The Fabulous Filipino Brothers Star Dion Basco Makes The Case For A City Guys Reboot [Exclusive]

There's a lot of television to watch these days. With a nearly endless landscape of options, it can be hard to decide what to watch whenever you get a moment to unwind. However, it's always easy to fall back on an old favorite. Whether it's a classic sitcom, a long-running sci-fi adventure, or an intense drama, many people find comfort in the familiar. It's like talking to an old friend or wrapping yourself in your favorite blanket.

That's probably why we see an abundance of revivals, reboots, sequels, and spin-offs these days. In these trying times, it's not that surprising that the audience would want to retreat into the somewhat known when looking for something new to watch. Because of this, shows like "Star Trek: Picard," "And Just Like That...," "The Book of Boba Fett," "Dexter: New Blood," and "Saved By The Bell" have been largely successful.

So what show or cast of beloved character should be next to get a moment in the spotlight again? Clearly, the answer is "City Guys."

C-I-T-Y You Can See Why

Airing as part of the TNBC (or Teen NBC) block of Saturday morning programming from 1997 to 2001, "City Guys" followed a group of friends from different backgrounds that attended New York City's Manhattan High School and dealt with your typical teenage issues like getting good grades, young love, racism, and bullying. It was very much in the same vein as "Saved By The Bell," "California Dreams," and "Hang Time," which makes a lot of sense since they were all created by producer Peter Engel.

But if "City Guys" was just another one of these teen-centric educational sitcoms, then why is it important? Well, for me personally, this show was the very first time that I saw a Filipino person on American TV. As an Asian-American growing up in the '90s, I didn't see anyone that looked like me in leading roles on any show until I stumbled upon Dionysio Basco's Al "Rocket" Ramos. Even though he was never explicitly said to be Filipino on the show (despite wearing Tribal Pinoy shirts and having Filipino siblings), it was still a very formative experience for me as a kid to see this kind of representation and diversity on a major network at the time. After all, it's not like "Friends," "Seinfeld," "Boy Meets World," or "Frasier" were accurately showing the diversity of the cities where they were set.

So naturally, when the opportunity came up to speak to Basco about his new film "The Fabulous Filipino Brothers," where he stars alongside his real-life brothers in a realistic look at modern Filipinos and Filipino Americans, I had to bring up the sitcom that I cherished so much as a kid. You can read all about his experience on the show, including an important landmark moment in television history, when we drop the full interview very soon. But Basco suggested that the book might not be closed on "The City Guys."

Roll With The City Guys

Dion Basco revealed in our interview that there actually has been some talk about ways to bring "City Guys" into the modern TV landscape. And that talk started where most of these talks start these days: the internet.

I've actually been getting hit up on Instagram by a number of fans and fellow cast members. People keep asking about it. They should reboot it. Or at least put it up on Netflix or Paramount Plus or something like that. Revive it that way. I haven't heard of anything going, but as a cast, we have started communicating again. We Zoomed and it was pretty much almost all of us. We were missing Ms. Noble [who was played by Marcella Lowery] and L-Train [who was played by Steven Daniel], but the rest of us got a chat for a couple of hours.

Everybody seemed down to do it. Some people aren't acting. The girls [Caitlin Mowrey and Marissa Dyan, who played Dawn Tartikoff and Cassidy Giuliani] aren't acting anymore. They're on the East Coast doing their thing, but all the guys are still in the game and we're all pretty down to do it. It be fun to see what happened to these characters.

Honestly, a "City Guys" sequel could work. Just like the "Saved By The Bell" does for kids out on the west coast, the revival could star a new crop of kids at Manny High as they navigate their way through modern teen life on the east coast. As for Chris, Jamal, and Al, they could be featured players like parents or teachers or prominent members of the community. Then, if they decide to get back in the game temporarily, Dawn and Cassidy could guest star in an episode with a high school reunion or Ms. Noble's retirement.

See? That all totally works. But until a network or a streamer gets on board, you can catch Dionysio Basco and his brothers in "The Fabulous Filipino Brothers" when it starts streaming on iTunes on February 8, 2022 or on tour in a town near you.