As an Asian-Canadian, Samantha Wan is forging a path to inspire creatives within the entertainment industry and advocating for the importance of representation in television and movies. Her show, Second Jen, is a buddy comedy about two second-generation millennials who are trying to make it on their own in the big city. Find out more about her work below!
Hi Samantha, congratulations on your nomination for Best Comedy Series in 2019 Canadian Screen Awards for your sitcom, Second Jen! Tell us about your show and how you came about creating it.
Thank you! Second Jen is a sitcom about Second Generation kids and their crazy immigrant families. Two Asian Canadian girls moving away from home and experiencing all their adult-ing firsts together. It’s based around the lives and neighborhoods of my co-creator, Amanda Joy, and myself. We created the show because at the time we found there weren’t many developed roles for us as Asian actors. We created what we thought was a pilot (later we realized it was more 22 min short films) and then used it to pitch at the Banff World Media Festival. There we got the show optioned by Don Ferguson Productions and some interest from broadcasters. Skip over three years of stuff that is less exciting to hear about, numerous bible rewrites, pitches, and LOTS of waiting ( maybe a bit of crying, thinking the show was over, then it wasn’t, then it was…), Rogers Media picked us up for development and then series! We finished our second season last year and are super proud of the work. The nomination is the icing on the cake!