American Born Chinese: Full Season One
May 25, 2023 3:56 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Jin Wang is an average teenager balancing high school and home life. When he meets a new foreign student on the first day of the school, even more worlds collide as Jin is unwittingly entangled in a battle with Chinese mythological gods.

The High-Risk Feat of Bringing ‘American Born Chinese’ to TV [NYT / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA (5 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
American Born Chinese Reflects a New Era of Storytelling [Time]
posted by ellieBOA at 7:12 AM on May 27, 2023

Well that was a cliffhanger.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:51 PM on May 30, 2023

I know!

American Born Chinese’s Ben Wang Gets the EEAAO Comparisons [Vulture / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 5:23 AM on June 1, 2023

I went into with low expectations, because this was Disney and because there was a YA protagonist. I was watching it for Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, and expected it to be a pretty generic coming of age story. I was very pleasantly surprised by the risks the writers took with this--like having nearly all of an episode be in Mandarin, or the play on the sitcom formats in episode 4 and the last episode.

I also was not expecting to like the YA leads as much as I did. A lot of times with YA stuff I'm sort of impatiently waiting for scenes with the older, more skilled actors. But I thought Ben Wang did a fabulous job of making Jin appealing and relatable, even as Jin made some questionable decisions at the beginning. Jimmy Liu had a great alien quality that I'd expect from a god masquerading as a high school student.

I liked the way they brought together the disparate strands of the show in the last episode, and thought Jin's identity speech/calling out Bull Demon was very well done. Also "I'm sorry, can you say that one more time slower? My Chinese isn't super good" in response to the ominous proclamation made me laugh as well as curse the cliffhanger.
posted by creepygirl at 9:38 PM on June 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm not entirely sure what the heck the whole "Jin is the fourth scroll" thing even was....??? Also wondered how much anyone watching that got as to what was going on.

Beyond that, enjoyed the characters. Ben Wang totally reminded me of Osric Chau. I deeply enjoyed Guanyin as a human budding hoarder. And Jamie's story weaving through as "Freddy What Could Go Wong" and his adult life years later, you really felt for him. What a class act.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:00 PM on June 19, 2023

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