The Chin Chens – Asian American Sitcom.
I’m all for Asian American visibility in mainstream media and I understand the constraints of a low budget. However, I do think The Chin Chens needs to go back to the drawing board. Watch the pilot and cringe. And then watch Aasif Mandvi’s “Qu’osby Show”, for actual laughs. Though, if he really were to make a sitcom based off of the Cosby Show for Muslim Americans, I’d probably look at it with a more critical eye.
It’s really a confusing area. What do we want to see? Do we want a lead role who is decidedly Asian, facing specifically Asian issues or someone who could be any race but happens to be played by an Asian actor? If we want “Asian” issues, what exactly does that mean? Certainly not Glee’s shallow understanding. But are we looking at the Model Minority myth or questions on immigration? Affirmative action and access to healthcare? Do we want to hide our Asian Snookis, or is it okay, more human even to display the diversity of the Asian American community in all its glory, as Eddie Kim, one of the producers of the K-Town Reality Show, argues? What kinds of characters would you like to see on TV and in the media? It’s a hard line to tread – we are not and will never be truly colorblind, truly post-race (prove me wrong, please) – but if we could have our characters, what would they look like and how would they act?