Arts and Entertainment

OMNI Television Original Mangoes: A Slice of Life Joins Programming Slate

Six all new 30 minute episodes features real life brothers
Adeel (The Early Days) & Khurram Suhrwardy (The Early Days) as Sami & Rakay, & Maha Warsi as Asha

Friendship is a bond that knows no borders. Based on the popular web series Mangoes, Mangoes: A Slice of Life tells a globally relevant story with a uniquely Canadian perspective. It follows the adventures of three millennials with South Asian backgrounds as they explore the true potential of life in Canada, and premieres Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on OMNI Television (check local listings). Co-created, co-produced, and starring real life brothers Adeel and Khurram Suhrwardy as Sami and Rakay, respectively, the six all-new 30-minute episodes are available in English, Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi for OMNI’s multicultural audiences.

“I’m so proud that OMNI audiences will get to see the adventures of these characters continue into a new series,” says Nataline Rodrigues, Director of Original Programming, Rogers Media. “Mangoes: A Slice of Life is OMNI Television’s third original drama this year alongside Second Jen and Blood and Water as part of its enduring commitment to produce premium multicultural content and ensure viewers have access to stories that reflect their own diverse communities.”

Mangoes: A Slice of Life follows the adventures, emotions and experiences of three unlikely friends, including Asha (Maha Warsi), a fiercely independent woman and psychology student from India; Sami (Adeel Suhrwardy), a sensitive, well-educated immigrant from Pakistan struggling to find a job in his field; and Rakay (Khurram Suhrwardy), a hopeless romantic – and often irresponsible – MBA student from Pakistan. Picking up two years after the web series dropped off, the new episodes see dramatic developments as Asha gets engaged to be married, Sami lands a job at a corporate firm, and Rakay settles down from his loose lifestyle. Through unrelated events, the trio connect in Toronto and navigate the unfamiliar challenges of being a young immigrant in a new country.

“When we first dreamt of creating this series, we wanted to share the experiences of immigrants like us, but with a comedic twist,” says Adeel Suhrwardy, Creator and Star of Mangoes: A Slice of Life. “These are the everyday stories of three friends who, like many immigrants alone in a new country, become each other’s family.”

Based on one of the world’s most watched Canadian web series, Mangoes: A Slice of Life is filmed in Toronto and with its diverse cast, the series will continue to bring light to the shifting makeup of Canada’s urban centres and growing class of multicultural audiences.

“There is nothing like it on TV, which is why the show has been so popular online and around the world,” adds Maha Warsi, Actor, Mangoes: A Slice of Life. “The characters are filled with such depth and the stories are reflective of what’s happening in the world and within Canadian society.”

Audiences will have access to full episodes on OMNITV.ca next day post-broadcast, as well as on Rogers on Demand. Mangoes: A Slice of Life is produced in association with OMNI Television, a division of Rogers Media. Co-created and co-produced by Adeel Suhrwardy and Khurram Suhrwardy. From Rogers Media, Nataline Rodrigues is Director of Original Programming, Hayden Mindell is Vice President of Television Programming & Content, and Colette Watson is Senior Vice President of TV & Broadcast Operations.

Local Actor & Director Adeel Suhrwardy on the Story Behind OMNI’s new TV Show, Mangoes: Slice of Life

Friendship is a bond that knows no borders. Based on the popular web series Mangoes, Mangoes: A Slice of Life is a new television series on OMNI TV that tells the locally relevant story about friendships, making a new home, and becoming Canadian. Co-created, co-produced, and starring real-life brothers Adeel and Khurram Suhrwardy, the show follows the adventures, emotions and experiences of three recent immigrants: Asha (Maha Warsi), a fiercely independent woman and psychology student from India; Rakay (Khurram Suhrwardy), a hopeless romantic – and often irresponsible – MBA student from Pakistan; and Sami (Adeel Suhrwardy), a sensitive, well-educated immigrant from Pakistan struggling to find a job in his field.

Based in Vancouver, Adeel Suhrwardy shares the story behind Mangoes: A Slice of Life.

Where did the idea for Mangoes: A Slice of Life come from?
The idea for Mangoes: A Slice of Life came from a conversation between my brother Khurram and I. We felt that the representation of new Canadians in Canada is always from the point of view of the others, never from the new Canadians themselves. There is so much humour that one encounters when moving to a new country and we thought it could make a great comedy of sorts; that’s how Mangoes came about.

What is it like collaborating with your brother on this show?
Love it. We are very much alike, but we approach the same situation in two different ways and then agree upon the third way of looking at it – and that’s where the fun begins. Working with Khurram is a blessing.

Which audiences are you trying to connect with through Mangoes?
Anyone who has ever moved to a new province, country, continent or has always thought of doing so. When one is going through the experience, they may find it challenging, but once some time has passed, that’s when the hilarity of the encounters make up content for a comic book.

Why was it important to you to bring in the Syrian refugee storyline this season?
We felt everyone is a refugee of sorts, some are economic refugees, some are escaping harassment and some perhaps a war. We wanted to move beyond the branding of refugees to connect at a human level. Canadians, in general, have huge hearts and we wanted to approach it from a new Canadian’s heart and how they will handle a situation like this.

How closely does your character Sami connect with your personal story?
Sami’s story and my story have many overlaps in how we view the world, but of course, I have not encountered all the situations that Sami does. Our ethos are similar but we are two very different people.

Are the characters in Mangoes inspired by real people in your life?
The characters reflect bits and pieces of people we have encountered along the way, but they are fictional at the end of the day.

How do you manage acting and directing at the same time?
As the director Adeel, I try not to come down heavy on the actor Adeel – I think it’s working out fine so far, both are happy.

Describe your favourite moment from this season? 
There are many moments that are very touching and educational at the same time. I like when the character of Farah enters the series; very authentic, raw and graceful. I like how Asil approached her character of a refugee who doesn’t want anyone to take pity on her.
What message do you hope audiences will take away from this show? 
I hope they can see the rawness and authentic nature of each character and their stories.

Mangoes: Slice of Life airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT on OMNI Television (check local listings).
Episodes can also be found on OMNITV.ca.
Follow Mangoes on Facebook: Facebook.com/MangoesTV #mangoessol.

Social Media Links:
Mangoes on Facebook: Facebook.com/MangoesTV #mangoessol
OMNI Television Website: OMNITV.ca (for Quebec, visit iciTelevision.ca)
OMNI Television on Twitter: @OMNITelevision
OMNI Television on Facebook: Facebook.com/OMNITelevision
OMNI Television on WeChat
Rogers Media PR on Twitter: @RogersMediaPR
Rogers Media PR on Instagram: @rogersmediapr

About OMNI Television
OMNI Television is Canada’s only multilingual and multicultural television broadcaster. Available in 11 million Canadian households, the OMNI brand includes the national TV channel OMNI Regional plus five local television stations. OMNI offers a wide range of locally produced and acquired programming in more than 20 languages, including news, current affairs and entertainment content in Cantonese, Italian, Portuguese, Mandarin and Punjabi. OMNI is part of Rogers Media, which is a subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX, NYSE: RCI). Visit OMNITV.ca.

Surrey604 Staff
Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.
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