Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics

Hyphen TV: 14 Guys All Playing Guitar Solos

Everyone is fixated on the game except that one guy in the back

Marko back on So You Think You Can Dance as an all-star performing with Jasmine? Yes, please! The pair was totally adorable in their matching suits, and though the judges found Jasmine outshining Marko on the performance, we know that that speaks way more to her incredible skills than any lacking on Marko's part. Check out their dance here. I'm hoping we'll see Alex again down the line as well...?


On Top Chef Masters, the masters had to create a curry to pair with a beer (love those meaningless sponsor tie-ins!). Concerned about time as usual, Sang explained the futility of making a good curry in just a few minutes: "You want curry to taste like an Arcade Fire song: lots of layers, orchestral. Unfortunately, it's gonna sound like 14 guys all playing guitar solos." Well, those solos must've been pretty good, since Sang's Chang Mai (northern Thailand) style curry's bold, spicy flavors earned him another quickfire win and another $5K for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, bringing his earned dollars to $20,000 all together.

The elimination had the chefs once again working in teams of three, and Sang's team was made of the three chefs whose sous came in last in their sous chef challenge. Ted, you're killing our guy, here. The hurdle they had to overcome this time was only 15 minutes to shop for ingredients, and though it looked like a stressful Whole Foods session, they didn't seem that hurt by the handicap.

Smiling despite being let down by their sous

For the meal, the chefs had to cater a surprise engagement party for host Curtis and his fiancee Lindsay Price, who mentioned that she introduced Curtis to Korean cooking when he had her mom's amazing Korean food. Sang decided to try to appeal to Lindsay with a raw deconstructed Korean barbeque dish with ssamjang vinaigrette, scallions, and black sesame. The judges were a bit mixed, saying on one hand that it was "a great take on classic Korean beef tartar" and showing preference for cooked barbeque on the other. Lindsay found the dish "quite delicious," which was enough to keep Sang and his team out of danger, but also not in the very top. Let's hope Ted comes through for you next week, Sang!

Lindsay to Curtis: "Free party catering!"

Not a whole lot to say about this week's Sullivan and Son, though the guys did start playing pranks on one another that escalated to Egyptian American Ahmed towing what ended up being the president's limo and getting detained. "Homeland Security thought I was a terrorist," he explained, walking into the bar wearing a bright orange jumpsuit. This obviously prompted old racist Hank to comment, "If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck..."

Getting back to Ahmed's story: "They threw me in a room. They interrogated me for hours. They strip searched me...I was anally probed." That was the entire joke; Arab guy in prison gear getting anally raped. Pretty hilarious, right? Kind of surprisingly, this was followed by "You guys have no idea what it's like to be Arab American. People take one look at you and they just think you're carrying a bomb." Oddly, this statement was not followed by a joke. I guess they were going for a (low) level of actual awareness that this sort of thing really does happen all the time?

I'm going to go ahead and dust off a concept that's pretty old on this column, the simple truth that jokes aren't offensive simply because they play into stereotypes and racism (or sexism or homophobia or...). They're "offensive" when they retread tired old broad statements and assumptions that have been repeated by men in bars and grandparents at the dinner table since bars and tables have existed. I honestly don't know what they were going for here outside of "Arab guy = terrorist!" and "men getting raped in the butt is funny!" I don't think there was anything else to this. And isn't that kind of laziness the most offensive thing of all?

Ahmed has dignity in a prison jumpsuit

One Ok Cha line from this episode, just because we can't not: "Everybody plays baseball in South Korea. But nobody hits a home run because it goes into North Korea and you never get the ball back." Because North Korea's basically just a crazy old neighbor, get it?!

About The Author

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.

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