Tag Archives: John Cho

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‘Selfie’ to Stream on Hulu

by STEVE HAN | @steve_han
steve@iamkoream.com

ABC’s romantic comedy series Selfie, starring John Cho and Karen Gillan, has found a new home on Hulu.

The video streaming site announced Monday that it has agreed to pick up Selfie after ABC canceled the Warner Bros. show earlier this month. Hulu will release the the six unaired episodes on Hulu and Hulu Plus on a weekly basis starting Tuesday, the series creator Emily Kapnek announced on Twitter. The episodes will also be available on ABC.com.

ABC scrapped Selfie from its Tuesday night lineup after the series opened with an underwhelming 5.3 million viewers and a 1.6 ratings among adults aged between 18 and 49, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Manhattan Love Story was also taken out of ABC’s lineup for the same reason.

This is not the first time Hulu has adopted an axed ABC Comedy. Last year, the streamer hosted the remaining episodes of Apartment 23  on its site after ABC canceled the show due to poor ratings.

Photo courtesy of Hollywood.com

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LINK ATTACK: Ki Hong Lee, Millennials in NKorea, Veterans Day

How Millennials Are Shaking North Korea’s Regime
“My generation, they’re not really worshiping the Kim regime sincerely, just pretending. That’s what we call the black market generation,” Yeonmi Park tells NBC News.

SKorean Province Donates $100K for Jersey City’s Vandalized War Memorial
“The veterans never expected that the Korean people would remember what they fought for 60 years ago, but they do appreciate the sacrifice you guys made,” said Jersey City Councilman Yun.

Maze Runner Star Ki Hong Lee Navigates His Way Through Hollywood
“I feel that the Korean community has my back in terms of what I’ve done and where I’ve come from. I appreciate that very much,” Ki Hong Lee tells The Korea Times.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 4.10.39 PMPhoto courtesy of Ki Hong Lee

Korean Laker Girl Sujan Pang: Defying Expectations
Laker Girl Sujan Pang talks to Korea Times about her journey to joining arguably the most prestigious cheerleading squad in the sports world.

Sundance Institute/Asian American Feature Film Fellowship
The Sundance Institute is currently accepting applications from Asian American filmmakers for the Asian American Feature Film Fellowship. Deadline is Dec. 15.

Why “Selfie’s” Cancellation is a Massive Shame: This Was the Most Promising Interracial Couple on TV
““Selfie’s” cancellation is a blow for the movement of Getting John Cho Laid On-Screen — the superficial arm of the larger organization titled Hey TV, Not Everyone Is White, In Case You Hadn’t Noticed.”

selfiePhoto courtesy of ABC/Eric McCandless

A Brief History of Political Collaborations Between Latinos and Asians in America
Hyphen magazine covers the history of longstanding collaborations forged by Latinos and Asians in America.

Starbucks’ Foreigner-friendly Policy on WiFi Upsets Koreans
“Starbucks in Korea has come under criticism from Koreans who have discovered that the coffee giant has been demanding more personal information from Korean customers than foreigners to use its free WiFi service.”

Korean Officials Under Fire After Mentioning a Tax on Being Single
“Would more South Koreans shack up and produce offspring if the government raised the price of being single with a new tax?”

 

Veterans Day Remembrance: America’s ‘First Korean War Bride’ Comes Home
“Crowds cheered excitedly, whistles tooted. Seattle and the U.S. were welcoming the first Korean war bride to arrive in America, Mrs. Johnie Morgan, home with her sergeant husband.”

141110-wayne-miller-korean-bride-01Photo courtesy of Wayne Miller/Magnum

Two Korean Americans Throw in Names for L.A. City Council
“General elections may be over for 26 Korean Americans who ran for office, but for two more political hopefuls — District 4 candidate David Ryu and District 10 candidate Grace Yoo — the race for the Los Angeles City Council in next year’s March 3 election has just begun.”

First Look at the Coming-of-Age Teen Comedy Soul Searching 
“The upcoming indie feature film Seoul Searching is a coming-of-age teen comedy written and directed by Benson Lee. Set in the 1980s, the film is based on Benson’s personal experiences in 1986 at a government-sponsored summer camp for Koreans from around the world to learn about their heritage.”

Northridge Woman Recounts Challenges of Being First Asian-American Woman to Serve in U.S. Navy
“Susan Anh Cuddy was the first Asian-American woman in the U.S. Navy`s Waves program. She joined in 1942 and served during the cold war. Part of her duties included breaking enemy codes.”

5 Asian Authors Who Should Be Taught in Every High School
Audrey Magazine compiles five prominent Asian authors that should be introduced to the American education system.

Featured photo courtesy of Humanrightsfoundation.org

JOHN CHO, KAREN GILLAN

In Defense of Millennials, from a ‘Selfie’ Fan

by GRACE KANG

#thestruggle has been the unofficial hashtag slogan of my post-grad life since June 2013 when my peers and I were herded by the thousands through commencement. As we haphazardly tossed our caps and tassels into the air, I shouted, “Finally, the great adventure of financial debt and accrued interest can begin!” Although dozens of those within earshot of me laughed, it was in commiseration rather than mirth. The reality is, student loans and a scrubland job market confront 99 percent of the Millennial generation. But we knew that was coming the moment we posed bleary-eyed for our student ID pictures as incoming freshman at UC-Riverside four years earlier.

Although the media loves to depict millennials as unmotivated leeches with Internet access, we are out there and struggling (I mean if you want some real bloodsuckers, check out richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com). On the other hand, the star of ABC’s soon-to-be-axed sitcom “Selfie,” millennial Eliza Dooley, is living the #instagood life, with her own place in SoCal, a steady income and a no-holds-barred social life. It’s a glamorous far cry from #thestruggle of many twenty-somethings who find themselves in a bizarre alternate “Hunger Games”-style universe in which the arena is a job market mainly consisting of part-time, minimum-wage or entry-level positions that require anywhere from two to five years of experience. For recent postgrad applicants, coming armed with an internship on your resume is a lot like wielding a pot lid to fight the other tributes.

Selfie-ABC-John-Cho-Karen-Gillan(Photo courtesy of Hypable)

Eliza Dooley (played by the Scottish actress Karen Gillan) seems a lot more like a mashup of the Plastics and Reese Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blonde minus the conniving cutthroat attitude of the former and Harvard-educated intellect of the latter. Despite her 263,000-plus social media contacts, Eliza has no idea how to navigate interpersonal waters or go two minutes without checking her smartphone, which she uses to count calories, measure her blood alcohol levels and apparently validate her existence. Her character makes me think, ‘So this is how the Gen X minds behind “Selfie” view my generation,’ the way John Cho’s uptight, workaholic character Henry Higgs views Eliza—as attention-hungry, empty headed social media junkies in need of a rebrand.

Critics have slammed the sitcom’s fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between millennials and the social media sphere, much of which was conceived and put into our hands by Generation X. A string of secondary characters on “Selfie” appears to be partly or almost entirely absent from these platforms (e.g. the twee book club ladies who IRL—that’s “in real life,” for those unfamiliar with social media speak—would probably get half their recipes/do-it-yourself/vintage inspiration from sites like Pinterest or the handful of the nondescript corporate boy characters who likely would spend hours burrowed deep in the crevasse of Reddit threads).

Although it’s Eliza who approaches Henry, pleading for a revamp of her image, she possesses a strong self-awareness and is loyal to how she wants to be seen as opposed to how others would prefer to see her.

It’s funny how the MTV generation acts as if millennials should huff and puff and blow down the walls of social media, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s us—the Millenial generation—to whom they’re marketing. Millennials are aware of the fourth wall and we like to stare right back even if we, as Eliza once put it on the show, are prone to “kiss a hamburger, full makeup, no filter.” We know we’re both the product and the market. We know you’re watching – and sometimes scoffing – but we honestly don’t care.

The beauty of “selfie” culture and social media is that we, as the target demographic, have some input into what we get called out for—fairly or not. Sure, a huge unfortunate chunk of it stems from kids at music festivals appropriating Native American culture. But there’s the silver lining—like being able to send five-chinned funny face snaps to your friends, or taking non-photoshopped, airbrushed images and still getting “likes” and positive, uplifting comments on one’s social media feed.

It’s true that some of Henry’s throwbacks to the “olden days” on “Selfie” go right over my head, but there are moments invoking nostalgia, like the music of TLC’s “No Scrubs” or references to “Friends” and the elephant-shaped, tangerine-flavored “Kinder-Chewz” that brought me back to the days of chalky Flintstones vitamins. At the end of the day, “Selfie” is a lot like the way Eliza describes social media—as addictive “as crack.” The show has a clumsy charm much like the embarrassing yet endearing way Henry fumbles around Facebook. But it’s also what has my Tumblr dashboard exploding with viewers cooing over gifs and screencaps of Eliza and Henry.

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(Gifs courtesy of stealthebuttons.tumblr.com)

Eliza’s style of biting back against Gen X’s nitpicking and penchant for pigeonholing had me coming back for each new episode. (She’s like the living embodiment of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” which, like the show, is steadily growing on me.) But really, how can the network think to cancel a show where John Cho gallops up to Karen Gillan on a majestic steed? Oh, #thestruggle.

Featured photo courtesy of ABC/Eric McCandless.

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Grace J. Kang is a Korean American freelance writer with a degree in creative writing from UC Riverside, where she wrote scathing film reviews as the Arts and Entertainment editor at the campus paper. Her interests include egregious media consumption, intersectional feminism and free refills on iced coffee. She likes writing while listening to soundtracks from the Silent Hill games, which she says are “soothing” and “remind me of home.” You can follow her #instaunfamous self at username foxblot.

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ABC Deletes ‘Selfie’ Off Its TV Schedule

by REERA YOO

ABC won’t be taking another Selfie. The network has confirmed that it will not be ordering any additional episodes outside of the freshman comedy’s initial order of 13, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Starring John Cho and Karen Gillan, Selfie follows the story of social media star Eliza Dooley who enlists the help of her company’s marketing guru, Henry Higgs, to help rebrand herself after a publicly humiliating incident. The show had garnered a lot of attention since it features an Asian American male romantic lead.

However, the social media-drenched show struggled to find an audience and its ratings continued to drop as the weeks progressed. ABC tried to raise numbers with back-to-back episodes this week, but Selfie only reeled in 3.7 and 3.2 million views, according to Nielsen. The show will reportedly air its seventh episode in its regular timeslot next Tuesday, but it’s unclear whether ABC will air the remaining 6 episodes.

ABC also axed Selfie‘s companion sitcom Manhattan Love Story a few weeks ago due to even lower ratings. However, the network did order a full season of its freshman drama, Forever.

Ratings aside, many fans and critics have praised Gillan and Cho’s chemistry and performances. It’s unfortunate that the show got canceled prematurely, especially since the relationship between Eliza and Henry started blossoming in the last few episodes. Although it’s been brief, we’ll miss Selfie and its hilarious Crayon Pop dances.

Read our October/November 2014 cover story on John Cho here.

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Photo courtesy of Selfie‘s Facebook page

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[VIDEO] John Cho Dances to “Bar Bar Bar” Again, This Time in a Power Ranger Costume

by REERA YOO

Halloween may be over, but this video of John Cho dancing to Crayon Pop’s “Bar Bar Bar” in a Power Ranger costume is a priceless treat.

In this hilarious and charming video, Cho morphs into a Red Ranger and dances with his Selfie co-star Karen Gillan, who turns out to be mean pink dancing machine. They are joined by the adorable Green Ranger, Keith L. Williams, who plays Charmonique’s son Kevin on the show.

This isn’t the first time the trio has danced to Crayon Pop’s infectious song “Bar Bar Bar.” They’ve previously danced to the song on Selfie‘s fourth episode, “Nugget of Wisdom.” You watch the full clip of the episode’s dance scene here.

The three actors also seemed to have taken full advantage of their Halloween costumes as they were still dressed in them for Gillan’s second ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Read our October/November cover story on John Cho here.

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[VIDEO] John Cho of ‘Selfie’ Dances to Crayon Pop’s “Bar Bar Bar”

by REERA YOO

In the latest episode of ABC’s sitcom Selfie, John Cho busted out his K-pop dance moves to Crayon Pop’s viral song “Bar Bar Bar.”

Cho’s character Henry finds himself babysitting Charmonique’s son, Kevin, with Eliza on a Saturday night in the show’s fourth episode, “Nugget of Wisdom.” The hilarious dance scene occurs when the trio attempts to create an illusion of a night club, so Eliza can upload photos of a “fun weekend” on her Instagram.

Upon hearing the bubbly song, Henry scoffs and says, “Oh I get it. You think because I’m Korean, I automatically like K-pop.”

However, Henry is unable to resist the infectious beat and soon releases his inner K-pop fanboy by dancing wildly. Even Eliza seems to enjoy the music as she shows off dance moves similar to Crayon Pop’s signature “straight-five engine dance.”

Watch the epic dance party below:

No one can resist the K-pop.

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John Cho

John Cho of ‘Selfie’ Talks About Being an Asian American Actor in Reddit AMA

by JAMES S. KIM

What’s the difference between John Cho and Henry Higgins, the character Cho plays on ABC’s Selfie? Not much, apparently. Cho says he’s “pretty curmudgeonly about social media.” He doesn’t have a Facebook account, and although he has Twitter, he is very cautious of it — just like Higgins.

Earlier today, Cho participated in an “Ask Me Anything” Q&A, where he discussed his experiences in Harold & KumarStar Trek and even Better Luck Tomorrow. He also answered a few random questions from Redditors (he wants to be the next Batman!) and delved into some of the challenges he faced as an Asian American actor, from racism in the entertainment industry to finding fleshed-out roles for Asian Americans.

Here are some highlights:

How he is similar to his character Henry on Selfie:
“I am pretty curmudgeonly about social media. I don’t have Facebook and I’m on Twitter, but I go through periods where I’m scared of it, and resent it. Haha! And I don’t like how addictive it is, so I have to put it down. So I am cautious with social media, just like Henry. Henry has a better wardrobe, though,” Cho wrote.

On what drew him to the role on Selfie:
“What drew me in was the opportunity to play a character that I’m not typically asked to play,” Cho said. “I think it’s a very unique show on the tube right now. It’s got a very fun tone, and I can’t overstate this — Karen Gillan as the lead is fantastic.”

His thoughts on his co-star Karen Gillan:
“She’s an amazing actress, and a cool person to boot. It’s been a real privilege to work alongside her. You know what I find amazing? Because people in the UK are typically good at American accents, since they grow up with them? But what’s unusual about her is that she can pop in and out — she doesn’t speak American English between takes. … It’s bizarre. She’s particularly good at it.”

He added, “It’s funny. Karen is on Twitter and pretty good about tweeting. I am less of a tweeter, but have become more so as a result of the show.”

He wants to be Batman:
“I want a shot at playing Batman!” Cho eagerly wrote after being asked which Marvel or DC film role he would like to play. “Ben Affleck’s doing it next right? After Ben retires, I call next. A serious Asian tech billionaire maybe?”

His first time being recognized in public as an actor:
“The first time I really remember … I had shot American Pie, it was just a little bit role, I didn’t think anyone would know what the movie was,” Cho said. “I was out of the country, shooting another movie, and had missed the release of American Pie, and was unaware it was a really big hit. So I came back to America, and kids were chanting ‘MILF! MILF!’ at me on the street. And I was really confused, and it took me a while to understand what was happening actually.”

His experience as an Asian American actor in Hollywood:
“I experienced racism, and in my professional life, I try to take roles (and have always tried to take roles) that don’t fall within the parameters of any Asian stereotype. And so to me, hopefully, that’s a positive thing I can put into popular culture and so maybe in some bizarrely tiny way that helps people not think of Asians in one particular way.”

On Star Trek 3:
After stating that he has absolute confidence in Star Trek 3 director Bob Orci, Cho wrote, “I don’t know anything about Star Trek 3. I’m guessing I’m in it? I just went in for a costume fitting.”

On his overall experience on American Pie:
“It felt innocent. All those actors were young. I didn’t know anyone; they were all starting out. I didn’t know anything about the business, and Chris and Paul (the director and producer) were great,” Cho said about one of his earliest films.

“It could have been a forgettable gross out movie, but what carried the day was its earnestness and its characters, even though admittedly there’s a sexual pie, a man has sex with a pie, but I think there’s a lot of imitators and they were never able to quite capture the spirit of that movie, because what that movie did was effectively capture and remember what it felt like to be that age.”

On popularizing the term “MILF”:
“I don’t know that we needed it in our cultural vocabulary, but it was there and I was the conduit at that moment in time. It’s funny, and it started my comedy career inadvertently, but my joke answer is that I apologize for all the websites I’ve proliferated upon the world.”

On North Korea:
“My father was born in what is now North Korea. I saw a Frontline documentary on North Korea, and … There are people who are risking their lives to smuggle in DVDS with Western pop culture movies and TV shows,” Cho wrote. “It is considered a way to fight the regime by spreading images of Western Pop culture to show that what they’ve been saying about the West is untrue. It would be really amazing if they were aware of a person of Korean descent who was part of that popular culture and output.”

He also wants to be on Game of Thrones:
“I want to up my swordplay and be on Game of Thrones,” Cho said in response to a question asking him which TV show he wish he was a part of the cast. I guess if Cho were to meet John Snow on set, the two could take turns telling each other they know nothing.

His thoughts on Better Luck Tomorrow:
“We did feel that we were making something special. And that was part and parcel of a great movement in independent cinema that came out of the 1990s, but it came out of this great fervor,” Cho wrote about the 1992 crime drama that featured an Asian American cast.

“It felt like we were pushing against a membrane and never really broke through, but I was really proud to be a part of the pushing. And maybe nothing really similar has come along, partially because the business has changed to be less about independent cinema and more about television, that’s where the interesting content is going.”

On working on the Star Trek franchise:
“I would say first and foremost it’s a real pleasure to be working with JJ and that particular cast. Everybody involved in that production is pretty much at the top. They are among the best at what they do, so it’s a pleasure that way,” he wrote. “It’s an honor to be a part of this American cultural masterpiece.”

On George Takei:
“I find George to be fascinating. First of all, I know George and have been familiar with him for all my life. I also find it amazing that he has moved past being an actor and has become an American cultural icon. It’s pretty crazy. But people who’ve never seen Star Trek know who George Takei is, and if you say ‘Oh, my’ you know it’s the dude from Star Trek.”

When asked about receiving any tips from the original Sulu, Cho responded: “He was just very encouraging with me, because I was very very nervous, and he had put in a good word to JJ on my behalf. And I didn’t know that. And it meant the world to me that he approved of my casting.”

When he refused to do an accent for a film:
When Cho was asked to do a Chinese accent for Big Fat Liar, he declined. “I quietly thought to myself, ‘I don’t want to do this role in a kid’s comedy, with an accent, because I don’t want young people laughing at an accent inadvertently,'” Cho said. He explained that despite knowing that the filmmakers’ intent was not to jab at the accent, he “didn’t want to risk it.” Fortunately, the director Shawn Levy was willing to toss the accent and develop a new character for Cho.

“I bumped into him recently, and for him he says it was his first feature, and it was really awesome from HIS perspective that it was a good reminder that actors need to feel invested and the importance of collaboration, but for ME it was important that someone understood where I was coming from politically as far as representation of Asian-Americans.”

His plans for a zombie apocalypse:
“I’m inclined to get eaten as quickly as possible and get it over with,” Cho responded, clearly amused. “I hate being chased, it’s the subject of all my nightmares. Let’s eliminate the chase.”

To read more of John Cho’s answers, check out his AMA thread on Reddit.

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‘Harold and Kumar’ To Become An Animated Series!

by HAEIN JUNG

Those of you who’ve enjoyed the antics of stoner-duo Harold and Kumar over the years can sit back, light one up, and look forward the Harold and Kumar animated series, set to air on Adult Swim.

Last week, actor Kal Penn (aka Kumar) tweeted about the casts’ first table read for the series, ‘Had a wildly inappropriate morning,’ with John Cho (Harold), Dave Krumholtz, Paula Garces, and Eddie Kaye Thomas.

The franchise chronicles the misadventures of cannabis loving best friends Harold and Kumar as they journey to White Castle in the first film and escape from Guantanamo Bay in the second. In the final installment, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 3D, they deal with growing pains of becoming adults and putting their wild past behind them.

Additional confirmation comes from writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg who helmed the screenplay for all three films. Hurwitz tweeted, “‘Harold & Kumar’ table read was insane, surreal, & hilarious. Cannot wait for fans to see this!”

Not only was the franchise a beloved cult comedy classic, it has also been favorably reviewed by critics. Robert Koehler of Variety says, “…gleefully upends expectations and delivers an energetic comedy”. A.O Scott of the New York Times writes it’s “delightfully stupid” and that it’s also “one of the few recent comedies that persuasively, and intelligently, engage the social realities of contemporary multicultural America.” The exact airdate of the animated series is vague. However, actress Paula Garces (Maria) assured fans on Twitter, “Coming sooner than u think!”

Puff. Puff. Exhale.

Image via The Daily Caller