Monday, April 20, 2009

Yes, even the Dharma Initiative had a RiceDaddy

In the scene below Miles Straume (who has traveled back to 1977) witnesses the father he never knew reading to a 3-month old Miles:

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 (Fran├žois 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
I hope we get more of this on television. Maybe MetroDad's sitcom would have a shot on ABC, even though ABC is owned by Disney.


mary said...

lol. love the title of the post

daddy in a strange land said...

I'm looking forward to seeing where this storyline goes. And I already suggested Francois Chau to play MetroDad. :-)

Ka_Jun said...

That was a great episode, historic, actually.

SoulSnax said...

Okay folks... ready for the next step?

While it's important to call studio execs out on their diversity mis-steps (Last Airbender, Dragonball, 21, Miley Cyrus, etc...), it's also important to give positive reinforcement where it is due. Therefore, I encourage all of you to write a letter of praise to ABC/Disney execs for this.

I have the address for ABC Television group president Anne Sweeney below (thanks bigWOWO), but does anyone have contact info for Lost Producers JJ Abrams, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, and the writers of the episode, Melinda Hsu and Gregory Nations, and Director Jack Bender, or anyone else responsible for this episode?

Ms. Anne Sweeney
Disney-ABC Television Group
500 S. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521-1930