By Ninette Cheng
Northwest Asian Weekly
Unlike last year, 2010 was a pretty successful year for Asian celebrities, particularly in music and television. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few Asian Americans that make us shake our heads.
Daniel Dae Kim
In 2010, Kim wrapped up a hugely successful television show, “Lost,” only to turn around and immediately star in another show, “Hawaii Five-O.” “Hawaii Five-O,” which co-stars Korean American actress Grace Park, was one of the most anticipated television shows of the year. The show went on to become one of the biggest new hits of the year. The show’s success is particularly interesting because it is one of the few shows on television with two lead Asian actors.
Thanks to his work, Kim was presented the “Influential Asian American Artist” award by the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Congratulations to Kim on a successful year!
Far East Movement
Far East Movement exploded onto the scene this year, earning the distinction of the first Asian American group to release a top 10 hit on the mainstream pop charts in the United States.
The group has four members, Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif, and DJ Virman, who are of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Filipino ancestry. The group spent the year touring and recording with the likes of Keri Hilson, Lil John, Snoop Dog, and Ryan Tedder. In October 2010, “Like a G6” peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 100. The following month, the single reached double platinum status.
Here’s to making history!
Archie Panjabi, who is British Indian, captured Emmy attention this year with her role in the critically acclaimed television drama, “The Good Wife.” She has been in such films as “The Constant Gardener,” “Bend It Like Beckham,” and “A Mighty Heart.” This is her first television win. It was also the only win for “The Good Wife” this year. I wish her the best of luck on her future projects!
Winners or losers?
Bruno Mars has had an amazing year. The part Filipino singer/songwriter wrote hits and sang with the likes of B.O.B. (“Nothin’ on You”), Travie McCoy (“Billionaire”), and Flo Rida and Kesha (“Right Round”). In October 2010, he released his own album, and his single “Just the Way You Are” peaked at number one. Mars was nominated for seven Grammy awards. His successes would normally lead to Mars being catapulted to the top of the winners list — if he hadn’t been arrested for cocaine possession in September. Only time will tell what will happen to Mars next!
NBC’s “Outsourced,” based on the 2006 film of the same name, follows an American call center based in India. The sitcom follows an American manager who tries to explain American culture to the employees, while trying to navigate India himself. Personally, I find the show hilarious, but reviews have been worse than lukewarm, some calling it offensive. “Outsourced” has been nominated for a People’s Choice Award for “Favorite New TV Comedy.”
Tiger Woods was on the top of my losers list last year. I’m afraid to say that he tops the list again.
Woods was named the top sports news story of the year by The Associated Press, but not for his athletic success. He remains infamous for his infidelities and divorce. To top it off, Woods lost the PGA Tour for the first time in his career and his number one world ranking. It’s almost embarrassing to admit that the top sports story was not really about sports.
M. Night Shyamalan
Shyamalan started his career with “The Sixth Sense,” showing so much promise. 2010 was a far cry from success, however. “Devil” was his first film as a producer — reviews were mixed. Personally, I thought it was poorly done and unoriginal. Shyamalan’s second effort of the year, “The Last Airbender,” was met with controversy. Many people boycotted the film because a variety of actors, many white, were cast for a film that was supposed to be about Asian characters. E! Online’s blog contemplated whether it was the worst film ever made. The film fared a little better than expected, but Shyamalan’s career has certainly gone downhill, and I question any hope for a comeback.
Earlier in the summer, I mentioned the Asian “Jersey Shore”-esque show that might be arriving in our living rooms soon: “K-Town.” The show follows eight Asian Americans in Los Angeles’ K[orea]-Town as they get into all sorts of drunken mayhem and mischief. The show has yet to be picked up by a network. Maybe it’s better that way. It could be an embarrassment for Asian Americans. ♦
Ninette Cheng can be reached at email@example.com.