Hyphen TV: Asian Bitching

April 29, 2013

Just a little natural girlfriend-boyfriend time

We found out just what's been going on with Ming on this
week's Awkward. She was having a normal chat with pals Jenna and
Tamara when a random Asian American dude slides over, silently and
dispassionately grabbing her boob. Cue confused looks from the girls.
"You guys, this is my boyfriend Henry. We're in love?" A definite
question mark punctuated Ming's second sentence, but no further explanation was given.

These girls dress way more fun than I did in high school

Ming burst out of a shed in the sanctuary with Henry trailing behind
her, loudly yet stiffly saying, "Was that good for you? Yeah, that was good for me
too. Aw, damn, my shirt's on backwards. Thanks for the tune-up!" Y'know,
all the things that you would say after your average steamy session under
the bleachers. Oh, and did I mention it was followed by a high-five...intimate much? Our old friend
Becca of the Asian Mafia appeared right after, grilling Ming on facts about Henry and
expressing surprise because she thought that Ming "liked tall, skinny
Asian boys with a sense of humor and a cowlick an inch above their right
ear." (Y'know, the kind of guy some of us really dig.) Of course, this is
all a thin ruse to get Ming to admit that she's still got the hots for
Becca's ex Fred Wu, but Ming revealed nothing...except that she let slip
her newfound Mandarin skills, but it's unclear whether Becca caught on.

girls went on a triple date, during which they were uncomfortably
squished in Jake's car. "Chinese fire drill!" Tamara screamed out when
she was unhappy with the seating arrangement. "No offense," she added
to Ming, who had made a face. Different subsequent Chinese fire
drills were called out, "No offense" tacked onto each one. It was a
small thing, but I really liked this. I definitely had moments like this
in high school, and they continue to this day -- those colloquialisms
that exist and aren't outright racist, but are definitely edging toward
uncomfortable (likening things to fortune cookies or geishas come
to mind) that people say with guilt because they know these things
aren't quite right. And they're not quite wrong enough for you, as an
Asian American person, to "correct" either (unless you're much, much more confident than I am, which, let's face it, you likely are). Oh, I have been there.

Henry was at the charades party later that night when lo and behold, Fred Wu shows up at the door. Ming started merrily
making out with him, and her friends demanded answers. Turns out Henry
is her beard, and she's been "Asian bitching Becca for months." While
she was at her grandparents' over the summer, she was also seeing Fred
on the low. Becca has no evidence that anything happened, but as Ming
pointed out to Jenna and Tamara, "I Asian bitched you bitches and you
didn't know!" Good for Ming and Fred, I guess? Obviously this will all
come to a head in some horrible fashion down the line, but it's sweet to
see them so happy now. But what does Henry get out of this, I wonder?
And why are they trying to make "Asian bitching" a thing?

They're all, "Did she just call us bitches?"

Survivor, poor Brenda is really feeling rough. The surprise turns of
the previous tribal council (in which not one, but two immunity idols
were played by folks not in her alliance) had Brenda feeling scared. When she cried afterward, Dawn was there to reassure her (who, if you'll
remember, was freaking out over her retainer just days before -- a real turnaround).

Dawn's like, "If I'M the calm and reasonable one here..."

Brenda's confidence was clearly shaken,
and she took that anxiety to the Survivor auction, where she listlessly
placed tentative bids with tears in her eyes over and over, only to get
outbid for great prizes again and again. She explained that she was
afraid of getting something bad, which is a constant threat in this
particular game (and...kind of an obvious one that doesn't need to be
stated? Further proof of Brenda's mental turmoil at this point). In what
seemed to be an almost manic moment of desperation, Brenda bid a
whopping $300 on a mystery item, finally winning...a pig's brain. "Ironically, I don't feel like crying right now,
which is weird," she said in an almost alarmingly controlled way. When Jeff
asked if she would taste any, baiting the poor girl, she took a bite
and then said, "I just remembered that I don't eat pork." Oh, Brenda.
That was painful to watch.

"This sucks" is the only thing that could possibly have been running through her head right then

Luckily, she later was able to join in
with the group that got letters from home, and shared a bowl
of peanut butter with the tribe. Back on the beach, with peanut butter
smeared on her face, Brenda cried again -- this time with joy -- while
reading her messages. "This is why I'm out here. For these people. I'll
do anything for them," she said while clutching her letters. It was a
nice moment of light in her dark day, but when Brenda was the first one
out at the immunity challenge, it was apparent that the strong competitor
still had not shaken the demons that were haunting her. Brenda, rally!
You can do this, girl!


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.