‘Sorry to Bother You’: An Endorsement

It has been an experience watching people twist and bend, trying to slot Sorry to Bother You into some kind of familiar category. “It’s Michel Gondry married to Spike Jonze,” or “Wes Anderson by way of Charlie Kaufman.” Not only do these comparisons try to position this flawed masterpiece in a white filmmaker pantheon, but it also disrespects Boots Riley’s vision and execution. Let Riley live. 

Oh yeah, let’s stop it with the Get Out comparisons. Lazy.  Continue reading “‘Sorry to Bother You’: An Endorsement”

How AMC Ruined ‘The Walking Dead’ (In 5 Simple Steps)

I used to go hard for TheWalking Dead. I joined the party in early Season 2 after binge watching all of Season 1 on a rainy weekend.  I was obsessed. Not only did I buy Season 1 almost immediately, I demanded everyone I know and love watch it too.  It was that good.  Sure. It was a show about the zombie apocalypse, but as any true die hard fan will tell you, it was about so much more.  The characters were human and complex.  They were struggling to maintain some semblance of morality while the whole world plunged off the deep end.  Along with the rest of the world, I laughed every time Carl got lost, cried when zombie Sophia wandered out of the barn, secretly rooted for Shane, and suffered PTSD after Hershel lost his leg… and head.  Each week was an event. Texts sent. Tweets shared. Merriment abound.  Then, a dumpster in Season 6 ruined it all.

Here is my take on how AMC ruined America’s number one cable show (in 5 simple steps):

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NOC Recaps Voltron Legendary Defender: Get In Formation

When Netflix announced a reboot of the Voltron franchise, the inner child in me jumped for joy. More, I felt an instant connection to my identity as an Asian American. You see, when I think of Voltron, I’m instantly transported back to the 5th grade where I spent my time insisting to my American friends that, in the Philippines, Voltron (and a live-action TV show that turned out to be Super Sentai) was a thing before the Power Rangers. My friends wouldn’t believe me and would only laugh harder when I’d proffer that not only was Voltron a thing, but that it was actually better than the Power Rangers.

Voltron is tied, then, to that part of me that identifies as distinctly Asian American and to finally see a reboot that introduces this great franchise to a new generation is such a treat. That the first episode starts off with such great quality makes it like TV lumpia for me. Clocking in at just over an hour, the ambitious attempt to set and sketch the universe that this iteration of Voltron in is not only given space via quality writing and animation, but also time in this outsized episode. More, a roster of recognizable names lead by The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun as Keith, along with delightful surprise Rhys Darby as comic relief via Princess Allura’s (more on her in a bit) right-hand man, Coran.

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Fixing Netflix’s Iron Fist: Casting Danny Rand

Ever since I implored Marvel to consider an Asian American actor for the role of Danny Rand in their planned Iron Fist Netflix series last year, the most common reaction has been from non-Asians (usually) whitesplaining why the idea of an Asian American martial artist is racist. The second most common question involves who Marvel/Netflix could cast in the role because there are no Asian American stars who could possibly carry a series. Which is a funny demand because I don’t recall Charlie Cox being a huge movie star pre-Daredevil, but that’s neither here nor there.

Besides, this is Marvel we’re talking about. The same studio that turned the schlubby guy from Parks & Rec into Harrison Ford. Whoever they cast — Asian or not — is guaranteed to be a star anyway. So here are several actors who deserve a shot at Shou-Lao and superhero stardom.

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Now or Later: We’ll Need to Deal with That Death on The Walking Dead

This essay contains spoilers for both the television series and the comic book.

I don’t have cable. So I usually have to wait until the day after to watch The Walking Dead. As luck would have it, I’m in a cheap hotel with complementary AMC with my daughter when the episode “Thank You” airs. Six years old, my daughter is in the bath and complains about the sound from my television show — the two things that she fears the most, while awake and in her nightmares, are racists and zombies. Our compromise is that I turn the sound down and the captions on. And then I watch one of my favorite characters in pop culture get deluged in zombie claws, teeth, blood and guts.

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A Ghost Among Zombies: The Curious Omission of Glenn of The Walking Dead

Years ago, before the TV show existed, a fellow Asian American comic nerd suggested I check out this series called The Walking Dead. I read through the first trade paperbacks and have kept reading, (admittedly begrudgingly the last couple of years) ever since. I was impressed that there was an Asian American male character, Glenn Rhee, a pizza delivery driver and weed dealer who seemed like a good hearted, normal kid.

When the show rolled around, I wasn’t feeling it at first, but I did like the actor they selected for Glenn, Steve Yeun. Of course, anyone paying attention to the show knows by now that Glenn is a fan favorite regardless of race and that the actor, Steve Yeun, is considered a hottie. Those of us Asian Americans on pop culture watch, of course, also appreciate the added layers: Asian American men are seldom portrayed as likeable, desirable guys in Western pop culture.

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New Movie Spider-Man Should be Peter Park

by Alice Meichi Li

There’s something obvious that’s been under our noses this entire time: Spider-Man as a Korean American named Peter Park, played by The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun.

‘Nuff said, as Stan Lee would say.

Not ’nuff? Okay.

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Giveaway: Win a Walking Dead Glenn Action Figure

by Phil Yu | Originally posted at Angry Asian Man

AMC hit zombie drama The Walking Dead returns for its fifth season this Sunday, October 12. Last season left off on a bit of a cliffhanger, with Rick and his merry crew of walker slayers finally reuniting, but captured and locked away in a train car by some mysterious new adversaries. How will they get out this jam?

And of course, we get to see Steven Yeun as our favorite Asian American zombie apocalypse survivor Glenn Rhee. According to this interview in Entertainment Weekly, Steven says Glenn “is a leader” in season five.

So check it. To celebrate the return of The Walking Dead, I’m giving away some official Walking Dead Series Five Action Figures by McFarlane Toys. Who wants a Glenn action figure? Scroll down for details.

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Steven Yeun to Star in Animated Chew Feature

Originally posted at Reappropriate | (H/T Angry Asian Man)

After much effort to create a live-action version of Chew — understandably hampered by the story’s routine use of cannibalism as a central plot device — producers have decided to go in a different direction and create an animated feature instead (that is expected to go straight to home release). This, I think, is a good decision: the book has a very specific tone and atypical humour that I think would not translate very well through a live-action script.

And, in what is a near-perfect casting choice, producers have tapped Steven Yeun, best-known for his incredible portrayal of The Walking Dead‘s Glenn Rhee, to voice the main character of Tony Chu.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Wan Where it All Began

Watching The Legend of Korra: Beginnings on Friday felt like watching a masterpiece develop. Like watching Enter the Dragon for the first time. Taking a break from all of the action that has been building up over the last several weeks, “Beginnings” goes back to the… uh… beginning. Literally.

So instead of the regular recap of the episodes, we decided to “bend” our own rules and combine the forces of Julie and Rodrigo — our regular recappers and the two resident Avatar Aficionados — to process the tons of information that was delivered to us in this two-part special.

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Glenn of The Walking Dead is the Best Response to Anti-Asian Stereotyping

In honour of The Walking Dead‘s upcoming season 4 premiere this Sunday on AMC, I am re-posting this post, which originally appeared on Reappropriate in February 2013.

Spoiler alert: I’m going to be talking about the events of Walking Dead up until Season 3, Episode 10. If you haven’t watched yet and don’t want the plot spoiled, don’t read on.

Hours after his reunion with long-lost brother Merle, Daryl has chosen his brother over his new family of survivors. After escaping from Woodbury with a banished Merle, Rick and Glenn are unwilling to bring him back to the prison; Daryl decides to strike out into the woods with his brother rather than abandon him to the wilderness. Blood, after all, is thicker than water, right?

But, it turns out, that after a year on the road with Rick and the gang, Daryl now shares less in common with his brother Merle than he thought.

Continue reading “Glenn of The Walking Dead is the Best Response to Anti-Asian Stereotyping”