Louise, The Fly Girl Who Could

After stumbling through some Tivo suggestions, I found this new show on The CW called Fly Girls. Hot flight attendants living under one roof! Sweet!  Asian chick in the picture — double sweet!

It was an interesting show, with the vibe of The Hills on MTV, a very dramatic styled “reality” (questionable?). The show follows the life of 5 young women who leave behind their normal lives to pursue working for Virgin America Airlines as Flight Attendants.

Of course, the Chinese-Vietnamese American, Louise, had a sobby back-story about how her Asian family had dreamed of her growing up to become a nurse. We are later introduced to her older sister, Yung, who is the epitome of the stereotypical concerned Asian elder who does not approve of the life of glitz and glamour over the fundamental Asian-American dream of going to school, becoming a nurse, and being apart of the well assimilated Asian American collective/model minority.

What made me look twice was the sparse use of Vietnamese when the two enter a Vietnamese restaurant here in Hollywood. The awe-inspiring two-liner translated to: “What’s the house special — is it the fish?” OOOhhh, how exotic!

But in all seriousness, It raised a few points in my mind: A) That’s probably the most Vietnamese a regular viewer of The CW has ever heard before, B) Aww man, here we go picking at the model-minority thing again, and C) Damn- sounds like my older siblings…

When I thought back at when I told my parents that I didn’t want to be a doctor (…or lawyer… or engineer) and wanted to work in Television instead, they almost passed out. My dad asked me [seriously concerned for life] “But, how will you live?”

Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling is not easy, and we are the most important generation of Asian Americans yet; how we stand up to our families to find our true paths in life, will affect the types of jobs we can get, how often we are portrayed in media as something other than “the good, obedient ones”, and how future Asian Americans will be able to live in a world where we too can become explorers, journalist, television producers, and heck- even flight attendants!

So, the tip of the captain’s hat to you, Louise — thanks for being you. Unless, its just in the script.

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About Sanjay

Sanjay is a proud ABCD (American Born Cultured Desi), born and raised in the SF Bay Area, now working in Television in LA; he spends his time enjoying the beach, cooking yummy vegan food, and just plain being awesome!
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