Selfie and the Asian problem


Following on from the previous media post as a result of my manager taking a holiday (hah), today we look at an American adaptation of My Fair Lady that didn’t quite take off from the ground, which is disappointing in more ways than one.

First of all, the series features none other than Karen Gillan, now of Doctor Who fame. But she is determined to make a name for herself out there beyond those already stunning credentials. Starring in Guardians of the Galaxy where she shaved her head, she has back her long, stunning red locks (I’m not entirely sure how) and is equiped with a new ‘American’ accent. The acting, or what I have seen so far, is funny and well paced.

But that’s not the only reason it’s a shame. As explored here on Salon, this would have been one of the most promising interracial couples on TV - of course that’s just speculation, but the sexual chemistry is hard to miss.

I never noticed it before, but Asial Male TV characters don’t “get much action” it seems - their words, not mine. While the numbers of Asian characters on TV have risen, they still fall prey to a racial stereotype.

For the very first time ever, an Asian-American male is headlining a comedy, courtesy of John Cho and Selfie. Cho is acutely aware of how big of a deal this is, saying, “I would call this revolutionary. It’s certainly revolutionary for me.”

John Cho understands this, his character is a high-powered, successful businessman rather than a “tongue-tied, conniving eunuch”. Of course Asians have long been playing high-powered, successful businessmen in their own media since the beginning of…. well, Chinese Media. Just because the Chinese were once a minority and had to be careful to bow down to the superpowers doesn’t mean they’re all a sniveling bunch - but clearly we still haven’t invaded Hollywood enough to make a dent.

Regardless I’d like to see more of John Cho in the future. He has charisma and was a mean Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek Reboot, whipping out a katana like nobody’s business. Sulu’s not even a Japanese name; but John isn’t Japanese either, he’s Korean!