Tag Archives: TV

September Issue: Put Your Hands in the Air for PK

Put Your Hands in the Air

—for Paul “PK” Kim, co-host of the new TV show Beats Per Mnet, which showcases all people and things Asian American

story by Ann Lee
photographs by Eric Sueyoshi

PAUL KIM HAD A PROBLEM. He had no idea what to do with his hands.

That may sound odd for someone like Kim, better known as PK, who has spent much of the past decade performing on stage—whether delivering his stand-up routine at Los Angeles’ Laugh Factory, emceeing weddings on the weekends or hosting the Asian American talent show known as Kollaboration, which he founded.

How could he possibly have a problem with his phalanges?

“It’s not a natural thing to be looking straight into a camera,” explains PK, who recently made his television debut as the co-host of Beats Per Mnet. “It’s really awkward. You don’t know what to do with your hands.”

Beats Per Mnet, or BPM for short, is the flagship show of Mnet, billed as the only English-language television network to target Americans interested in Asian culture. The new network also marks the entry of South Korea-based CJ Entertainment Media Group into the U.S. marketplace. Every weekday at 7 p.m. since May, PK and model/actress co-host Yvonne Lu have been showcasing the vast diversity of personalities and cultures that comprise Asian America. Guests so far have included comedian Bobby Lee, California Congresswoman Judy Chu and actor Ken Jeong of Hangover 2 fame. Continue reading

Thursday's Link Attack: Jennifer Chung, Ken Jeong, Jung Sik Restaurant

Q&A with Singer Jennifer Chung

Talented, down-to-earth, and bubbly. These are the general adjectives that come to mind whenever someone meets Jennifer Chung for the first time. It’s inspiring to think that a simple girl publishing YouTube videos for her friends in a college dorm would eventually become a voice to the Youtube generation. Who would’ve known right? She has been able to engage an audience all over the world using her raw lyrics and powerful vocals balancing the whole shebang of student life –classes, loans, late night study sessions, part-time jobs.

Now with school out of the way, she is now settling in with her new life in Los Angeles, with a debut album releasing VERY soon! Join OA as we sit down with Jennifer and she shares her experience as a pioneer in new media, her feelings about her video featured on New York’s Times Square, and her development as an artist.

Ken Jeong: Friend or Foe?

That’s the question that kept popping up in my head as I looked at the GQ photoshoot featuring Ken Jeong and the fall season’s hottest corduroy pants. The actual task of showcasing those pants, mind you, falls not to Jeong but the male model with the washboard abs, canoodling with a 19-year-old female model. Jeong’s role is to “photobomb” each shot with nothing more than his own brashness; clothing optional.

The GQ photoshoot is the type of physical comedy audiences have come to expect from Jeong, who gained fame as the flamboyant gangster Mr. Chow from the Hangover series. In the first Hangover, a nude Chow introduced himself by leaping out of a car trunk and beating the movie’s three protagonists with a tire iron.

Fall Restaurant Preview: Jung Sik – Spicy, Crispy, Modern and Korean
New York Times

[Andrea Ahan] is one of four young Koreans and Korean-Americans who are opening Jung Sik. All of them, including the chef (for whom the restaurant is named), the pastry chef and the sommelier, attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., where, Ms. Ahan said, they bonded during trips to Fort Lee, N.J., to eat authentic Korean food like dukbokki (chewy rice cakes) and tofu stewed with kimchi.

Jung Sik Yim, the 33-year-old chef, went on to internships in New York and Spain before returning to Seoul to open Jung Sik Dang, in 2009. Said to be the first restaurant in which molecular gastronomy was applied to Korean ingredients, it was a huge hit.

Garden Grove doctor arrested in fraud sweep
Orange County Register

A doctor and an administrator at a Garden Grove medical clinic have been arrested for allegedly billing Medicare for physical therapy treatment that was never provided, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Dr. Byung Ho Pak and Mary Lim were arrested Wednesday morning as part of federal sweep in six regions of the U.S. Pak and Lim, while working at Seoul East West Medical Center, billed Medicare $2 million for physical therapy, according to an indictment. Patients, however, were given treatments that weren’t covered such as acupuncture and moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medicine skin treatment.

Korean Canadian store owner hits the jackpot
Winnipeg Free Press

A Winnipeg convenience store owner is $1 million richer after a lottery ticket he purchased at his store hit the jackpot.

Byung Cho won $1 million in the Western 649 lottery, according to the Western Canada Lottery Corp. Cho purchased a $28 ticket at his shop, Mak Milk, at 661 Talbot Ave. The next day, Cho checked his lotto numbers and discovered he had the winning numbers.

Konnect Magazine Interviews Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Connie Chung
Konnect Magazine

I love everything there is about being a Korean American. I embrace being an American but I also embrace being a Korean. I don’t think you can find anyone else that is more proud of being a Korean American than I. My favorite type of food is Korean and my favorite thing to do is Karaoke. I taught myself how to read and write Korean in middle school by watching popular Korean music variety shows such as Inkigayo and Music Bank. I love Korean Pop music and can watch KPOP music videos for hours and learn the dance routines. In fact, when I was in college I participated in many cultural talent shows and performed many KPOP dances! I’m a Korean American and I’m VERY proud of it.


Rare Color Photo of the Kim Dynasty
Chosun Ilbo

This rare photo of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il with his younger sister Kyong-hui (right) and his father Kim Il-sung (center) was recently published by a nkleadershipwatch.wordpress.com, a blog dedicated to North Korea issues.

Why Thailand has become a popular path to freedom for North Korean defectors
Christian Science Monitor

A growing number of North Korean defectors are crossing illegally into Thailand via a new ‘underground railroad’ because Thailand processes defectors and sends them to South Korea quickly.

Kim Jong-Il’s Human Rights Atrocities
New York Times (Letter to the editor)

North Korea is ranked in every survey of freedom and human rights as the worst of the worst. A network of at least six camps for political prisoners, holding up to 200,000 people, forms the core of Kim Jong-il’s terrifying control apparatus. Shocking accounts of the worst possible forms of torture have emerged from survivors of the gulags who have escaped.

What should the international community do?

First, end its silence. It is extraordinary that a situation as severe as North Korea is so seldom discussed. When North Korea is on the agenda, it is in the context of its nuclear program, regional security or food shortages. Rarely do the North Korean gulags enter the consciences of international policymakers. That must change.

Minn. man sentenced for harboring illegal aliens
WXOW.com (La Crosse, Wisc.)

An Eagan man has been sentenced to two years in prison for harboring illegal aliens so they could work in his siding business.

U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen on Wednesday sentenced 63-year-old Joo Ok Kim on one count of harboring and concealing aliens.

Kim pleaded guilty in August 2010. In his plea agreement, he admitted that from November 2008 through March 2009 he kept five Mexican nationals in his basement.

In Immigrant Areas, a Culture Clash Over Gay Marriage
New York Times

A bar in Sunnyside, Queens recently held a raffle for a same-sex wedding reception, which included a horse-drawn carriage as transportation.

Neighbors said they would boycott the bar. Bloggers posted reports of past health violations there. Larry Yang, the Korean-American owner of a hardware store next door, said he resented such a public promotion of same-sex marriage. He said many among the large number of Korean-American Christians in Queens felt similarly but feared that if they spoke out they would be demonized by a liberal majority.

“If that horse-drawn carriage rides by my store, I will make sure my kids do not see it,” Mr. Yang, 45, said. “I am worried about what kind of message gay marriage is sending.”

Korean women use invention to jump over gender gap

Lee Bok-hui used to wonder what happened to all the leftover stones she saw lying around construction sites. Now she knows exactly where a percentage of those leftovers go — into an eco-friendly inflammable sheeting-material used to reinforce electrical outlets, which she invented specifically to reuse that construction site waste.

Lee debuted her invention at the Korea International Women’s Invention Exposition in May, where she won second place in the expo’s title prize.

S. Korea court upholds Somali pirate life sentence
AFP via Yahoo News

A South Korean appeals court on Thursday upheld a life sentence on a Somali pirate convicted of hijacking a South Korean-operated ship in the Arabian Sea and trying to murder the captain.

The high court in the southern port of Busan confirmed the sentence passed in late May on Mahomed Araye after the 23-year-old had appealed.

Prosecutors had sought the death sentence for Araye for shooting and seriously injuring Captain Seok Hae-Kyun of the chemical carrier Samho Jewelry with an AK rifle.

Suicide main cause of death for those under 40 in S. Korea

Suicide was the No. 1 cause of death among people under 40 years of age in South Korea last year, with the nation’s overall suicide rate also marking the highest among the world’s major countries, a report showed Thursday.

Former classmate charged with murder of Michelle Le
San Francisco Chronicle

A Union City woman was charged today with murder in the slaying of a nursing student who vanished from a Hayward parking garage more than three months ago.

Giselle Esteban, 27, who is pregnant, is to appear this afternoon on a charge of murder at the Hayward Hall of Justice. She is accused of killing her former high school friend Michelle Le, 26, whose body hasn’t been found.

Korean American Actor Cast In 'Glee' Role

Korean American actor Keong Sim has been tapped to play the father of ‘Glee’ character Mike Chang, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The Chicago native is set to appear alongside veteran actress Tamlyn Tomita as the parents of the character played by Harry Shum, Jr., EW reported.

The duo will appear in the third episode of the season, which airs Oct. 4.

Last month, Murphy told reporters that he wants to put the spotlight on other members of the cast this season. “I think one of the things that we’re doing for season three is servicing more of the kids,” Murphy said. “I don’t think there’s been enough Amber. I don’t think here’s been enough Jenna or Harry …It’s hard on me because I love all those actors and they’re so talented and I feel an obligation to showcase their talent, and this year I think we’re going to do that a little better.”

Sim, a veteran stage actor, had a small role in “The Last Airbender,” directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Tomita is best known for her role in “The Karate Kid 2″ and has numerous TV credits.


Henry Cho Returns To TV With Sketch Comedy Show

by Y. Peter Kang

Comedian and good ol’ boy Henry Cho is returning to the small screen with his new sketch comedy show, “The Henry Cho Show,” set for its pilot debut this Thursday on the Great American Country network.

The 49-year-old comic told KoreAm in a phone interview he pitched the show as a “modern-day Carol Burnett Show” featuring “clean comedy” that can be watched by the whole family.

“I had this sketch comedy idea for a while and had a window to pitch it and so I did and GAC opted to do it,” Cho said. “There is less exposure and less money but there wasn’t a lot of red tape. There were less layers to work through so the creativity didn’t get watered down. I just did what I did and they loved it.” Continue reading

Tuesday's Link Attack: Chris Jeon, Dumbfoundead, Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Chris Jeon’s Parents Say He’s Safe
The Atlantic

As Libyan rebels try to talk the country’s remaining loyalist forces into a peaceful surrender, their wackiest member, UCLA student Chris Jeon, is reportedly planning to head home soon. Jeon has been living with the fighters for several weeks, and has become the fascination of many stateside who think he’s an imbecile, a daredevil, or both. On Tuesday, The National’s Bradley Hope tweeted: “Parents of #ChrisJeon told me he is safe and heading back soon. He was unaware that there had been any news about him for the last week.”

As reports surface of UCLA student Chris Jeon fighting with rebels in Libya, former roommate feels shock, concern
The Daily Bruin (UCLA)

About a week ago, Cody Soto and Ross McCray dropped their close friend Chris Jeon off at Los Angeles International Airport.

Soto had one thought on his mind: “I just watched my friend go into war. Did I just do that?”

The plan: join the rebel movement against Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s in Libya. Jeon, a math student at UCLA, had a camera, a small backpack with a couple sets of clean clothes and a one-way, $800 ticket. Soto and McCray tried to talk him out of it, but Jeon – a high-adventure spirit who has apparently also spent four months living with an indigenous tribe in Costa Rica – had his mind made up.

Steelers name Roethlisberger, Ward, Farrior and Battle captains
AP via Washington Post

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ final 53-man roster includes all the usual names, including captains Ben Roethlisberger, James Farrior, Hines Ward and Arnaz Battle. One name, however, raised some serious eyebrows on one of the NFL’s most stable teams.

Steelers’ Ward nearing elite mark
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Hines Ward has plans if he finds his way to the end zone Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. “If I score,” the Steelers wide receiver recently said with a smile, “I’ll give a ‘Dancing with the Stars’ tribute.”

Ward needs only 46 catches to become the eighth player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions.

dumbfoundead: respect the OGs
angry asian man

I am 25 years old and I’ve been performing since I was 15. Back in the early years Asian-American musicians were obviously not as visible as they are today. We’re talking the “pre-YouTube” era, where we were only getting paid gigs by playing for college organizations. Some of the artists I would run into regularly were Beau Sia, Denizen Kane, PK, Jupitersciples, Far-East Movement, Danny Cho, Ken Oak Band, Eddie Kim, Nemo, Burning Tree Project, Snacky Chan, Jin, etc. Since then YouTube has expanded and created huge fan bases for the AA community and has played a great role in the transitioning of AA artists into the mainstream.

North Korea’s Kim does not trust China: US cable
AFP via Google News

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il expressed distrust of his country’s major economic prop China during a 2009 meeting with a visiting South Korean businesswoman, according to a US diplomatic cable.

Jennifer Yuh Nelson Becomes The Highest-Grossing Female Director Of A Film
PR Newswire via Dailymarkets.com

DreamWorks Animation today announced that its summer blockbuster, Kung Fu Panda 2, has grossed over $650 million globally to date, making Jennifer Yuh Nelson the highest-grossing female director of a film at the worldwide box office.

Check out our August 2011 cover story on Jennifer Yuh Nelson here.

Hank Conger makes defensive strides behind the plate
Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.)

Hank Conger couldn’t really see tangible results Friday behind the plate, but he knew he was on the right track.

Even though he bounced a couple of balls while throwing to second base, Conger noticed his footwork was better. That’s appropriate because his defensive progress has come in short steps for the young catcher, who has been under the tutelage of bullpen coach Steve Soliz and bullpen catcher Tom Gregorio to improve throwing technique.

How Chuseok is Changing
Wall Street Journal

With Chuseok, Korea’s Thanksgiving, happening this weekend, new businesses have sprung up for people torn between the need to follow traditional customs and the desire for an easier and relaxed holiday.

One of the important Chuseok rituals is beol-cho, an annual event where relatives get together several days before the holiday to tidy up ancestors’ grave sites with overgrown weeds. Some people find it increasingly cumbersome because they have to make an hour-long trip to the countryside to join it, not to mention a possible danger from using the hand-held mowing device that a city-dweller is generally not used to.

South Korean village bitter over what it sees as Olympic slight
Los Angeles Times

Soon after a farming area was chosen to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, the government angered villagers by banning most land sales, and resort jobs never materialized.

Friends, teachers remember drowned USC international student Wonwoo Choi
The Daily Gamecock (Univ. of South Carolina)

Known for his infectious happiness, big personality and love for his Korean heritage, cooking and sports, Wonwoo Choi was a model of positivity to his many friends and teachers.

Choi, a student in USC’s English Programs for Internationals, drowned in the Saluda River Friday evening, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.

5 best indie rock bands in Hongdae

The music scene in Hongdae, whether it be hip-hop, punk or indie rock, is growing at a rapid speed with more music clubs now than ever before. These five best Korean indie rock bands are reason enough to drag yourself out to a club in the most youthful part of town.

Top Seoul educator vows not to quit
Korea Times

Embattled top Seoul educator Kwak No-hyun said Thursday he will continue to work with a “sense of grave responsibility,” rebuffing calls for his early resignation over ever-growing bribery allegations.

East meets West: Korean student teachers learn, share at Sky View
The Herald-Journal (Utah)

Here on a mission to teach and learn, three South Korean students are taking their time to explore the American education system and acclimate to the new environment before they have a chance to take on the role of teacher in one of Sky View’s classrooms.

Dan Bi Park, So Young Cho and Hye Mi Jang traded one of their senior semesters at Seoul National University for Sky View High School in Cache Valley, where they will have a chance to learn about American culture and education, as well as introduce a little bit of South Korea to the local high school.

Ed Wang, Craig Davis among Bills cuts
NBC Sports

Chinese American offensive lineman Ed Wang was released by the Buffalo Bills in the final round of cuts last week. Wang starred at Virginia Tech as a left tackle and was drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft.


Korilla BBQ on 'The Great Food Truck Race' – Week 3

by David “Rek” Lee

Gawee Bawee Boh!

Yes, moments like these are why we’re following Korean American competitors, Korilla BBQ, on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. In week three, the teams are forced to make a tough decision: pick one team member to run the truck alone while the other two are forced to watch.

Some team leaders, such as those from HodgePodge and Seabirds, owned up to the task while others, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Lime Truck, assessed individual skills. Korilla BBQ exercised the only proper decision-making device there is: Rock, Paper, Scissors (Gawee Bawee Boh). Some might consider that taking the challenge lightly, but we Korean Americans know the sanctity of this ritual.

After the jump, read this week’s behind-the-scenes roundtable to find out what the guys thought about Denver, the untold legend of M-Mart’s Mr. Lee, and some other ways being a KA worked to their advantage. Continue reading

Tuesday's Link Attack: Obama Staffer Promoted, Kim Jong Il In Russia

Korean-American named senior counsel to Obama
Korea Herald

Korean-American Christopher Kang was named last week senior counsel to U.S. President Barack Obama for legislative affairs, according to reports on Tuesday.

Kang, who was on Obama’s legislative affairs staff, will be in charge of judicial nominations, it added.

Beechwood Not Closing

Despite a report last week in EaterLA, local hotspot Beechwood is not set to close for any amount of time, according to a tweet the restaurant sent over the weekend. “Contrary to reports, we are OPEN w/ no set plans to close. Roy Choi developed our current menu & will eventually lead a new concept for us,”

Sylvester Stallone, Todd Phillips Projects Scheduled for Release in 2012
The Hollywood Reporter

The Sylvester Stallone-Sung Kang action drama “Bullet to the Head” is set for an April 13, 2012 release date.

On a South Korean isle, a life of squid fishing is slipping away
Los Angeles Times

Kim Yae-sun will tell you straight out: The squid life is a hard life.

For the 72-year-old widow, who peddles the sea creatures from a waterside stand here, it means rising at 4:30 a.m. and going to church to pray for an ample catch. When her fisherman husband was still alive, she asked God to watch over the squid fleet that heads out to sea each night, the boats strung with lines of light bulbs like Christmas garlands.

North Korean Leader Explores City Where He Will Meet With Medvedev
New York Times

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, spent the fourth day of a weeklong Siberian train ride in the city of Ulan Ude, where he was shown an aircraft factory after taking a boat ride on Lake Baikal and visiting the infrastructure of a tourist zone that is under construction, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

3 North Korean defectors get U.S. scholarships
Yonhap News

Three young North Korean defectors living in South Korea have won scholarships offered by the U.S. federal government for study and internships at American universities, Washington’s top diplomat in Seoul said Tuesday.

Top Gear Motors Into Korea
The Wall Street Journal

The Journal‘s “Korea Real Time” blog reviews the premiere episode of the Korean version of the popular auto enthusiast show.

Michelle Wie defends decision to mix college and golf
Los Angeles Times

Former LPGA great Annika Sorenstam suggested last month that Michelle Wie was shortchanging women’s golf by pursuing her degree at Stanford. ‘Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,’ Wie responds politely but firmly.

Top 5 summer beauty obsessions in Korea

Now that good weather is finally here in Seoul, the downsides are also back with a vengeance, with temperatures skyrocketing and humidity kicking in. To deal with the sweat and frizz, Seoul women have accordingly been switching up their beauty regimes.

Here are the top five summer beauty obsessions in Seoul.

Blind: Film Review
The Hollywood Reporter

Korean writer-director Ahn Sang-hoon unabashedly designs a thriller inspired by Terence Young’s 1967 “Wait Until Dark” which starred Audrey Hepburn.

S.Korea confirms world status with athletics event
AP via Google News

Hosting the 2011 world athletics championships in Daegu completes a prestigious treble for South Korea after the Olympic Games and the World Cup as the East Asian nation confirms its status as a major destination on the international sporting stage.


'Korean Susan Boyle' Finishes Second In Talent Contest

After stealing the hearts of people in South Korea and abroad, orphan Choi Sung-Bong ended his life-changing run on “Korea’s Got Talent” with a runner-up finish, losing to a young female dancer in the final.

The amateur opera singer moved judges and the audience to tears back in early June when he spoke of his life on the streets of Daejeon, South Korea.

Choi said he ran away from an orphanage when he was 5 years old to escape physical abuse, living a hand-to-mouth existence selling chewing gum and Bacchus D energy drinks.

Reuters reported:

Dubbed Korea’s “Susan Boyle,” who shot to fame on a British TV talent show, Choi’s episode has hit the headlines of news media at home and abroad, pulling at the heart strings of millions around the world.

Choi, 22, who ascended to the top-two position with his powerful baritone, was defeated by a 17-year-old high school girl student, Ju Min-jeong, who has already been branded “Poppin’ Dance Empress” among her fan groups here.

Top ten final qualifiers, comprising singers, dancers, harmonica players and magicians, competed on the stage of the finals show, the Korean equivalent of ‘Britain’s Got Talent.’

Check out an in-depth feature story on Choi from ABC News here.