Category Archives: tv

Crash TV Series Trailer

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

I recently came across this trailer for the Crash TV series, based on the Academy Award-winning movie. Can’t say I’m too impressed by this trailer. It just makes me kind of tired. I’ll admit, I’m a little curious. We know that Brian Tee is in the starring cast, and we could always use another interesting, three-dimensional Asian American character on television. Here’s a description of his character, Eddie Choi:

Eddie Choi (Brian Tee)

Eddie immigrated here with his family as a young child and tried to fit in, but ended up running with a Korean gang. He was scared straight after being sentenced to a few months in juvie, and is back on the path to becoming a doctor, but can’t seem to catch a break. As an EMT, he’s doing the right thing, but never fits in with his current or former life.

It’s got some potential, so I’m cool with seeing him in the mix. But if the series’ handling of race, ethnicity and class is anything like the ridiculous, simplistic film it’s based on, I’ll pass. Longtime readers know that I’m definitely not a fan of that movie. The show premieres October 17 on Starz. More about the show here.

Isis’ History Making Debut

by Guest Contributor Monica Roberts, originally published at Transgriot

The highly anticipated debut of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 11 premiered last night on the CW with all eyes on Isis, the show’s first open transgender contestant.

She was featured in the background of a photo shoot in a previous cycle and is a legitimate contestant competing in this one. Y’all know I’m rooting for sis to win.

The fact that Isis is competing became big news to most of the world, but it’s not a surprise to me. Top Model has long had rumors of possible stealth transwomen contestants and they decided to come out of the closet with a secret that fashion industry insiders have long known.

A few of the girls strutting their stuff on the catwalk are transwomen. Continue reading

Planet Green Shows Some Diversity

by Latoya Peterson

The current state of diversity in television is pretty grim. Not too long ago, Entertainment Weekly reported “Cleveland Brown — a cartoon voiced by a white guy — is the only minority character to anchor a new series in 2008-09.

The New York Times TV Decoder blog shared this observation:

He notes that of the 26 men nominated for Emmys for lead or supporting actor in a drama, comedy or mini-series, all are white, most of Anglo-Saxon descent. Five of the 25 female nominees are members of minority groups.

So, when I caught an ad caught my eye describing a new show featuring Suchin Pak, I decided to dig a bit deeper.

Planet Green is a new venture by the Discovery Channel, featuring twenty four hour programming on the environment. SuChin Pak co-hosts G Word with Daniel Seiberg. The show asks you to “forget what you think you know about what being green means and get ready for G Word, an hour-long daily show with six segments designed to give you a whole new way to look at, and love, going green.”

There is also another minority co-host anchoring a show. Rapper Ludacris faces off with rocker Tommy Lee on their show Battleground Earth where they compete against each other in challenges like collecting junk mail and coordinating a green funeral.

Has anyone seen either of these shows? What are your thoughts?

Yellowface Puppet on YouTube

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published on Angry Asian Man

What the hell is this?

Seriously, what is this? This video, and more like it, can be found on this YouTube channel which is apparently part of CBS’s Mobile programming. And there are twelve more videos in this idiotic “Farnfucious” series. I know it’s just a puppet, but damn.

I cannot believe someone would deem this appropriate material to post as part of a major broadcast network’s online content. I actually originally found them on CBS’ main YouTube channel, but they were taken down pretty quickly.

Does it still count as yellowface when you dress up a white puppet character like an old Asian man? That’s got to be a first. It’s ridiculous. Once again, someone thinks racial caricatures mocking Asians are funny. That’s racist! (Thanks, Andrew.)

Samurai Girl premieres

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

Samurai Girl, which we’ve been anticipating for the better part of a year, finally premieres tonight on ABC Family, and runs through the weekend as a three-night “original event.” The network has been hyping the hell out of this thing, with nonstop commercials, a panel at last month’s Comic-Con, and all sorts of crazy stuff on the show’s website (“samurai-ize your desktop”). If the premiere goes well, it’s likely that Samurai Girl will be picked up as a full series.

Well, I have seen the first two hours of the show… and it’s not very good. Okay, everything we’ve seen and heard about the show so far hasn’t been very promising. But I’ll admit, I was secretly hoping the show would pull out some pleasant surprises, rather than falling back on the usual stereotypes. That’s not happening. Samurai Girl is bad, and then really bad.

Based on a series of popular young adult novels, the show stars Jamie Chung as a 19-year-old Japanese girl named Heaven who discovers that the wealthy businessman who adopted her as an infant is really the head of the Yakuza(!) and responsible for murdering her beloved brother. She breaks from her family and begins training to become a samurai, and with the help of a group of new American friends, sets out to take down her father’s evil empire.

I know I’ve said this before, but it’s worthing asking again: why must every other Asian-related Hollywood project involve secret samurais and ninjas and yakuza clans? Not that there’s anything wrong with a good samurai/ninja/yakuza story… but this ain’t it. Continue reading

Apparently, Oprah Can’t Have an Opinion or an Ethic

By Sexual Correspondent Andrea Plaid

“Who does that uppity Negress think she is?

In this election, that insult has been hissed at Michelle Obama because of her “ingratitude” for being allowed to be Black and female in the United States. So, when I heard it (again) these past few days, I thought, “Will all y’all lay off the woman? Day-um!”

This time, the hissers aimed at Oprah Winfrey (again), who supports Mrs. Obama’s husband. And from Guanabee, no less. (Thanks to Racialicious reader Mandy for the tip!) The post:

It’s no secret Oprah Winfrey loves Barack Obama. She’s had him on her show twice since 2005 (before he announced he was running for president) and has publicly endorsed him as her Presidential candidate of choice. Which is obviously why she won’t feature Sarah Palin on her show until after the election.

    I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates. I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.

But during the primaries we noticed that, while Hillary Clinton often led in the polls with women of color, Oprah stuck by her man. So is she just blindly loyal to African Americans? Obviously a lot of people are blinded by Barack Obama, so it’s easy to understand why she would be. But is there more at play here than his charms? What do you guys think?

I’m glad that the Guanabee crew wanted to open it up Winfrey’s decision for a discussion but, to me, there’s no conversation because Winfrey herself said “not now”—you know, that whole “my house, my rules” thing. Winfrey said she’s supporting and endorsing Obama, and she’s sticking with her own…candidate of her own choosing. Furthermore, she’s sticking with the ethics of that decision. This means she’s doesn’t even look like she’s giving her very influential imprimatur to another candidate, whether or not her media brethren and sistren or her own viewers wish to give the others face time, a radio interview, or votes. Also, Winfrey, being the owner and host of her syndicated talk show, is not beholden to the same rules of broadcast journalism, namely to give other political hopefuls “equal time” in the interest of “being objective.” I emphasize: the show’s name is “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” not “NBC News,” “Fox News,” or “National Public Radio.” Continue reading

By the Pound: Racism in the Wrestling Ring

by Special Correspondent Fatemeh Fakhraie

Last night, as I was flipping through the channels, I stopped on the Spike network, which is geared toward a male audience (well, most television is geared toward a male audience, but that’s a different soapbox). Perhaps I should say heavily geared toward a male audience. I mean, between the James Bond marathons, Axe commercials, and ultimate fighting programs, it starts to get a little, uh, over-done. The same way the Lifetime network’s pregnancy test commercials and movies about victimized women start to get ridiculous.*

Anyway, let’s get to the real reason I stopped on this channel. TNA Impact is basically another one of Spike’s wrestling programs, and it was this program that caught my attention. Because there was a woman in a niqab wrestling.

Really!

After digging around online, I found out who she was: her stage name is Raisha Saeed. Saeed’s biography details that she is from Damacus, Syria, and manages another female wrestler, Awesome Kong. Rooting around a little more, I find out that she is not, in fact, Muslim (put on your surprised face!) or Syrian.

Her real name is Melissa Marie Anderson. She usually goes by the stage name of Cheerleader Melissa, and has a very long and impressive wrestling career.

I wasn’t able to figure out why Ms. Anderson, who has two other stage names, would don a niqab, a fakey Arab accent and broken English, and an Arab (-sounding) stage name. Wrestling programs are full of gimmicky personas, and so I’m assuming that’s what this is, too. From the mysterious Arab music that plays when she enters the ring to her MySpace page, it’s one huge (racist) gimmick. Continue reading

Helloooooo, Cho!: Margaret Cho’s new reality show

by Special Correspondent Fatemeh Fakhraie

I finally caught a rerun of The Cho Show, Margaret Cho’s VH1 reality sitcom-y show.

And I really enjoyed it. Not because I like Cho’s comedy. Not because she’s a woman of color on TV (one more for the team!). But because I can identify with her.

How can a twenty-something heterosexual Iranian-American identify with a thirty-something bisexual Korean-American? We’re both misfits.

Cho’s first episode revolves around her struggle with accepting an award from the KoreAm magazine for the Korean of the Year. She says herself that she’s felt a very cool reception from Koreans in the U.S. and feels at odds with the community because of past experiences. “They want me to perform, and they’re gonna hate me. I don’t play golf, and I’m not a good Korean that way,” Cho tells her parents about her nervousness regarding the award. She states that her biggest fear is “bombing in front of a room full of Koreans,” highlighting perhaps a desire to be accepted by her community for who she is at the same time that she expresses her anger over the lack of acceptance they’ve given her in the past. Continue reading