By Randall Yip, AsAmNews Executive Editor
I’ve had a chance to see all eight episodes of season 1 of American Born Chinese over four days. That’s as close to binge-viewing I’ve ever come.
It’s that good.
Mystery, intrigue, action and themes of culture, family and identity all make American Born Chinese much-watch TV.
The cast features a who’s who of Asian American actors and actresses. By now you know Michelle Yeoh as the Goddess Guanyin, Daniel Wu as Sun Wukong as the Monkey King, Ke Huy Quan as Freddy Wong and Stephanie Hsu as Shiji Niangniang headline the show.
However, we shouldn’t shortchange relative newcomers Ben Wang as Jin Wang, Jimmy Liu as Wei-Chen and Sydney Taylor as Amelia. Disney’s marketing machine has a way of turning young cast members into stars. Don’t be surprised if one of these three breaks out.
The show debuted on Wednesday, May 24 and it’s not too early to ask if they’ll be a season 2.
The ending while definitely wrapping up season 1 left the door open for a second season. In just a few short days, the show already ranks 25 on IMDB’s list of top 100 most popular TV shows. While it’s early and the ranking may be statistically insignificant, it’s definitely encouraging for a second season.
If you saw Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings, you’ve seen the work of director Daniel Dae Creighton. The ending of Shang-Chi introduced a potential new villain for a sequel. American Born Chinese ended the same way.
One big question mark, however, about the sequel. With Michelle Yeoh’s star rising, would she return to a streaming TV series? Yes, some might say she’s become too big of a star to be featured in an ongoing series. On the other hand, she could be attracted by the program’s strong theme and her role, the kind of storyline she’s been denied much of her career.
We also haven’t even talked about the significance of Quan’s role. His character really put into focus the collision of two worlds so many people of color face and the demeaning things some of us may feel pressured to do to earn a paycheck.
So yes, American Born Chinese deserves a second season. Whether all its stars will sign on to return may be the question mark.
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