Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics


Lost in Asian America

I say "me" in a very general sense, since I've only watched 1/2 an episode of the show, mostly because I'm not much of a TV-consumer. So in my totally unscientific, anecdotal study of my friends, bloggers and random people I engage in conversation with on the street - I've observed that people feel pretty passionate about this show. Of course, it could be the fact that it is one of the most popular shows right now. I am told the writing is good. Plus, there are fans galore, Asian American or not. But it's also one of the few shows in mainstream USA that portrays a man and woman of Asian descent (Korean, in this case) AS A COUPLE. And there is Naveen Andrews, who is South Asian (he plays an Iraqi). There seems to be a little more diversity in terms of current TV couples - Grey's Anatomy also comes to mind. Sandra Oh's character is with a black guy, which we'd blogged about a while back. (the show's writer is African American, I am told). How many of you watch Lost?
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tim fong wrote 8 years 12 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

I watch it. Or rather, I watched it last season before I got really busy. I think what appealed to me about it was the mystery angle. That, and the kind of funky 70s/thx1138 aesthetic of the underground lab.

Melissa wrote 8 years 12 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

My parents are totally hooked on it. It has replaced Alias as their drug of choice.

momo wrote 8 years 12 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

here's an interesting article on Daniel Dae Kim, in today's paper, where he talks about how grateful he is, Asian male masculinity, learning to speak English with a Korean accent, and more.

dee wrote 8 years 12 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

I watch Lost to see Naveen Andrews. He's so...so..well ~ he's gorgeous! I wonder why he's on LESS now that he's been nominated for awards? They could have him be the last survivor and I'd watch him frying mango pods. Whew!

Jessica wrote 8 years 12 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

I love the fact that 'Lost' has many different types of characters on the show. I think that 'Lost' is very well wrote and the best show on t.v. right now. I also love Naveen Andrews on the show! He is an amazing actor and very handsome. ;)

ee wrote 8 years 12 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

I loves me some Daniel Dae Kim.I think it's great that he's talking about things like Asian masculinity in interviews.

Tone wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

Why didn't the original poster of this message just say what he/she was really thinking. What is truly amazing about the show LOST is the fact that an Asian woman on the show is NOT romantically involved with someone who's NOT Asian. You just pointed out an example: Sandra Oh's character on Grey's Anatomy (I've never seen the show but I'll take your word for it). Anytime an attractive Asian woman appears in a film or television program, (non-Asian) American writers cannot resist pairing her up with a white, black, hispanic or ANYTHING BUT ASIAN male lead.That's one reason I'm reluctant to watch LOST. I've seen bits and pieces of it and have seen a few of the scenes with the two Korean characters. These are two characters who appear to be genuinely in love with one another. That is why I know that it will EXTRA piss me off to watch the inevitable scene in the show when the Korean woman, in a vulnerable moment of unbridled passion, cheats on her husband and has sex with one of the white or black characters on the show (or any of the other characters who are of some other non EAST Asian race). Either that or the Korean guy dies and she falls in love with one of the white or black characters... like... the next day.

Tone wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

Why doesn't the original poster of this comment say what he/she is really thinking? What is truly amazing about LOST is the fact that there is an Asian female character on the show who is NOT romantically involved with a male character that is NOT Asian? Anytime an attractive Asian woman appears in an American film or television program, (non-Asian) American writers cannot resist pairing her up with a white, black, hispanic or ANYTHING BUT ASIAN male lead. You just pointed out an example: Sandra Oh's character in Grey's Anatomy (I've never seen the show, but I'll take your word for it).That is one of the reasons I am reluctant to watch LOST. I've seen bits and pieces of it and have seen a few of the scenes with the male and female Korean characters. They appear to be two people who are genuinely in love. That is why I know it will EXTRA piss me off to have to watch the inevitable scene in which the Korean woman, in a vulnerable moment of unbridled passion, cheats on her husband and sleeps with one of the non-(East) Asian characters. Either that or the Korean guy dies and she falls in love with one of the white or black characters... like... the next day.

Tone wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

Comment above posted twice because I retyped it thinking it didn't post the first time. After you click "Post" (w/o clicking "Preview" first), the post doesn't immediately appear on the page (even after refreshing). It's confusing!

a questioner wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

Tone, you should check out the Mississippi Masala Thread on this blog.

momo wrote 8 years 8 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

regarding Tone's comments, i don't really watch the show so can't say if the Korean woman's cheated on her partner...anyone know? i think what i wrote in the original post, that it portrays a man and woman of Asian descent as a couple and that it's refreshing, is basically the same thing you're saying.

a questioner wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

Korean couple on LOST: she hasn't cheated on him to my knowledge but she was intending to leave him when the plane landed in America (original destination). he is in the Korean mob. the two of them seem to have reconciled their differences as a result of trials and tribulations on the island. there seemed to be a bit of 'lengthy glances' with moist eyes between her and Michael duirng season one. maybe she is touched by his devotion to his son.

Tone wrote 8 years 7 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

Just to clarify... in case other readers of this blog were not able to tell from the tone of my writing in my previous post... I was PREDICTING that the Korean woman on LOST will cheat on her Korean husband with a non-Asian man. I was saying this to illustrate my point. It is inevitable that the writers of the show are going to have the Korean woman sleep with a non-Asian male cast member because that's what American TV shows do. questioner... thanks for the summary though.

melissa wrote 8 years 6 weeks ago

re: Lost in Asian America

here's a story in the NY times about the couple: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/arts/television/05mill.html?_r=1&oref=slogin"Sun and Jin are alluring in part because their relationship is so unusual for network television, where younger, whiter, unmarried people seem to have all the romantic fun. But Sun and Jin also stand out on "Lost" because their storyline, despite the requisite flashbacks, seems to be pushing forward. Other castaways are slaves to the past. The island has freed Sun and Jin, though, to deal with their marital problems in a way they could not back in South Korea. It is their Eden."

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About The Author

Momo Chang

Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in Oakland, California. Her writings focus on Asian American communities, communities of color, and youth culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune, where she covered Asian American communities. Her stories range from uncovering working conditions in nail salons, to stories about “invisible minorities” like Tongan youth and Iu Mien farmers. She has written for the East Bay ExpressSan Francisco Bay Guardian and ColorLines, among other publications.

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