The series, which touched the hearts of 16 million people worldwide, is taking Canada by storm this winter as its third season comes to OMNI television.
Creator, executive producer, and lead actor of “Mangoes: A Slice of Life”, Adeel Suhrwardy spoke to The MIX about how he originally began writing the show as a reaction to a gap in Canadian media.
“We felt that an authentic representation of South Asians and new Canadians was missing in the media landscape in Canada,” he said in an interview with The MIX. “We wanted to add into the narrative on new Canadians in their own language. The shows pride itself for being ‘Brand Canada’ that is diverse and shows the world what Canada is all about, a just place to make a life where everyone has an equal shot at succeeding.”
Initially introducing the concept of “Mangoes” to help represent a largely untold narrative yet to be dutifully served in popular television, Suhrwardy and brother Khurram began writing a script about the lives of three “new Canadian millennials” living in Toronto and hailing from various parts of South Asia. With hopes of reaching a new generation of Canadians, the Suhrwardy brothers’ idea has resulted in a show serving a variety of people.
Suhrwardy explained how the show’s humorous nature allows a minority group to laugh at themselves and the everyday hardships that face new Canadians – without being judged. While the show makes for predominantly light-hearted viewing, this new season dives deeper into more sensitive, topical subject matters, such as the journeys’ of Canadian refugees. The decision to touch on more sensitive storylines was a conscious one, intended to create a new dialogue different from historically one-dimensional on-screen portrayals of refugees. After all, while “Mangoes” may entertain and appeal to a mass demographic, Suhrwardy is quick to point out each episode is written with the intention of educating a population on the types of hardships new Canadians face as they integrate into Western society.
Despite the show featuring a predominantly South-Asian cast, the show’s broad coverage of issues can be enjoyed by viewers of all ethnicities.
“Non-South Asian viewers can learn a lot from what new Canadians coming from South Asia is all about,” says Suhrwardy. “They are on a journey to better themselves. It brings people together and bridges the communication gap. It’s an opportunity for Canadians to learn about other Canadians beyond the stereotypes of Asians or South Asians.”
“Mangoes: A Slice of Life,” tells the story of adventurous, ambitious immigrants. The key theme threaded throughout all three seasons is that of a culturally all-inclusive country, where everyone has an equal shot at succeeding. This is something any Canadian will vouch for.
“At the end of the day it’s a human story, in a new country when the family is not present, friends take the potion of family, something that the viewers like. The message of women empowerment presented in a sophisticated way is another [unique selling point] for the show, and the reason the viewers gravitate towards the show.”