PHEW: Fresh Off the Boat Might Actually Be Good and Not Offend Us All

Just when I thought the ABC adaptation of Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat autobiography (BCB Book Review HERE) could end up as the next All American Girl… Surprise, surprise, we get a respectable Asian American version of Chris Rock’s Everybody Hates Chris. Set in the 90s in Orlando just like the book (PLEASE GOD DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT FROM THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY) and starring a kid who might be a bit too skinny to be a young Eddie Huang, F.O.B. looks like one of those shows that’ll make you think you’re laughing at Asian folks, when in fact you’re laughing at Asian folks making fun of white people. The line between funny or racist is a dangerous and ambiguous one (see any NBC sitcome vs any CBS sitcom), and I don’t always condone Asian American actors doing really really really really bad fake Taiwanese accents, but this shit was based on the life and times of the great Eddie Huang, so calm down folks, and YES I know those are terrible Taiwanese accents. And if anything, they should have learned how to do some real Taiwanese accents, maybe not view a creepy Youtube tutorial on how to do a Taiwanese accent, but maybe learn from a vocal coach or something. (By the way, if you’re Asian American and your parents don’t have accents, you’re probably not reading BCB anyway. YEA I SAID IT.)

It really is going to be glorious watching Eddie rocking the 90s Orlando Magic Starter jackets and rolling around with a Walkman full of Wu-Tang. And the fact that its set in the 90s alone is going to make this show the beast that I know it can be. At a time where the one-camera, well-written, witty comedy is king, this show has the chance to go far. PLUS extra props for picking the hilarious Gov. Danny Chung from VEEP to be the dad and the super hot Constance Wu who’s role as an Asian American mom trying to fit in with the Real Housewives of Orlando could be a sitcom in itself. Here’s hoping for future-past flash forwards with Eddie Huang cameos cause a narration might not be enough. And I’m esp looking forward the very special episode: waiting in line at Foot Locker for Jordans episode.

EXTRA EXTRA: NEW FALL LINE UP MEANS JOHN CHO IS BACK FOR A NEW PILOT:

Yes this looks really bad. And what the F is up with Asian American actors on TV being forced to have Anglo names? Does John Cho look like a Henry Higgins? Does Lucy Lu have to be JOAN Watson in Elementary? Couldn’t she be Watson Chen? Wouldn’t that be more realistic?

Hyphen Sex Issue Release Party in SF: Get Your Yellow Perils in Person!

Yellow Peril is proud to be featured in the latest issue of hyphen and a co-sponsor of the pj soirée release party. Come cop our goodies this Friday in person! We will be tabling and selling both models of the Yellow Peril! Get it while it lasts…

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Birds do it. Bees do it. Spend a special night with Hyphen in celebration of the new Hyphen Issue 27: The Sex Issue. Put on your best grown-and-sexy sleepwear for an evening of seduction. Enjoy a raffle with sexy goodies, a game of mingle-bingo, a drag show, a costume contest with prizes, live music to get you in the mood, sexy cocktails, dancing, and more! Sound enticing? Buy your tickets now:http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/event/2013/08/issue-27-release-party-hyphen-pj-soiree

Time & Date:
Friday, September 13 | 8:30pm – 1:30am

Where:
Fame l 435 Broadway St., San Francisco
21+

Tickets:
$20 General Admission
$30 VIP (Includes special reception at 7:45pm with cocktails and appetizers)

Hosted By:
Terry Park
Ryan Takemiya

Performers:
Largesse – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Largesse/133438053348419
Rice Rockettes – https://www.facebook.com/ricerockettes
Irene Tu – http://irenetu.com/

And…
Guest Speaker Kevin Leu, Creator of SiliconValleyBachelor.com and Author of ‘Berating Others on Your Way to a Lifetime of Happiness; That, and Dating around the World’ will be speaking at 8:15pm!

DJs:
DJ VNA
SAMALA – https://www.facebook.com/iheart90shttp://18mr.org/

Huge THANKS to Our In-Kind Donors:
ACCESS
Armory Studios
Atomic Allure
babsbabsbabs
Bi-Rite Creamery
Double Dutch Sweets
Good Vibrations
Hot Cookie San Francisco
Kearny Street Workshop
Le Petit Paquet – www.lepetitpaquet.com
Mash Production
Retrofit Republic
Rock Hard
The Stitch l The Mighty Cockblock
Trader Joe’s
Ukulenny
Yellow Peril by ChimCo

And to our community sponsors:

Angry Asian Man
API Equality Northern California
Asianweek
Chinese for Affirmative Action
Disoriented Comedy
Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA)
Nakayoshi Young Professional
RAMA
San Francisco Chronicle
– See more at: http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/event/2013/08/issue-27-release-party-hyphen-pj-soiree#sthash.yBZ2gJOt.dpuf

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Can’t make it? Donate to Hyphen magazine! All donations go to the production of the magazine and fun parties like this one!
http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/donate

Preview Issue 27: The Sex Issue here: http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/magazine/issue-27-sex-summer-2013

The Problem of Gravity: Worldwide Release

Cute new film from Trever Zhou reminds me of the first time I ever wore a Superman outfit and jumped off my couch. Also reminds me of [spoiler alert!] the time my parents used to wrap up the remote controller with plastic. Which was like 2 years ago actually.

DREAMers Finally Get Relief

Last Friday, in a historic announcement, President Obama used his executive power to do something young immigrant activists have been tirelessly organizing around for years: grant relief to DREAMers.

Meaning that certain undocumented young people will have a two-year period free from fear of deportation, and be allowed to work. This executive initiative applies to: those who arrived in the U.S. when they were under 16 and are currently not over 30, are in school, graduated from high school, or are military veterans, have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years, and haven’t been convicted of a crime.

The significance of this cannot be overstated. During the announcement, I was lucky enough to be at an immigration conference and in the company of DREAMers and activists who fought in the trenches to strengthen the undocumented youth movement.

DREAMers react to the news. “It’s not about immigrant justice, it’s about social justice” – Juan, DREAMer.

There were a lot of tears, celebrating…and questions, for there are many important things this action doesn’t address.

The initiative does not guarantee a path to citizenship —  it is, as Obama himself said: “a temporary stopgap measure”. To create a path to legal permanent residence (and eventually, citizenship), we still need to pass DREAM legislation…a bill that Obama has pledged to sign, and which was blocked by Senate Republicans in 2010.

This relief also leaves many individuals out….like Jose Antonio Vargas, a gay Filipino Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who “came out” as undocumented in last year’s New York Times — and a major galvanizing force in the undocumented movement. Vargas is on the current cover of TIME Magazine for its daring (for mainstream media) article. He is also 31 years old.

While many still think of immigration — and “illegal” immigration in particular — as a Latino or Mexican issue, the truth is that undocumented migrants deeply affect our APIA communities:  they are part of us. About 10% of DREAMers are API, and they make up an estimated 45% of the undocumented student population in the University of California system alone (check out these excellent Hyphen articles by Momo Chang here and here).

So while APIs have often been left out of the mainstream immigration narrative, we need to double down to make our voices heard. Not only to advocate for our own communities, but to support our undocumented sisters and brothers regardless of race, ethnicity, sexuality, or any other characteristics that are manipulated to make us into the “Other” and exclude us from fully participating in a democracy we’ve fought to contribute to. Because that is the only way we will win. And when DREAMers win, so does America.

2012 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

2012 LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS

Southern California’s Largest Asian Film Festival Runs May 10 – 20, 2012, Will Present 188 Films From Over 20 Countries Featuring World Premieres, Sneak Previews; Showcasing Documentaries and Narratives Focusing on the Voices of Asian Americans and Asian Peoples from Around the World.

MAY 10 – 20, 2012
28th LOS ANGELES ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL
A VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS PRODUCTION
www.vconline.org/festival

Stop Bad Hollywood Films Before They Are Conceived

I guess there’s something called The Black List? It rates all the best scripts just optioned by studios to be green lit into Hollywood shit movies.  Why am I talking about this? Cause I think Asian America wasn’t able to react to the Last Samurais and Avatars fast enough to kill the eggs before the chicken hatched (or is it the other way around??). So I propose we start with the scripts! Right when they’re bought by the major Hollywood studios and churned into The Hangover 2. Where to begin… in no particular order, from the 2011 Black List of scripts coming to a big screen near you:

“The Outsider” by Andrew Baldwin

In post-World War II Japan, an American former prisoner of war rises in the yakuza.

(Agency: Creative Artists Agency — Jay Baker, John Garvey, Manager: Anonymous Content — Bard Dorros, David Kanter, Producers: Linson Entertainment for Warner Bros.)

Seriously? Is this going to happen? First it was Dances with Wolves, then it was Last Samurai and then Avatar. And now this? When will Hollywood stop with A-White-Guy-can-do-anything-a-person-of-color-can-do-better story line. I get it. The White man can kill ninjas and mate with their tails better than a yellow/brown/blue person can. But seriously? A P.O.W. becomes a Yakuza? Its even hard for a JAPANESE person to get into the Yakuza. You think the “American” former prisoner is going to be an ABC or a Filipino guy? HELL NO. He’ll be Ryan Gosling. PLUS, I guess this movie has already been made with that dude from The Road.

“Bad Words” by Andrew Dodge

The bastard child of the organizer of the national spelling bee gets his revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win the bee as an adult, only to find friendship in a young Indian contestant.

(Agency: UTA — Carolyn Sivitz, Manager: Fourth Floor Productions — Jeff Silver, Producers: MXN and Darko Productions)

Can we see our South Asian folks as anything other than spelling bee champs or telecom workers from Outsourced or Outsourced (and how did they make a show AND a movie with the same title and same plot?!). There’s no way this can be better than Rocket Science. Only more racist. Don’t try it. UNLESS the lead character is Chinese or Pakistani. But then Middle American heads will exploded.

“Home by Christmas — Bob Hope in Korea” by Ben Schwartz

Young Larry Gelbart goes on tour with his idol Bob Hope in the middle of the Korean War and learns the true price of heroism.

(Agency: The Nethercott Agency — Gayla Nethercott, Producer: Jon Shestack Productions)

I just want to be an extra in this movie cause somewhere in the San Gabriel Mountains or Temecula will be used as a stand-in for Korea and I want to be there with a bunch of KAs from LA in war uniforms going through bootcamp. Who am I kidding, they’ll be using Filipino and Vietnamese extras too. Watch out for Ryan Gosling in make-up as Bob Hope. Or he can play Larry Gelbert. Or a Korean drill sergeant. Or anything he damn well pleases to play!

“Django Unchained” by Quentin Tarantino

A freed slave named Django is trained as a bounty hunter by a German dentist named Schultz, and the two men set out to find Django’s enslaved wife.

(Agency: WME — Mike Simpson, Producers: Weinstein Co. producing for a co-release between Weinstein and Sony Pictures)

If there’s two things I’ve learned from Quentin Tarantino from everything he’s done lately, its that he likes to exploit Black folks (its OK cause there’s a cool film noir word for these types of movies: Blaxploitation) and he likes killing Germans on screen. As long as he stays away from David Carradine as a karate master and Lucy Liu as a Japanese geisha/ninja, I’m cool with it. Sorry everyone else! Every race of itself!

I’m such a hater. I know. So what movies AM I looking forward to? Peep the following movies. I purposely didn’t include ALL the zombie movies I wanna see cause that’s a whole other post and would be a never-ending blog post.

“Maggie” by John Scott 3

As a “walking dead” virus spreads across the country, a farm family helps their eldest daughter come to terms with her infection as she slowly becomes a flesh-eating zombie.

(Agency: Creative Artists Agency: Billy Hawkins, Dan Rabinow, Manager: Trevor Kaufman, Producer: Pierre-Ange Le Pogam)

One word: Zombies. They’re the new hipster rom-dramedy.

“Flarsky” by Daniel Sterling

A political journalist courts his old babysitter, who is now the secretary of State.

(Agency: UTA — Julien Thuan, Producers: Point Grey Pictures)

What? I just wanna see this cause in 13 words the writer set up a crazy ass plot. Peep Ryan Gosling as the political journalist. With Ashley Judd as the Secretary of State. Or the other way around if you apply the right make-up.

So what have we learned from all this? Hollywood is racist and Ryan Gosling can play anyone anywhere. If he puts his mind into it.