Mark Rivera plays an important character, Ritche on the CBC series, Son of a Critch. The series is based on Canadian commedian Mark Critch's memoir about his upbringing in 1980s St. John's. As he navigates through the awkward pre-teen stage and try to overcome his old-man-in-a-young-man's-body disposition, he just really wants friends. We all can relate.
Ritche (Rivera), a Filipino kid living in Newfoundland is Mark's best friend and is the only person of color at the entire school. They bond over being outsiders, but the other kids really targeted Ritche for being Asian. Although Ritche is having trouble at school, he has his friendship with Mark to lean on leading to many funny moments. Rivera shared that he genuinely felt connected to the actual Ritche Perez and wowed the producers with his energy. “When I read the script, I couldn’t stop laughing – it was so funny, I couldn’t even put it down,” says Mark Rivera.
The character is based off a real-life Ritche, Ritche Perez who even appears in one of the episodes. According to CBC.com, Critch got approval from Perez to include his experience in the show. The series even got help from Fil-Newfoundland-born writer, Romeo Candido. "I wanted to try and really tell his story of being a person of colour in a school with the diversity of a snowbank."
Catch Son of a Critch, Tuesdays at 8:30 EST (Toronto time) on CBC.
Cover Photo Credit: Mark Rivera Instagram