Remember the old ABC sitcom “All-American Girl” with Margaret Cho? It was a sitcom about a Korean-Amerian family. Ever since the show got cancelled, has there ever been a family TV show with all Asian casts? I’ve been having a dicussion of this with my friend about the lack of Asian-Americans in TV sitcoms (and not being a sterotypical martial artist for the men or submissive Asian female for the women). Is this due to the discrimination of AA? Not enough AA wanting to become actors? Perhaps an all Asian-American show would be boring to tv viewers?
Most family sitcoms (as opposed to workplace sitcom) are based around one well known “name”. What comedic Asian star are you going to base your sitcom around? Margaret Cho definitely couldn’t pull it off.
I saw plenty of all-Asian sitcoms in Singapore and Shanghai.
Singaporea sit-coms are avaliable, and they are in English. No idea how are you going get your hands on it…though.
Well to look on the sunny side you can look towards the Hispanic side as a sign of what the future might hold. There were sporadic attempts at family sitcoms starring a Hispanic family through the 80s and 90s. But it seems that with “George Lopez” & the “Brothers Garcia” on the air now it has led the way for 3 more sitcoms starring Hispanics will be tried during the next season.
Kinda the critical mass theory of ethnic representation on TV sitcoms.
You might be interested in Margaret Cho’s stand-up routine, available on DVD, in which she talks about her experiences with the show. I don’t remember the name, but it’s not Notorious C.H.O. but the newer one.
It has well, MOSTLY adult content though, so be prepared, if you pick it up.
Basically, they spent a lot of time massaging her ‘Asian’ image, trying to get her to look and act a certain way to fit in with Asian stereotypes. OTOH, she practically killed herself dieting because her face was “too full.” She also took a lot of flak both from Asian and caucasian viewers. Too bad, since it was a pretty good show. So, I’m guessing that there’s still a bad taste from that show, and also a dearth of Asian actors and actresses who could carry the show, as well as a problem with the approach to the show (how much is just a sit-com and how much is it an ‘Asian sit-com’).
There was a Singapore one that aired in Australia on SBS for a while. I think they canned it now though :(. It was a damn sight better than the American ones.
In Britain we have some great Asian comedians who have brought this concept alive. Currently running a tongue-in-cheek interview show, where supposed family members of the host interrupt him to make funny comments. Got to be seen really.
Apparently the American network ABC have purchased rights to the format, but are going to make them Mexican.
She discusses her sitcom experience, and subsequent alcoholism, extensively on I’m the One That I Want.
Basically what SmackFu said.
I mean, seriously, when a good 80% of “white” sitcoms suck like Hoovers, a lot of 'em not even lasting a full season, why would the networks stick their necks out on an all Asian sitcom?
I don’t know if an all Asian sitcom would necessarily bore viewers but I think the odds of such a show being horrendously bad is overwhelming. It will either be so well written that it would be able to stand on its own merits, regardless of the ethnicity of its cast (in which case, in the eyes of the networks, why bother with a minority cast?), or it will derive much of its humor from ethnic stereotypes and be protested off the air.
I’m not saying such a show would be impossible to make, but IMHO, it’s going to be a while before such a project gets greenlit stateside.
All I see are Asian sitcoms. Then again, I live in china. Probably has higher viewership than the US, if that counts for anything in a country of 1.3 billion people
By the same people who did “Goodness Gracious Me!”, right? Those Indians rock. I have those shows here too.
It’s animated and not strictly a “sitcom,” but The Jackie Chan Adventures shpould fit into this discussion somewhere.
hmm, Pat Morita’s still around and he is extremely funny in real life. I saw him at the HIFF where he premiering a short he was did. Joked around as if he was walking into a wall or sitting on something. He is getting kind of old though but I still think he could do great in a sitcom. I always liked him on Happy Days.
Of all the Asian blooded actors, Lucy Liu probably has the most clout now but she’s a movie actress and people see theTV as a step down. The possibility of a spin-off of Ally McBeal seems long gone.
Hopefully Linda Park can escape the Star Trek label when the series ends 5 or so years from now but she’s tied up right now. (Fine, go ahead and think it.)
A real wildcard though.
Good call of Jackie Chan Adventures Krokodil. He is going to turn 49 this year and he has made a hell of a lot of movies and a whole lot of money and he’s finally conquered the American market. Some smart TV executive may be able to convince him to try out live action TV. Pay him well, allow him to keep doing movies on hiatus and he just might bite.
While Enterprise is nice I would have much rather watched Excelsior starring George Takei as Captain Sulu. Something that has annoyed me for a few years.
They gave Reba a show but I’m out of the loop so I can’t think of any they might bring over. Plus Reba did do a good job in Tremors.
I can’t believe no one has mentioned Gedde Watanabe.
Heck, I can’t believe no one has mentioned Tokyo Breakfast, yet.
Is Reba part Asian? (I know Rob Schneider is half Filipino, but “Men Behaving Badly” wasn’t quite a “family” sitcom.)
No, I was just thinking faster then my fingers could type and messed up what I meant to say. Here’s how it should have read. I assume Reba’s roots are pretty strongly Celtic.
“They gave Reba a show so they also might feature a sitcom around a famous musician or singer. I’m out of the music loop so I can’t think of any famous asian singers or musicians. Although they may have given Reba, specifically, the show because she did previous decent acting work in Tremors.”
Under One Roof. I never caught it, but it had a bit of a cult following over here.
Incidentally, there’s potential for some confusion in this thread stemming from the use of “Asian American”, used to refer to immigrants from South East and East Asia. (“Asian” has the same meaning here in Australia.) However, “asian” to a UK audience means the people of the Indian subcontinent.