Kimchee Becomes The Burbs
by Ralph Lucas – Publisher
(January 5, 2022 – Toronto, ON) All serious careers follow pre-set paths. An actor, for example, might go from High School plays to Stratford with stops along the way in small co-op theatre troupes to off-off-off-Stratford productions to larger, well known regional theatres, to important big city theatres and finally to the stages of Stratford Ontario or the Shaw Theatre, or any number of large important theatres across the country. For Calgary-born actor-comedian Andrew Phung, his trajectory is like many others, despite his unique talent.Phung studied economics at the University of Calgary and gravitated toward acting when he was in his mid-teens. He was 24 when he joined a group known as Sciencebear, which produced a small number of comedic short films. He was a co-creator, co-director of the 2010 feature Sketch which screened at the Calgary Film Festival and wowed the audience in part because the 75-minute movie was shot for about $1,000. After similar work in comedy, including two seasons of the sketch comedy series Cowtown, he landed the role of Kimchee in the CBC Television sitcom Kim’s Convenience, based on the play by Ins Choi. It was a co-starring role but it’s five year run allowed him to become known by a huge national audience. Phung won Best Supporting Actor Canadian Screen Awards for his work on the series in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021.
Now, finally, with Kimchee far behind him, Andrew Phung is ready to take the lead. Joining forces with his old Calgary sketch comedy friend and collaborator, filmmaker Scott Townend, they created the new comedy series, Run The Burbs, which makes its debut tonight on CBC. In development since May 2020 and produced by Pier 21 Films, Run The Burbs, is about a young, bold Canadian family taking a different approach to living life to the fullest in the suburbs, featuring Phung as Andrew Pham, a stay-at-home dad with an entrepreneur wife Camille and two kids Khia and Leo.
Quoted in a media release from CBC, Phung said this about setting the show in the suburbs. “There’s a big mix of people, but their colour isn’t the reason why they are there. Their personality and their backstory is what we care more about. And the goal for us was every character we introduce. We better damn well know more about them as the episodes go on.”
The basic storyline a less serious but still a high energy look at modern life. In short, the series is designed to “promote inclusion, pride and aspiration, but in a way that is both a little ridiculous and, at the same time, serious.”
Run The Burbs makes its small screen debut tonight at 8:30 Eastern on CBC.