'Welcome to Surrey' web series will explore life in a uniquely Canadian suburb
Creators Kashif Pasta and Shyam Valera on the foibles of a city where people "bring chai to hockey games"
For hometown heroes, Kashif Pasta and Shyam Valera, Surrey is a city that couldn't exist in any country but Canada.
"People bring chai to hockey games. They have samosas at Super Bowl parties. They have Kanye West and Bollywood on the same playlist, and it's amazing," Pasta said.
Despite this, they still don't see their stories reflected on TV. The pair hopes to change that with a new web comedy series, Welcome to Surrey, which will begin production this summer.
The series will focus on a young woman from Surrey who moves to Toronto for law school, but comes home to care for her ailing father. She reconnects with old friends who never moved away and experiences a sort of "reverse culture shock" — inspired by the experiences of a real-life friend of Pasta and Valera's.
"[Suburbs] are great for being a kid. They're great for raising your kids, but in between, they're not really designed for you," Pasta told Early Edition host Rick Cluff. "So that's kind of a place ripe for comedy."
The pair have found previous success with their YouTube sketch comedy series, Buddy Guys. In one popular video, they poke fun at South Surrey residents who seem to regard themselves as living in a different city.
It's a very specific joke, to be sure, but to their surprise, the sketch found an audience outside the Lower Mainland. They'd struck a nerve that resonated just as strongly in the suburbs of southern Ontario.
The series' pilot will be funded by a grant from Telus, awarded through the company's annual Storyhive competition. Pasta and Valera hope to have the pilot completed and released by the end of July.
With files from CBC's The Early Edition.