Quantico: Where the Brown Boys At?

I get it. Quantico is a pioneering show in multiple ways: most notably it’s the first American primetime drama to feature an Indian (and female) lead. Priyanka Chopra is indubitably the Mayor of Babesville, and I’m all for any show that has strong, kickass women of color — including Muslim hijabi twins who aren’t complete stereotypes (although this has been called into question). And complicated, tough gay characters who aren’t just planning weddings and snapping their fingers around – we need more of those too.

DOUGRAY SCOTT, AUNJANUE ELLIS, PRIYANKA CHOPRA, JAKE MCLAUGHLIN, JOHANNA BRADDY, GRAHAM ROGERS, YASMINE AL MASSRI, TATE ELLINGTON

But c’mon y’all — WHERE are the men of color? Granted, I’ve only seen a couple episodes, and maybe new characters were introduced, but the “top billed cast” on IMDb shows no men of color. Zero. And the optics of that bugs the hell out of me.

Indeed, Chopra and Yasmine Al Massri and Aunjanue Ellis and Annabelle Acosta provide plenty of eye candy, but I’m sick of all these Captain America Wonderbread types abounding. Four out of the five female leads are women of color, can’t we get ONE hot brown man for me the characters to lust after and have sexual tension-filled exchanges in the co-ed bathroom and get freaky with in the front seat of an SUV? Or will this go the way of The Mindy Project, with no men of color ever entering the fuckable orbit?

Oh wait, there’s this guy(?):

helloinback

Hello? Can someone tell me where the craft services table is at?

It’s only Season 1, there’s still time to assemble a proper hottie special agent dream team. Get it together, Quantico!

 

 

Model Minority: Justin Kim

jk

So I didn’t even know America’s Next Top Model was still on, nor that it now features MALE models. ASIAN. MALE. MODELS. Feast yo peepers on Justin Kim (by stalking his Insta @seoulful_j) and his impossible jawline…and praise be to Ty Ty for keeping the ANTM cycle going for 22 flippin’ years — although C’MON it really shouldn’t have taken almost a quarter of a century to get a male Asian American model on the show.

Christ, I still remember the first season. And that makes me feel old and sad. But this makes me feel better:

caption

Tats, chains, and chesticles, Oh My!

Plus he reps Korea and AZN Pryde hard and wants to shatter stereotypes by showing America that Asian men are tall and hot and really really really ridiculously good looking and hot and also hot. What a good Samaritan, that Justin Kim!

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.40.01 PMTime for me to start clearing my calendar Thursdays at 8pm. Screw Shark Tank. I want Hunk (in a) Tank!  Ugh. Sorry…here’s a palate cleanser:

justin-1

OK ONE MORE FOR GOOD MEASURE:

justin-kim-top-model-antm

BCB Movie Review: Revenge of the Green Dragons

Over the weekend I finally convinced myself to fork out $9.99 (highway robbery!) to watch Revenge of the Green Dragons on DirectTV, to follow-up on our Trailer Parkin’ post, and also because: AZNs. With mullets.

While the trailer looked promising, especially since it’s directed by Andrew Lau of the glorious Infernal Affairs… I found Revenge of the Green Dragons kinda meh…mixed with a little huh? and a healthy dose of blue balls (on my part).

Ergo, to this last point, the ROTGD trailer promised some steamy AZN-on-AZN rooftop sex scenes. Behold:

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 4.25.04 PMHowever, these scenes were absent in the actual film; instead we got some tepid, PG-rated fully-clothed kiddie smooches:

kissBOO I say, BOO! For WHY were the smex scenes taken out, leaving us with CRUMBS? Do they think AMERICA CAN’T HANDLE IT?!? Again, since every single ad for 21 & Over schticked up Justin Chon in a brassiere and teddy bear merkin, than I better damn well see him get it in in ROTGfrigginD. False advertising! Injustice!

ROTGD was also kind of a mess, messaging-wise. It seemed to attempt several bold statements on “illegal immigration”, racism, and the promise and hypocrisy of the American Dream, but I couldn’t quite figure out what those statements were. It was incoherent at best, and came off borderline anti-immigrant at worst: fear the invading, violent, money-crazed yellow hordes!

Madame snake head, who makes her riches off trafficking and exploiting Chinese immigrants, dramatically pronounces “It’s what this country’s built on…the American Dream!” A Chinese cop (played by MC Jin. Hell YAS) admonishes a white colleague for the fuzz’s disregard for brown lives (gee, so much has changed). “Also — fun fact! — did you know there are lots of Chinese languages, officer? Cantonese, Shanghainese, Fukienese…Hello? Are you listening to meeee…….” Jin should have just launched into “Learn Chinese” and then peeled off on the back of DMX’s bike screaming the Ruff Ryders Anthem (seriously, somebody hire me as a screenwriter). Similarly, the Green Dragons make a point to only kill each other — never Gwai-los — in order to fly under the enforcement radar (except the one time they smoke a white guy bitching out a restaurant owner about MSG in his food. Very satisfying).

At times, ROTGD came off as an exploitation flick, what with the slow-mo rape scene and beating the shit out of little kids in cringe-inducingly creative ways. It doesn’t leave much sympathy for any of the characters and makes every single Asian dude except the protagonist look like scum of the earth. But, I’m willing to overlook alla that cuz, matching  jackets!

There’s also some magnificently cornball lines like, “There’s a storm coming detective, I don’t know of any umbrella that’s gonna keep this city dry. Umbrella-ella-ella.” (Sike. But I wish).

However, there were some bright spots — Kevin Wu aka KevJumba of YouTube fame — surprisingly gave the strongest performance — with a close runner up to his perm-mullet, which deserves its own Oscar nom:

kevhairThe classic ‘do, seen on such folks as Tuan Anh, my uncle, and probably your uncle too. This hairstyle is a national treasure and should be counted amongst the greatest contributions immigrants have made to this country.

Other hair wins go to Leonard Wu as Chen I Chung, who is obviously a dead ringer for Down-Lo Mein from Notorious MSG. Yo D-Lo, bitch stole your look! Also, why aren’t you returning my DMs?!

Don't ask how long it took me to make this.

                                      Don’t even ask how much time I spent making this.

Finally, and most importantly, Harry Shum Jr. didn’t take his shirt off. Even once. I am VERY disappoint. I had to console myself by googling Tony Leung pics.

So, I don’t think ROTGD is a serious contender to dethrone Better Luck Tomorrow by any stretch, but it’s still pretty remarkable in terms of a plot that centers around an Asian American narrative and it’s all-Asian lead cast. Worth checking out for the tats n gats alone.

Trailer Parkin’: Revenge of the Green Dragons

Sometimes AzN and CBruhs spend a whole day’s worth at work emailing each other back and forth about something random until we both realize we should probably just copy/paste and make it into a blog post. This, as you may have guessed, is one of those times. 

AZN: Did you see this? It looks awesome, but just like Revenge of the Nerds, I was wondering where the original film, The Green Dragons is? Never mind, that kinda sounds like a Chinese fast food chain.

CBRUHS: Wow, that movie could be huge; in terms of Asian repping. Like the next Better Luck Tomorrow. Or it could be really bad, but the fact the director is actually Asian gives me hope that the characters will be portrayed with humanity. Like Justin Chon won’t be wearing a bra and a teddy bear glued to his wiener. Or that kid from Glee will take off his shirt.

AZN: It’s gonna take a lot for me to hop back on the HK cinema train. To keep the analogy going, I’ve long since gotten on the plane and landed in Korea and am now firmly affixed at Seoul Station never to set foot back in HK. Was that clear enough?

CBRUHS: Maybe Scorcese exec producing this movie is his way of paying back the favor of ripping off Infernal Affairs? I hope he pays viewers the favor of making Harry Shum Jr. git nekkid.

1360749946_infernal-affairs-2002-33-gAZN: If I was Wai-Keung Lau and Martin Scorsese wins a GD oscar for MY movie idea and forgot to thank the Infernal Affairs team for sourcing him the original material, then the least he can do is EXECUTIVE produce my movie. Executive producing a movie is the equivalent of a “digital introduction” which is right up there with forwarding a PDF to someone in the work world. And did I say “source”? I meant stole cause every Bostonian I know thinks this was a homegrown Boston crime story and no one knows who Wai-Keung Lau is and what Infernal Affairs 1, 2, and definitely 3 are.

CBRUHS: The trailer kinda made me homesick for my old Chinatown neighborhood (altho this took place in Queens) and is serving up a touch of Notorious MSG realness. I’m a sucker for matching jackets, wifebeaters, and manperms. I once asked an ex-banger friend of mine if they were accepting interns. Wish I was playin’ but I’m not.

AZN: If this movie were made in the ’80s I might be a gangster right now. Instead, I had Dustin Nguyen playing a “Japanese” undercover cop. Worst case scenario this might make Asian American gangsters more known in the mainstream which means breaking down Asian American stereotypes right? Hello? Right? Don’t make me come in there looking for your Bank of A-Mattress.

CBRUHS: Affirmative. Here’s where I say something about throwing off the yoke of the Model Minority Myth and the imperative of broadening AAPI media representation. And Harry Shum Jr.’s chesticles.

revenge-of-the-green-dragons-slice-560x186AZN: I’m just super glad Justin Chon is surviving the Twilight series. If he gets an Oscar nom from this he would be getting rewarded, like Anna Kendrick, for recovering from their “Bella’s BFF crew” role for all three (or was it four?) Twilight films. A feat in itself.

CBRUHS: You know what’s also a feat? Mike Chang’s physique. Is his 12-pack — uh, I mean Revenge of the Green Dragons gonna be screening in 4D??

AZN: **ERROR* Undeliverable mail: Your message did not reach some or all of intended recipients and is being returned to sender.**

Happy Holidaze from BCB

I was promised Damon Wayans.

Needs more Wayans

Season’s Greetings! Happy Kwanzaa! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Joyous Festivus! Sing Daan Fai Lok!!

You've in general been a disappointment this year (again) but since you insist on staying single long past your expiration date (mHo! mHo! mHo!), I am obliged to give you some lay see cash.

You’ve in general been a disappointment this year (again) but since you insist on staying single long past your expiration date (mHo! mHo! mHo!) tradition dictates that I give you cold, hard cash.

May you have spike in your nog, a log in your yule, and after 7pm on the 25th — we’ll see you and your cousins at the club!

And for all of you (riffraff) attending SantaCon — or your obligatory company holiday party, may I suggest the following as part of your festive ensemble:

Insert Power first in upper right

Insert Power Fist in upper right

Party time!
Dance, I said. Get on up!

This Xmas Eve I’m looking forward to our yearly tradition of going to my godmother’s and getting tipsy on Andre’s and homemade rum cake, goaded into a James Brown Christmas dance-a-thon (I’m serious, no camcorders this year) and BLACK SANTAS EVERYWHERE all black everything black on black, blacks on blacks on blacks on blaaackkssssEAT IT Megyn Kelly! Black Santas RUN THIS TOWN.

santa-black-album

So on that note, Dear BCB readers, whatever color or creed your Santa or non-denominational holiday archetype may be, have a Soulful Xmas and Funky New Year!

AZNs Rocked this Election!

Happy post-Election, Bitchin readers! And my, what a doozy it was. Binders full o’ women, horses & bayonets, and whatever’s going down the shitter in this country…BLAME CHINA! But that’s a whole ‘nother post…

As the dust settles, what has become abundantly clear is that the pesky old stereotype that APIAs don’t care, don’t vote, and don’t matter when it comes to politics is just that — a played out stereotype that couldn’t be farther from reality:

  • APIAs are the fastest growing electorate. With 1 in 6 living in battleground states, they could well have been the decisive swing vote in Nevada and Virginia.
  • 72% of APIAs voted for Obama (2nd highest percentage after African Americans), and 73% backed Democratic Congressional candidates.
  • Of the 23 APIAs who ran for Congress, 10 of them won. This includes six new Congressional members who made history: Tammy Duckworth — the first Thai American and disabled female veteran elected to Congress and the first Asian American to represent Illinois; Grace Meng, the first Asian American to represent New York in Congress; Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard  the first Hindu American and the first Samoan American in US Congress; and California’s Mark Takano, the first openly gay person of color in Congress.

via 18millionrising.org

Like most other Americans, APIAs are most concerned about the economy, health care, education, and immigrant and civil rights. And (busting through more stereotypes), we lean progressive when it comes to issues on the environment, universal health care, and supporting a path to citizenship for undocumented individuals. Even Vietnamese American voters have trended Democratic; blue support is not mainly driven by South Asian Americans and Chinese Americans any more. Which means there’s even more opportunities to build multiracial alliances with African Americans and Latinos, as our voting and issue preferences have become pretty similar.

As APIAs are both the fastest growing racial group and electorate in the U.S., our elected officials, political parties, pollsters, and other powers that be are gonna hafta RECOGNIZE. Because we are America.

Thanks for the video Samala!

Sources:

18 Million Rising

Asian American Election Eve Poll (AALDEF/CAPACD/Latino Decisions)

New American Leaders Project Election Summary

CNN Exit Poll

Say You Heard My Echo: Kelly Tsai + YaliniDream + Adeeba Rana

BCB pal and spoken word diva Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, with fellow badasses YaliniDream and Adeeba Rana, will be performing the full theater production of Say You Heard My Echo Sept 12-16 in NYC:

What connects a Catholic burlesque dancer who survived the Twin Towers, a Buddhist Iraq war veteran and hip hop emcee who returns home, and a Muslim librarian whose family suffers detention and interrogation?

Say You Heard My Echo explores the lives of three fictional Asian American women in New York City a decade after 9/11. With choral poems, prayers, activist folk songs, and raps, the play weaves together the characters’ struggles with survivorship and faith and their intimate relationships with Mary Magdalene, Guan Yin, and Aisha.

Wed, Sept. 12 at 7 pm

Thurs, Sept. 13 at 7 pm

Fri, Sept. 14 at 7 pm

Sat, Sept. 15 at 2 pm & 7 pm

Sun, Sept. 16 at 2 pm

$18 General / $15 Students. Tickets here; More info here.

A KZYT performance is the truth, y’all. Go see it!