Meet Canada's new Asian TV family, picking up from 'Kim's Convenience'
and the new ‘The Cleaning Lady’ breaking barriers for Cambodian, Filipino Leads
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🏆 The Headlines
Canada, ‘we’re your new family’ — “Run the Burbs” is something of an heir apparent to Phung’s previous show, the acclaimed CBC comedy “Kim’s Convenience,” which ended in April after five seasons. That series was about a couple who emigrated from South Korea and opened a convenience store in Toronto. Phung played popular character Kimchee, co-worker and roommate of the Kims’ adult son.
“I came from a show that was literally about the immigrant story,” Phung said, “but what is now missing is what happens to those children of immigrants when they have kids.”
Phung, 37, knows of what he speaks. He was born in Calgary to Vietnamese immigrants and now he’s raising children of his own, four- and seven-year-old sons, in Toronto.
In “Run the Burbs,” he’s Andrew Pham, a Vietnamese-Canadian, suburban, stay-at-home father to 14-year-old Khia, played by Zoriah Wong (“Nancy Drew”), and 10-year-old Leo, played by Roman Pesino, an actor and Raptors Lil Ballas dance team member. Wife Camille, played by Rakhee Morzaria, is of Indian descent and works in human resources with a sideline as an Insta-chef. To add another layer of diversity, Khia is queer.
Martha Millan On How Fox’s ‘The Cleaning Lady’ Breaks Barriers For Cambodian, Filipino Leads — Fox’s new drama, ‘The Cleaning Lady,’’ is the network’s first to be produced by and star Southeast Asian actors whose characters are the center of the story and not the best friend in the background.
The mob drama series, which show creators Melissa Carter (Queen Sugar) and Miranda Kwok (The 100) have described as a woman-centric “Breaking Bad,” tells the story of Cambodian surgeon Thony De La Rosa (played by French-Cambodian actor Elodie Yung), who travels to the United States to have a live-saving treatment for her son. Her husband winds up with visa issues, so the doctor is on her own in the United States - and she stays even though she also winds up with visa issues.
The show hits lots of demographics, but for Martha Millan, who portrays De la Rosa’s sister-in-law Fiona, the casting of Southeast Asian leads and the show’s overall diversity is to be applauded.
Mindy Kaling’s new series and the significance of sex-positive South Asian women — In "The Sex Lives of College Girls," Kaling brings to the table something novel — an Indian American character who openly seeks out sex.
Sex has long been either a defining or alienating feature for South Asian women in Western cinema. Colonial era films invented the exotic seductress and the foreign woman in distress, and modern movies and TV shows have ushered in the undesirable nerd, experts say.
But missing even in more inclusive portrayals is a South Asian girl who is purely confident and clear about what she wants, viewers said. With “The Sex Lives of College Girls,” Kaling brought a version of that to life.
“What I really appreciated about Bela was the lack of soul-searching and hand-wringing,” said Harleen Singh, associate professor of women’s studies and South Asian literature at Brandeis University. “She’s unapologetic.”
Paolo Montalbán shares emotional first reunion with ‘Cinderella’ co-star Brandy after 24 years — Montalbán, 48, fulfilled his fans’ request to post a proper picture of his reunion with Brandy, 42, on Christmas Day on Instagram, as well as a short clip of last month’s meeting, which included a hug.
“Cinderella” went down in history for casting Brandy as the first Black Disney princess in the titular role playing opposite Montalbán’s Prince Charming. The two were part of a diverse cast which included Whoopi Goldberg, Whitney Houston and Bernadette Peters.
🎬 Industry Insider
CAPE And Janet Yang Productions Set Julia S. Gouw Short Film Challenge For AAPI Women & Non-Binary Filmmakers (Deadline)
Jessica Chastain’s Freckle Films To Adapt Jessamine Chan’s ‘The School For Good Mothers’ As Series With Jude Weng & Endeavor Content (Deadline)
More industry news including job opportunities from NBCUniversal, Accenture, EY and more below 👇
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