‘Second Jen’ review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
In my earlier review of Kim’s Convenience, I mentioned the show Second Jen. The show, which began on October 27, does not only highlight cultural diversity by featuring Chinese Canadians and Filipino Canadians, it also talks about a generation of people: millennials. Second Jen is about two best friends living in Toronto who are both named Jen.
The show begins with Jen Monteloyola (Amanda Joy) asking her friend Jen Wu (Samantha Wan) if she can live with her because Jen M.’s parents are moving back to the Philippines. Next, they move into a townhouse in downtown Toronto, try to put Jen M.’s couch in their room, and meet their new neighbours: two roommates named Nate (Munro Chambers) and Lewis (Al Mukadam). In the first episode, we learn a lot about Nate, who is a scout for a hockey team. We do not learn a lot about Lewis, and we will probably learn more about him as the season progresses.
Compared to Kim’s Convenience, there are not a lot of funny moments in the show. While there were some humorous points in the episode, there were other parts where I did not laugh. If you are not a fan of this type of comedy, this show may not appeal to you. Second Jen airs on City, which means that the quality of it is not as great as shows on CBC, which are usually of higher quality.
Most of the characters in Second Jen are millennials, and this is a big aspect of the show. In the transitions, we see pictures that both Jens took, which shows that they use social media a lot. We also see hashtags that describe what is going on in the episode. The score contains electronic music, which is a type of music that a lot of millennials like. Both Jens remind me of Hannah and Marnie from Girls. The show also portrays some of the challenges that millennials face in the outside world. A few examples of this are when the Jens’ landlord thinks that they do not know how to accept responsibility, and when Jen W.’s mom (who is not as funny as Mrs. Kim from Kim’s Convenience) tells her that she is not ready to live by herself. There are other TV shows about this generation, including Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X and This is High School.
Second Jen has some unusual elements. There are “wall squirrels” in the Jens’ room, there is interesting camerawork, and there is a scene where Jen W. leaves the room and Jen M. sits down suddenly. While the show is not very funny, it provides a good picture of how millennials live their lives. Second Jen airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on City.