Coming Attractions: K-Town

By Arturo R. García

Yesterday Channel APA revealed the roster for the debut of K-town, a reality show that, as you can see, will be unique in casting, if not tone: this bunch of presumably, uh, rambunctious young people is exclusively Asian-American.

From left to right, that’s Young Lee, Jennifer Field, Joe Cha, Scarlet Chan, Violet Kim, Peter Le, Steve Kim, and Jasmine Chang up top. According to APA, the show’s premiere was filmed at three Koreatown-area bars in Los Angeles, and based on some preview images, hilarity might indeed ensue.

The group even appears to have its’ own potential Situation in Mr. Le, though, thankfully, his casting call interview makes him sound a lot more sensible than his Jersey counterpart.

Le’s mention of “drinking, temper issues, smoking” is probably a reference to some questions that were, as KoreAm’s David Yi reported, part of the cast application:

(8) Are there any nude or other revealing or compromising images of you that are available publicly either through the Internet, video or otherwise? If so, please describe and explain.

(13) Do you drink alcohol? If so, how often do you drink and how much? How do you act when drunk?

(17) Do you have a temper? How often do you lose your temper? What provokes you? How do you deal with anger?

(18) How many fights have you been in? When was the last time (if any) you hit, punched, kicked, or threw something in anger? Please provide details.

(23) How often do you frequent these types of establishments in Koreatown? (i.e. Restaurants, Bars, Night Clubs, Karaoke Rooms, Hostess Bars…)

(25) Have you experienced “booking” at a Korean night club? What are your thoughts on this practice?

No word yet on where or when Ktown might air, but based on these images, you can understand the concerns expressed by Yi’s colleague, Haewon Asfaw, in the wake of being told by producer Eugene Choi, “With any ethnic/racial group, people sometimes just want only ‘rosy’ images featured.”

The potential wide-scale exposure of a historically underrepresented and misrepresented racial group is both exciting and nerve-racking. It could show the public just how human and varied members of Asian/Korean America are, or it could simply replace the model minority stereotype with another: the spoiled brats and hoodlums who karaoke, drink and brawl in the streets of K-town.

I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned.