Nickelodeon Radio: 6 Shows We Want To Hear

October 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

Now that Nickelodeon is getting into the radio business in its new venture (Nick Radio) with iHeartRadio, we have a list of potential programs we’d love to hear from the TV network. When you consider the great trove of characters that have appeared on Nickelodeon, the possibilities are endless. Below are just a few we’d request. Nick executives, make it so!

A Spongebob Home Companion

A Spongebob Home Companion: The beloved porous rectangle performs covers of popular songs with the crew (Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Krabs and co.) providing supporting voices and instrumentals. Squidward gets to play clarinet to his heart’s content.

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Catching A Taping: The Daily Show

June 8, 2013 § 1 Comment

Upon returning to New York from a 3-week hiatus to the Midwest, I had a week and a half to kill before my summer internship started: It was the perfect time to take in all the free entertainment the city had to offer.

Daily Show Line

First up was The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. My cousin Han had gone the previous month and told me all about the multi-step process:

1. Reserve tickets online (there are extra ones listed all the time here);  this doesn’t guarantee entry, only the chance to pick up a physical ticket.
2. On the day of, line up outside the building (all the way on 11th Ave. and 51st St.) to get your actual ticket. They start handing them out at 2:30PM, but you should really get there by 1 if you want to ensure you’ll get in.
3. Once you get your ticket, they’ll tell you to come back at 4:30 for the actual taping. (Proceed to wander around Midtown West, where there is nothing to do and little public transportation other than…horse-drawn carriages.)
4. Return at the proper time — at this point, everybody has numbered tickets according to the previous line, so there’s no point in coming back any earlier — and line up in numerical order to file inside.

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A Dollop Of Drama, A Ladle Of Laughs

January 28, 2013 § 1 Comment

I watch so many shows that whenever someone asks me what I watch, I often don’t even know where to start. Thus, I’ve decided to compile a master list and share my thoughts on each one. A summary of my tastes: I dislike most sitcoms (laugh tracks, ugh, plus the same sets over and over again, boooring), and I prefer beautiful people (OK so I’m shallow, but it’s entertainment, so I’m allowed, right??). Also, I’m not really into reality TV, and I’ve never watched an Asian drama other than 还珠格格. Gimme all the American dramedies!!

I have yet to meet someone with mostly similar tastes — my friends are almost all ardent fans of either Glee, HIMYM or The Office/Community/Parks & Rec, hugely popular shows that I have absolutely zero interest in. Are you my TV-watching soul mate? Read on and find out…

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Chin Chen Chins Chens

March 1, 2011 § 3 Comments

Last October, news of a brand new Asian-American sitcom stirred the interest of the APIA community. This show, called The Chin Chens, has finally released a trailer:

[The video has since been “removed by the user ” & replaced with this.]

Extended trailer has been discovered by Angry Asian Man:

The plot revolves around a Chinese father and Vietnamese mother who live with their three children and grandmother. The Chin Chens was created by Will Hollins, CEO of the Atlanta-based Bright Ideas Entertainment company.

Angry Asian Man has already deemed the trailer “unfortunate” and “just not funny.” I have mixed feelings.

On one hand, I applaud Hollins for his endeavor. We all know that American TV could use more Asian-Americans. The most prominent sitcom featuring Asian Americans was the 1994 All-American Girl, and more recently, NBC’s Outsourced. The actors in the Chin Chens seem like genuinely likable people, and I want to root for this small show with a small budget to succeed.

Yet, there are quite a few unavoidable things wrong with this production, starting with the name of the show. The alliteration of “Chin Chens” bears a remarkable similarity to “ching chong,” which hits home for anybody who has been mocked by this derogatory phrase. I’m not saying that the resemblance is deliberate, but it certainly makes it easy for ignorant people to mistake one for the other.

“I felt the Asian community didn’t have a proper voice on broadcast television,” Hollins said back in October. His cause is noble, but I’m not convinced that the execution is quite right. If you look on the Bright Ideas Entertainment website, this is the description of the show, which appears to be in need of an update:

Both Will Hollins and Lady Gaga need to learn that “Orient” and “Oriental” are considered outdated and offensive terms. It makes me worry because it demonstrates a lack of knowledge and sensibility to the contemporary APIA identity. We are no longer content to lie under the weight of stale stereotypes or false representation.

My concern that the writers of the Chin Chens might not be in contact with a comprehensive group of real Asian Americans who care about the characters being presented as well-rounded people who are funny on their own without having to draw on clichés such as “my teenage daughter is a terrible driver” or “grandma hates your ‘hippity-hoppity’ music.”

At this point, it seems that the Chin Chens is pandering to a non-Asian audience who will understand Asian Americans no better after watching the show. I urge the producers to reevaluate. Yes, profit is important, but if Hollins is truly concerned about the Asian community having a “proper voice,” he should portray them as more than one-dimensional personalities.

It’s possible for a show like this to be outstanding. A look at the immensely popular community of Asian Americans on Youtube is enough to prove that we can create and star in entertainment of good quality. I still have hope for the Chin Chens. After all, it can’t be worse than the K-Town reality show, right?

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