8.23.2010

Reality TV hits Ktown

I wasn't sure whether or not to post this, but I figured it's worth a discussion.  We tackle all types of issues here, and I'd love to hear your opinions.

The cast of K-Town*

According to Tyrese (the show's producer), K-Town is supposed to be an Asian American version of Jersey Shore

Rnbphilly.com:
Asked what [Tyrese] Gibson wanted out of the show, he answered, “I want sexy, wild, personality, I want hot tubs, sex scenes… at the same time, I want people to know the many different layers and characteristics… I want people to know that Asians have layers… we’ve got insecurities… heartaches… challenges… I want to capture all of that on camera for all the world to see…”

Of course, you can’t squeeze water out of rock. So casting is important. This may be an Asian American reality show but no wallflowers or bookworms need apply.

Photos of the cast were released on Facebook. “And you can already tell who’s supposed to be who,” said Elizabeth at Koream magazine. “There’s the bleach blonde, the bi-sexual pornstar nude model, the aspiring actress, two meatheads, and even a Korean Snooki.”

We’re clueless about the “Snooki” [never watched Jersey Shore] but Peter Le (Vietnamese) appears to be the bisexual pornstar/nude model. And Scarlet Chan (Chinese) is evidently a hooker, or was, according to her site. The self-dubbed “Eurasian” Jennifer Field (Korean, English, Irish and German descent) is the beauty queen/aspiring actress, we presume (actually, they’re all probably aspiring actors). And the meatheads? We’re not sure which two fit that bill.

And more:

The motivation

“I don’t wanna make it too heavy, my reasons, my motivations,” Tyrese conveyed, explaining his motivation for the show.

“When it comes to Asian Americans and Asians in general, everyone’s still fighting to get their faces and images in mainstream media… but Asian deserve to be on TV like everybody else… for me, that’s the motivation,” he said, nobly.

“This ain’t for me about making no money, but this is really allowing the people to see Asians, Koreans, showing your character, your personalities, allowing the world to embrace you as they’ve embraced everybody else… African Americans dealt with it forever, we still deal with it on certain levels, but we’ve been able to push through through music and through film… but you know I think it’s about that time for Asians to get their same shot and here we are…”

I've seen remarks ranging from this:
Trashy and shallow! It's not just for white people!
to this:

This. Looks. AWESOME! I totally dig this because it's the opposite of the model minority stereotype (which I most definitely do not fit into).

Yes, white people make themselves look like fools on reality TV too, but turn the channel and you'll see them in starring roles on critically-acclaimed TV dramas.  POC don't have that.  We get a "choice" between Flavor of Love, House of Payne or playing that one Asian guy on a remake of a '70s TV show.  The only thing that makes me feel a little better about the state of TV today is that the networks are starting to lose viewership (á la Heroes and FlashFoward) because they are so damn determined to hold onto the status quo..and folks ain't havin' it

In general, I don't really like reality TV. I think they deliberately set out to make people look as foolish as possible, but on the other hand, these are all adults and no one is forcing them to do anything. They want their their fifteen minutes of fame just like everyone else, so why shouldn't they get it? And since I'm not Asian, my opinion about this issue may very well be irrelevant.

I will say this though...I understand what Tyrese is saying, and I get his motivations.  But I really, really hate that POC are always forced to "back into" the mainstream in the most stereotypical and exploitive ways possible, instead of just being allowed to be.


*According to this website, the show has yet to be picked up by a network.

11 comments:

  1. For the record, I object to tacky reality shows starring POC. "Jersey Shore" was a disgrace, and POC should aspire much higher than copying off a disgrace.

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  2. @Ankh
    I couldn't agree with you more. I've never seen Jersey Shore, and didn't even know who (or what) Snooki was until she was shoved down my throat.

    I'd love see Ktown Cowboys or Audrey & Dre as a regular weekly TV show, but nope...if we aren't making fools of ourselves, it ain't gonna happen.

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  3. I have no words. I loathe reality TV and this show ain't doin' a damn thing to promote the humanity of Asian Americans. Not A Damn Thing.

    We must resort to bullshit reality TV to show the World that Asian folk got the same ups/downs, ins/outs as other people? For real?

    Whatever Tyrese...

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  4. jersey shore disgusts me... its just a bunch of fools who make a-holes of themselves in public (and are actually proud of it)!! most tv is trash these days anyway... another show like jersey shore is not needed; but i suppose as long as there are people who are willing to do almost ANYTHING for their 15 secs of fame, these shows will continue to thrive. i don't mean to sound like a "trader to my generation" (i've been called that more than once) but is this really what we've become?! what ever happened to dignity and self-respect, or do the people in my age group don't care anymore?! ugh!

    *excuse my rant, but i couldn't help it *^_^*

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  5. When I saw the Ktown Reality show's promo version of Tik Tok by Ke$ha, I cringed.

    Hear, hear, Lenoxave.

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  6. IMHO why no BW in there? http://blackwomanasianman.wordpress.com

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  7. What ticks me off is that is coming out now, fresh on the heels of the triumph that was "Ktown Cowboys". Uh...blasphemous timing much?

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  8. @ Ankh. Exactly. If he really wanted to build something lasting, why not team up with the K-Town Crew on some original programming?

    Have Danny Cho write and Tyrese produce?

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  9. Have Danny Cho write and Tyrese produce?

    How epic would that have been? What a wasted opportunity.

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