Here’s a universal Vancouverite experience: watching a movie that’s set in L.A. and spotting the Marine building. Or Science World. Or Chinatown. We love elbowing fellow film-watchers and pointing out landmarks, proving that we recognize our city even when it’s masquerading as some higher-profile (and often American) locale. 

Lion's Gate Bridge in Fakes TV SeriesCourtesy of CBC Gem

But when you’re watching CBC’s newest comedy, Fakes, you won’t need to squint or pause the TV to find Vancouver: the show unapologetically takes place here. Local actors Emilija Baranac and Jennifer Tong star in the series, which just dropped on CBC Gem yesterday. “Most projects that come through Vancouver are set in Portland or L.A. or Seattle,” says Baranac. “To get to showcase our hometown is very cool,” adds Tong. 

Fakes in Vancouver on CBC GemCourtesy of CBC Gem

Fakes follows West Van teens Zoe and Rebecca (played by Baranac and Tong, respectively) who build a fake I.D. empire. Exactly how they do it is up for debate: episodes switch POV between the two characters, and their perspectives are wildly different. The series begins where the story ends, with a police raid and the pair getting caught. The rest of the show is told in a Fleabag-esque style—the fourth wall is broken often as the teens try to explain themselves. 

Emilija BaranacCourtesy of CBC Gem

It’s incredibly satisfying to watch a local show with local jokes. (For example, one of Tong’s lines is “No one will care. It’s West Van” and another—my favourite—is “Kumon is the devil’s work.”) “Comedy is so hard to come by in Vancouver,” says Baranac. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but doing this was refreshing.” From the casual tossing around of colourful Canadian money to comparing a sweet bottle of booze to Fuzzy Peaches (a candy I only recently learned isn’t widely available in the U.S.), it truly feels like a peek into a neighbour’s world... if that neighbour was casually committing crimes and also dressing really cool. 

Fakes CBC GemCourtesy of CBC Gem

Throughout the series, you’ll see Ambleside beach, Cartem’s, Stanley Park, and the UPC library (not a typo, it’s “University of the Pacific Coast”... and almost definitely actually UBC campus). Fakes is streaming now on CBC Gem in Canada and on Netflix everywhere else. Here’s the trailer.