Considering the ubiquity of videogames these days, there is a surprising lack of gaming shows on network television, especially for younger audiences. Even rarer is a gaming show that prominently features a Canadian cast and guests. Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage) is a new program premiering on DisneyXD that ticks all of those boxes.
According to the press release, Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage) follows newcomers and real-life video game addicts Jesse Sukunda, Julia Schwartz and Ian Duchene, a trio of quirky young teens who aspire to create a popular and inventive YouTube channel devoted to gaming.
CGM went down to the DisneyXD HQ to meet and chat with two of the stars, and see exactly what the show is about and what the cast is bringing to the table.
Jesse Sukunda: Well, I’m from Etobicoke, I play a lot of games in my free time so when there was an audition for a show all about videogames, that was crazy news for me. The first audition was just reading scripts and seeing how well we could act, and the second was to test the chemistry between the actors and to see how we all got along. I was pretty excited when I got the part, it’s my dream to go and play videogames and get paid for it. If that’s not the best job in the world I don’t really know what is.
Julia Schwartz: I’m Julia, I’m from North York. When I got the audition I was really excited about it because it was the Disney Network, and that was really exciting for me because I’ve always wanted to be on that channel. I’ve watched it for a while, it was a really fun audition and then they called back and I got the part.
CGM: Do you guys play many games yourself? What games or consoles did you play growing up?
Jesse: I think my first console was the first generation Wii, and then I got a DS Lite and saved up for a 3DS. But my first was a Wii. I’ve played every Pokemon game from red to Y.
Julia: I started off with a Wii as well, that was the first console we ever got. But I remember playing my cousin’s Gamecube and I always wanted a DS and only, finally, got one recently so that was awesome.
CGM: Are you guys familiar with many of the older generation consoles?
Jesse: Yeah actually we have a Genesis at my house so I get to play games like Sonic and Ecco the Dolphin-which I don’t know how to play at all-. And of course, what I still believe is the hardest game in the world, Aladdin.
Julia: I always loved Pac-Man. I remember when we started going into the Arcades I got the opportunity to play that. And I played Tetris on the Gameboy Colour, my dad had one of those at the house.
CGM: I saw that you had a chance to sit down and play with a few of the Toronto Raptors,that must have been a blast.
Julia: Jonas Valančiūnas was our intern so that was awesome, he was so much taller than us. Patrick Chan is also in one of the episodes. I didn’t get to meet him but he looked really fun.
Jesse: Patrick Chan is actually on our YouTube channel now, he reviewed Minecraft and it’s really funny-
Julia: He thought the graphics were so bad because it’s all pixelated, but that’s obviously what they were going for.
Julia: [Nervous laughter] I feel like I always say this but, Zac Effron, even though he’s not a gamer but I think I could make him one. Even just meeting him… and I could take it from there.
Jesse: Ooh that’s a tricky question. I’d have to go with Emma Stone. But other than that, Just sports stars in general, I love meeting them. They’re a lot of fun to work with, they’re funny and great at making stuff up on the spot.
CGM: How are you guys going about bringing a Canadian angle to the show?
Julia: Well, we’re incorporating a lot of Canadian YouTubers & athletes but also American ones. It’s cool because videogames are such a universal thing, it’s not like they’re specific to any particular country, but we’re trying to take a lot of Canadian guests and showcase them in the show.
CGM: Who is the show aimed at?
Julia: I think that we’re aiming the shows towards 6-11 yr olds, but there’s stuff for everyone to watch and I think everyone can bond over videogames.
Jesse: I think we picked a wide variety of games, but I always go back to Mario Kart. If you are five, you can play Mario Kart and win. If you are 90, you can play Mario Kart and win. It’s never not fun.
CGM: So outside of the gaming aspect, what has your experience with the show been like so far? How much of yourself do you bring to the characters?
Jesse: I’ve done a few commercials before, and I did a hidden camera prank show. And that really helped with my improv skills. A lot of what you see we just do on the spot. If something funny happens you learn to just go with it. As far as playing Jesse, I like to think he’s a lot like me. He plays videogames, I play videogames, he likes to meet new people, I like to meet new people. I always want to know it all, and that’s a big part of the show, learning how things are made, talking to developers, art directors etc.
Julia: Even though we’re playing characters it’s still a very real show. We’re giving our honest feedback, we’re really interviewing people. But that’s what I think is so fun about it, we get to act and be a more exaggerated and sassy version of yourself but we still get to do all these fun things. Playing Julia is lots of fun. She’s for sure more sassy than I am but we’re very similar people. We both like art, and music, and games. I’d like to think that I’d be her best friend if she was a real person.
Jesse: We’ve been to Ubisoft, Nintendo, Microsoft, we got to see how Motion Capture worked which was cool.
Julia: I went to Get Said Games and I learned about the Mega-Run and Mega-Jump games, and that was amazing. I’ve always been a huge fan of those games, the kind of games where you can’t put your phone down. It was super interesting to learn how they created their characters and how they put everything together to make a game, it looked amazing.
CGM: Finally, what’s been the biggest highlight for you personally doing the show?
Jesse: For me it was meeting Charles [Martiner] the voice of Mario, great guy, so full of energy, so much fun to work with. It’s always different now when I play because I’ve met the guy and know what he looks like in real life.
Julia: I played the national champion at Mario Kart and that was super fun for me because I got to let my ego out and when I beat him, it was fun.
CGM: Do you think he let you win at any point?
Julia: Yeah, probably *laughs*
Gaming Show (In My Parents’ Garage) airs Sundays at 6:00 on DisneyXD, so check it out. There’s also the Gaming Show YouTube Channel where the team does interviews and let’s plays.