A-pop! is monthly column of all things Asian in popular culture
By Ninette Cheng
Northwest Asian Weekly
This month, it’s all about the television stars (or wannabe stars)! “K-Town” was cast and the pilot has been shot, but it hasn’t been picked up. Meanwhile, Charice gets botox-ed up for “Glee” while Peter Gallagher was dropped. Maggie Q, Grace Park, and Daniel Dae Kim stopped by Comic Con to talk “Nikita” and “Hawaii Five-O.” Finally, it looks like Elin Nordegren Woods is preparing to cash in from her divorce to the infamous Tiger Woods.
Asian Americans hop on the reality show bandwagon
The Internet was buzzing this month with news about the new reality show hopeful “K-Town.” The show follows eight Asian American men and women in Los Angeles and their ‘Jersey Shore’-style exploits. The cast was named this month and the show will star Young Lee, former Seattle resident Joe Cha, Peter Le, Steve Kim, Jennifer Field, Scarlet Chan, Violet Kim, and Jasmine Chang.
The show is currently shopping for a network. On one hand, if the show is picked up, I see that as good news because it shows that Asians are becoming more accepted into the media and pop culture. On the other hand, this is sure to be an embarrassment. There is the question as to what Asian stereotypes it might exploit, reinforce, or create — positive or negative. I, for one, can’t wait to follow this train wreck!
How young is too young for Botox?
Last month, I reported that Filipino singer Charice would be joining the cast of “Glee.” The star is only 18 years old, and news has spread that she is receiving Botox so she can “look fresh on camera.”
Cosmetic surgeon Vicki Belo told ABS-CBN television that it was done to make her naturally round face appear more narrow. However, Charice’s publicist Liz Rosenberg denies this. Rosenberg says it was to relieve jaw pain.
Does an 18-year-old really need Botox? Let’s draw the line somewhere!
Continuing on with the “Glee” news, I have often pointed out Tina Ushkowitz and Harry Shum Jr. as Asians in the “Glee” cast. However, the show has not shown enough love to Patrick Gallagher, who plays Coach Tanaka. Gallagher is part Chinese. Sadly, he is being written off the show to make room for a new football coach. It’s too bad he’ll be out of a job, but honestly, I didn’t think Coach Tanaka added much to the show.
Nonetheless, I wish Gallagher the best.
Asian television stars flock to Comic Con
July marked the annual popular pop culture festival Comic Con in San Diego. As usual, the stars came out to promote their movies and television shows, including a number of Asian stars.
Actress Maggie Q will be starring in “Nikita,” which will premier September 9 on the CW network. The show is based on the 1990 French film “La Femme Nikita.”
Maggie Q is excited that, as an Asian actress, she was selected.
“I am not the typical choice for this [and] am glad to be able to represent a group of people who are underrepresented [on screen],” she said at the event.
CW shows are often a miss (besides “Gossip Girl,” of course), so the verdict is out on this one.
The cast of CBS’ “Hawaii Five-O” also made a showing at the festival. The remake of the show stars Daniel Dae Kim, from “Lost,” and Grace Park, from “Battlestar Galactica,” both of whom attended the event. The show has reportedly made a point to pay homage to the original while adding new elements as well. The original theme song will still be played, but Kono, originally played by a male actor, will be played by Park. I think this shows how the times have changed! “Hawaii Five-O” premieres on Sept. 20.
Elin Nordegren Woods is a sorta-silent but very wealthy woman
The saga of Tiger Woods’ infidelities is coming to an end. No, not really. I don’t know if the saga will ever end, but his marriage has. After months of speculation, including rumors of a $750 million payout, the latest reports say that Elin Nordegren will be receiving $100 million in the divorce in exchange for her silence.
Elin will be receiving custody of the children, and Tiger will get visitation rights.
“I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, to anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children,” she says in People Magazine’s latest issue, out just days after her split from Tiger was made official at the end of August. ♦
Ninette Cheng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.