Saw Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlst, which was not something I had on my waitlist, but since it was on the shelf, I snagged it in case time presented itself. And it did. I have this lovely flu that's like a greatest hits of other viruses: combo cold, body hangover, and digestive tract craziness (that hasn't included yacking, thank God).
The movie is as tedious as most reviews label it. It's watchable when you don't feel like getting up and putting in American Graffiti or Dazed and Confused. But there's no real conflict, and I wondered how in the hell Michael Cera ("Nick") keeps getting parts with his nearly complete lack of looks and charm, though I hope to see way more of Kat Dennings ("Nora") who has plenty of both.
Outside of watching Kat do her stuff, I was pleasantly surprised when it looked like they would have a major Asian character (outside of sci-fi). Maybe because I don't watch swat-fu flicks, I notice it when an Asian appears in a lead, because they almost never do. It's like having a dad on a sitcom who's not a major buffoon.
However, my second thought was, "ah, but they'll make him gay, probably" and sure enough, Nick is in a band where all the other guys are gay. Imagine that little walk through hell if this were even remotely realistic. You go through the pain of learning how to play an instrument to be in a band to meet chicks (the largest common denominator for most guy musicians) but there you are in gay bar after gay bar, fending of guy pass after guy pass.
But I digress…
What the hell is it with the nearly complete dearth of normal Asian main characters? Is this a holdover from the prejudices of WWII, maybe?
Now, I'm not a quota person, but after someone mentioned way back in the day that there were no black actors in commercials until the Cosby show (when he demanded it), and the complaint that there were no black acts on MTV until they swapped over to nothing but black acts, I ended up with a low-key mental filter that when I watched a drama or comedy (again, fantasy and sci-fi are somehow exempt), I would eventually notice if the cast didn't have the mix of people types I encountered day to day.
This also does not count the overabundance of pretty people in entertainment; no one wants to look at average people all the time. My "is this realistic?" filter actually kicks in when there are too many plain people, because it IS abnormal for entertainment.
And for those of you who are thinking I'm a hypocrite by asking, "Where are the Asians?" while at the same time complaining (somewhat) about (what I've come to think of as) "the obligatory gay character," it goes back to the daily mix I encounter in reality. I see way more gay characters in fiction anymore than I do in real life, and typically they are uber-heroic in ways that would be laughable in reality. I've known some very wonderful gay people, but I've also known my share of petty, hateful, bitchy and mean gays, too. Imagine a bad gay character in a major or indy film these days.
I exempted sci-fi because that's about the one place where you do see Asian leads who are actually the hero, except for Garrett Wang / Harry Kim from ST Voyager who was such a pussy that all the female characters had more balls than he did.
But that leaves the question as to why sci-fi doesn't have the same unbalance that dramas and comedies do.
I have no theory. Do you?