Earlier in this season of Lost, the writers finally redeemed themselves for initially handicapping Daniel Dae Kim's character with the inability to speak English. Via the literary device known as time travel, they gave Jin three years of English immersion amongst the Dharma Initiative and a handful of lines he could deliver in full (though accented) English sentences.
On Wednesday night, the positive portrayal of diversity was taken even a step further. In the latest episode of Lost, Miles Straume's back story was fleshed out, giving Ken Leung an opportunity to utilize his acting skills in ways few Asian-American actors ever get to do on primetime network television. We even got to see the tender paternal side of the mysterious Dr. Marvin Candle (François Chau), and Miles' mother (Leslie Ishii).
Why is this significant? Let's see... in this episode, we've got:
- Asian-Americans in recurring major roles on prime time network television
- Asian-Americans who aren't portrayed as perpetual foreigners with foreign accents
- Asian-Americans cast in compelling story lines, regardless of ethnicity
- Asian-Americans in non-stereotypical roles
- Asian-Americans as human, multi-dimensional characters, experiencing the same joys and sorrows as other human beings