Given that the plot began with a simple “fuck you”, I was confident that this series was destined to be a good one. I said, “ouu, flavah, gimme sumo’ ah dat”
Amy and Danny (played by Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, respectively) put the capital “P” in PETTY as they go to great lengths for retribution in a seemingly trivial (and at times, hilarious) game of “tit-for-tat”. While we’re on the topic of characters, let’s dive deep, shall we?
These characters aren’t quite likeable, but they’re exceptionally relatable, which tells us a lot about our own humanity. Viewers grow to connect with these incredibly flawed people as they remind us of our own shortcomings, big and small. I will forever stand strong behind the [my] statement that ‘an abundant and well structured storyline does not require agreeable characters to communicate its message’. Shit, I don’t even really like the kid in this series like that.* Although we may not agree with some of their most outlandish actions, we can empathize with their “why”.
Culturally, producers nailed it. Did you see anyone wearing their shoes inside of the house? Nope, neither did I! From the intergenerational relationships (or lack thereof) to the immense pressure to achieve greatness (because “good” is never good enough), we get the insider look at some real and imperfect Asian family structures. Keep in mind that we rarely see marginalized communities like this outside of their cultural stereotypes. Personally, I think that this is HUGE for the Asian community, but hey, I’m just a Black girl, here for good entertainment and to cheer loudly on the sidelines. WOOT WOOT!
Breaking A Cycle. The obsession with “perfection” paired with the compulsion to bury anything that falls short of it is so real. At what point does this stop, though? At the detriment of who? There are several scenes throughout the series that highlight these types of conversations in a way that sparks sincere, thought-provoking discussions. We’re talking a dialogue that does not attempt to conceal or absolve the call for accountability from elders, but instead begin a solution-oriented discourse from a place of genuine understanding.
Episode 9 gets wild. Episode 10 gets real. You can tell that there’s some deeply implanted-in-DNA type trauma swimming to the surface, gasping for air. While I can’t say that the finale offers us any closure, I can say that it provides us with space for reflection. This is a show that says “goodbye”, leaving viewers with more questions than answers - bravo, because that’s exactly what art is supposed to do.
I refuse to ever part my lips to say that my expectations were exceeded. Let me say:
The acting is on point, I expected that.
The writing is seamless, I expected that.
The authenticity is undeniable, I expected that.
The production is beautiful, I expected that.
Let’s pull over and put this car in park real quick:
It’s a slap in the face when out of touch critics compliment our art as if it’s surprising that we are capable of creating dope ass shit. My brotha, this is what we dooooooooo.
*puts car in drive, and sticks middle finger out of the window*
From "editing Cas": Yes, I am aware of the controversy around one of the secondary characters in this series and yes, I do think that it's imperative that people are held accountable for their actions and words as well as production companies in doing their research ahead of time.