[NPR] Why it’s so hard to agree on Ki Hong Lee’s character in ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’

March 26, 2015

 

Dong (Lee Ki-hong) and Kimmy (Ellie Kemper), right after they meet. (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/Netflix via NPR)

Dong (Ki Hong Lee) and Kimmy (Ellie Kemper), right after they meet.
(Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/Netflix via NPR)

[NPR.ORG]

The very first time we encounter Dong Nguyen, one of several hotly debated characters in Tina Fey’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, he has just introduced himself to Kimmy in their GED class. And, as surely happens to Dong all the time, ever since he immigrated to New York from Vietnam, she’s stifling a giggle over his name.

“Nice to meet you, [chuckle] Dong [chuckle], I’m Kimmy,” she spits out. But this time, Dong, played by Ki Hong Lee (The Maze Runner and a whole bunch of Wong Fu videos), has his own reason to snort. “In Vietnam, Kimmy means penis!” he says, leaving her stumbling for words.

It’s a sweetly disarming scene. The irony that Dong is the one teasing Kimmy about her name floats completely over his head, which is partly what makes him such an endearing character: He unwittingly reclaims the gag. The joke is an equalizing force — depending on the context, both of their names can read as ridiculous.

But for a lot of viewers, including a lot of Asian-American ones, the traits that make Dong such a classic Fey-sian misfit also make him a dull, even infuriating Asian stereotype: his thickly accented, broken English; his gig delivering Chinese food by bike; his aptitude for math; his deportation-anxiety storyline. So which is it: Does Dong push back against Asian stereotypes, or does he just prop them up?

[READ MORE]

moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher air max pas cher air max pas cher stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher nike tn squalo nike air max outlet mcm outlet online moose knuckles outlet happiness outlet happiness outlet shoes