Monday, November 29, 2004

what's wrong with televison today or why i should be on the gilmore girls

it amazes me that there are actually a number of korean characters on the handful of television shows i watch. i'm not counting all the programs on the food network and animal planet, but honest-to-goodness, network programs that are shown in prime-time. what i'm talking about here are the koreans featured on lost and gilmore girls. i think this is wonderful, i really do. these characters are regulars - they're on just about each week and it makes me happy to know that producers and writers are acknowledging the fact that asians are just as fucked up as everyone and would make for just as interesting character.

of course i still have problems with this. for instance, on my dear gilmore girls there's the character of lane kim. her mother (momma kim) is super religious and has installed this fleeting fear of god in her. she's commanding, strict, unreasonable, completely anti anything secular - all that fun stuff that made my adolesence just as charming. lane reacts to this by hiding new pornographers and young marble giants cds under floorboards. brilliant. ok, so here's my problem. why are both these characters played by japanese-american actresses? surely there were korean actresses who auditioned for the roles of lane and mamma kim. where they really that awful? alright, so they hire non-koreans to play korean. i guess i can live with that. but what i can't live with is why their korean accents are so terrible. are they not getting their scripts in advance so they can practice enunciating and rolling their tongues? don't get me wrong, i love kyoko agena and emily kuroda - i think they are both formidable in their roles. i just wish they would have made mama - i just realized i spelled mama differently each time i've written it - less ethnic so kuroda could get away with having such an awful accent. so like i say, i can live with this for the most part, but then they introduce lane's cousin from korea, kyon, and it has me flying off the handle.

i don't know the background of the actress who plays kyon. i'm pretty sure she's korean but who knows. she speaks halting english as a second language and winds up sounding like the swedish chef from the muppets. argh! i just read some spoilers and she's going to be on another episode! why can't it be me? slap some pancake on my face, let the lighting offer up some trickery and i'd be good to go, right? my english and korean are horrible - i'd be perfect for the part. i want to eat hamburgers at luke's diner and not shop at the cat shop because i am allergic to cats. i want to have bible study class with lane and have her introduce to me the world of fried foods. seriously, how can i get on this show? if you know someone who knows someone else, help me out here. i think i could do a great job. ok, a passable job. i really can't act for shit, but i can definitely talk with a bullshit korean or english accent. the one thing i am decent at is imitations! ask stone groove - he told me that over thanksgiving and i think i'd agree. maybe i could meet lane on friendster or myspace and we can trade bootlegs with each other. maybe we can meet at the korean church mixer our parents have forced us to attend where i notice the great buzzcocks pin on lane's bag and we become friends. or maybe i could play dave rygalski's new girlfriend.

alright, now on lost, they cast daniel dae kim in the role of jin. he and his wife, played by yunjin kim, no relation, are korean. we are led to believe they do not speak english until a half dozen episodes in when yunjin's character opens her mouth and english comes spilling out. holy shit. but that's not my point. daniel dae kim speaks korean all throughout the episodes (he does not know his wife speaks english and for all we know, he may as well) and his korean accent is terrible. through my dilligent surfing of the internet, i learned that this actor was born in korea, but came to america when he was about 2 years old. kind of like my brother, only my brother's korean accent is WAY better than kim's. my brother should be on this show! and i could be on gilmore girls and we could be like the korean version of the gyllenhaals!

so if you're out there, consider giving me a chance.

g'amsah hap'ni dah.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

jeremy says:
if you two want to be the korean gyllenhaals, then your brother better be able to look really ugly while crying and you have to master the art of appearing both cute and strangely psychotic simultaneously.

November 30, 2004 4:53 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

hmmm, i never thought about jake's face when he cries, but you're right. at least in donnie darko. really, how do you feel about my chances of getting on this show?

November 30, 2004 4:58 PM  
Blogger Listmaker said...

now that you've gotten this off your chest, can i watch tv in peach again?

November 30, 2004 9:59 PM  
Blogger mas said...

There's a joke in there somewhere about Dan watching TV "in peach" but far be it from me to point it out.

November 30, 2004 11:04 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Someone should write a treatment for a sitcom featuring a sassy Korean-American music business up-and-comer and her husband who has a Roald Dahl obsession and likes to sit in a giant peach while watching TV (other times he dresses up like Willy Wonka to frighten the neighborhood children). And sometimes, the crazy brother-in-law with his flawless Korean accent joins in the zaniness.

Talk about bad accents, how about the "Iraqi" guy on Lost? Now that is bad.

November 30, 2004 11:31 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

i'm very confused about the peach comment. does it have something to do with my allergies?

sahid's accent on lost is terrible! the actor is a brit of indian descent for crissakes!

December 01, 2004 12:06 PM  
Blogger Listmaker said...

it was supposed to read "peace". jesus, can't a brother get a break?

December 01, 2004 3:50 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

I feel your pain. I felt that pain when Rene Zellwegger (SP?) was cast as Bridget Jones and she had to gain the weight for the part. This is not Raging Bull and she is no Robert Deniro. I mean I could have done just as good a job and according to Bowles my British accent is Bloody awesome. So Why not give an overweight, talented, latin chick who can do a slammin British accent a break.
Over the summer I read a book titled Back when we were grownups (I can't do italics on this) It's a book in the style of Fried Green tomatoes about an overwieght woman falling in love again. Who gets to play her in the movie? Bad enough it was a Hallmark movie on TV but BLYTHE DANNER plays the lead role. What about Bates or Manheim or Roman? Then there's House of spirits a movie about a latin family and there wasn't a latin in the bunch!!!!!
I say send a tape to the Gilmore people show them what a real Korean sounds like. I can imagine their reaction "Hmmm a REAL Korean to play the part of a Korean? How novel! I love it!" Damn Hollywood idiots!

December 01, 2004 7:23 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

p.s. i'm a jerk. the actress who plays lane kim is keiko, not kyoko. i think i went to elementary school with a kyoko. and i sit next to a miwa.

December 02, 2004 2:46 PM  
Blogger book said...

I'm not Korean myself, but I love Kyon's accent! I thought it was an interesting choice, because it goes against any stereotypical accent for Asian people. Anyway, I just made an account to comment on this. I love gilmore girls too!

February 09, 2005 5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, believe it or not, but Keiko is originally from Hawaii. Go figure...

April 22, 2006 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks they'd be so much better for these roles, then go to the auditions when they cast them. They say what they are looking for. Then, you can only blame yourself, eh? :D
Plus, you need more than a good accent... acting talent, comedic timing, charisma... etc.

July 11, 2008 7:43 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

wow, you are really tuned into this process! you should really consider a career in casting or some sort of consulting position if you haven't already.

July 14, 2008 1:23 PM  

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