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The cast of K-town, the reality show

Tyrese Gibson wants to help Asians get a break in the media and get the same shot as everybody else
The Ktown Cowboys have moved on into the sunset (actually, one bonus episode left, with a cameo by Bobby Lee), but Ktown the Los Angeles enclave continues, this time, in the manifestation of Tyrese Gibson’s Asian American version of Jersey Shore named appropriately enough, K-town. The lucky eight have been chosen and filming for the pilot is underway. And if you thought the boys in the fictionalized version was over the top, the reality show promises to make the movie look tame.

But if scriptwriters endeavor to tether their characters to reality, reality shows turn its namesake on its head. Personalities with a penchant for drama go into overdrive in front of the cameras. And often encouraged to do so.

Asked what Gibson wanted out of the show, he answered, “I want sexy, wild, personality, I want hot tubs, sex scenes… at the same time, I want people to know the many different layers and characteristics… I want people to know that Asians have layers… we’ve got insecurities… heartaches… challenges… I want to capture all of that on camera for all the world to see…”

Of course, you can’t squeeze water out of rock. So casting is important. This may be an Asian American reality show but no wallflowers or bookworms need apply.

Photos of the cast were released on Facebook. “And you can already tell who’s supposed to be who,” said Elizabeth at Koream magazine. “There’s the bleach blonde, the bi-sexual pornstar nude model, the aspiring actress, two meatheads, and even a Korean Snooki.”

We’re clueless about the “Snooki” [never watched Jersey Shore] but Peter Le (Vietnamese) appears to be the bisexual pornstar/nude model. And Scarlet Chan (Chinese) is evidently a hooker, or was, according to her site. The self-dubbed “Eurasian” Jennifer Field (Korean, English, Irish and German descent) is the beauty queen/aspiring actress, we presume (actually, they’re all probably aspiring actors). And the meatheads? We’re not sure which two fit that bill.

Are we just ending up with more negative stereotypes? Maybe, but we don’t see a problem with meatheads, blonds or anything else that pretty much go against the established grain. Indeed, it’s the one-sided reinforcement of negative ones that dehumanizes and turn people into caricatures. Thus negative or positive, three-dimensionalizing the Asian American tableau is a good thing, we think.

The motivation

“I don’t wanna make it too heavy, my reasons, my motivations,” Tyrese conveyed, explaining his motivation for the show.

“When it comes to Asian Americans and Asians in general, everyone’s still fighting to get their faces and images in mainstream media… but Asian deserve to be on TV like everybody else… for me, that’s the motivation,” he said, nobly.

“This ain’t for me about making no money, but this is really allowing the people to see Asians, Koreans, showing your character, your personalities, allowing the world to embrace you as they’ve embraced everybody else… African Americans dealt with it forever, we still deal with it on certain levels, but we’ve been able to push through through music and through film… but you know I think it’s about that time for Asians to get their same shot and here we are…”

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