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Reasons to Love Toronto Now

Because Sort Of is sort of the best thing on TV

Bilal Baig’s boundary-busting new series captures the true heart of Toronto

By Patricia Karounos
Because Sort Of is sort of the best thing on TV
Photograph courtesy of CBC
Because Sort Of is sort of the best thing on TV

For Torontonians who are tired of watching their city masquerade as New York or Chicago onscreen, the breakout dramedy Sort Of is a rare treat. It’s a smart series that stars the city as itself: lively, unflinching and full of possibility. The show—co-created by playwright Bilal Baig and actor Fab Filippo—depicts characters who feel familiar and true, none more so than Sabi (Baig), a non-binary millennial juggling multiple identities: trendy bartender, nanny to hipster kids, a child of immigrant Pakistani parents. The show is compelling and wry, self-obsessed yet big-hearted.

When Sort Of debuted last fall on CBC and HBO Max, it marked many firsts: the first non-binary lead on Canadian TV, the first queer South Asian Muslim to star on Canadian prime time. It landed on Vanity Fair’s best-of list, earned a field-leading 13 Canadian Screen Awards nominations (though Baig refused to compete in gendered acting categories), and has been renewed for a second season. The accolades are nice, but the show would shine without them.

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