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?

Lieutenant Sulu’s Log, Stardate 020809: John Cho is Up to Big Things

Long time readers will know that this blog has pretty much been, in many posts, a shrine dedicated to the life and career of the greatest thespian to ever graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. You can read more of the love here. But this post isn’t about how great John Cho is, it is strictly focused on how BUSY he is. First he gets picked up on NBC’s new Matthew Perry comedy created by some Friends producers. Here’s a spoiler: He’s Matthew Perry’s boss. And the young Chris Rock kid from Everybody Hates Chris is in it.

Oh wait, there’s more? John Cho is also in a new Jason Bateman film called Identity Thief, along with Melissa McCarthy, my-ex-wife Amanda Peet and my future wife Genesis Rodriguez.

And of course there’s the Total Recall remake where John Cho plays the guy that hooks Colin Farrell up with a mind-meld trip to Mars. He stars along another ex of mine, the always beautiful (and 1/4 Burmese) Kate Beckinsale.

OH WAIT THERE’S MORE? Yes, an animated Harold and Kumar series on Adult Swim voiced by the great John Cho and my favorite mid-level staff member of the Obama Cabinet, Kal Penn. The untitled series will most likely be the same as the movies and be equally as awesome. Readers, tell me again what other cartoons on tv right now have Indian and Korean characters on screen and tell me how many of them are treated as regular red-blooded Americans with no accents and no jobs at a quickie mart.

AND OF COURSE THERE’S A LITTLE INDIE PROJECT CALLED STAR TREK. J.J. Abrams and co are shooting it right now. May 17, 2013. Mark your calendars, dry clean your uniform, polish your pips, and wait in line starting now.

CAPE Soiree: Two Sulus!!!

Tonight! Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), a nonprofit diversity org whose mission is to advance diversity and cross-cultural awareness in entertainment, will be holding its glamorous, star-studded 2010 Soiree in Los Angeles.

With celebs like Amy Hill, Carrie Ann Inaba, Aaron Yoo, Ken Jeong (honoree), and many more folks you’ve probably slobbered over on google images and wished you were half as witty and attractive as.

And — GET THIS! — there will be not one, but TWO SULUS at the Soiree! That’s right, John Cho AND the legendary George Takei will be there. How is so much awesomeness possible?! Will a wrinkle in time form or a wormhole or some shit if they’re in a room at the same time?!? Go find out for yourself, and get ready to get your tractor beams blown. More info here.

December 2nd

6:30 to 11 pm

The Vibiana

214 S. Main St, Los Angeles

Blacktie Optional/Cocktail

$75-95; tickets here

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BCB Holiday Wish List

Holidaze are just around the corner, and that means, in keeping with blog tradition, and because no one asked for it, we present our BCB wish list, for all your gifting and re-gifting needs! By reading this, you also agree to the terms that you are morally obligated to make good on any one of these items should you ever meet us. Gimme!

1. Asian Male Calendars
Hotcha! This coming year, there’s even more foxylicious calendars to choose from: The Asian Men Redefined and the Asian Pacific Male calendars. And even better! Your shameless lustfuless will go towards a good cause. Asian Men Redefined will donate a portion of proceeds to the API Wellness Center — the oldest and largest nonprofit in North America focusing on sexual health and HIV/AIDS in A&PI communities. The APM Calendar (which features Yul Kwon) will give 100% of the production profits to the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture, a non-profit community health center that provides low cost medicine to the working poor and uninsured in over ten languages. Purchase APM here and Asian Men Redefined here. Dayum, if Mr. March were a president he’d be Baberaham Lincoln.

2. Red Cliff DVD (4 hour version)

Sweet Jesus how CBruhs loves her some epic period pieces. The ponytails, the swordfights, the capes — the glamour!! And Little Tony. Ooh! and Takeshi Kaneshiro. And looong movies that serve as a diversion from this pitiful, dreary existence. The longer the better. Released in the US this year, Red Cliff was only 2.5 hours long, while the original Asia release (and the most expensive Asian-financed film to date) is over four hours of unabridged glory. So someone better call up they uncle in HK or go down to Canal and Centre and score one from the dvdvdvdvdvdvdvd ladies. Plus it’s directed by John “Hard Boiled” Woo, and…do you really need another reason?

3. Sound Kapital: Beijing’s Music Underground


Du Wei of Overdose

Put this one on your list for that emo cousin obsessed with derivative, formulaic, crap white boy angst bands. Published by Brooklyn’s powerHouse Books and photographed by Matthew Niederhauser, Sound Kapital captures the innovative musical underground of Beijing. From hardcore to glam to bagpipe-accented punk, this counterculture often expresses dissatisfaction — and sometimes downright antagonism — with the rapidly shifting urban environment and the government. The pics of these individuals and bands are riveting, raw, refreshing, and each and every one of them looks like a complete badass. Comes with an amazing mix CD of the bands featured in the book, like Queen Sea Big Shark (who recently went on a US tour), Subs, and Carsick Cars. Listening to these bands feels like listening to rock in the mid-’90s. The tracks are earnest, innovative, unfiltered — and, far from a mere imitation of western styles — distinctly original. Buy here.

Not only can you read some of Alpha’s best posts from back in the day, but a portion of the proceeds benefit one of the following non-profits of your choosing:
5. Sulu Star Trek Action Figure
Cause who the heck DOESN’T want a fully posable, miniature John Cho? You can stuff his face with burgers, you can make him smoke from a mini pipe, you can have other Asian action figures murder him in a Barbie Malibu Fullerton Dream House, or you can have him make out with a Black Barbie doll. The point is, you can have John Cho all to yourself this Christmas. Just don’t dress him up like a chef.

6. Star Wars x Adidas Collabo

What Luke wore while flying low through the Death Star in his X-Wing and a Darth Vader Hoodie (just add mask).

As if AZN needed more Star Wars gear in his closet, Adidas decides to do a collabo with Star Wars. There’s a line of shoes inspired by AT-AT’s, Yoda, Stormtroopers and Darth Vader. Apparel to match as well. Sneaka freaks and Star Wars geeks alike, check out all the picts at sneakerfreaks.com. Thanks ePanda!

John Cho in ABC’s FlashForward

This really is strange. No joke, but I, for some strange reason, always had this idea for a movie starring Joseph Fiennes as a British Secret Service agent being sent to Hong Kong and working with Chow Yun Fat during the 1997 turnover. It was going to be a serious action movie. So when I heard from JipShady, esq that John Cho was going to be in a new show, I went damn. And when I found out it was a cop show opposite Joseph Fiennes, I shat in my pants.

And when I found out Gabrielle Union was going to play John Cho’s love interest in the show?

buddytv_dead_3576_flash_forward_zoey_demetri

Are you kidding me? I needed adult diapers. AND I need to complete that long unfinished blog post I’ve had in my head about Asian guys and African American chicks…

To All My Bored (and cheap) Asian Brothas and Sistahs

At home on an inordinately gloomy and rainy New York Sunday? Order some delivery food, open a bottle of wine, go to Hulu.com and check out Sandra Oh playing a single mom raising a daughter who’s getting into Chinese magical luck charms in what appears to be a Chinese Canadian community in Vancouver, B.C:

Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Oh, you want something lighthearted and doesn’t involve working class Chinese folks played by the “oh no you didn’t just pour soy sauce on my ish” lady from Joy Luck Club or the creepy Chinese dude with way too much botox and hair plugs from Alias, Kiss of the Dragon, and the Corruptor? Then see John Cho as Teddy Wong, the Chinese seafood specialist, in 10 episodes of the short lived comedy: Kitchen Confidential.

Click on the lobster to see all Kitchen Confidential episodes.

Click on the lobster to see all Kitchen Confidential episodes.

Both the movie (Sandra Oh works at a dim sum joint) and the show (John Cho gets lured to work in a new restaurant because he’s offered visas for all his chinese chefs) have their faults. But they have their moments.

Asian Americans Love College

You ever look up a famous Asian American actor or actress on IMDB.com? They always went to college. Always. It’s like their parents all made a deal with them in high school:

 

What? You want to acting? What you go do acting for? I don’t have time to see you in school play, how I know you do acting? Ok. You make papa happy. Ok? You go to college, I pay for. Study biology or accounting. Act on weekend. If you still like, ok. You do acting. But only after medical school. Or bar exam. 

 

Check out this list. Its like a 95% college matriculation rate among Asian American actors! Considering guys like Ryan Reynolds (Kwantlen College) and Brad Pitt (Univ. of Missouri) went to college, but never graduated, there’s a significant gap between Asian and White actors:  

 

John Cho: UC Berkeley
Kal Penn: UCLA (currently also teaching at UPenn)
Roger Fan: Brown
BD Wong: SF State
Aaron Yoo: UPenn
Ming Na Wen: Carnegie Mellon
Masi Oka: Brown
Garrett Wang: UCLA
Rick Yune: UPenn

(Asians really love UPenn, Brown and UC schools don’t they?)

 

I think a lot of this has to do with the success rate of Asian American actors. None of them are stupid enough to think they can drop out of high school or college, take the cliched “bus to Hollywood” and find an agent and get booked in a movie all in one week. They know its gonna be tough, and long, and most likely unsuccessful. So they act. On the side. On the weekends, at night. Take drama classes. And finish their degrees. Cause deep down inside they know Hollywood doesn’t give a Fuck if they went to an Ivy League school, as long as their eyes are slanted and skin yellow, they will most likely lose roles to some hot, white, high school dropout actor.