Asian Americans and TVLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 9/14/18 at 11:17PM EDT
CBC's Kim's Convenience has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon among Asian Americans since arriving on Netflix
The two seasons of the comedy about a Korean-Canadian family who runs a convenience store in Toronto strongly resembles ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat "in their broadness, unexpected poignancy, and not-always-successful efforts to maintain the tricky balance between cultural specificity and mainstream accessibility," says Inkoo Kang, who adds: "To watch Kim’s Convenience as a Korean American is to witness the immigrant culture in which I grew up strained through the cookie-cutter mold of the family sitcom genre...And yet Kim’s Convenience is undeniably a North American translation of Korean immigrant culture. Sometimes quite literally."
Posted Thursday 9/13/18 at 4:01PM EDT
Magnum P.I. accused of being "white-washed" with too few Asian/Pacific Islanders despite Hawaii setting
Media Action Network for Asian Americans president Rob Chan says it's offensive that a show set in a majority-Asian location doesn't have any leads who are of Asian/Pacific Islander descent. “We generally want a show to reflect the demographics it’s in," he says. "The show takes place in Hawaii, which is majority Asian, but if you look at the four stars, there’s no Asians reflected there. In fact, in the trailer, Jay Hernandez refers to four people by name, and none of them are Asian. We feel that time and time again there is a pattern of exclusion. And while some supporting cast may be Asian, they often times do not get as much screen time as the leads.” Asked to respond CBS pointed out that the cast includes two Asian-Americans, Sung Kang and Kimee Balmilero. CBS also noted that one-third of Magnum P.I.'s directors are of Asian descent, including pilot director Justin Lin.
Posted Wednesday 9/12/18 at 1:11PM EDT
BoJack Horseman creator: "The fact that I’m still making this show with mostly white people in every episode fills me with tremendous guilt"
"I say this not to just flagellate myself or to show off what a great guy I am," says Raphael Bob-Waksberg, "but because I want to put this on the record and to hold myself up to this when I go about making other shows. Also so that other white people making shows can see that this has been something that I have wrestled with, (instead of) looking at my show and saying, 'Oh well, he did it and it’s OK, so maybe it’s not that big a deal.' I would (also) like to be very open that my guilt does not solely come from a place of white progressivism. I do think that the show has been hurt by our all-white cast." Bob-Waksberg points to Alison Brie's casting as an Asian-American woman. "For a long time, because we cast a white actress to play Diane, I was afraid of this conversation happening," he says. "And because of that, we really downplayed her race and her cultural heritage. We’ve treated her basically like a white woman because I didn’t want to have a white woman playing an overtly Asian character, because that felt somehow more wrong to me. And now I feel the opposite. We did a complete disservice to the character by making her so white. Obviously what white-coded means is subjective, and there are Asian women who relate to Diane and I don’t want to discount their experiences. But I do think we have avoided stories that could have been more interesting because of my own fear and guilt about the casting."
Posted Tuesday 9/11/18 at 9:05PM EDT
ABC developing Chinese-American comedy pitched as "Lazy Rich Asians" from Rick and Morty's Emmy-winning "Pickle Rick" writer
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Jessica Gao, who won an Emmy over the weekend for writing Rick and Morty's famous "Pickle Rick" episode, is developing the single-camera comedy revlving around Janet Zhao, "a first-generation Chinese-American woman who struggles to set healthy boundaries with her crazy, exhausting family. When her wealthy grandmother dies and names Janet the sole inheritor, she suddenly finds herself the unwilling new matriarch of the family she's spent her life trying to keep at arm's length." The untitled project is one of two Asian-American series in the works at ABC following the success of Crazy Rich Asians at the box office. ABC is also developing Ohana, a potential drama about four mixed-race Asian women in Hawaii.
Posted Tuesday 8/21/18 at 10:26PM EDT
You can watch Crazy Rich Asians' stellar cast all over TV
Of course, Constance Wu, star of the groundbreaking Asian-American film, can be seen on Fresh Off the Boat. But her co-stars also have impressive TV resumes, from Star Trek: Discovery's Michelle Yeoh to Glee alum Harry Shum Jr.
Posted Monday 8/13/18 at 9:39PM EDT
Fresh Off the Boat becomes the first Asian-American sitcom to reach syndication
Source: TV Insider
The ABC comedy will make its UPtv debut with a Labor Day marathon.
Posted Saturday 8/04/18 at 2:51AM EDT
Which TV show has less regard for Asian manicurists, Claws or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?
Both shows fail to delve into the realities of Asian-immigrant nail salon workers, says Inkoo Kang. While Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt uses an Asian manicurist in dealing with white guilt, the characters on Claws seem unaware of their anti-Asian racism.
Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 11:36PM EDT
Sandra Oh's Killing Eve Emmy nomination is a "bittersweet joy" for actors of Asian descent
"It isn’t simply the Emmy committee’s fault that it has taken this long—this year is the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards—for an Asian American woman to be nominated for the top drama award," says Nicole Clark. "In a landscape devoid of major acting opportunities for Asians and Asian Americans, the lack of nominations and wins really isn’t surprising. To win an award, you need to have a good role, and those roles are in short supply for Asians. Only two Asian actors have won Emmys—Archie Panjabi in 2010 as supporting actress for The Good Wife and Riz Ahmed in 2017 as lead actor in HBO’s The Night Of."
Posted Thursday 7/12/18 at 5:29PM EDT
Sandra Oh reacts to her historic Emmy nomination as the first Asian leading woman for Killing Eve
Source: The New York Times
"You want to know what? Let’s celebrate it, man," said Oh, the first person of Asian descent to be nominated in the leading drama actress category. "I’m serious, just (expletive) celebrate it. It’s like, we’ve got to start somewhere, we’ve got to start somewhere. And I’m happy to get that ball rolling, because what I hope happens is that next year and the next year and the next year, we will have presence. And the presence will grow not only to Asian-Americans, you know, from yellow to brown, but to all our other sisters and brothers, you know, our First Nations sisters and brothers. Our sisters and brothers of different sizes and different shapes. If I can be a part of that change, like (expletive) yeah, let’s celebrate it." ALSO: Grey's Anatomy team celebrates Oh's nomination.
Posted Thursday 7/12/18 at 5:29PM EDT
More people of color were nominated for Emmys this year than ever before
Source: TV Guide
According to TV Guide's tally, 38 people of color were nominated in the top categories, form Lin-Manuel Miranda to Sandra Oh to Trevor Noah. That's nearly double from 2016, when 21 people of color were nominated. ALSO: Sandra Oh and Darren Criss' nominations show the two ways to diversity casting.
# TOPICS: Emmys, 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, Darren Criss, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sandra Oh, Trevor Noah, African Americans and TV, Asian Americans and TV, Diversity, Indian-Americans and TV, Latinos and TV
Posted Friday 6/22/18 at 11:17AM EDT
AMC renews The Terror for a second season set in a World War II Japanese-American internment camp
Season 2 of the anthology series will revolve around “an uncanny specter that menaces a Japanese-American community from its home in Southern California to the internment camps to the war in the Pacific." Alexander Woo, who co-created Season 2 and who will serve as showrunner, says: "I'm deeply honored to be telling a story set in this extraordinary period. We hope to convey the abject terror of the historical experience in a way that feels modern and relevant to the present moment. And the prospect of doing so with a majority Asian and Asian-American cast is both thrilling and humbling." AMC's announcement comes three days after Japanese-American internment camp survivor George Takei wrote an article for Foreign Policy comparing his experience to the Trump administration's immigrant family separation policy. "At least during the internment, my parents were able to place themselves between the horror of what we were facing and my own childish understanding of our circumstances," he wrote.
Posted Wednesday 5/30/18 at 1:00AM EDT
American Experience delves into "The Chinese Exclusion Act"
The new PBS documentary by Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu, premiering Tuesday night, is a sobering examination of the act Congress passed in 1882 that prohibited Chinese laborers from entering the United States and Chinese nationals from becoming citizens.
Posted Friday 5/25/18 at 7:45PM EDT
Racial jokes on network sitcoms too often reinforce stereotypes instead of subverting them
There is nothing wrong with jokes about race, says Yoonj Kim, who spent a week in March studying every network sitcom for racial jokes. But, he adds, "there’s a crucial distinction between gratuitous one-stop references and thought-provoking humor: The latter will feature another moment in the same episode that dispels or shows another side to the stereotype being invoked. Context turns the joke from a zero-sum remark to subversive humor that serves as a segue into meaningful commentary. To put it in facetiously simple terms, it’s the difference between 'No offense, but you’re really ugly,' and 'No offense, but you’re really ugly when you do this.'"
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Roseanne's jab at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat was "a dog whistle so strong that it might have brought Lassie back from the dead"
Source: The New Yorker
According to Emily Nussbaum, that one controversial joke about "all the shows about black and Asian families" explains Roseanne. Nussbaum says the joke was a racial dog whistle. If it wasn't, why not target shows about white families like The Middle or Speechless? Is it because those shows are "just like them"? "The jab," says Nussbaum, "was clearly aimed at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, comedies that share ABC’s Tuesday schedule with Roseanne. The line establishes a few things. One is that the Conners don’t live in the same America as the Johnsons, from Black-ish, or the Huangs, from Fresh Off the Boat. There will never be a crossover episode—no fun clash, say, between an aging Jessica Huang and Roseanne, on a Conner trip to Florida. Instead, the Conners are themselves bored, alienated ABC viewers, unable even to remember titles, just that these are the 'black and Asian' shows."
- ABC having the No. 1 show with Roseanne hasn't happened since Who Wants to be a Millionaire in 2000
- What is the point of Mary Conner? The one black Roseanne family member is nearly invisible
- Johnny Galecki's return was a perfect metaphor for the revival's messiness
- David being back only made sense in an alternate universe
- Did Barbara Bush actually call Roseanne Barr "brave," as Barr claimed? Not exactly
- 90-year-old Estelle Parsons looked really good in her return as Bev
Posted Saturday 4/14/18 at 12:07AM EDT
Asian-American Bob's Burgers writer shares the aftermath of criticizing a Roseanne joke
Source: The New York Times
Kelvin Yu, who also appears on Master of None, went viral with his tweets slamming Roseanne for a joke taking a shot at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat. "Many of the comments I received were supportive — retweets, likes and the always flattering fist emoji," he writes in The New York Times. "However, I have to admit that the loudest voices to me were the ones that were vitriolic and shockingly mean," including racially disparaging remarks. Yu writes that he found it "so galling that a show celebrating ostensibly marginalized Americans would consider shows about even more marginalized Americans a punch line, tossed off between two yawns and a meh, followed by a roomful of people laughing. And although, admittedly, I have no idea what it means to be white or working class, there are at least a half-dozen shows out there through which I can experience it vicariously. Meanwhile, white working-class people have one — and only one — current network show to help them understand the lives of Asian-Americans (hint: it rhymes with Shmesh Off the Shmoat)."
- Even the haters should appreciate Roseanne: "When a TV show — or any pop culture artifact — is drawing that kind of a mass audience, it has something to tell us about ourselves and the times in which we live"
- Here's your first look at Roseanne's mom Bev's return next week
- Seth Meyers has Roseanne "fans" explain to him why they love the show so much