Hyphen TV: Where IS that Asian Santa?

December 14, 2010

Nat Strand and Kat Chang overcome fears of both heights and looking ridiculous in harnesses on The Amazing Race

I have to make an admission right up front, you guys. There are a bunch of reality shows this season with Asian American contestants, and I don't watch them all. I know, I'm filled with shock and horror too. There's only so much time/DVR space in the week! But fear not, I'll still keep you up to speed, and I'll be adding a couple of series recordings to my already bloated record list...

Doctor pals Nat Strand and Kat Chang won The Amazing Race. This show should be right up my alley: a history of Asian American teams, including multiple parent/child pairs (WEEP!); world travels; brain teasers...it has me written all over it. So why have I not tuned in? Survivor already maxed out my CBS allotment? TAR needs to catch my eye with a blatant "race wars" theme, à la their network reality brethren? My bitterness over TAR taking the Emmy over Project Runway for so long has turned my heart into a lump of season-appropriate coal (admittedly, Runway hasn't really earned a win in recent seasons)? Whatever the subconscious reason for my shunning, this latest win may finally have been enough for me to give this show a try. Drs. Nat and Kat seem very smart and nice and pretty, and I like watching smart and nice and pretty people get rewarded while I sprawl out in my pajamas and eat leftover Halloween candy (don't judge me; you do it too).

First all-female winners in the show's history, what-what

Though maybe I'll put down the rock-hard candy corn and pick up some tissues to watch Ada Wong make it (hopefully!) to the finale of The Biggest Loser. Hyphen has already looked at her experience on the show and the way it has taken a shallow dip in the deep waters that are immigrant Asian parents' expectations. While reconciliation and acceptance are probably not in store soon whether or not Ada wins the show, it will be interesting to see how she handles the rest of her time on screen. From what I've heard, she'll continue to be a brave and inspiring woman to whom many can relate. Tears!

Who knew that while I was over here tracking the rise of Asian American dancers on America's Best Dance Crew and the like, there were Asian Americans (male ones, even!) in acapella groups all over the country? I need to catch up on The Sing-Off with the quickness to get to know these contestants. And to see judge Nicole Scherzinger, I guess.

Men of Note: You are of note to me.

Okay, so shows I HAVE seen. Well... this week boiled down to a couple snappy lines, more or less. I was convinced that Dale was in trouble on Top Chef for sure when he kept getting screen time early on (he didn't put the sugar back!), but I guess the editors just wanted to share his (lack of) Jonas Brothers knowledge: "I have no idea who Joe Jonas is. I thought he might be a pastry chef?" HA! His corn cake with dried cherries and whipped maple topping looked ooookay and were solidly in the middle, and he ended up on the winning "herbivore" team with the corn grits, stewed peppers, and salsa verde he made with Mike. Glad you're hanging in there, Dale, but I'm really looking forward to seeing you shine.

Is it just me or does this look like the loneliest job in the world right here?

Tina to mall Santa on Glee: "When does Asian Santa arrive?" Hilarious. Weird. Santa segregation?

And this is just random, but I've been noticing several prominent Asian American guests on my late night shows recently. Theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku was on Conan discussing string theory and other mind-bending things I am unable to understand, and the LXD performed a piece choreographed by Glee's Harry Shum Jr. on Conan's stage. The previous week, outspoken education reform advocate Michelle Rhee sat down on the Colbert Report to talk schools. Asian Americans: we're entertain', we're thinkin', we're doin' -- and we're makin' sure you know about it. You're welcome, America.

Dr. Kaku's brain is bigger than yours; hair is silkier


Dianne Choie


Dianne Choie's TV is in Brooklyn, NY. She has a cat, several reusable shopping bags, and other mildly annoying stereotypes of youngish people who live in Brooklyn.