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April 05, 2009

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Chag

I agree. If the material is interesting, funny, and engaging enough, people shouldn't notice race.

Good luck with it!

Alex K.

I think Asian-American women who refuse to date Asian-American men suffer from some sort of self-hatred. How do you categorically reject someone of your own race unless you suffer from shame at being who you are?

lauren

someone's got to be the first to try, so why not you? it'd be different!

Chloe

I'm an Irish-American woman who grew up in Kansas. I never saw many Asian-American men there. Nor did I ever see very many on television.

However, I just spent two years teaching English in Korea and let me tell you something. Korean men are among the sexiest in the world. They're gorgeous!

It's about time we started seeing more of them!

Lena

I think you're right. The term "oriental" is used mainly by older people. When I hear it from them, I don't really mind. When I hear it from people my age, I cringe and feel compelled to correct their ignorance.

Congrats on the TV show. I hope I'll be watching it soon!

sooki

oh wow! i hope to see the sitcom on air! that would be very cool. good luck. i am a korean-american woman who married a non-korean, but not for the reasons stated above by the two women. i hear that response a lot and it doesn't really make any sense to me. i've dated koreans/asians and it was never about their race. at the time, i envisioned being married to so and so, but the chemistry just wasn't there for me with the individual to make a lasting relationship. oh btw, you left out the very talented (& hot) daniel henney!

Julie

Don't get me started on the Oriental thing. Rugs and Noodles are oriental. People are Asian! And sadly, I had to give a little lesson to one of my daughter's great aunts who said "she is just a beautiful oriental". To which I replied "which one rug or noodle?"

I get the whole if its funny race doesn't matter but you write the funniest stuff about growing up and some of it wouldn't work coming out of a caucasion guy! I say push for the main character to be Asian!

Helen

what Korean actor would you want to play you? Who would play bosslady? Sounds awesome md.

Tracy

Hahaha...I didn't know the electric fan death thing was all Koreans! I thought it was just my crazy mom. I love that.

J-Dog

I think the chances of a MetroDad sitcom keeping the main character Asian-American would have been much better if Margaret Cho hadn't fucked things up for you. I hated that show. I found it derivative and offensive to Asian-Americans. Plus, it wasn't funny at all.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, MD!

leah

oh, that would be so cool to see metrodad on hulu! who would you want to have play you provided the production company how cool it would be to have an asian american show?

Nina

Metrodad, I'm thrilled for you and the part of me that just wants YOU to succeed thinks, "Go for it!" regardless. But honestly, it makes me really upset every time a story about Asians gets changed into a story about white people in order to be palatable for Hollywood consumption. I'm thinking about the American version of My Sassy Girl in particular because how the hell can they take the Korean out of My Sassy Girl? WTF?

And yeah, that's kind of what I think. WTF! (Not to you, but to "them," the powers that be.) I DO think that America is ready for a funny (and good-looking, of course!) dad raising his daughter in NY. And who happens to be Asian American.

It is a little ridiculous that we even have to do this still. Really. It's not your fault, but WHY can't we put a really great, funny, good-looking AA actor out there on a really great, funny show? Why can't they market it smartly and get people to embrace the character, just as they have with Jiin and Sun on Lost or Christina on Grey's Anatomy? (Which, BTW, I give ABC kudos for - even though they are on ensemble casts.) Why must nearly every other network television show be a parade of all white characters? Okay, I'll end this rant, but I really, really hope you can get your show out there AND keep the lead as an Asian American.

Cindy

I like to think that we're making baby steps in regards to the representation of Asian-American men in the media. Now we've got hunks like Daniel Dae Kim, Will Yung Lee, Sung Kang, and many others. Five years ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find a good-looking Asian man other than Russell Wong.

But I'd love to see a network television show with an Asian-American man as the lead character. It's about time!

JHY

I'm Korean-American and my best friend is Chinese-American. For as long as I have known her, she has NEVER dated an Asian guy.

Deep down inside, I think she's a little ashamed to be Asian. Also, I think she enjoys being the object of affection from guys who clearly have Asian fetishes. Of course, she'll never admit any of this but I really do believe that's the case.

Congrats on the potential sitcom deal, MD!

Captain Dumbass

That would be fantastic if you could actually have an Asian-American cast. If not, I hope they throw a boat load of money at you to make you feel better.

I'm lucky to live in a part of the world where my little half-Asian-Canadian boys are the norm rather than social outcasts though I still shudder at some of the well meant things my grandfather used to say to my wife.

Oh, and Lost is almost done, can Daniel Dae Kim do comedy?

Jessica

RE: KISSING YOUR BROTHER

Don't Asian American women also have the highest suicide rate? There's got to be some kinda of connection between peer pressure, the media, and mental health.

Also, I feel really sorry for their future kids. I mean, what if they have a son who looks "more Asian?" What are they going to tell him when he meets a woman who's just as racist?

RE: PUTTING MY MONEY WHERE MY MOUTH IS

Perhaps at the very least have a good-looking, smart AA guy as a second lead (and no accents please).

And here's the kicker, have him married to an Asian American woman! I don't I've ever seen that on network TV.

Also, I think Tim Kang (The Mentalist) might be a good MetroDad.


* * *


Oh, and now is the time to expose The Peanut to tons of k-dramas and other Asian entertainment :)

Estelle

OMG, if Sung Kang played MetroDad on network television, all my fantasies would come true in one fell swoop!

Mom101

Ack, where to start!

First of all, you can tell that chick in the bar that she's a dipshit. Who wouldn't love any guy willing to slash some scary toothless redneck's tires? (Then again, I'm pretty passive-aggressive for a Jew.)

As for the sitcom - whoo! That said, I'm going to go with a possibly unpopular view and say don't make this about changing the world. Make it about a funny fucking sitcom. In Hollywood, you can't be the untested writer from nowhere who sets new precedents in television.

BUT

you can have a hugely successful sitcom, and then be the guy with the hugely successful sitcom who launches the first hugely successful sitcom featuring an Asian-American lead.

Baby steps?

pharmgirl

I would miss my sister's wedding to watch your sitcom.

And not just because you're an (allegedly) hot Asian guy

kribss

you're funny and you write funny shit so you need to keep metro dad true to its form!! wasnt there an asian academy awards type show last year??? that in itself is a big step.....

Jackie K.

We should start a petition to keep the main character Asian-American! (or is it a little too early for that?)

NurseRachett

I would say go for it if the main character casted is Asian - you shouldn't have to settle or go for what networks think America wants

Be true to yourself and your beliefs and the rest will (hopefully!) work itself out. Best of luck, and thank you for all the great posts - they've become little mini highlights when I see there's a new one!

eingy

Came over from KimchiMamas to say, OMG! I would love to see your stories made into sitcom form! Everyone I share your feeds with cracks up over your stories and writing style, regardless of ethnic/cultural background, so the funny is there no matter what.

It'd be sad to lose some of the Korean-American/Asian-American specific funny observations you write about, but whatever you decide, best of luck to you, and know that I'll be rah-rahing your sitcom from my TiVo! :)

jean

CONGRATS!! Whichever direction the casting goes, just having a sitcom with an asian-american as the main writer is a step in the right direction. (although i'm pulling for a korean-american MD!)

Cam C.

Awesome news about the TV deal; I think it'd be awesome if you could keep the main character Asian... luckily for you David Carradine is too old to play the part so you might have a chance.

Amy Sue Nathan

I believe that the Cosby Show was the first to show an upper-middle-class, educated professional African-American family -- and it was a runaway hit. Comedy can be the key to bridging the gaps in comfort and understanding. Poignant family moments know no boundaries - nor do poop jokes. I loved Bend It Like Beckham because of the story and the intricacies of the characters, but it was enhanced by the strong Indian cultural markers, something I could relate to as a Jewish woman -- and I know that makes sense to you. Because whether it's kimchi or gefilte fish or some kind of curry, we all have food that smells up our childhoods.

Would I forego a deal in lieu of a differently raced cast? Probably not. But if you stand your ground, speak your piece and do what you can do - at least you'll know you tried. If it doesn't turn out the way you want, it could be the stepping stone.

Much luck, Metrodad.

Heather

I'm not sure how I feel about Asian-American women refusing to date Asian-American men. I'm Caucasian and I absolutely LOVE Asian-American men (especially Koreans!) Do I have "yellow fever"? Maybe. But maybe we can't help who we're attracted to.

eliaday

So, I want to know... in your sitcom, based on an Asian American dad raising his daughter in NYC, who would be your first choice to play you?

mr. big dubya

You're Korean? Hmph - never would have guessed.

Good luck on the TV deal - still offering my services as whacky caucasian neighbor.

psycho_mom

You're a maverick, MD. Why not an AA male lead? I mean growing up I never thought I would see an African-American president and First Lady in the White House. You have what it takes, MD, to charter your own course. You don't water down your blog for the masses and I think that is a big reason why you have such a huge following, because you have a unique voice.
I wouldn't make it an Asian-centric show, just make it a dad-centric show whose dad happens to be Asian-American.

Alexandra

Hey, if a show called Little Mosque on the Prairie is making success here in Canada, why not a series with an Asian-American lead?

there has been a slew of sitcoms about dad raising kids; this would be fresh and new

ksho

Though i don't think we will get to watch your sitcom here in Malaysia but hey, ALL THE BEST and please do keep blogging as that's the only way we can 'see' u :)

GOOD LUCK!!

Karen

Greetings from Singapore, MD! We usually get American television shows a few years after they've become popular in the States. Hopefully, in a few years, I'll be watching MetroDad here locally!

Jenny P.

Although he looks like a dork on "Heroes," James Kyson Lee is actually really hot in real life. He could play MetroDad!

stefanie

Good luck on your negotiations!
If you'll be the writer/producer (?) for project, it does seem that a non-trivial amount of your material does stem from your being asian-american, or korean, or first generation. As a first generation american (german, iranian) myself, I strongly relate to other 1st gen stories (a la BigFatGreek Wedding). I think retaining that perpective gives a much greater depth to the family story, as well as greater and more unique stories to tell in episodes. (plus its an opportunity to teach kids about their first gen classmates and their difficulties)

-Two cents in!

Gook luck!
-Stefanie

Miss Britt

Two years ago, people said America wasn't ready for a black president.

Not only that, but from a purely business stand point - network TV only does well when it stops doing what's already been done over and over again.

America wasn't ready for an openly gay character at one point either. Let alone a lead.

Stefania/CityMama

All other dingbats you mentioned above aside, that is AMAZING news, Pierre! I interviewed Georgia Lee, the director of Red Doors, a couple of years ago about the fact that we are way overdue for an "Asian Huxtables." We talked about the myriad reasons why either American wasn't ready or Asians felt held back. I know you know all those reasons so I won't rehash here.

I think the time IS right given the worldwide rise of Korean media especially...the soaps which are starting to go mainstream (A Dae Jang Gum mention in Saveur), the b-boying, and the fact that Asians are starting to get more high profile roles on TV (that aren't nerds, waiters, or salon workers). We have such a long way to go, but I hope that MetroDad shatters barriers. But if they turn it into a show staring Caucasians, well. When the Kimchi Mamas go after them, they won't know what him 'em.

Best of luck to you, Pierre!

Brian

I'm 45 years old and I never thought I'd see an African-American in the White House during my lifetime. If I saw an Asian-American man as a lead in a network sitcom, I think I'd be even happier. Go for it, MD!

Katie

The mainstream media greatly underestimates the power of our demographic. If they gave you the chance, I think the outpouring of support would greatly enhance the show's potential success. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Leslie

I'm not Asian-American but I've always been a HUGE fan of your blog. It never occurred to me that your site was so centered on being Asian-American. I think your sense of humor and writing has universal appeal.

I hope you don't jeopardize this opportunity simply because of a casting issue. I'd love to see your whole "daddy experience" portrayed in a sitcom. Regardless of race, I think it would be hysterical.

Sara in San Diego

I think it would be great to see an Asian American family on primetime t.v. I'm a caucasian woman married to an american born chinese husband and based on the comments we've heard our entire life together, this country still has a long way to go. You'd be establishing new norms.

christina

I wrote this on Kimchi Mama's (sort of cross) post, and here is my reply to your question:
Would MetroDad work if he were white? Hell no, MetroDad's posts are funny in part because of his heritage - a mixed bag of Korean up bringing with a lot of NYC savvy.

I should also add that's it's not just about the humor, it's the painful stuff too... like what you mention about the woman who stops you to say that for an Asian guy you're good looking. Really? Really?

momomax

I was cringing through this one...I think I may regret admitting this, but not only was I one of those weird chicks who never dated guys of my own race, but I ended up marrying the first oriental (as my MOM would say) man I dated. It has to do with that fun topic of conversation known as self-loathing. By the way, she just calls you "Oriental", as in, "he's good-looking for an Oriental." She also calls every single one of my gay friends, "The Gay." She's like, a hundred years old though.

As for the sitcom character being Asian, I don't think Metrodad would have the same following if you were white. Sorry, but you're not THAT funny. You like Love Actually for fuck's sake. Being Korean is just...funny. People don't know that so much, but it's true.

Rachel

Congratulations on the sitcom thing. I can't imagine your show with a white guy in the lead, though. It would be like a Gentile Seinfeld or something.

I don't get that "dating my brother" thing either. Never heard a white woman say that about white guys. It makes zero sense. I think it has everything to do with the portrayal of Asian-American men in the media. Maybe a sitcom with a great Asian male lead could change some hearts and minds.

denise

You should push for the sitcom character being Asian. My kids have an Asian dad and it would nice for them to see an Asian male as the father figure in a regular sitcom instead of the stereotypical roles Asian actors usually end up playing.

Elizabeth Hosto

MetroDad wouldn't be MetroDad if it weren't you and you are Asian-American so I say push for it. One of the reasons I keep reading is for the different perspective you give me, me being a white female on the West coast. I think American TV needs a little kick in the right direction, that direction should be a better, more accurate representation of ALL Americans, maybe then the term race will only be used when describing a type of sporting competition... Good Luck!

sp

[raises hand] i am one of those asian females dating (now engaged to) a white guy. i hate that i'm fulfilling the stereotype, but it had nothing to do with race. all my previous crushes/flirtations were asian guys - he just happened to be the one i fell for.

congrats on the potential sitcom. i'd love to watch metrodad on tv.

SoulSnax

Think of the Peanut, bro. You would just be a part of the problem if you were to sell out and let them make the MetroDad non-Asian. Then, when the Peanut grows up and tells you that she's just not into Asian guys, you'll know why.

If selling out is truly necessary, then PLEASE do the Hollywood equivalent of spitting in their drink and slashing their tires: encourage media piracy and vilify the producers by name on MetroDad and on RiceDaddies. If you need me to do your dirty work, you know where to find me.

Then again, we've got Obama in the White House, George Lopez on TV, and THE MOST bankable actor in Hollywood is Will Smith... So, you never know.

ellie

I'd love to see an asian american or asian american family as teh lead in a sitcom! itd be about time! I'm not american but the majority of our tv is from the states and there definately arn't enough asians on tv

jstele

You should push for an Asian American lead. How do you know unless you try? I think your story is so strong that audiences won't care what race the lead is. What if you give in and the sitcom becomes a success? Won't you be kicking yourself for not pushing for an Asian lead? How many sitcoms are out there about a metrosexual, funny NY dad? You have the power to speak up about Asian male representation. Use your voice.

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