guest post: k-town's groundbreaking reality show

I'm on vacation! Taking a much-needed break. But don't worry. While I'm away, I've enlisted some great guest bloggers to keep things going around here. Here's Eddie Kim addressing questions and concerns about the upcoming K-Town reality show.

Seo Taiji. Roora. Turbo. Jinusean. Yoo Seung Joon.1TYM. JYP. Rain. Hyori. BoA. Seven. Big Bang. 2NE1. Wonder Girls. SNSD. 2PM. Jaybeom. Flamingo. Mega. Velfarre. Le Prive. Karnak. VR. Le Cercle. Hodori. BCD. Albehneh. El Taurino. McDonald's on 7th and Western where ahjushis (old Korean dads and grandpas) squat and play Badook (a hardcore othello game that I still can't figure out how to play). K-Town thugs with zero fades and Dickies pants. K-Town girls with blonde hair and cigarettes. Korean ahjummas with visors the size of umbrellas. The local K-Town ahjushi SPART police patrolling at Jangtuh, the K-Town Festival. Hannam Chain. Kim's Jungee, the store where literally you can find everything in this universe! Third Street Elementary. John Burroughs. LA High; if you survived that school, then for sure you are gangsta! KP. Champion. The Arcade on 6th and Alexandria. Sticker pictures. Intercrew. Renaissance. Bohemian. Mazinga. Café Bleu. Gaam. White. Rosen. Bobo's. Olympic. Vermont. Western. Wilshire. This is where you can never forget April 29, 1992 when K-Town was up in flames! But more importantly, when Korean Americans young and old flooded the streets in demonstration for peace. Korean American Day. World Cup - Be the Reds! K.W. Lee. Sammy Lee. Colonel Young Oak Kim. Angela Oh. Chan Ho Park when he did the famous drop kick during his Dodger days. Margaret Cho. John Cho. Sandra Oh. Ken Jeong. Daniel Dae Kim. KYCC. KAC. KHEIR. KASCON. Chongdae. KoreAm Journal. Kollaboration. Projekt NewSpeak. Angry Asian Man. Far*East Movement...and now THE K-TOWN REALITY SHOW!

This is the world I grew up in. I graduated from UC Berkeley, worked for several years in U.S. politics, and wildly ended up in entertainment. As you can see, I am no stranger to K-Town, community empowerment, and the media. It's from this framework that I understand the community, and now I am one of the 4 producers of the most talked about reality show of this year: the K-Town reality show.

A lot of interviews, articles, opinion pieces, and facebook comments have been made about this show. The producers (Tyrese Gibson, Mike Le, Eugene Choi, and myself) and the cast have made a number of public statements through some of these articles. However, I couldn't help but relent to Angry Asian Man's request to write on his blog. I will, once again, address some of the questions that the community has posed and commented about.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Common Question #1: What channel will this show be on?
Answer: It's in the works. True story. I've had a number of people commenting on facebook with passionate, fuming responses wondering when the F this show is gonna be on TV. And other FB patrons would respond by saying it'll never be on air. At the same time, others are constantly confusing this with KTown Cowboys. I just met with my good friend Danny Cho from KTown Cowboys the other day, and he told me he gets asked a similar question all the time. All I can say is...it's in the works. TV shows do not get made overnight. I am just grateful that there is such a huge demand from both yaysayers and naysayers. (yaysayers...is that even a word?). Having said that, we hope to find out real soon. And when we do, I'll of course let you know.

Common Question #2: Is this show going to perpetuate negative stereotypes?
Answer: This is an interesting question because the Asian American community immediately thought of the worst and made various negative judgments about the show while comparing it to Jersey Shore. Although I understand the community's desire to not display anything negative given the history of Hollywood's portrayal of Asian Americans, I would like to remind the fact that the casting call said that this show would be similar to MTV's Real World, Jersey Shore, The Hills, and more. The media and the community zoned in on the comparison to Jersey Shore alone. On a side note, I have a question: have you actually seen an episode of Jersey Shore? The guys there are pretty funny. All jokes aside, we are interested in portraying multiple sides to the cast's personalities, not 1-dimensional characters. I would even argue that Asian male stereotypes might change from nerds to badasses. Hey, it's possible. By the way, the last time there was an all-Asian cast on television, it was 15 years ago with Margaret Cho's show, All American Girl. And last month, Margaret Cho stated on TMZ and CNN that she supports and would like to be a castmember of the K-Town reality show.

Common Comment #1: "This show is going to take Asians back 10 years!"
Response: I've seen this comment floating around Facebook a lot during the months of May and June. In fact, I personally know some of the people who were writing that statement and passing it on to their friends. It's all good. As Tupac said, "I ain't mad at cha. Got nothin' but love for ya." Let's consider that comment though. 10 years ago was actually the year 2,000, man. What stereotypes have changed since that year? In the year 2,000, Michael Chang the tennis player won his final top title; Yu-Gi-Oh was a hit; and Yao Ming, the sexiest NBA player ever, was sought after only to join the league in 2002. In a related note, William Hung would enter our consciousness in 2004. So I ask again, what major stereotypes have changed since the last 10 years? The bucktoothed ninja physicist with slanted eyes... I'm thinking that stereotype is still out there.

Common Comment #2: "This show is gonna be a disgrace to Asians!"
Response: The last time I saw something similar to this kind of a response was during the VTech times of Seung Hui Cho or whenever anybody talked about Michelle Malkin. Can this actually be a legit or even a logical comparison? But you know what? All of these comments and concerns are actually good. It proves that this show has struck a chord with America. This show has created more debate and discussion than anything in a long while. I'd say since Better Luck Tomorrow.

Overall, I believe this passionate debate is good. All of these clashing concerns are good. It's been 8 months since the creation of this idea; 7 months since Tyrese Gibson (star of TRANSFORMERS and 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS) got involved; 5 months since casting; 4 months since filming the pilot; and 3 months since editing and planning for the show's future. This show has garnered more press and attention here in America than any K-pop star, actor, or anything Korean since the LA Riots. And all I can say is that we are excited and we really appreciate all of the people who have been following this show! Let the healthy debate continue and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube where all the updates are. Thank you!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ktownrealityshow
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ktownrealitytv
YouTube: www.youtube.com/ktownrealityshow

Eddie Kim is the Creator of Projekt NewSpeak, NewSpeak TV, SketchComedyShow.com, and most recently Producer of the K-Town reality show. His life has been and continues to be about creating innovative entertainment that speaks to the hearts and minds of ALL people.

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