“With more than 3 million subscribers on YouTube now, and 500 million-plus views, Wong Fu Productions — created by college friends Wang, Wesley Chan, and Ted Fu — has ambitious credits to their name that includes multiple web series (including a YouTube Red series starring “Glee” alum Harry Shum, Jr.), music videos, and two feature-length films (their most recent one hit Netflix in 2016).”
Wong Fu became a viral YouTube sensation back in 2006 with their first original waaaay back in 2006 with ‘Yellow Fever.’ I think my favorite Wong Fu video though has to be the VERY well produced and HILARIOUS (at least to me) ‘Asian Bachelorette.’
“”Yappie” is a single-camera comedy that explores the social and racial issues related to the contemporary Asian American experience from the perspective of Andrew and his bubble of friends who are all “yappies”[a slang word to describe a “young Asian professional who acts like a yuppie.”].
Asian Americans are an often overlooked minority in the US for a variety of reasons, and we’re creating a show to examine and share these causes and their effects on an entire generation.”
I watched all five episodes as the episodes were released and really enjoyed the series. I think Yappie does try to explore, often in a humorous way, the typical arguments around the whole Asian American dating dynamics and inter-racial issues around that have been around since the beginnings of the Internet (if you remember USENET news and soc.culture.
Also, the first season does dig into the awkward social stratus of where Asian Americans are found among our multi-cultural society within the United States. We’re definitely not treated like whites, but not like African Americans, Hispanics or Native Americans.
As someone who is way more politically involved than my fellow Asian Americans, I feel as though Yappie also exposes how apathetic Asian Americans can be in living in their own bubble – especially as portrayed in Yappie, which takes place in LA / Southern California. I think Asian Americans have a different kind of experience elsewhere in the U.S., especially in states with not a lot of Asians or other minorities.
Below, after the break, are all five episodes of the first season of Yappie.
On a related note, I did notice that one of the actresses in this series is someone I had seen before, Victoria Park. I had blogged about Park after seeing her in a Verizon commercial (which is no longer available on YouTube – but you can see her in this Verizon commercial here). I had blogged in the past also about spotting Wong Fu co-founder Philip Wang in a Panda Express commercial.
Also, with their Yappie series, Wong Fu is also trying to go beyond the YouTube ad model for revenue, and also looking for fan support through a subscription model via Patreon. If you had become a Patreon supporter, you had access to the whole Yappie series immediately, otherwise you had to view the series when they released an episode, which I think was one a week.
I wish the best of luck to Wong Fu Productions – if I won the lottery, I’d definitely make an investment in them to help support their efforts.