Created by and starring Amanda Joy and Samantha Wong, Second Jen follows two friends Jen (Wong) and Mo (Joy) as they traverse the triumphs and pitfalls of early twenties living. The chemistry between the two is undeniable as they both navigate asserting their own identities outside of the spectre of their protective families. The title of the show plays on both characters first names are actually Jen, but also a narrative about a second generation story. The show describes itself as a coming of age tale of two women caught between cultures and generations.
The girls find their first apartment with a not so unfamiliar apathetic landlord (Ho Chow). Their new neighbours shy Nate (Munro Chambers) and buffoonish Lewis (Al Mukadam ) quickly move in on the girls with newly made friendships and budding romances. Jen’s found herself finally free of her mother Bunny (Janet Lo) who arguably puts an “s” in front of mother by incessantly inserting herself in her daughter’s life and embarrassing her by buying her Costco amounts of dark panties for “that time of month.” However, Bunny’s got a few tricks up her sleeve and definitely puts the “man!” in manipulative with some pretty pro-level mom-guilt moves. Sometimes when mom makes your favourite dish — in Jen’s case, fish soup — it’s not out of the kindness of her dear sweet heart.
The show is filmed in and is —gasp — actually set in Toronto. With the College St. hood featured in many of the scenes. It reminds me when Being Erica first debuted and you’d be watching and all of a sudden you’d think, “Oh hey look! She’s drinking at Red Room. I drink at Red Room!” It’s nice to see a Canadian cast and crew actually doing a show in Canada about Canadians without being nauseatingly maplewashed.
The low-pro feel of the show is also — I’ll begrudgingly admit— a distinctly Canadian feature. However, combined with the quirky characters and the setting of a shitty apartment with wall squirrels, the lack of production value adds, rather than detracts, from the charm of Second Jen.
Second Jen premieres on City TV Thursday Oct. 27th 8:30 p.m.ET/PT, 9:30 p.m. MT,7:30 p.m. CT.