Screenwriter Doug Jung has a prolific career in both TV and film. His credits include TV shows like Dark Blue (which he was also co-created), Big Love, and Mindhunter, as well as films like The Cloverfield Paradox and Confidence. He’s probably most notable for not only co-writing Star Trek Beyond with Simon Pegg, but also appearing in it as the husband of John Cho’s Hikaru Sulu.
But what most people might not know is that Jung’s screenwriting debut was actually on the Disney Channel Original series, So Weird, and after Disney officially confirmed all the pre-released content that will be available when Disney+ launches next Tuesday, fans will finally get to see this early work from him again.
Jung wrote only one episode for the show, and it was fifth episode of the first season, “Escape.” The protagonist Fiona, a teenage girl who investigates the paranormal wherever she goes, at first thinks that she has seen a ghost walking around a carnival. However, she eventually realizes that she has been seeing the soul of a girl who is using astral projection to escape the overwhelming stress placed upon her by her parents.
This is a very thoughtful work from Jung; one in which there is even a parallel to his later work in Star Trek Beyond. While he and Pegg created an antagonist who’s against the idea of universal peace that the Federation is otherwise striving for, in this character on So Weird, Jung writes about a girl who can have so many motives for wanting to use astral projection, but instead uses it to temporarily relieve herself of the everyday pressures at home. Jung seems to have a knack for creating characters with particularly unique motives in the bigger scheme of things, with whom viewers can gravitate towards in sympathy.
It’s also wise to note how relatable of a situation the girl is in; experiencing so much pressure to do and be her very best from her parents. It’s most definitely a position that many people whose parents are immigrants can relate to. I don’t know if Jung drew upon his experience of being the child of Korean immigrants at all, but regardless, one can’t help but understand her reasoning for taking advantage of this ability that she has in this way.
It’s an intriguing debut from Jung on a just as intriguing show; one that will be available to the public once more next Tuesday on Disney+.