Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt just gave us the best mixed-race relationship on TV
Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt paired its lead character with an Asian love interest and we say it's about time we see more of this on TV.
On the show, Kimmy hasn't had what you'd call a typical life. Her upbringing in an apocalyptic cult left her with no knowledge about the world. She's learning about everything in Western culture like someone just dropped off from another planet or a faraway land.
With her background, it's appropriate that Kimmy's life doesn't take expected turns. She's doing things her own way and looking at the world with different eyes, including her love life. Fusion got it right in their recent article when they commended the series for giving us a glimpse of something we don't see nearly enough on TV: An Asian romantic hero.
Kimmy's relationship with Dong (Ki Hong Lee) is fresh and cute, both of them trying to find their way in a new world completely unfamiliar to them. Kimmy was buried in a bunker for 15 years and Dong is a Vietnamese immigrant. They are basically perfect for each other.
As we watch Kimmy falling for Dong, we couldn't help but wonder why we weren't being given more Asian leading men on TV. While it's pretty common to see guys lusting after Asian women, we don't see nearly as many ladies flirting with Asian men, and we hope that Dong and Kimmy will represent a new change to come.
Looking back over recent years in TV, there are only a few examples of Asian love interests. Recently, we had John Cho on Selfie, but unfortunately the show was canceled before it got a fair shot. There's also Daniel Dae Kim on Hawaii Five-0, but his character has had awful luck in the love department, which makes it hard to put him into the romantic category, though he is definitely leading-man material.
Image: Harry Shum Jr., Giphy
Luckily, we do have Harry Shum, Jr. on Glee, but the list is still far too short. More often than not, Asian actors are played up for comedy. Hello, 2 Broke Girls, we're talking to you. We think Matthew Moy is adorable on that show, but sometimes we wish his only purpose wasn't to play a stereotype for laughs. Given than the entire show is all stereotypes, we're willing to give them a little bit of a pass, but still.
Image: 2 Broke Girls, Imgur
With shows like Fresh Off the Boat giving an accurate (if comedic) portrayal of the Asian-American experience, and characters like Kimmy getting romantic with characters like Dong, hopefully we're about to see more Asian love interests on TV.