TV comedy deals with issues of second-generation Filipino Canadians

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  • Amanda Joy, a Toronto-based writer, has produced a TV comedy airing in the fall, which will have a second-generation Filipino as central character.
    Amanda Joy is playing the character herself in “Second Jen”.
    The pilot episode of “Second Jen” will air in the fall on CityTV, a major Canadian television network.

    In a report by a Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent in Toronto, Amanda Joy related that at age four or five, she and her cousins would climb on top of a pool table to entertain their parents with plays they made up and tales of make believe.

    That auspicious beginning, plus Amanda Joy’s single-minded drive since high school to bring the second-generation Filipino millennial to the world stage, gave birth to “Second Jen”, according to the report.

    The Inquirer reported that “Second Jen” is a situation comedy named after its two main characters both named Jennifer. The Jennifer character that Amanda Joy plays is Filipino Canadian, and nicknamed Mo.

    After the pilot episode, the first six episodes will be posted online for the next three months.

    “In December, the show will start airing TV, so a different, younger audience will be encouraged to share the show with their families and parents,” Amanda Joy said in the report.

    “Second Jen” tackles several important firsts second-generation kids face– first move out of the parental home, first apartment, first real job, according to the Inquirer report.

    “We are influenced by our parents to some degree, even how we approach life as second-generation millennials–all the things that happen to us, our parents shaping us even if they are not with us,” says Amanda Joy said in the report. “There’s a rule in screenwriting that you write what you know, so my experiences–with my family, friends, numerous titas and titos, my lola– shape my writing.”

    “We are not living in a homogeneous culture anymore. My high school teacher asked the class–who has parents born here?– and nobody raised their hand. A very different experience from maybe 20 years before, when most parents are Canadian-born,” Amanda Joy also said.

    “The Filipino demographic is often ignored or misrepresented. I wanted to show that the Filipino experience in Canada is three dimensional, I wanted to have a second-generation Filipino Canadian millennial as a major character, and not just as a sidekick,” she said.

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