From the minds that brought us Barbelleand Slo Pitch comes the new young-adult digital series Homeschooled. Created, directed, and executive produced by Karen Knox and Gwenlyn Cumyn (Slo Pitch, Barbelle), the new CBC Gem series will consist of 10-15 minute episodes and is available to stream in full beginning Friday, March 25.
The arthouse comedy series looks to explore the niche world of home education as mainstream and fringe teen experiences collide in a unique coming-of-age tale. The series boasts an all-Canadian cast led by Eman Ayaz (Ghostwriter) and Veronika Slowikowska (What We Do in the Shadows).
“We loved the idea of exploring this topic through the lens of these smart, artsy teenage girls who are so uniquely themselves. There’s always been this stigma, or air of mystery, around homeschooled kids and we wanted to peel that back in a heartwarming and hilarious way,” said Knox. “We were able to draw a lot from my own experience with homeschooling, but it’s become so much more ubiquitous over the last couple of years so we hope everyone will find something they can relate to when they watch our show,” added Cumyn.
Homeschooled will intertwine both documentary-style filmmaking with traditional narrative in an art-nouveau aesthetic, and follows the talkative and adorkable Farzanah (Ayaz) as she and her best friend, the intense, perfectionist Greta (Slowikowska), work on a magnum opus: a revolutionary documentary that will enlighten the public on the largely misunderstood topic of… homeschooling. But both the documentary and their friendship take a dramatic turn when Greta discovers that Farzanah has enrolled in a “real” high school for the first time.
As she becomes acquainted with the joys of cafeteria cheese fries and drama club extracurriculars, Farzanah’s interest in the documentary begins to wane. Feeling betrayed, Greta comes to terms with the fact that her best friend is now part of a world she doesn’t understand. As both heroines carve out their identities through the endearing process of teenage art-making, they realize that all relationships are destined for change – but the good ones endure.
As stated, the all-Canadian cast consists of emerging and established talent, including Ayaz, Slowikowska, Precious Chong (Falling Water) as Greta’s mom, Dr. Hansen; Logan Aultman (Odd Squad) as Greta’s younger brother, Gunter; Siddharth Sharma (The Expanse) as prom king incumbent, Aakesh, at Farzanah’s new high school; and introducing Kevin Healey as fellow, and hunky, homeschooler, Donald.
Homeschooled is a co-production between Boss & Co and Portfolio Entertainment. Producing for Boss & Co is Michael Schram, and producing for Portfolio is Lauren Evans, with Lisa Olfman and Joy Rosen serving as Executive Producers. Marushka Almeida (Revenge of the Black Best Friend) rounds out the writing team alongside Knox and Cumyn. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; and Zach Feldberg is Head of YA Digital Originals.
Homeschooled premieres and is available to stream on CBC Gem on March 25, 2022.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.