So, remember about three months ago, when the plans for “the Asian Jersey Shore” filmed in LA’s Koreantown were announced and the application was leaked? The first series of the cast photos have been released to the Internet, and early results show that the cast will either be hot, a mess, or a complete hot mess, depending on who you are and whether you’re, say, sitting around getting stoned talking shit to your friends or, uhm, writing a weblog about Asian American issues.
You’ve got all sorts of obvious comparisons to Jersey Shore: guys with tight black shirts, dude with fauxhawk, girl with hella blonde hair that makes it look like she has a spray tan and — oh shit — even a Korean Snooki, cuz she’s shorter than everyone else and probably gets into DUIs. But what’s this? A former meth addict, who’s a girl? A bisexual adult model, who’s a dude?! What is this, topsy-turvy world?
Needless to say, early response from weblogs have people mortified — “this is going to be an embarrassment to us Asians!” To which I say: it’ll be an embarrassment, sure, but not to us. This will be an embarrassment to cast members of a reality show who auditioned for a K-Town reality series, knowing full well that they were being filmed for a show that involves drinking and fighting. Asian Americans in the media — this blog included — are a fickle bunch. We freak out when Asians are portrayed in the media as nerds and geeks, we freak out when no Asian males have been cast in The Real World in its 15-year run, presumably because we’re desexualized. So, what are we, the suburban Asian family constantly portrayed in Target commercials? We could be, but if there were a reality show about how Michael and Jenny Chau of Mountain View, California dropped off their kids at swim practice, I would be blogging about how it was the most boring reality show that has ever existed and wished how — just for one episode — Jenny could fly to Vegas with her crew and snort coke off a stripper’s ass.
But that’s just me. What do you think: will we ever see a non-offensive portrayal of Asian Americans on television? And if or when we do, will it really be worth watching?