Hyphen TV: Very Audacious

June 3, 2013

I like to think that this is what Judith wears while grocery shopping.

I totally jinxed Judith last
week when I recklessly stated that there was no way she wouldn't be in
the finale of The Voice, didn't I? I'm so sorry, Judith! So what went
down? Well first of all, we learned that Judith goes to Tokyo every year
to work with kids in creating music. HOW COULD YOU NOT VOTE FOR THIS
WOMAN, AMERICA? Sorry. So this week, Judith decided to go way more
contemporary with the will.i.am & Justin Bieber song "#thatPOWER", a tune
that I am totally unfamiliar with because I am old. Adam was "shocked" by Judith's song choice, which was "very radically
different" from the songs she had chosen previously.

was everything we have come to expect from Judith: gorgeously sung with energetic movement and awesome styling (this week she rocked a metallic leather-feathered cape and mohawk). Blake called the hair "bad ass" and said he
was glad to see Judith's personality with the current song. Shakira liked
the way that Judith flipped the song, calling the performance "very
audacious." Adam said he was confused by the choice at first, but wanted
to let Judith have control; and now, of course, he sees that she can
truly do anything. He also said that for the first time, he felt that
"this is not a contestant on The Voice, this is an artist performing a
song just like any of us [judges] do."

Feelin' it.

So what happened?
Are Voice voters as clueless about the music of will.i.am as i.am? Or is
this as far as her funky vocal and personal style could get on a
show that is dominated by blond country girls? Are there shades of the
Elton John racism accusations of American Idol voters back when Jennifer
Hudson was voted off, or was there a particular confluence of events
that I'm not thinking of? We'll never know what it was, but I am damn
sorry to not have Judith Hill on my TV every week anymore. Keep up with
her here.

Judith is better at not being super pissed than I am.

I've been bummed about not meeting many APA
hopefuls on So You Think You Can Dance so far, but my wishes were
partially answered at the Boston audition, where hip hop dancer John
Tesoriero introduced us to Gene Shinozaki, a beatboxer who performs in Boston subway stations. The two decided to combine their talents for
John's audition, Gene providing the only music that John moved to. Nigel
called the performance "a piece of art," and Mary called them "super
entertaining," adding, "in ten seasons, we never had anyone come up and
create something like this." John was sent to choreography but didn't
make it to Vegas, and we never got to see Gene again (his name never even appeared onscreen, which is too bad).

I almost gave up on hoping to see any potentially great APA dance talent
when we got to the end of the Boston episode and met Toshihiko Nazakura,
who I must admit I suspected of being a joke contestant. The guy had
bleach blond hair, gold harem pants and vest, a silver shirt, and a hot
pink undershirt. Oh, and he had a thick Japanese accent, which the show
loves to make fun of (cue extended clip of Nigel naming dance styles and
Toshihiko confirming that he did them all as the audience laughed). As
if the apparent deck wasn't already stacked against him, we saw
Toshihiko acting out a video game in which he fought himself on a subway
platform (what's with the subways in Boston?).

the show completely misled us all, and Toshihiko, who is 28 and lives
in Harlem, showed some amazing -- and sometimes painful looking -- moves
that impressed the judges. Nigel was all praise: "Now that is what I'm
talking about. Humor, creativity, passion...You were absolutely
fantastic. I didn't want it to stop. Brilliant." But then he just had to
add, "Are you understanding anything I'm saying?" Erg. Adam Shankman
told Toshihiko, "You're like living art. Your storytelling is
unbelievable." He went straight to Vegas, and we were treated to his
celebration outside the theater: "Yatta! This my dream come true." I'm
mildly worried about how Vegas will be for him, but I'm very excited to
see what else Toshihiko can do.

Another grocery shopping outfit, in my mind.

I didn't want to let too
much time go by before mentioning the return of Arrested Development,
which is noteworthy for many reasons, but I found myself drawn to something that Jeff Yang tweeted the weekend that
dropped: "One episode into @Netflix's #ArrestedDevelopment S4
& I've seen more Asian actors in nonstereotypical roles than 3hrs of
primetime #kudos" It's true, you guys: there are APA characters all
over this thing. Since I obviously don't want to spoil anything for those still planning on watching the new episodes, I'll just list
the actors I could find on IMDb (VERY mild spoilers ahead). There were also many extras I spotted scattered throughout the scenes. Please chime in if you know of anyone I missed. I don't remember this being the case
for the first three seasons, so it was a nice surprise!

most famous Asian American character is of course Annyong Bluth, played
by Justin Lee. I will confirm that he's back, but I won't say to what
capacity. Oh also, this list is in no particular order (which makes sense considering the tangled timeline of the episodes
themselves). Richard Jin Namkung appears in a fairly substantial role
as  Paul "P-Hound" Huan (man, it stinks not being able to talk more
about these characters, huh?). Romel De Silva has a fun scene with Ken
as Trang and Trang's grandfather.

Is this photo a spoiler?

Twins Matt and
John Yuan (who you might remember from Observe and Report) play twins
Dean and Doug Fleer on the show with fun results. Amy Hill (who you'll
recognize from everything, but I still think of her as the grandmother
in All-American Girl) is Noh with Bobby Lee (Mrs. Oh), and Suzanne Whang
is Olive Garden while Karen Maruyama is China Garden (this just
makes NO sense out of context). Then we have Parvesh Cheena as Kabir,
Guru Singh as Jaideep, and Rizwan Manji as Animesh. We also got Indian
Medical Students #1 and #2, played respectively by Sharmila Devar and
Hasan Minhaj.

You guys? Look at those names. That is a fairly
substantial list, and those are just the credited actors (who I was able
to find)! Many of them have great lines and delivered them with aplomb.
Can we just soak this in for a second, please?


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.