Day 131: I Want to Believe


It’s true: The X-Files is back! Well, not until next year…and only for a six-episode limited series. I’m excited and then some; the X-Files was one of my favorite shows of all time. Before the digital age made binge-watching my go-to mode of watching television, I looked forward to Sunday nights for my fix of the monster of the week or the growing Byzantine conspiracy in the X-Files world.

I’ve watched a few episodes on Netflix for old times’ sake and the show holds up well (some of it is hilarious: fax machines and old cell phones!). I’m looking forward to seeing Mulder and Scully in a more contemporary setting. Yes, this happened during 2008’s The X-Files: I Want to Believe, after sitting in development hell for six years. I enjoyed it, but it was a day late and a dollar short.

I want to believe that this new limited series will be what we fans have been hoping for: a return to glory for Mulder and Scully.

Day 117: Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Finally took the Game of Thrones plunge last night and it’s lived up to the hype. I’d forgotten it was an HBO show until the, oh, five-minute mark of the first episode, when the first of several beheadings took place.

Tonight my wife and I binge-watched until the midway point in the first season. It’s a violent show, but it’s well-crafted and I’m now a fan. It’s been awhile since I’ve binged on an HBO show. It’s nice to see the network putting out another excellent series. Will GoT join my pantheon of great television (Sopranos, The Wire, and Breaking Bad)? I’m looking forward to finding out.

And something tells me that the beheadings won’t stop any time soon.

Day 99: Caught Up

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead

SPOILER ALERT: I’m talking about The Walking Dead, season five (scroll down to continue)









We finally caught up with The Walking Dead tonight. Wow. I thought that things had slowed down once the group reached Alexandria. Thankfully, I wasn’t ready to give up on the show and the last two episodes were brilliant: tense, emotional, and action-packed.

Once the group made its way to Alexandria and tried to return to a pre-apocalyptic way of life, the series seemed to lose its steam. While the focus has always been on Rick, Glenn and Maggie slipped to the background, as did Daryl. Carol was more prominent and she’s never been more charming and menacing. Noah’s death was heart-breaking, just as Emily’s was at the midway point.

As the utopian Alexandria came crumbling down, the show got its mojo back. It was great to see Morgan again and how perfect was his reunion with Rick?

As Mrs. G. and I binged on the final few episodes, it reaffirmed my taste in television viewing: I’m a binger, not a weekly show type of guy (except for half-hour comedies about an Asian American family). We began the second half of season five in real time, watching each episode as they aired. After a few weeks, we decided we liked watching episodes a handful at a time. Not only can we watch when we want to, but it’s easier to follow the story. For me, it’s easier to remember characters and details when I’ve seen them hours rather than weeks before.

Now that season five is over, I’m ready for season six. I won’t be watching the premiere, though. I’ll watch it a few weeks later, along with another handful of episodes.

Day 97: Fresh Off the Happy Hour

Tacos and cupcakes, yum!

Tacos and cupcakes, yum!

Mrs. G. and I didn’t feel like cooking tonight, so it was time for Taco Tuesday at our local taqueria and cupcake happy hour at our local designer cupcake shop. The food was good, filling, and inexpensive, but more importantly it was devoured in time for our favorite show: Fresh Off the Boat.

I’ve talked about my love of the show before (here, here, and here) and while watching the after-show Fresh Off the Show I learned that the final two episodes are airing soon. It’s been a critical success so far, which should guarantee its renewal, but you never know what Hollywood executives are thinking.

So, in keeping with the positive #RenewFOTB vibes on my Twitter feed, here’s hoping ABC does the right thing with this groundbreaking show. I want more adventures of Eddie and the Huang family. I want more diversity on the air. Most of all, I want more quality television.

Day 62: Three Fresh Things

Fresh Off The Boat

Fresh Off The Boat

1. I missed last week’s Fresh Off The Boat due to a previous commitment, but tonight my wife and I weren’t going to miss our favorite television family. It was another hilarious episode, with so many highlights: Eddie suffering the indignity of having his neighbor babysit him as he goes overboard on the sriracha, Jessica’s quotes from Caddyshack, Louis’ Coming-to-America-like McDowell’s move, Eddie’s dream sequence, the billboard, and “Buffalo Things.”

2. The only complaint I have so far about the show? The entire season isn’t on Netflix so I can binge-watch to my heart’s content.

3. There’s a Spotify playlist of the show and there’s plenty from the Golden Age of hip hop. Listen here for your dose of 90s music (Warning: some NSFW language).

4. I know I said three things, so consider this a bonus: A must-watch after each episode is Fresh Off The Show, hosted by Phil Yu and Jenny Wang. It’s a live recap of the show and it’s funny and informative. Check their twitter accounts on Tuesdays for the link to the live feed on youtube.

Day 48: Two on Tuesday

Statement of Accomplishment from

Statement of Accomplishment from

Two things that made my Tuesday:

1. I received my Statement of Accomplishment (with Distinction) for completing the U.S Department of State and the University of Oregon’s online course Shaping the Way We Teach English 1: The Landscape of English Language Teaching. I enjoyed this class on so much that I immediately enrolled in second part of the course that started last week.

2. I got another shout-out from two of my favorite social media personalities Phil Yu and Jenny Wang during their Fresh Off the Boat post-show chat. I could get used to these weekly 15 seconds of Internet fame. I’ll wait until at least next week before hiring an agent.

Day 46: SNL40


Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat


The Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary show is going on right now. Or is it? I recall hearing the start time as 7pm CST, but I’m in PST, so does that mean it started at 5pm?

During one of my first sleepovers in elementary school the highlight of the night was staying up late to watch SNL. I remember seeing Chevy Chase and Gilda Radner, but I don’t remember it being very funny. All of that grown-up humor was lost on me and my third-grade buddies.

A few years later, I absolutely loved Eddie Murphy. I had a VHS tape of my favorite sketches that my brothers, friends, and I would laugh at hysterically. My favorite sketch by far was “Buckwheat Has Been Shot,” with the Stevie Wonder-Frank Sinatra duet a close second (Joe Piscopo at his best). Even after repeated viewings, Eddie still cracked me up.

SNL has never been must-watch TV for me, though. During my 20s and 30s, Saturday night meant going out, not sitting in front of a television. I never set my VCR to record episodes. Yet somehow, through some sort of pop culture osmosis, I knew about the latest skits and catch-phrases, from “Isn’t that special?” to “More cowbell.” It’s comforting in a way, knowing that while I might not see it live, the skits will find a way into my life.

Day 41: Fresh Off The Air

Fresh Off The Air 2/10/15

Fresh Off The Air 2/10/15

This made my night: getting two of my social media heroes to laugh at one of my tweets. My wife was impressed!

Jenny Yang is a brilliant comedian based in L.A. and Phil Yu is the genius behind Angry Asian Man. I’ve been following both for a while; their thoughts on Asian American culture are smart, funny, and a welcome sight on my Twitter feed.

Tonight, they hosted a live chat after the two new episodes of Fresh Off The Boat. It was fun listening to them re-hash the plots and going over favorite moments. Viewers were encouraged to tweet #FreshOffTheAir and at the end of the show, Jenny said my name (correctly, thank you!) and read my tweet. I’m glad my ’90s-era joke was met with such enthusiasm.

I’ll write more someday about how great it is to see so many Asian Americans in the media, from youtube to network television. For now, I’m going to re-watch my 5 seconds of Internet fame on my laptop while pretending to search for things to do on Valentine’s Day.

(If the video isn’t embedded below, click on the link and go to the 38:00 mark.)


Day 36: Fresh Off The Boat

Fresh Off The Boat

Fresh Off The Boat

ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat premiered last night and #FreshOffTheBoat trended on Twitter in Los Angeles and New York. From what I read, there was a lot of positive response, but I’m waiting to see how FOTB fares over the upcoming weeks.  This was a huge moment for Asian Americans since there hasn’t been a show with an all-Asian-American cast since 1994, when Margaret Cho’s All-American Girl debuted on the same network. My fingers are crossed in hopes that the comedy sustains its opening-night momentum.

I’ve followed the FOTB story for a few months, as creator Eddie Huang (he wrote the autobiography that the show is based on) ripped ABC for watering down and de-politicizing the source material. It fascinated me that Huang would sabotage his own show before the pilot had even aired and I worried that studio executives were doing him like they did Cho two decades ago.

Thankfully, the first two episodes weren’t bad at all. The actor that plays the young Eddie is terrific and all of the other actors were solid. I’m eager to see how the characters develop and I hope that ABC gives FOTB enough time to find itself. It’s a real shame that it’s taken 20 years for a show about, and starring, Asian Americans to reappear on the airwaves, but it’d be an even bigger shame if it wasn’t given a chance. And while I’m not expecting mainstream America to make FOTB the next Seinfeld, I am expecting other Asian-American-based shows to appear sooner than 20 years from now. At the very least, I’ll settle for a Walking Dead spin-off featuring Glenn called “I’m Korean, Not Chinese.”

Day 12: Cutting Cable


Image source:

My wife and I have saved thousands of dollars since we cut cable a few years ago. We love not paying for channels we never watch and since we’ve never made it a point to set a specific TV night, we can easily get by with a Netflix subscription and Youtube videos for our video entertainment. Actually, that’s not entirely true; we love watching Jeopardy during the week, so thankfully a cheap pair of rabbit ears brings in quality digital reception of Mr. Trebek. The antenna works for the major networks and lots of minor ones, too, so there’s always something available if the need arises.

The only thing I’ve missed are sports. ESPN, Fox, Time Warner, and other cable companies have most of the games now, with the major networks only showing weekly NFL and NBA games (and the playoffs). I could subscribe to league passes, but I don’t have enough time to watch anyways.

I thought losing out on sports after we cut cable would be tough, but my favorite teams (Lakers and Raiders) are mired in mediocrity (and worse) these days. And thankfully I like listening to the Dodgers on the radio; I’m one generation removed from when listening to baseball was the rule, not the exception. As thrilling as it is to see the web gems on ESPN, I’m perfectly content listening to Vin Scully make the call.

This link is to an easy-to-use calculator to find out exactly how much money you’ll save by cancelling your cable TV service and replacing it with Netflix or other services. With so many streaming options available, there’s been no better time to do so.