This blog post contains spoilers.
I finally got around to bing watching Disney+’s American Born Chinese recently, which was released back in May. When I watched the last episode where Amelia confessed her romantic interest in Jin and Jin kissed Amelia, I was reminded of my blog post ‘Dr. Ken’ & ‘FOTB’ – Watershed Moments for Asian Americans Adolescents on TV:
“Lastly, I think in middle school and high school, I was always a little bit self-conscious of being one of the few Asian Americans in school, but never really experienced any bad overt racism. But there weren’t exactly a lot of interracial couples dating in school since my school and town were pretty white as role models. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to observe that in pop culture, most mixed race Asian American couples are portrayed as Asian Female / White Male (AF/WM) in television (especially commercials) and movies.”
I can’t say that I’ve watched a lot of films or television shows that involved a high school Taiwanese/Asian American boy like Jin interested in a white girl like Amelia, where the girl “friendzones” the boy but later expresses wanting to be more than friends:
I thought that the story arc over the eight episodes regarding Jin and Amelia’s friendship was done really well and that just expressing Asian American boys and men having romantic relationships is becoming more normalized, even interracial ones. I think there’s been a lot of progress since I wrote back in 2011 about The Walking Dead: Glenn & Maggie Fall for Each Other. Here’s to portraying more diverse relationships involving Asian Americans and looking forward to more progress where this isn’t an issue any more.
On a side note, I think Ben Wang, who portrays Jin, does an *excellent* acting job. I remember reading some online article about him describing him as a very likeable Asian American version of Michael J. Fox, which I thought was a great description of him. I’ve been a big fan of Fox since his days on Family Ties. Sydney Taylor also does a terrifc job portraying Amelia, and I could totally see myself crushing on someone like Amelia if I were in high school.