As a double minority working in the film industry, I am hyper-aware of how people of different ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, etc. are portrayed in the media. I, like many others, were reluctant to watch this show because I thought perhaps the portrayal of Asian Americans might bring the community back a decade or two, but after watching this show, I was pleasantly surprised and I definitely feel the presence of the show on network TV is bringing us forward. I’m not even kidding, this show has a silly Parks & Rec-like humor.
I’m Korean and I grew up in the Seattle area during the 90s. I’ve seen little clues firsthand that hint at how society has progressed since—for example, everyone assumes English is my first language whereas when I was a kid, people weren’t sure and asked “Do you speak English?” or spoke very slowly. This show points out some true racial micro-aggressions and it’s frustratingly relatable and hilarious.
And about the Asian stereotypes, it’s done in a light-hearted, poking-fun sort of way. Stereotypes like Asian parents are stingy with their money and strict with their kids exist for a reason. Leaving your home country and emigrating to a foreign place in search for a better and more stable life is a good reason to be mindful of your bank account and to pressure your children to continue a stable path. To deny the existence of these stereotypes would be to deny the struggle of our parents’ generation and the Asian American experience of that era in general. Don’t boycott the show if you haven’t seen it! Watch it on Hulu or on TV and you might like it and want to support it so we have a bigger voice and presence in the media.
Lastly, I really need this show to get picked up for more seasons now that Parks & Rec is over. Reblog/share this post/spread the word if you agree!