Hyphen TV: All Guys from Quebec Are Good at Karate

February 15, 2011

Brittany, Artie and Tina share a laugh over Mike's spazziness on Glee

Glee's back! Tina! Mike Chang! You can release that breath you've been holding! Neither half of the couple had much screen time in the first episode after the show's break (which aired after some sort of sporting event a couple weekends back, I hear...something about dueling athletic squadrons and the Black Eyed Peas), but we got an eyeful of the adorable Asians in Glee's Valentine's Day episode. First, Artie and Mike (guess there are no hard feelings about the latter dating the former's ex?) performed Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" with Artie on vocals and Mike on sweet, sweet dance moves. Later Tina performed "My Funny Valentine" for Mike in front of the Glee club, but broke down in weird hysterics because...she's so overcome with love for him? It was a little weird. Also, I hope that Mike wasn't offended at having looks the song calls "laughable" and "unphotographable," as I would have been. Your man is totally cute, Tina! Keep it together, pick a better song. Still love you though, girl.

Tina Chang-Cohen before she loses it mid-song

Other ladies I'm into despite less-than-stellar performances: Manilla and Raja on RuPaul's Drag Race. Safely ensconced away in the middle of the pack is NOT where I want to see these fierce, gorgeous drag queens. BRING IT, ladies! Also Raja's exercise ball [ahem] routine was a little bit disturbing. Still love you too though, girl.

Manilla (second from left) and Raja (far right) in their most subdued colors

Dale, Dale, Dale. I thought things were back to normsies on Top Chef when you won your fellow contestants' votes in the fondue Quickfire: you were hard on yourself coming back from last week's double disaster, but your pho-ndue was inspired and looked tasty indeed. But then everything went to hell when Jimmy Fallon came along and asked you to make a Philly cheese steak; your choice of pretzel bread sounded great, but how could you forget that pretzels = salt? Seeing you in the bottom three for the second week in a row truly broke my heart, and clearly just about destroyed your own. No more of this emotional turmoil, okay? I know last week was a real blow, but buck up and re-channel that amazing chef who we know is in there -- my vicarious taste bud enjoyment begs you.

Dale (far left) meets Jimmy Fallon. Things go downhill from there.

American Idol wrapped up its auditions in San Francisco, where we (unsurprisingly) saw a few Asian faces. The first one, however, was a bit odd: a semi-delusional young woman from the Ukraine stormed out of the judges' room after getting rejected, joining her Asian husband who dutifully carried her pink bags and followed her as she ignored him, walking out of the building and down the street without missing a beat of her endless rant at the camera. Sweet husband? Or maybe the unluckiest guy ever? Guess we'll never know.

We flashed by a pretty young Asian woman from Bakersfield, CA, and only know that she made it to Hollywood. Congrats, whoever you are! A woman from Honolulu may or may not have made it, and a woman from China who now lives in San Diego was met with confused looks from the judges when they couldn't understand her thickly accented English. Her profession? Translator. Ouch. That was just mean. I'm sure she's great! And I have a sad feeling she didn't make it to the next round...

Better luck with your day job, San Diego translator

...which we got our first glimpse of in the following episode. An Asian man with long hair got cut. Wish we got to know you a bit, dude, sorry. But our pal Thia Megia made it to the next round, even with her continued weird pronunciations. Hooray! Hope you make it through the terror that is group singing, Thia!

Thia might benefit from elocution lessons, but she's pretty darn adorable

In a completely unexpected cameo on last week's 30 Rock, John Cho showed up as Lorne, the leader of a Canadian mobile meth lab. He got a couple great Asian/Canadian zingers in during his conversation with Jack Donaghy:

"[My parents] were both really intense. They wanted me to grow up to be prime minister, so as a kid I had to win the spelling bee. They made me memorize all 700 words in the Canadian dictionary. Then I had to go to law school...for one day. I was just so tightly wound that I got kicked out for karate chopping my roommate. I know -- I'm a stereotype. All guys from Quebec are good at karate. Oh my god, where are my manners? Do you want to try meth?"

John Cho looks out suspiciously from the methmobile

Aw, so polite, that John Cho. Sort of weird seeing him all drugged up without Kumar, but it's cool.

Also great to see Far East Movement on Conan last week. It's still a bit surreal that these guys have blown up as big as they have, but their appearances all over the place (including at the top of the charts, BOOM) just solidifies their status. Way to go, guys! Watch their performance here.

An eagle-eyed reader tells me that this is DJ Virman. All I know is, shades indoors are unnecessary and confusing.

The Grammys, on the other hand, were pretty lacking in Asian faces (besides the half-Filipino Bruno Mars, haaayyyy), but there was one slightly bizarre moment that got overshadowed by Gaga's egg and Cee Lo's feathers. In the middle of Justin Bieber's performance, the show transitioned from acoustic guitar performance to...generically Asian, ninja-ish drummers? Who marched up the aisles to the stage, where they then parttok in some martial arts-flavored dance moves? There was one blink-and-you-missed-it stage mishap when Justin "pushed" a dude down from a platform, and he landed -- ouch -- on his back (at 3:47 here). It was all to herald (I assume?) Karake Kid remake star Jaden Smith, who joined Bieber in a contest to see who's closer to being a performing zygote. Thanks, guys? I guess? Though most of those dancers weren't even Asian, I don't think.

I've saved the best show for last... No one was more surprised than yours truly that this Drag Race, Top Model, and Puppy Bowl fan (fiiiine, maybe I was slightly aware of the extremely super Super Bowl that happened that Sunday -- gooooo puppies!) could get into the History Channel's gun show, Top Shot. But listen up, people: this show is all kinds of awesome. It's a contest reality show in the vein of Project Runway or Idol, but instead of making dresses or singing pop tunes, they're shooting at intricate targets. The host is Survivor all-star Colby Donaldson (who's actually quite good here, redeeming him from his truly dismal All-Stars performance last season). The show's lead sponsor is Bass Pro Shops. I never thought I would ever willingly be watching something sponsored by Bass Pro Shops. I don't even understand what that is -- the logo has a fish (presumably a bass) on it; I like to imagine that these Olympic marksmen and ex-military guys and ladies are like, "YES! Free bait!" (I do get that they sell hunting -- as in shooting -- gear as well, but that bass in the name and logo cracks me up).

Anyway, my favorite part of the show? At the end, the losing team has to vote for who they want out, just as in Survivor (though unlike Survivor, the TWO people with the most votes go head to head in a shooting contest, the loser getting sent home and the winner getting a BASS PRO SHOPS gift card, yesss). But there's no namby-pamby walking off to vote in the shadows like Survivor; instead the teammates all gather and one by one shoot at the target with the name of their vote on it. You want to vote Chris out? You shoot at the target that says Chris while Chris watches you. I sort of wish that the contestants' faces were also on the targets, but I guess that's too morbid. Still, awesomest voting method EVER.

So why do we care about Top Shot? The second season includes two Asian Americans: 32-year-old oil company contractor Athena "Who doesn't want to see a little Asian chick kick butt?" Lee and 35-year-old golf instructor(!) Jay "I'm pretty much good at anything I try" Lim. Jay was the only one to hit the target in the very first challenge, in which the contestants had to shoot with an old timey rifle (sorry guys, no technical terms here), which is especially impressive because he is the only amateur in the group. Jay got to be one of the two team leaders, and poor Athena was picked last, going to the opposing team. Athena's team won, however, so Jay had the humiliation of taking his team to vote in the aforementioned amazing voting targets. No one shot Jay's target, so he stays to play another week.

Jay is safe...for now. But are you?

Seriously you guys, I can't stress enough how entertaining this show is. I didn't even mention the main challenge, which involved shooting (fake) pool balls at tricky angles as an ominous fog rolled in, and the bottom two challenge, which involved moving targets and looked pretty tough. The photography on the show is also great, showing the slow motion movement of the bullets as they shatter their targets, sending an explosion of powder/glass/whatever flying. I totally sound like a gun nut right now and I am so not! Give this show a chance, even if you're a girly wiener like me!

I would seriously like to have a beer with this lady. Bad. Ass.



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.



Pretty sure that photo is of DJ Virman.

Whoops! I knew I wasn't doing a proper identification job...thanks for the correction!

Thanks for the mention :)

If this is really Jay, my pleasure! I missed your amazingly steep learning curve for all the crazy challenges this past season. If it's a Jay imposter, thanks for reading the article, anyway.