Friday, May 28, 2021

10 shows with Asian-American characters i'd like to see streaming

I made lists for African American History Month and Women's History Month, so why not for Asian-American/Pacific Islander Month? Really, any excuse to write down some old TV shows I want to see again...

This one is much more difficult because of the lack of Asians on television in the 1970s and 1980s.  So to get a respectable list, I cheated and focused on shows that aren't streaming--some of these are on DVD--and ones that featured Asian-Americans in the supporting cast, not just leads. If I am missing some worthy efforts of the 1970s and 1980s--and I know I am--please add your own suggestions in the comments. 

1) Mr. T and Tina: Notorious Pat Morita flop from the creator of Welcome Back, Kotter that only lasted 5 episodes but has some historical value for the Asian-American casting. Poor Morita left Happy Days for this.

2) O'Hara: Speaking of Pat Morita, this short-lived police procedural (1987-1988; I am actually surprised it made it to 30 episodes) is worth a spot on this list for this alone:

3) Sidekicks: See above. Actually, see this promo again:

4) The Amazing Chan Clan: It's not high art, but it could at least be thrown up on Boomerang. Keye Luke plays Chan in this incarnation of the famous detective.

5) Longstreet: It's a reach, but this series featuring James Franciscus as a blind investigator has cult status in part because it features Bruce Lee in a handful of episodes. Shouldn't anything with Bruce Lee be available?

6) Quincy M.E.: Shoutout to Quince's awesome right-hand man Sam Fujiyama. I have been yearning to see this one on streaming video on demand pretty much ever since Netflix dropped all its Universal catalog shows years ago.

7) and 8): China Beach and Tour of Duty: Where are the 1980s Vietnam War shows? 

9) Kung Fu: It was on Prime Video for a very short time, but now is MIA despite a relatively high-profile reboot running on CW. Seems like a natural for HBO Max. And, yes, David Carradine was the lead, but the show also starred Keye Luke.

10) The Courtship of Eddie's Father: Miyoshi Umeki played the Corbetts' housekeeper in this gentle family sitcom (another James Komack show) which aired on the gone-but-not-forgotten Warner Archive Instant.

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