The Atlantic Wire

Source: The Atlantic Wire, August 30, 2012


'Jersey Shore' Is Dead, But Other Trashy Ethnic Reality Shows Live On
By Serena Dai

Jersey Shore is officially over. Not like no-longer-trendy over, but actually done. As Variety's Stuart Levine reports, MTV is ending the show after its sixth season, but that doesn't mean we'll lose out on shows that glorify embarrassing ethnic stereotypes. 
Snooki, The Situation, and their cohort did more than teach America to fist-pump since the show debuted in 2009. They also made a lot of money for MTV, and producers have been trying to replicate Jersey Shore's success. Alas, most have failed, obviously proving that you can't reproduce genius.
Below, a rundown of all the wannabes: 
   The Pregnant Lady Jersey Shore: We're a little unsure of how all the Jersey Shore's drinking will translate here, but Pregzillas is being cast by the same people who discovered Snooki. "Let's face it," the casting website says, "you're never going to have a better excuse to act up, diva out, regress to childhood, and take command as a queen!" Fist Pumps: 2 out of 5. Up votes for the prospect of watching horrifying people reproducethus inducing feelings similar to watching Snooki's pregnancy; down votes for those poor, poor unborn babies.
    The Russian Jersey Shore: Lifetime aired a few episodes of Russian Dolls, a show following Russians in Brooklyn. Before it was released, the producer promised, "plenty of vodka, techno music and guys wearing Adidas pants, leather jackets and gold chains, and driving souped-up cars. There will also be a lot of hot, decked-out Russian girls." It was cancelled last fall when ratings were bad, but you can still watch episodes onlineFist Pumps: 1 of 5. It's more Real Housewives than Jersey Shore, Michael Idov wrote on Vulture.com. "Russian Dolls is a wan thing done wanly."

   The British Jersey Shore: Geordie Shore debuted last spring and follows "Geordies," or people who live on the Tyneside region of Northeast England. Like with regular Jersey Shore, they drink and party and cheat, etc. It is MTV UK's best show in history, according to TV By the NumbersFist Pumps: 4 out 5. It's got all the factors, but nothing compares to the original. In 2011, Alyssa Rosenberg wrote for The Atlantic: "The Geordie Shore crew doesn’t seem to have figured out how to live as cartoon characters as easily as their American predecessors." 

Meet The Cast Of The Geordie Shore: The UK Jers...

    The Asian Jersey Shore(s): K-Town was billed as the Asian Jersey Shore but never made it to networks. That didn't stop the producers from putting all the episodes on YouTube. The eight cast members all live in Los Angeles' Korea Town, and the show runner said they were "pioneers" in changing the way Asians are represented. Now, they're casting for Vietnamese, Chinese, and Filipino versions of the show, too. Nothing says equality like: "Hey, we're trashy too!" Fist Pumps: 2 out of 5. One reviewer's reaction to episode 1: "zzZzZzzzz"

K-Town: Meet the Cast

    The Persian Jersey Shore: No lesser a luminary than Ryan Seacrest produced Bravo's The Shahs of Sunset, about rich Iranians in Los Angeles. Women beat each other up in high-end restaurants and sell a lot of real estate. The show was actually renewed for a second season after its finale got high ratingsFist Pumps: 2 out of 5. Again, this seems to be more like Real Housewivesthan Jersey Shore, since the cast is older and has a socialite feel. The show is "so dull," said Linda Stasi wrote in The New York Post, "it makes Russian Dolls look exciting."

shahs of sunset

So, goodbye, Jersey Shore. Nothing will ever shine like you


International Examiner

Source: International Examiner, August 23, 2012



USA Today

Source: USA Today, August 22, 2012


The K-Pop Addict

Source: The K-pop Addict, August 16, 2012


New Addiction: K-Town Amazingness!

I have been so excited about this show ever since word first spread they were casting for it! Some of the cast members might have changed, but my excitement sure as heck hasn't!

I haven't had the chance to talk about it fully, but I finally caught up today on all of the episodes and I literally cannot wait until next Wednesday morning (and why the hell it wasn't picked up by any network is beyond me, because this show is awesome).


Let me start off by saying that I LOVE this cast. Seriously. There isn't one person that I have an uncontrollable desire to punch in the face. (For instance, every time I watch Jersey Shore and Mike opens his mouth).

I love love love JasmineScarlet, and Violet and all the crazy shit they say. They reduce me to tears from laughing so hard. (And by the way, Jasmine and Scarlet are following me on Twitter, which makes them even more awesome in my book).

I love Steve and Joe and the insane shit they get into and how they explain the inner-workings of K-Town and the key steps to proper partying.

I love Cammy and Young because they're the sweethearts of the show, but I have a huge feeling we're just barely scratching the surface of them.

And Jowe ... oh, man ... good looking and cocky? I think the creators of the show added him into the mix just to make me happy. Seriously, I have just started following him on Twitter, and his tweets go like this: 50% are pictures of food, 30% are pictures of his cars (or any car),  10% are retweeting others, 5% are thanking new followers, and the last 5% is arguing with Scarlet.

And I love the macros posted on the show's Facebook page. Like this one:


And this one:


It has everything.

1. Gorgeous people
2. Gorgeous hilarious people
3. Gorgeous hilarious people drinking waaaay too much
4. Gorgeous hilarious people drinking waaaay too much and throwing drinks at each other

I swear I am completely addicted to this show. I love how most of them are friends with each other or know of each other somehow, and aren't random strangers put together in a house with a gross hot tub. It's a group of friends (and in Scarlet and Jowe's case, frenemies), hanging out and having a great time with each other. 

I am so excited for the rest of the season, so look forward to more in depth episode recaps next week and on!

Check out K-Town every Wednesday morning 10 AM EST / 7 AM PST on the YouTubeLoud Channel!

Oh, and I know I've been MIA. I have been working on a side project, semi-blog related, that is one of my first loves and passions. Hopefully I can share it with you all one day, but until then it's a total secret :)



International Examiner

Source: International Examiner, August 15, 2012


The Web Series Trend Launches New APA Identities

As more people turn off their TV’s in favor of smartphones, tablets and notebooks, those with a camera and few creative friends are finding a haven in the digital world of web series.
The same rules that apply to mainstream media don’t exist in the digital world. For Asian American moviemakers, this means an opportunity to combat stereotypes and to openly explore unconventional themes ranging from partying to homosexuality.
“KTown Cowboys,” the brainchild of Danny Cho and Daniel Dpd Park, began as a compilation of stories from their high school and college days in Koreatown, Los Angeles.
“We thought people would hate it. A lot of people are sensitive to drunken debauchery,” said writer and actor Cho.
As a result, they decided to format their show as a web series so a large, but specific, Asian American population could access the show for free online. Cho said he wanted viewers to watch it at their “own leisure instead of having to go to a theater.”
Financed with a mere $5,000, the online web series premiered in mid-2010 on its website. It quickly grew a steady following through social media.
“The only thing I did was post it on my Facebook wall and that’s how it grew,” said Cho.
For the team of friends, who play exaggerated caricatures of themselves partying one night in “Ktown,” the series was an opportunity to tell realistic stories that hadn’t been told before.
“We weren’t out to be preachy, but none of the [American media] related to our lives,” said Cho.
“We wanted something that reflected how we live and play.”
With over 1.2 million views, the show was popular with 18 to 32-year-old Asian Americans across the country. Because the webisodes are available online anywhere around the world, Ktown Cowboys and other web series have the capacity, unlike network cable, to draw a global market.
Another web series that takes place in Koreatown is the hype-generating Asian American answer to reality TV. “Ktown” is the first Asian American reality show, and co-creator Eugene Choi, believes it can serve as a vehicle to “breaking perceptions” in mainstream America, including the minority myth.
The unscripted show follows a segment of the lives of eight 20-something Korean Americans as they navigate Ktown’s nightlife. There is no end to the drinking, dancing and drama. Much like their raucous reality show “Jersey Shore” counterparts, the vivacious characters work hard but play even harder; however, there is also a sharp difference: Asians have never been depicted this way before.
“A lot of the stereotypes are one dimensional. Asians are nerds, doctors, or the IT guy,” said Eddie Kim, who along with Choi and Mike Le produce the series. “In our show, it’s great to see that first of all they speak English, they’re funny and they have a good time.”
Due to a number of factors, the show didn’t launch on network cable TV. Instead they chose to debut on LOUD, the YouTube channel of Electus, which aims to bring new models of entertainment, such as reality shows, to the internet.
The 12-minute webisodes are tailored to the YouTube viewer who has, typically, a low attention span.
“Within the next five years, we are going to see a lot of interplay between TV and online. We just happened to be at the beginning stages of that,” said Kim.
In 2011, Google invested $100 million to bring dozens of free channels with professional-grade content to YouTube.
The series began airing in July 2012 and has about 250,000 views on its first two episodes.
In a two-month span, the web series “Away We Happened” received nearly 10 million hits due in part to effective niche advertising by AT&T and Wong Fu Productions. The six-episode YouTube series is the tale of Jean and Daniel, whose fates collide when they mistakenly switch suitcases. To appeal to social media users, viewers vote and ultimately decide on the outcome of the plot.
Jen and Victor Kim, the actors for Jean and Daniel respectively had large followings on YouTube and twitter which was a factor in their selection as actors for the show.
Online moviemakers have found that they have greater freedom to tell the stories they want to tell on the internet.
“That’s What She Said” is the story of lesbian Asian Americans living in LA. With mainstream media overlooking queer Asian perspectives entirely, the Pearl Girls Productions intended to make something Asian Americans could relate to. The show follows the lives of five fictional characters—a Vietnamese, Japanese, Filipina, Korean and Chinese- American and their various struggles of coming out to their families, family pressure and dealing with immigrant parents.
“I definitely see that there is a shift; there are more Asian faces in American media,” said Cho. With the gradual but inevitable shift of TV to online, both Park and Cho agreed that Asian Americans need to become pioneers in bringing new models of entertainment to their viewers.
Ktown Cowboys: ktowncowboys.com
Ktown: New episodes are uploaded to youtube.com/loud every Wednesday.
Away We Happened:  youtube.com/wongfuproductions
That’s What She Said: twssonline.com


Schema Magazine

Source: Schema Magazine, August 8, 2012


Young Lee of K-Town: Sex with Lights On or Off?
By Kait Bolongaro
Photo courtesy of ktownrealityshowfanblog.wordpress.com

Young Lee has the style of the quintessential Korean entertainer, and comes off as a sensitive guy with superstar dreams. Although he may seem tame compared to the rest of his crew, Young can raise a little hell.
In last week's K-Town episode, Young got a lap dance at a bar from Scarlet Chan, the sexy ex-dancer. I am sure Young's girlfriend won't be to happy about this female attention. So with all this sexual controversy, how does Young like to get down?
We asked Young his top reasons sex is better with the lights on (or off) and here's what we got:

    Nice body—lights on
    Nice face—lights on
    Ugly—lights off

Pretty straightforward, eh? Notice 'ugly' still makes the cut for getting into bed, but the compromise is turning the lights off. What gets you in the mood? Lights on, or in the dark?


LA Weekly

Source: LA Weekly, August 8, 2012


K-Town by K-Town: A Jokbal Platter + Seoul Train + Partying in Rounds

Coverage of the delicious side of Koreatown has expanded past the well-tread over the years. We've learned about chic naengmyon (kudzu noodles in chilled beef broth) andgamjatang (pork neck soup). If we want Korean-style barbecue, we can distinguish places by cuts of meat and quality of banchan. Even as our Korean food vocabulary has sharpened, the grammar that helps us form dishes into meals and rituals is still a work in progress. Enter the reality YouTube show K-Town, an unexpected source for a basic -- if not rough -- tutorial on one aspect of Koreatown dining.

Chatter of K-Town, an unapologetic Asian American rendition of Jersey Shore, began in 2010. Rumors mixed among facts: R&B singer Tyrese Gibson is the executive producer; it was slated to air on a cable network; and it was about to drop any minute. Angry Asian Mankept tabs on when (and where) the show would premiere, while critics debated the merits and failures to both community and pop culture at-large. SNL even made a spoof. All this until it was apparent that K-Town was experiencing distributive difficulties.
This July the show was finally available for view, albeit online, after a deal with Ben Silverman's Electus came through. Changes however big (cast member Jennifer Field seemingly swapped for Cammy Chung) or imperceptible may not register as much as that of Koreatown -- the unspoken and far better explored character of the show -- and its party subculture. It is one as much defined by food as it is by drink and each 12-15 minute episode has shown thus far its extent.
Highlights & Lessons:
  • The party tetralogy. Hinted in the 2012 installment on the best of Koreatown eats, going out can come in stages. In K-Town, it goes up to four with cha connoting rounds and each numeral prefix representing its order: Il-cha (happy hour), ee-cha (food and drink),sam-cha (pre-game), and sa-cha (main party or what some cast members would call "sexy time"). Over the course of three episodes, the group dutifully performs the ritual, beginning at Beer Belly at which co-owner Jimmy Han briefly enters the frame when he delivers beer from Violet's secret stash stowed at the pub. The rest of the rounds take place at Palm Tree L.A., an all-in-one hub with restaurant (Arang), bar (A Bar), noraebang, and S Bar (club).
  • jokbal.jpg
    LOUD Channel via YouTube
    Jokbal at Arang

  • Meet jokbal. A fortifying platter of jokbal, or braised pork feet and shank, is ordered at Arang during ee-cha or the second round. Jokbal is served sliced and traditionally eaten in lettuce wraps topped with fermented soy paste and slices of fresh jalapeno and garlic. For the uninitiated, it is less exotic when considering this cut has been explored in French, Italian, and Chinese cuisines. The local standard has been set by Jangchung-Dong Wong Jokbal on Western.
  • Cammy pouring Apollo 13.jpg
    LOUD Channel via YouTube
    Cast member and bartender Cammy setting up "Apollo 13."

  • Thirsty games. We learn about "Apollo 13" and "Seoul Train," both variations of chugging down a combo of soju plus beer (usually Hite). At A Bar, Steve introduces everyone to his friend Cammy who happens to be the bartender there. She sets up a "Seoul Train" a.k.a. a line of soju bombs then explains the layered soju-beer competition of "Apollo 13." Joe breaks down the mechanics of a "Seoul Train" in his vlog entry.
  • Seoul Train at Gaam.jpg
    LOUD Channel via YouTube
    A "Seoul Train" at Gaam

  • Noraebang. When the cast partake in "Seoul Train" at Gaam during the fourth episode, we catch a glimpse of the possibilities available at a noraebang. Introduced to most of us as karaoke, noraebang is the Korean version, designed for maximum staying time in private singing rooms with full food and drink menus. It is not unlikely for the noraebang to supply a cha or two.
  • Purple Wine Bar.jpg
    LOUD Channel via YouTube
    Purple Wine Bar

  • How not to be classy at a wine bar. Scarlet invites Jowe, the unverified and frequently self-touted "Prince of K-Town," to Purple Wine Bar for a confrontation with Violet's ex-boyfriend, following her sense of girl code. The clink of wine glasses is less salut and more boxing bell when Scarlet starts in on Jowe and a flurry of faulty, at times crass, syllogisms is exchanged.
  • Ladies lunching at Yellow House.jpg
    LOUD Channel via YouTube
    Catching up at Yellow House Café

  • More than coffee at a Korean café. Violet, Scarlet, and Jasmine hit Yellow House Café for the kind of post-night recap and analysis popularized on Sex and the City over caffeine and kimchee fried rice. Scarlet discovers the courtesy buzzer seen on the tables at most Korean restaurants and proceeds to ring it multiple times for cheap laughs. The only valuable takeaway from this segment is that Korean cafés can be good for great meals,sweet potato lattés, and elaborate desserts.

Schema Magazine

Source: Schema Magazine, August 8, 2012

Joe Cha of K-Town: Top 3 Tips on Winning the Game
By Robert Paranguo
With all the madness between Jowe and Violet in the first three episodes of K-Town, Joe 'The Badass' Cha didn't get nearly as much screen time as his fans (myself included) may have wanted.
Thankfully, in Episode 4 Joe gets a lot more face time with the camera (along with a slight jab from Violet) as he and the boys chat candidly at a BBQ about Korean girls. Amazingly, he's probably one of the only cast members who has yet to be sucked into some heavy drama. Stay above it Joe! Recently, Schema Magazine had the chance to chat with Joe, here's his list of top-3 tips on keeping your eye on the prize.

    Do not show fear to your opponent.Have confidence in yourself and know you can win.Know your opponent's weaknesses before you compete.

Who needs the Art of War when you've got this sound advice from K-Town's top dog?

Schema Magazine

Source: Schema Magazine, August 8, 2012

Violet Kim of K-Town: Top Seduction Tip
By Gayatri Bajpai

Violet Kim isn't exactly squeamish or delicate, having taken punches to the face and given as good back within the last couple episodes of K-Town ... but she takes assaults on her nasal passages very seriously.
Her top seduction tip (for either sex) has a lot more to do with washing, and a lot less to do with cleavage or the gluteus maximus than one would expect. We boldly asked her, in short, how to (be) seduce(d), and this is what she had to say:
    I've never been seduced so I don't even know how to answer this question but the one thing that I feel is necessary in being open to seduction is to always smell good.I believe that a lady or man should always have good hygiene. And that doesn't mean showering in your perfume.

Do you agree? Is personal hygiene really that necessary to basic attraction? I hear pheromones get all up in your t-shirts if you let your armpits do their sweating thing, and I also hear said pheromones are now being used in perfumes for people to attract the opposite sex. So which is it? Squeaky clean and spritzed, a good kinda dirty, or some halfway meeting of the two?