It’s press day for Disney Junior’s upcoming animated series Mira, Royal Detective, the first animation based on the cultures and customs of India for children. Set in the fictional land of Jalpur, the series follows Mira (Leea Ladnier), a commoner who is appointed to the role of royal detective by the Queen (Freida Pinto). Mira solves mysteries with help from her friends, thus proving she is indeed one of the best detectives in the land.
We continue our special editions of Hard NOC Life recorded exclusively from the NOC Reading Lounge at CTRL+ALT, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop-up culture lab in the former Pear River Mart location in SoHo. Today’s one-on-one conversation features Sikh Captain America himself, cartoonist Vishavjit Singh.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last ten months, you’re probably well aware that today is Back to the Future Day. Though not a national holiday (yet), today has been so named because it is the day Marty McFly arrives in the future in 1989’s Back to the Future Part II. Though most blogs will be reminiscing about the classic movie trilogy and documenting everything the movie got right (and wrong) about 2015, we’re going to use this space to rank all of the people of color in the movie.
So the inevitable finally happened. After a season of steadily declining ratings and even more weeks of speculation. Fox finally pulled the plug on the J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi series Almost Human. The show, which starred Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, was a popular one — around NOC HQ, at least — and will definitely be missed.
To bid the show a fond farewell, the Nerds once again took to the Roundtable to pay their respects.
Since the The Nerds of Color is not the only awesome thing on the internet, we spent the weekend scouring the web for some of the most NOC-relevant links around. Here are five stories that have gotten the most buzz around the N.O.C. office.
Over at the Huffington Post, arts and entertainment reporter Mallika Rao asks “Is it Time to Retire Apu?” for their first installment in a series on Indian Americans and the entertainment industry. In an interview with Hank Azaria, the Caucasian actor who has voiced Apu on The Simpsons for over two decades, the actor credits a viral video featuring comedian Hari Kondabolu for making him reevaluate his take on the character.
Kondabolu says he… didn’t appreciate how many people would respond to his bit. Perhaps he underestimated the sanctity of The Simpsons in the comedy world (he’s a fan himself, but, as he points out, “you can be critical of the thing and still love the thing”). The Apu problem is a well-worn topic in his inner circle — in his mind, he was courting the danger of being “hacky” by rehashing it.
But the rant went viral, eventually making its way to Azaria. The actor credits the monologue with stirring his first misgivings. “If the only representation of Jews in our culture was Robin Williams’ impression of a Yiddish guy [from “The Birdcage,” starring both Williams and Azaria], I guess I might be upset with that too,” Azaria says. He cites one line of Kondabolu’s that stuck with him: Apu’s accent sounds like “a white guy doing an impression of a white guy making fun of my father.”
Apparently, while the Nerds were all consumed with Star Trek last week, other stuff was happening on the Internet. So here’s a brief rundown of things you might have missed because you were too busy exploring strange new worlds and seeking out new life and new civilizations. But first, let me get a little self-congratulations and self-promotion out of the way.
Welcome Pop Candy readers! And a big thanks to Whitney for giving us a little plug in her USA Today column. We hope you all enjoy the NOC community and join us as we look at “pop culture with a different perspective.”
Okay, that was the congrats, now here’s the shameless self-promo.
Over the weekend, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center opened its traveling Asian American history banner exhibit “I Want the Wide American Earth” at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles — after spending the last three months on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In honor of the exhibit’s West Coast opening, the Smithsonian APA Center unveiled an online digital comic I edited that features key moments in Asian American history illustrated by some of the top names in the comic industry, including Bernard Chang, Ming Doyle, GB Tran and my SIUniverse partners-in-crime Jerry Ma and Jef Castro.
You can see the comic online here. A downloadable version is still forthcoming.
So there’s that. And after the jump is other stuff on the web you should be reading: