The Fairy Princess eagerly awaited “Up-fronts’ this year like a small child whose dreams of sitting on the lap of a costumed man of girth had not yet been dashed by the commercialization of the holiday in question.
And, unlike when someone wanted a BB gun….
She got what she has wanted for every major holiday and wish upon a star for a long time….
The Fairy Princess heard tell of 4 new shows with Asian Americans featured prominently and thus, she did NOT want to shoot her eye out – which is usually how she feels after hearing what got picked up at the Up-fronts.
How many IS that Feist?
Let’s, for the heck of is, just list them:
Set in Washington, DC – unlike other shows set in that fair city, this one has a diverse cast that does include Asian Americans like Actor, Geoffrey Arend – who was so great in Body of Proof. Also in the cast, Yale Grad, Mozhan Marno, CMU Grad & TONY Winner Patina Miller, and of course, from the Musical Theater, Mr. Erich Bergen, who is also going to be appearing in the feature film directed by Clint Eastwood, Jersey Boys coming out in June.
The cast in exceptionally diverse in gender & ethnicity & most likely, sexual preference (because why would they leave that out?), and The Fairy Princess looks forward to this show. It seems smart, quick, and topical, and when looking at the bios of the cast on IMDB, quite a few are fluent in several languages, and that can only add to the portrayal of a dynamic White House with a Madame Secretary of State.
The Fairy Princess likes this trailer for several reasons –
1. it takes it’s concept from Pygmalian by George Bernard Shaw.
2. It looks like it is going to examine our current obsession with all things superficial
3. Stars John Cho as the Romantic Lead. Yeah, I said it – ROMANTIC LEAD. JOHN CHO. ROMANTIC.
GET INTO IT.
Fingers crossed for you, Mr. Cho – I hope the show knocks it out of the park.
The Fairy Princess is going to like this show – it is going to scare the s##t out of her, because it will remind her of friends who have gone through this problem, and it will remind her of when someone did not like her blog and threatened to hurt not only her, but her kid….but she will watch this show, for sure.
The Fairy Princess is particularly partial to Hapa Actresses whose surnames end in Q.
(You may have heard that before….)
And finally….drumroll please…
Fresh Off The Boat
Now Fresh Off The Boat, is the story of a little guy named Eddie who grows up to be this guy:
Celebrity Chef, Eddie Huang. It’s based on a book that he wrote, and it is, for all intents and purposes, his ‘brand’.
The term Fresh off The Boat is giving some in the Asian American Community agita, and here’s why – because we, Asian Americans, use it amongst ourselves to denigrate one another.
We totally do.
We do. Not anyone else. We, us.
It is a term used to separate ‘cool’ Asian Americans, with an emphasis on American, from those who were freshly arrived immigrants who probably had accents, and perhaps lacked some fashion sense, according to American Asians. We are very judgy, Asian Americans – no wonder we suffer from depression – right, Kristina Wong?
So now, APIs who have been gleefully disdaining one another for YEARS, are worried that “White People” are going to hear the term, “Fresh Off The Boat’ or “FOB” (sometimes said, fob, as in watch fob and not just the initials), and they are going to add it to the pantheon of insults to call Asian Americans as they walk harmlessly down the street.
It should be acknowledged that ABC Network wanted to change the name of the show to “Far East Orlando”, but no one liked that title either – particularly not Chef Huang, and he lobbied fiercely to get it changed back to match his title and his brand.
The Fairy Princess is not disavowing that racism happens – she could not possibly when she herself has harmlessly walked down the street and been called all sorts of racial names by ignorant people driving by safely in cars, or heard what was yelled from a school bus while she rode her bike to school, or even, just you know, well, for example this is a conversation she actually had, but it is repeated at least twice a week, somewhere in her week:
ME: Bagel and Coffee Please
COUNTER GUY: Where are you from?
ME: New York.
COUNTER GUY: No, where were you born?
COUNTER GUY: NO, I mean, where is your Family from?
Never got that bagel and coffee. A bit of Hapa Humor – because what he really wanted to hear was China…or Japan…or Korea…or some other Asian country that he would then be able to tell me he either wanted to visit, was once stationed there during a war, or perhaps, he wanted to tell me to go back to there.
These are all things I have heard throughout my lifetime. And worse. Much, much worse.
The Fairy Princess gets that APIs are concerned about the title – but growing up in New York, she can assure you of one thing – we all borrow from other languages to express ourselves, capice?
Even if FOB makes it into the vernacular – is it really worse than ‘Chink‘? Or “Jap“? Or “Gook“? Or “Slant“? Or “Hey, Love You Long Time“? Or “Bitch“?
Or any combination of those with added slanderous words concerning my perceived place of origin, my Parents, or my very existence, is it?
Given those variables, The Fairy Princess would relish simply being called a FOB. Because she has been called all those other things throughout her life – being a Viking explorer would not actually be that insulting.
So I’m newly arrived? So what?
Is that, in a nation of Immigrants, really a big deal? That one arrived by boat? Shouldn’t one be glad that someone in his or her family took a giant leap of faith and left everything they knew, in order that we, Asian Americans might wallow in hypersensitivity and yell about titles of television shows that have not even aired yet?
My Forefathers took a boat to get here – they were escaping oppression and war, and they took a boat.
It was from Dublin.
My point is – at one time, any transoceanic travel was only accomplished by boat – Asian Americans do not have a monopoly on arriving anywhere via ocean.
The uproar over FOB is because we are the ones that turned it ‘into something’ and now, we do not want to reap the consequences of that. Too bad.
This show has not only been trashed talked because of the title, but because the lead actress, Constance Wu, has a accent. Which, she should – because her character is from Taiwan. Asian Americans do not get their increase in numbers from birth rate, we get them from immigration.
Let me put it another way – if the character were Caucasian and from Dublin, and had an Irish accent – would you have a problem with it?
No. Because it would make sense for a character from another country to arrive in America and speak with a slight accent. As it does in this case – it makes sense for the character.
The complaints keep coming though, and they are getting more and more upsetting…
I read a comment that said they were upset that lead actor, Randall Park, who is of Korean heritage, is playing a Chinese American.
The Fairy Princess says NO!
Do not project your own issues onto an unsuspecting sitcom. Do you have ANY idea how GREAT it is to have not one, not two, but FOUR television shows on major networks with Asian Americans, showing a panoply of the depth of Asian America? DO YOU?
The Fairy Princess does.
It has been a long, hard struggle for those both in front and behind the camera to get to where we are now – twenty years have gone by since an Asian American family was the subject of a sitcom on a Major Network.
DO NOT BLOW THIS FOR US!
Or just do us all a favor and just watch kitten videos for the rest of your life. ONLY kitten videos.
The Fairy Princess will NOT listen to any more of your idiotic complaints….
The Fairy Princess is going to challenge Asian America – here goes:
I want you to watch, DVR, On Demand, Internet – however you watch television now – I want you to watch the above four shows.
I want you to prove to NBC, CBS, and ABC that Diversity matters.
I want you to prove that Diversity = Dollars.
What you are doing, by going to town with these complaints is proving that Diversity = Damage Control.
This is the wrong message to send.
The end result will be less Asian Americans on television, because you will have effectively told the Networks that you are going to raise hell every time an Asian Family hits the air, and you will make it ‘too much trouble’ to have an Asian American family hit the air at all.
Are you hearing me?
All this bickering and in-fighting and you know what? No one cares about your insecurities except you, your Family, and a trained Therapist that you should definitely call after reading this.
The Fairy Princess does care if your internet hashtag war it is going to give a network exec pause before greenlighting another sitcom about an Asian American family that may be coming down the pipeline. Or if it gives ABC second thoughts about where it places Fresh Off The Boat come mid-season.
The Fairy Princess thought the trailer was funny. The end. Funny trailer, it deserves it’s shot.
Pull it together, Asian America – you are acting like someone who needs a Snickers bar cuz they are having delusions that they can see Russia from their backyard.
I am going to leave you with these final words, Hunties….think about them, because all these ‘protests’ seem to come from deep rooted insecurities and perhaps a smidge of self-loathing, what scares you about this show? Really? Because, it’s a comedy. It is not supposed to send you to your ‘dark place’, but if it is – you have other things to think about.
Because as Mama Ru says:
Can I get an ‘Amen’?