Friday, June 06, 2008

Asian Influence in America

Happy Kung Fu Panda Day! The movie opens today, starring Jack Black (Po the panda), Dustin Hoffman (Shifu the red panda), Angelina Jolie (Tigress the… uh, tiger), Ian McShane (Tai Lung the leopard), Jackie Chan (Monkey the mon-… nevermind), Seth Rogan (Mantis), Lucy Liu (Viper), and David Cross (Crane). A couple of Asian character actors you might know are Randall Duk Kim (the Keymaker in The Matrix Reloaded) as Oogway the tortoise and James Hong (Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China and the maitre d’ in the Seinfeld episode “The Chinese Restaurant”) as Mr. Ping the goose. Oh, and Michael Clarke Duncan plays Commander Vachir, a rhino.

Normally, I wouldn’t get so excited over a Dreamworks animated production (they made Shrek, Madagascar, and Over the Hedge), but fanboy reaction to the movie has been good. Hopefully they’ve solved some of the story cohesiveness that has plagued their other movies. And I guess Jack Black has toned it down some, so it could be fun.

So let me get this straight… ABC is producing a new reality game show called Wipeout, which is based on those wacky Japanese game shows like SpikeTV’s Most Extreme Elimination Challenge – MXC (originally Japan’s Takeshi’s Castle) AND they’re producing a series titled I Survived a Japanese Game Show about people who are sent to Japan to compete in stunts reminiscent of, well, Japanese game shows?

What, there aren’t enough reruns or inane reality-show ideas that they have to rehash Japanese reality-show ideas? The problem with both of these shows is, if you’re not Asian, or privy to shows that these games are based on, you just don’t get the joke. You take them at face value, which is pretty worthless. If they’re going to rehash Japanese game shows, they need to bring out Japan’s Sasuke, which airs on G4 as Ninja Warrior. That show’s got some serious athletes competing in some serious challenges.

By the way, the winner of Wipeout wins $50,000 while the winner of ISAJGS gets a free trip to Japan and $250,000(!). Eh… Wipeout has ESPN’s Jon Anderson as one of its hosts and no jet lag.

Finally, it’s not Asian, but an Asian was probably involved in the creation of this insane, inane summer slide...

Silly Germans...

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