The Asian-American experience is often misunderstood in the U.S, because it’s rarely depicted in mainstream entertainment. Asian characters are usually portrayed as one-dimensional, especially in comedy: nerd, kung-fu master, background extra. This show is meant to dissolve these preconceptions and provide an intimate, nuanced (and funny!) look into what it’s like being an Asian-American in a way that appeals not only to other Asian-Americans, but also to anyone who has felt those same pressures, desires, and conflicts.
A NOTE FROM BRIAN PARK (CO-CREATOR)
I am a second-generation Korean-American. My parents came to America thirty-five years ago with no connections, no money, and an unwavering determination to create a new life for their family. Immigrating to a new country is a monumental risk so, understandably, they encouraged my sister and I to pursue safe, lucrative careers. My sister currently works as a lawyer and I am a comedian. (This might be my best joke to date.)
I was a textbook “good” Asian-American kid:
-I got straight A’s.
-I was elected student body president at my high school.
-I was a nationally ranked tennis player.
-I went to a prestigious college.
-I graduated with a Biology degree.
-I worked for a vascular surgeon.
What’s always omitted from this resume: I was unhappy.
I walked away from my carefully groomed path towards a career in medicine because I realized I was doing it solely to appease my parents. I mean, they uprooted their lives in Korea to enable mine in America, so can you really blame me for wanting their approval? This is a dilemma that many second-generation Americans experience. American culture, in particular, tells us “anything is possible” and to “follow your dreams.” Which is great, but what happens when those dreams are in direct conflict with your upbringing and your parents’ desires for you? Some people cave and become lawyers. Others rebel and become flute players with pink hair (a friend of mine - no joke). Me? I decided to partner with my two best friends and write a show about it. You might say I’m splitting the difference.