By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Happy Pride Month! In this column, I spontaneously made the decision to stop giving Netflix my money because I suddenly realized how much they are taking from me each month. I also get a little hypercritical of a handsome dude who is just trying to live his dream. But then, that’s probably not really new, is it?
Netflix needs viewers desperately, thus announces “Squid Game” is coming back!
Guys, Netflix is not doing good. I know nothing about how money, the economy, or how stocks work, so I can’t tell you what exactly happened. I just know that after years of prosperity, after slaying former video giant Blockbuster, Netflix recently announced a $50 billion loss. Netflix says its victims (its subscribers) are sharing passwords too much. Netflix also said that it lost so many subscribers by doing the right thing, by pulling from Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine. Netflix reminded me it has hiked up its prices repeatedly over a fairly short period of time. Netflix reminded me that its algorithm is so opaque and subscribers never know the numbers or the real reason certain shows get canceled. Netflix is promising its shareholders that it will right the ship by cracking down on password-sharing and boosting quality programming.
Apparently one of its moves toward that is announcing that it is bringing back “Squid Game” for another season. “Squid Game,” created by director and writer Hwang Dong-hyuk, was Netflix’s biggest release ever.
The move totally makes sense. If I were hemorrhaging money, I’d be holding onto my golden goose real tight, too.
However, let’s not forget how Netflix seemingly underpaid Hwang for the first season of “Squid Game” and also how Netflix was so coy about renewing the show for the longest time while it went ham renewing crap like “Lucifer.”
While Hwang deserves to make the second season of his dreams, I need to think about canceling my Netflix subscription—like for real, y’all. After all the stuff I read to write this column, I discovered that Netflix is kind of a big ass! And I refuse to be in an abusive relationship, so we have to break up. Also, Netflix is the most expensive streamer, at $15.49 a month! And for what! For what! Ryan Reynolds action movies that don’t make sense, plot-wise? No thank you!
‘Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend’ has a weirdly repetitive title, but Alton Brown is still host!
The original Japanese “Iron Chef” series was one of my favorite things to watch when I was in college. I watched it via satellite dish on the Food Network and had to fight occasional static because I think my parents were bootlegging cable, so technically, we did not have legit access to Food Network.
The American version of the show never quite captured the campy magic of the original—“Iron Chef America” was too competitive and its cadre of revolving guest B-list celebrity judges were often too wrapped up in cracking corny jokes to realize the real star of the show should be the food—the food, duh!
Well, the next American iteration of this show seems to be turning the dial on all the things I hate about American cooking shows today. Like, it’s not really even about cooking anymore!
“Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend” seems to be about drama and competition and an off-putting seriousness.
On the plus side, Alton Brown is returning as host. Joining him is “Top Chef” winner Kristen Kish. Mark Dacascos also returns as the chairman character. I love seeing these people on my screen, but still, yawn.
Nico Santos joins ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’
Our beloved Mateo from “Superstore” (played by Nico Santos) has joined ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.’ I have no idea what kind of character actor Santos will play, but I do know that his presence in this upcoming superhero movie makes me slightly more likely to maybeee check out said superhero movie. Most of all though, I’m glad Santos is getting that money! He was so hilarious in “Superstore,” and it’s nice to see his career progress.
Also, he’s joining fellow APIs Dave Bautista (who plays Drax) and Pom Klementieff (Mantis). I hope they all high-five each other on-screen at some point. I hope director James Gunn makes that moment happen for us.
Henry Golding joins “The Old Guard 2”
“The Old Guard” is a pretty cool action flick from 2020 starring Charlize Theron and her team of immortal mercenaries. Notably for me, it also featured Vietnamese actor Veronica Ngo aka Ngô Thanh Vân. She’s Norwegian Vietnamese and carved a career in Vietnam as a pop singer, then an actor, then a director. She’s a badass action star, and I’ve watched her in Vietnamese films, so it was really exciting to see her in a Hollywood production with a prestigious cast. “The Old Guard” ended on a cliffhanger involving her character Quynh, so I’m really excited to see where “The Old Guard 2” goes with the story.
And it looks like fellow API Henry Golding will be part of this progression. Guys, I’ve been very blah on Golding for years because I am always suspicious of handsome Asian men, but he’s been slowly earning good will with his projects. Dare I say I might actually be kind of fond of him now?
Can’t wait for this one to come out!
Kevin from “Bling Empire” has a matcha company, and I’m embarrassed for him
Kevin Kreider, a handsome Asian man, wormed his way into some hearts (not mine) when the first season of reality show “Bling Empire” first came out. “Bling Empire” features a bunch of super rich Asians living their life doing rich Asian things, like buying jewelry, throwing lavish parties, and letting their in-laws dictate what goes on in their uteruses.
Kreider isn’t one of the super rich Asians. Rather, he was a model and a friend and beneficiary of the super rich Asians. I actually found him compelling to watch because he was pretty grounded in reality.
Well, he founded a fitness supplement brand called Be More Matcha, extolling the virtues of matcha for energy—and I’m kind of embarrassed for him. Here’s why:
Kreider has over 500k Instagram followers; his company has less than 1,500 followers.
His company keeps acting like matcha, a tea tradition that has existed for a bajillion years in Japan, is in a one-sided competition with coffee—and worse yet, his company keeps acting like coffee is winning this rivalry that it doesn’t even know it’s in!
His company keeps promising that new branding is coming, but admits that only the old packaging is available for order; empty promises are awkward.
I’m not sure 2022 is the time to name a company “Be More Matcha” (a play on “be more macho”?). Toxic masculinity is not really the look anymore.
I don’t mean to rag on Kreider for trying something. I think I just expected that a handsome man with more than 500k followers, who is on TV, would put out something more polished, not something that my dad would come up with, you know?
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.