Friday, May 05, 2006

Is Margaret Cho happy?

I'm a big fan of Korean-American comedian Margaret Cho.

Her concert DVDs are really funny, extremely vulgar and quite thoughtful as well.

She was the first Asian-American to have their own TV show - the ill-conceived and ill-fated 1994 ABC sitcom All American Girl.

She describes what it was like to be on the show in her brilliant DVD I'm The One That I Want. A must see!

So I'm curious if she's at all happy with the current state of Asians on American TV. Because it occured to me the other day while watching my current favorite show - Battlestar Galactica - which features the amazing and very hot Grace Park - that THREE of my current favorite shows prominently feature Asian actresses. (Although, ironically, none of them are Asian-American - two are from Canada and one was born in Korea).

Did I mention that Grace Park is really HOT! OK, OK, enough of that.... :)

One of the other two actresses is the phenomenal Sandra Oh, who plays doctor Chritina Yang on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy.
I've been a fan of Sandra's career since her debut in a Canadian indie film called Double Happiness in 1994. Recently she was so perfect in the great comedy, Sideways.
She is so much better utilized on this show than Ming-Na Wen on ER, where they have never known what to do with her character.
And she has some fun confounding stereotypes on the show - she's aggressive instead of demure and she punctures the notion that all Asian are alike, responding on one show to a fellow doctor's request that she help translate for a Chinese
patient - "I grew up in the valley. And besides, I'm Korean, not Chinese."

And the third actress is the graceful and alluring Yunjin Kim, who plays Sun on the best show on TV - ABC's LOST.
Kim was born in South Korea and plays a Korean wife on the show who hides the fact that she's learning English from her traditional husband. Already a big star in Korea, Kim is now turning heads in Hollywood and while she doesn't get that much screen time on LOST, every episode featuring her and her on-screen husband (played very well by Daniel Dae Kim) has been among the series best. And they have the luxury of speaking their native language on the show and having it subtitled for the American audience, a rare occurence for a recurring character on American TV.
I read somewhere that due to his childhood in America, Daniel Kim knew very little Korean before he did Lost. He has said that Yunjin Kim, who is fluent in both English and Korean, has been invaluable in coaching him on his Korean, which has apparently improved. Ironically, to the audience's knowledge, Daniel's character knows nothing but Korean.

So three pretty and talented Asian actresses on some high-profile shows in America. And all of them have Korean heritage! I'll have to wander over to Margaret's blog to see if she's made any comments on this recent trend.

Lastly, I also noticed this year that the much-hyped Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue included a half-Asian model named Aline Nakashima.
Not a common occurence in that magazine either - but it's easy to see why they picked Aline - she's truly stunning.

OK - enough salivating over the hot women - see you later.


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