Hyphen TV: Where My Asians At?

January 18, 2011

Calvin Tran is thoughtful about which black v-neck tee he'll wear tomorrow

We hit a bit of a dry spell this week on Hyphen TV -- what can I say, it can't always be dim sum and half-Korean gay weddings. Without much fanfare, we found out that on Live to Dance, neither Inside the Box nor Theatrix made it to the semi-finals (semi-finals already? It's only the second week!). Sorry, guys! I guess Black Swan bought enough goodwill for ballet to get White Tree Fine Art the votes to make it through? Maybe both rejected groups should think about America's Best Dance Crew? We've still got Jalen to root for. I have a feeling that little guy isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Top Chef
, on the other hand, saw the continued dominance of Dale, who is apparently as skilled a fisherman as he is a chef. After hearing about how Dale's father, himself a fisherman, would take Dale along with him in his boat, it was incredibly moving to watch as Dale brought in what seemed to be a prize catch. Tom Colicchio blogged,

"As for Dale’s fish, I don’t think the editors quite realized what a big deal that catch was. That fish weighed 37 pounds. It was a trophy fish –- the catch of a lifetime! When folks have a good day on a boat, the captain justifiably considers the catches his/her catches, too, and believe me when I tell you that folks throughout the area heard about that fish –- the captain of Dale’s boat spread word about it!"

If that wasn't enough, Dale also landed in the top for the elimination challenge, his tasty-looking fish tacos narrowly beat out by Carla's clever play on a New York-style bagel with lox. Is it just me or is Dale totally dominating this season? And doing it quietly, too -- aside from Marcel's truly embarrassing confrontation of Dale at the beginning of last week's episode (seriously, those were some HUMILIATING white boy theatrics), Dale has been lying pretty low in terms of drama, a pretty far cry from the more bombastic guy he seemed to be in season four. Could the anger management he alluded to have had a hand in what looks like a new cool demeanor? Whatever it is, keep up the aces work, dude.

Dale contains his stress with an understated sweatband

On a very different note, we got an unexpected amount of insight into Calvin's personal life on The Fashion Show. Sorry to copy and paste another long quote, but the exact words he said are pretty powerful:

"...if I win the prize in this competition, I will not keep a single cent of it. I donate everything to the Gay Men's Health Crisis. They help me through the darkest place of my life, ever. I've been with my partner for ten years. He's the love of my life and he's dying. They gave him a few months to live, but I think he's come to an end now. He's nursing at home and I take care of him. The GMHC helped me through with counseling and educated me, so I want to do something that's meaningful, and I want to give back."

Unless I've majorly missed something, this is the first time Calvin has spoken openly about his homosexuality, and it follows that this is the first time we've heard about his partner, his partner's health difficulties, and the GMHC. It seems almost cruel for the show to have withheld this information from viewers for so long, since it explains (though does not excuse) some of Calvin's explosive behavior and make him more of a real, vulnerable person. I'm still not clamoring to hang out with the guy, but I appreciate that he's coming from an incredibly difficult place, and I wish him and his partner the best.

Beneath that ruffle-dismissing demeanor lies a real, emotional person

Pretty much the main event on TV this week was the Golden Globes. Umm... Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina on Glee) looked really pretty, right? And I was happy to see that Justin Bieber brought along his Never Say Never director Jon Chu to the ceremony, but how totally sad that the latter was relegated to "guest" in the Golden Globes photo gallery. The guy directed Step Up 2: The Streets AND Step Up 3D, people! Show the man some respect!

...And those two sort of sum up the current state of Asian Americans on Hollywood, huh? For the thousandth time, I feel the call to arms: let's get out there and support these guys! This kind of paltry representation is NOT okay. WHO'S WITH ME?!??


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.



About halfway down the page, between Guy Pearce and Jake Gyllenhaal is Harry Shum Jr.! He was the only man to wear plaid, looks quite hunky, and one of the other few Asian men on the red carpet. http://tomandlorenzo2.blogspot.com/2011/01/2011-golden-globes-awards-men.html

Whoa, totally missed him in the red carpet pre-show and during the show. Thanks for the heads-up! He is indeed quite the dapper fellow.