Entertainment Re-Oriented

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders shine on screen amid political turmoil

In a year characterized by countless horrors unfolding across the globe, the realm of Asian American entertainment media offers a surprising — and as such, somewhat disorienting — bright spot. From mainstream film and television to digitally distributed indie films and prestige TV, there’s plenty to celebrate in 2017. In terms of personal enjoyment, I […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: #Thiswas2016

“When the house is going up in flames, does what’s on the TV matter?” That’s the question I kept asking myself as I sat down to write this year-end column. In October, Michael Luo, then an editor for The New York Times, was accosted on the street by a woman yelling, “Go back to China!” […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: Identity and authenticity in ‘Man from Reno’

Since making his foray into the filmmaking scene in 2006 with “Big Dreams Little Tokyo,” director Dave Boyle has featured and collaborated with a host of Asian American actors. Boyle’s new film “A Man From Reno,” a Japanese crime novelist (Ayako Fujitani) and a small town sheriff are “lured into the same strange murder mystery […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: A ‘Fresh’ take on the Asian American sitcom

“Fresh off the Boat,” the first sitcom with an all-Asian American cast since 1994’s “All American Girl,” is kind of like rocking a perm or making a martini, in that there’s a right way and wrong way to do it. The right way, is to just watch it as you would any other network sitcom […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: REVISITING AND DEBUNKING STEREOTYPES: APIs on TV in 2014

The other day, I went to the theater to see “Top Five,” the new film written, directed by and starring Chris Rock. While it’s a very good film with many memorable moments, one scene really stuck with me. In it, Rock’s character is talking with Rosario Dawson’s character and she says she’s dated men from […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: Portrait of the superhero as a young man: Kato in the new ‘Green Hornet’

Since it was relegated to a garbage dump January release, expectations for “The Green Hornet” were low, despite it being a collaboration by critical darlings Seth Rogen, the screenwriter and lead actor, and Michel Gondry, the director. After seeing the film, most audiences felt they got the mess they expected. After seeing it myself, I […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: Spotlight on a breakthrough year for APIs

So 2010 has come to a close and, as I look back over the year, I have to agree with Angry Asian Man’s Phil Yu and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jeff Yang — it was a breakthrough year. Far East Movement and Bruno Mars topped the music charts and Asian Pacific Islander athletes like Manny […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: How far have we come? ‘Hawaii Five-O’ 40 years later

Any TV producer who wants to court Asian Pacific American viewership benefits from having a very low bar to hurdle. If an Asian character pops up in a sitcom and the proceeding 26 minutes aren’t full of lazy racism, it’s generally considered a small triumph. If you have a show with several Asian Pacific Islander […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: A Kung Fu Christmas and the Impact of A-Pop

Just found out that a “Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special” recently aired and will air again this Saturday Nov. 27. Fortunately, it looks like more than a quick cash-in. Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black reprise their roles and, according to the Onion A.V. Club (one of the very few sites whose reviews I almost always […]

ENTERTAINMENT RE-ORIENTED: TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK: People of Color Dancing at the Box Office This Winter

This holiday season’s top box office earners include a surprisingly large number of films about people of color. The controversial “Precious,” a gritty story about an obese, pregnant black teen, cracked the top 10 and “The Blind Side,” an “inspirational” story about a rich white lady who takes in a troubled, black teen, and turns […]

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