While I was writing a Hyphen Magazine article about April Woo, the detective character now being made into a TV series, my editor forwarded me an interview with the author of the novels, Leslie Glass.  In it, Glass asserted that there is a “classic Asian mother.”

With this whole Tiger Mom coinage, frankly, I’ve had it with this surge of a stereotype.  The resurgence of such stereotyping evoked fear in Asian Pacific Islanders that the much-buzzed-about “Asian F” episode of Glee would reinforce that stereotype.

I’m happy to report that it did not.

Tamlyn Tomita, playing Mike Chang’s mother, was tough and strict but in her heartfelt conversation with Mike; she said that her job was to encourage him to live out his dreams, not anyone else’s.

It brought tears to my eyes.  And still does as I write this.  A superb scene, played touchingly by Tomita and Harry Shum Jr., it was the foundation of a whole episode that was about expectations, goals, and the consequences thereof.

Shum also had his solo, a number from West Side Story showcasing both his singing and dancing skills.  With another Diva face-off, a flash mob scene, and a dream sequence from Dreamgirls, it was a well-blended episode. Glee is back on track.

 

—Ken Choy

 

Photo courtesy of FOX

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