Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lou and Lou Safety Patrol

As a rice daddy, I'm sure I'm not the first to find some ethnic pride in seeing "Lou and Lou's Safety Patrol." Lou and Louise are twin Asian American children whose sole function on Playhouse Disney is to educate about child "safety" in less than five minute snippets. I've always appreciated the non-over accentuated Asian eyes and their lack of accent.

But after watching my third different episode, I'm now beginning to wonder if they're a positive representation of Asian American children. In a cynical way, they're annoying tattle-tales who create a huge scene over the most nitpicky "rule" violation. For example, in a museum visit episode, they blow whistles, narc and call museum security on the black girl who went crushed velvet rope line for one second. Dude, who would want them for friends in school? I'd like that to say that's not a fair representation of Asian American children but the more I think about, the more I can see Asian American faces from childhood in exactly the same role (myself included.)

Part of it may come from the cultural respect for authority, but I think part stems from the hatred of the rule breakers who recognize social standing comes from the breaking of some rules: the unspoken rules of social power that seem to cripple some otherwise incredibly successful and hard working Asian Americans who do all the right things but somehow fall short.

One final question, if Lou and Lou are really suppose to be intelligent, then why do they rely so much on their stoner cop friend?

1 comment:

Mama Nabi said...

Hah... LN and I watch this on Saturday mornings before I leave for the day... and I didn't realize they were Asian kids. I thought Latino, maybe.

On practical level, it works for us - now, if LN does something that may hurt her, I call "safety violation" on her.

I guess, to be honest, I never thought of any kind of ethnic stereotype when I had initially thought they were Latino kids. I actually thought that it was a Disney effort to 'diversify' their channel.

On the other hand, I also did not grow up in the US - and at our international school, it was usually the Caucasian kids who were pegged as narcs or "goody two shoes"... probably because many of their parents were missionaries and our school was a Christian school. :-)