of the seeds we’ve been planting throughout the series, of Mo missing this piece of herself and what that feels like. Episode 6 is about finding what it means to be a family when you are all so separated. It was such a joy to write and such a joy to see come to life.”
Second Jen airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Omni.
Produced by Don Ferguson Productions in association with Rogers Sports & Media, Second Jen Season 3 premieres Sunday, Feb. 14 at 8:30 p.m. local time on OMNI Television with six all-new episodes. Co-created, co-executive produced, and starring Amanda Joy and Samantha Wan, Second Jen centres on best friends Jen and Mo who band together to tackle life’s ups-and-downs in Toronto. Whether it’s “yellow fever” or internet trolls, these heroines fight life’s dumpster fires together.
Nominated for Best Comedy at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards, Second Jen jumps back into the frenzied friendship of Jennifer “Jen” Wu (played by Samantha Wan) and Jennifer “Mo” Monteloyola (played by Amanda Joy) to prove that the third time is most definitely the charm. Season 3 ups the stakes by exploring hot-button subjects, in stories that only Second Jen can tell. Topics this season include female empowerment, corporate diversity initiatives, intimacy and relationships, and family therapy from an authentic and hilarious point-of-view.
Second Jen once again features an all-female creative team, and a diverse crew behind the camera. Amanda Joy continues to serve as writer/story editor, penning three of six episodes this season. Samantha Wan continues as a writer and directs three episodes this season. Carly Heffernan returns as showrunner, head writer, and directs three episodes this season. Kathleen Phillips serves as story editor.
Returning this season are Alister (Nile Séguin, The Beaverton), Bunny (Janet Lo, Pay The Ghost), Eric (Timothy Lai, Beauty & the Beast), and Harold (Richard Tse, Baroness Von Sketch), who are joined by new characters including Jen’s glamorous influencer cousin Vicky (Tina Jung, Make It Pop), and love interests Scout (Isabel Kanaan, Tita Collective) for Mo, and Riley (Andrew Bushell, The Wedding Planners) for Jen. Guest stars this season include Canadian comedy legends Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience), Ken Hall (The Umbrella Academy), Deb McGrath (The Second City), Kathryn Greenwood (Women Fully Clothed), Ann Pornel (The Great Canadian Baking Show), Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll (Hudson & Rex, Baroness Von Sketch) and Kathleen Phillips (Sunnyside, Mr. D).
It’s been almost two years, but Second Jen‘s second season is finally here.
The sitcom, co-created by Amanda Joy and Samantha Wan, returns Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Omni Television, once again telling the hilarious and heartfelt experiences of best friends Jennifer “Mo” Monteloyola (Joy) and Jennifer “Jen” Wu (Wan), two second-generation millennials who observe, reflect and react to the world around them.
Things have changed for Season 2 both in front of an behind the camera. There are new faces in Jen’s new friend, Marcus, played by Lovell Adams-Grey (Slasher); Mo’s new potential love interest, Diego (Oscar Moreno); and a whack of guest stars from Canada’s comedy elite in Mark Andrada, Jim Annan, Craig Lauzon, Patrice Goodman, Pat Thornton and Gary Rideout Jr. Second Jen‘s creative engine is run by showrunner and head writer Carly Heffernan, writer and story editor Joy and story editor and co-director Wan.
We spoke to Heffernan, Joy and Wan during a break in filming earlier this year.
How did this second season come together?
Amanda Joy: We work pretty quickly, but from the [Season 2 renewal] announcement to when we were shooting we had already done most of the writing. It just came down to polishing it, and Carly and I, we were working with the network and Sam and just trying to bring out the best elements of the scripts, and choose the best stories, and just make sure that the ones we were making were the most solid and strongest ones.
Carly, how did you end up being involved with the show this season?
Carly Heffernan: I was involved with the first season in a writing capacity as well as an acting capacity, so then I was brought back on for Season 2 in just a bit of an elevated writing capacity as head writer, which was great. I had a really nice time working with Sam and Amanda before, and I love getting into a writer’s room with them and hearing the stories that they want to share, and just being a part of figuring out how we’re going to tell those stories.
AJ: It’s actually amazing because Carly had worked with us in different capacities before, and then it just, there was an opening and she really felt like the right person to do the job, and everyone was in agreement with that.
Samantha Wan: Yeah, it’s exciting. It’s a full female writing room, and full female heads right now.
Does that make a difference?
CH: I think absolutely when you’re telling a female-centric story. It definitely helps to come from a female P.O.V. Not saying that someone of a different gender couldn’t tell the story, but it’s definitely made it easier. There are a lot of situations that Sam and Amanda shared that I could just relate to from my own past experiences as a woman.
The girls have moved into a new apartment, you’ve got new stuff going on in their lives.
AJ: When we were deciding which stories would make it into the second season and which ones we were really going to work, we decided that we wanted to bring it back to the girls, and make sure that that central relationship was key, and strong in every single story, even when they are separate from each other. It needed to really be about them and how they grow, and how they grow together. The boys who were in the original first season are not in this particular season, but in doing that we have the opportunity to show Jen and Mo outside of their relationships with these two men, and to really make a female-centric story and a friendship-centric story.
SW: In Season 1 I’d say there was a lot of focus on the girls and how they related to their family, and moving away from them. And in Season 2 it’s actually a lot more like ‘OK, now we’ve moved away from our family, how do we figure out our life on our own?’ Also, a huge thing I think this season, too, is seeing when you have a best friend, how you both start changing and you don’t change the same way. So Mo’s getting a lot of success right now, and Jen’s doing a lot of introspection right now, and that puts them in a very different place. In almost opposite places where they used to be this season.
AJ: There’s a lot of irony in that, too, because when you look at the two girls and you sort of predict who is going to be having more success, who is going to really be moving forward with their life, you think it is going to be Jen. And here we see that maybe life’s not as cut and dry as they made it seem in school.
What can you say about your cast?
AJ: In adding new characters and changing up the group a little bit, I’ve found that the dynamic from the ensemble is really speaking to the second generation experience. I believe every single lead now, in our show, is a person of colour.
And you also draw on your background with sketch because you’ve got a lot of talent like Pat Thornton coming in and, can you talk a little bit about some of the guest people you’ve got involved in Season 2?
CH: Absolutely. We have some fantastic people from the world of comedy. Pat Thornton, who is just a national treasure in terms of hilarity, you know, everyone’s seen him on their TVs for years. He’s amazing. Jim Annan, who’s another staple of the comedy community, has been so funny. Nile Séguin joins us again, who’s a fantastic stand-up from the sketch comedy scene. Sorry, from the stand-up scene. Gary Rideout Jr., Craig Lauzon, Mark Andrada. Yeah, a lot of sketch performers are coming in, which is awesome. Bumping up that comedy. Sam and Amanda do such a great job of providing us with so much heart, and staying really true and real and grounded in the characters that they are, so to have a bit of that sketch flair really ups our comedy value.
Let’s talk about some of these adult storylines. Wall squirrels.
CH: Oh, man. If you’ve ever had an animal in your house, it’s the worst. I once had a pigeon in my loft in St. Lawrence Market, I was just freaking right out. We love the notion of the girls sort of dealing with maybe their first break-in, which is always scary. It’s always coming down to firsts for these girls. What is it when you go on your first double date with your best friend?
You’re tackling some serious subjects like sexism and racism.
SW: We have a whole episode on sexual harassment in the workplace, which Amanda wrote and I’m actually directing, well, co-directing with Romeo [Candido], which I think is a very exciting thing.
Second Jen airs Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Omni Television.
Images courtesy of Second Jen and Omni Television.
Second Jen, the groundbreaking original scripted comedy series following the adventures of two second-generation millennials and their friends, returns this summer with an all-new season featuring fan favourites and fresh faces, beginning Saturday, Aug. 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on OMNI Television (check local listings). Co-created, co-executive produced, and starring Filipino-Chinese-Canadian Amanda Joy as Jennifer “Mo” Monteloyola and Chinese-Canadian Samantha WanasJennifer “Jen” Wu, the six-part, 30-minute episode season is inspired by their real-life experiences, as they sort through commitment issues, career challenges, and the awkwardness of dating.
Older, saucier, and no longer relying on their over-protective families, Mo and Jen are now grappling with the world of ‘adulting,’ as their childhood friends begin to establish successful careers and get married. Season 2 features an all-female creative team, with Carly Heffernan (Nurse Redelle, Second City), showrunner and head writer, at the helm. Amanda Joy has written three out of six episodes this season, including “Like A Girl,” “The Book of Jenesis,” and “Wall Squirrelly,” while Samantha Wan co-directs “Like A Girl,” alongside series director Romeo Candido.
Joining Amanda Joy and Samantha Wan as season regulars are Nile Séguin (Alister, The Beaverton), Lily Gao (Karen, Blood and Water), and new cast member Lovell Adams-Gray (Marcus, Slasher). Rounding out the culturally diverse cast are Janet Lo (Bunny, Diary of the Dead), Timothy Lai (Eric, How to Be Indie, Degrassi: The Next Generation), Caroline Mangosing (Maryjun, How to Be Indie), Carly Heffernan (Nurse Redelle, Second City), Patrick Kwok-Choon (Harrison, Star Trek: Discovery, Cardinal), Ho Chow (Mr. Hsu, Bad Blood, The Strain) and new cast member Oscar Moreno (Diego,Shadowlands). Buzz-worthy headliners from Canada’s comedy scene make special guest appearances, including Mark Andrada, Jim Annan, Craig Lauzon, Gary Rideout Jr., Pat Thornton, and comedic actress Patrice Goodman.
OMNI will air the season’s previous episode at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by a new episode at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT. Audiences can catch-up on Season 1 on the OMNI Television website, www.OMNItv.ca, and on Rogers on Demand.
Second Jen is produced by Don Ferguson Productions (DFP) in association with Rogers Media. Executive Producers are Don Ferguson, Lucy Stewart, and Kevin Wallis. Amanda Joy and Samantha Wan are co-executive producers. Carly Heffernan and Romeo Candido are co-producers. From Rogers Media, Nataline Rodrigues is Director of Original Programming, Hayden Mindell is Vice President of Television Programming & Content, and Colette Watson is Senior Vice President of TV & Broadcast Operations.