Avantika and Michael Bishop Share Their Love of Music and Food in Disney’s ‘Spin’

Disney’s Original Movie Spin finally premieres tonight on The Disney Channel.

As the official NOC Kid Reporter, I got to chat virtually with Disney’s Spin stars Avantika and Michael Bishop about the importance of Spin showcasing the first South Asian family leading a Disney Original Movie; both Avantika and Bishop’s love of music, Indian food, and their characters.

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Abhay Deol and Aryan Simhadri on the Importance of Family in Disney’s ‘Spin’

Disney’s Original Movie Spin tells the story of Indian American teenager Rhea as she navigates through school, Coding Club, her friends, her family, and working at the family restaurant. She discovers her passion of music through an aspiring DJ named Max who shows her the ropes of the turntables. She is a natural at it!

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Anna Cathcart, Kerri Medders, and Jahbril Cook Talk about Their Characters in Disney’s ‘Spin’

It’s hard being a teenager. You’re trying to figure out who you are and where you were meant to become. It sounds difficult, but it’s actually not when you are surrounded by the friends who help you along the way. We always need our friends for support and to let us know when we’re in the wrong. That’s what Anna Cathcart, Kerri Medders, and Jahbril Cook are in this Friday’s Disney Original Movie, Spin.

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Director Manjari Makijany on How Important ‘Spin’ is for Little Indian Girls Everywhere

As the NOC Kid Reporter, I got to chat with director Manjari Makijany about Disney’s upcoming film, Spin. It stars Avantika as Rhea, an Indian American teen whose life of coding and working at her family’s restaurant is turned upside down when she discovers her passion for creating DJ mixes that blend her South Asian culture and the world around her. And, she’s a natural. She just needs to figure it out if she could fit it in her busy schedule.

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Southern Fried Asian: The Carolina Desi

Back in May, Apple Podcasts curated a bunch of AAPI-themed podcasts together, and we were lucky enough to be featured alongside The Carolina Desi podcast. Naturally, we had to invite the hosts, Gurtej Singh and Rashmili Vemula, to join Southern Fried Asian!

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‘Never Have I Ever’ Charms as it Deals with Grief and Growing Up

Never Have I Ever returns this week for its sophomore season, and it seems like our protagonist, Indian American teenager Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), has not learned her lesson from last season on how to be a better person. As shown in the trailers, the second season starts with Devi having to deal with two romantic suitors — Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) and Ben Gross (Jared Lewison) — and attempting to juggle them both. Of course we know it will lead to heartbreak for the trio and leaves Devi in a really difficult place trying to make things right. There were many times I felt aggravated watching Devi make mistake after mistake and felt like she was never really growing as a person. The thing is, nobody is perfect and as annoying as Devi is when mistakes are made, Never Have I Ever still finds a way to make it as charming and relatable as possible. 

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Get Ready to Meet the Family in The Disney Channel Original Movie ‘Spin’

Get ready to fall in love with the next best DJ in The Disney Channel’s Original Movie Spin.

Directed by Manjari Makijany, the film follows Indian American teen Rhea who lives a pretty normal life that revolves around her eclectic group of friends, Molly, Watson and Ginger, her after-school coding club, her family’s Indian restaurant, and her tight-knit, multi-generational family, which includes her father Arvind, younger brother Rohan and her grandmother Asha.

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Trailer for Disney Channel’s ‘Spin’ Drops the Beat

Credit where credit is due, Disney Channel has been making really good strides to tell multicultural and diverse stories for the past decade or so, arguably more than we see in most Hollywood films. Looking back at movies like Johnny Tsunami, or cartoons like American Dragon: Jake Long and Proud Family, and even more recent shows like Andi Mack, and you can’t help but give them props for casting POCs as leads and actually making those leads’ cultures central to the stories they’re trying to tell. And their upcoming movie, Spin is no exception.

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‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 2 Trailer Ups the Stakes

With the events from last season of Never Have I Ever, we last left Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) making out with Ben (Jaren Lewison) in the car post-scattering her dad’s ashes in the ocean. Paxton (Darren Barnet) was also trying to get ahold of Devi to tell her how he really felt about her. This season, we see Devi trying to figure out her feelings for the two.

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‘Never Have I Ever’ Season 2 Returns July 15; Trailer Drops Next Week!

Never Have I Ever has finally dropped the release date for the second season — July 15 on Netflix. Unfortunately, we will have to wait for the trailer to drop next week, but in anticipation for the trailer — the cast and creators of the series will be coming together on June 17 at 8pm PST/ 11pm EST to host a fan-focused trailer event.

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‘Mira, Royal Detective’ and Celebrating Diversity and Community in the Time of Social Distancing

This was supposed to be a different kind of article.

Two weeks ago, The Nerds of Color youth correspondents and their parental units were invited to attend the premiere screening party for Disney Jr.’s landmark new animated series, Mira Royal Detective (premiering on Disney Jr. today in the United States and India) and interview the cast of voice actors from the South Asian diaspora on the red (or rather blue) carpet at Disney’s Burbank studios. It was a celebration of diversity and community, of difference and commonality, full of music and laughter, of children of all colors and artists and craftspeople from all parts of Hollywood joining together to marvel that this milestone of representation was finally on-screen.

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Freida Pinto is Ready to be Queen in Disney Junior’s ‘Mira, Royal Detective’

It’s extremely hard to look directly into the eyes of Freida Pinto without blushing.

When I first entered the press room where Pinto was prepping for the premiere of Disney Junior’s latest animated series, Mira, Royal Detective, I couldn’t help but compliment her on her beauty, successful career, and her work for empowering women. Named by Vanity Fair as one of the most beautiful women in the world, Pinto humbly laughed off the compliments aimed at her and got serious when we began talking about her role as Disney royalty in the new series.

“I keep forgetting it’s a Disney Queen,” laughs Pinto. “It’s not just a Disney character.”

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Utkarsh Ambudkar Hopes Disney’s ‘Mira, Royal Detective’ Normalizes Brown People

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. 

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A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Defenders’

In the realm of Los Angeles intimate theatre, efficiency and constraint are often unfortunately emphasized as budget limitations become the all-too familiar factor hovering over anyone who dreams of doing anything grandiose. So when I heard about a World War II play written by Cailin Maureen Harrison that was going to have its world premiere with the Pandelia’s Canary Yellow Company, I was intrigued because my burning question was: How exactly do you stage a WWII story in a black box setting and do so compellingly??

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Hard NOC Life: Arune Singh’s Fandom — Then, Now, Forever

Hard NOC Life this week features an extended interview with comic book industry veteran Arune Singh! Keith and Dominic will be back next week for the latest in the world of nerd pop.

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Southern Fried Asian: Soman Chainani

Southern Fried Asian returns with a brand new episode! Keith is joined by Soman Chainani, the New York Times-bestselling author of the hit children’s fantasy series, the School For Good and Evil. The fifth book in the series, A Crystal of Time, is available now wherever books are sold.

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Southern Fried Asian: Cheetie Kumar

Southern Fried Asian kicks off July with a month-long series of food-related episodes! Up first is rockstar chef Cheetie Kumar, the guitarist of indie band Birds of Avalon and the James Beard Award-nominated owner of Garland in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Janina Gavankar: How a Nerd of Color Became the Face of Star Wars

Since the NOC launched in 2013, actress Janina Gavankar has been one of the community’s biggest celebrity boosters. Now, finally, Janina is able to join us on Hard NOC Life! In the intervening years, she has racked up the nerd bona fides by starring in Arrow, True Blood, and Sleepy Hollow. But now, she is part of the biggest nerd franchise of them all: as Iden Versio in the blockbuster game franchise Star Wars: Battlefront II.

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A Grrreat Time with The Tiger Hunter

I’ve been waiting for over a year to say this since I first saw it at the LA Asian Film Festival last May:

The Tiger Hunter is one of the most delightful comedies I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s also one of the best films about the Asian immigrant experience, one that doesn’t mock or ridicule the immigrants but rather honors them for the sacrifices they made to achieve the American dream. These are some mighty high praises and now expectations but I’ll go into detail why this charming indie film starring Danny Pudi and Karen David deserves your attention after a brief synopsis of what this film is all about:

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Tanuj Chopra’s Chee and T Told with G.I. Joe Figures

Chee and T is the newest film by my homie Tanuj Chopra (Punching at the Sun, Nice Girls Crew) and is currently being funded on Indiegogo. With a little less than two weeks left in the campaign, his crew has pulled out all the stops to reach their $75,000 goal. Right now, the project is about 65% of the way there, but they need one last push to get it over the top.

So what better way to raise awareness for their movie than getting a bunch of classic G.I. Joe action figures and reenacting the movie?

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