2018 is the year for Asians in entertainment, and it’s only the beginning


It’s almost 2019 and while the world has seen all the technological advances typical of modern dystopian stories, Hollywood has released a rare major US produced film with an all-Asian cast—only recently. But all great leaps come from a small step, as the famous quote goes, and this huge development, as well as the prestigious recognitions that Asian artists have garnered over this year is telling of how this fact is changing the game in the global entertainment scene. Here are only some of the incredible milestones that Asians have achieved in film, TV, and fashion this year:

The ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ have arrived

Warner Bros.

Me-and-you-against-the-world love stories aren’t anything new in film, especially when it includes a trope in class divide, but throw in an impeccably dressed, disapproving would-be mother-in-law in an Asian household with questionable amount of wealth—and you have yourself a story. But what makes this a blockbuster film is not technically its narrative, but the representation of Asians in a Hollywood movie, which has been long overdue since the showing of ‘Joy Luck Club.’ And it was clear that the audience was craving for it, too. “Crazy Rich Asians” has achieved an unprecedented US$238 million in the box office despite its initial modest production budget. The second installment of the film is already on the way, so we can expect much more scenes an entire continent can relate to or at least quite understand.

‘To all the boys I’ve loved before’ made everyone’s hearts flutter

Netflix

After this novel-turned-TV film became a massive hit on Netflix, everybody was talking about Lana Condor (who played an introvert Korean-American teen Lara Jean) and Noah Centineo (high school jock Peter Kavinsky). Perhaps more than any other TV series, this one portrayed the life of a typical Asian-American teenager most bias-free and without the usual stereotypes ascribed by US productions. “I love it,” Lana recently told Teen Vogue about the mixed family emphasis and situation in the movie. “I was born in Vietnam and I was adopted by an Irish lady and a Hungarian man, and then I moved to America. So, in a way I grew up in a mixed household, because my brother and I are Asian, and our parents are white.”

She adds, “It’s important to show mixed families anyway, because that’s real life. Personally, I felt so comfortable and felt very understood.”

Sandra Oh became the first Asian to ever be nominated for best lead actress in a drama series

BBC America

Sandra Oh maybe known for her work in the longtime-running series “Grey’s Anatomy,” but her astounding work for “Killing Eve” is earning her the recognition she so deserved. She told New York Times, “We’ve got to start somewhere. And I’m happy to get that ball rolling, because what I hope happens is that next year and the next year and the next year, we will have presence. And the presence will grow not only to Asian-Americans, you know, from yellow to brown, but to all our other sisters and brothers. Our First Nations sisters and brothers. Our sisters and brothers of different sizes and different shapes. If I can be a part of that change, like [expletive], yeah, let’s celebrate it.”

BTS 2019 Grammy nomination for best recording package

Korean boy band BTS is certainly not your typical group of Kpop machinery-produced handsome boys. Their music transcends language barriers and their appeal reaches audiences worldwide. BTS’ Love Yourself: Tear album has earned a nomination for best recording package. The album, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in May, marks the first recognition for the group and a huge breakthrough moment for the Korean music scene. Billboard.com notes that this nomination “marks a major moment of inclusion and appreciation for South Korea’s breakout artists, and is an important step inside and gaining attention of the notoriously traditional Recording Academy.”

About Dianne Pineda 394 Articles
Magazine and online writer based in South Korea. Nerdy news writer by day, Korean pop culture writer by night.

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