Television

I Refuse to Feel Guilt for My Guilty Pleasures

The invisible fence that divides highbrow and lowbrow is largely imposed by money, those we admire, and our own social conditioning.

‘Dorohedoro’ Helped Me Through—and Reconsider—Isolation in the Pandemic

In Q Hayashida’s wild, imaginative artwork, I found the freedom to see beyond my surroundings, all on my own.

Jul 27, 2021
Strange Lessons in Sex and Power from ‘Saved By the Bell’

As a preteen, I’d absorbed this dynamic—a teen girl dating adult men—as totally normal because it was embedded in the show’s wholesome package.

Jul 13, 2021
What Mr. Miyagi Taught Me About Anti-Asian Racism in America

We Asians were in this thing—racist America—together.

Mar 23, 2021
Nick Miller Is the Quarantine Role Model I Didn’t Know I Needed

Seeing Nick’s imperfections play out in a way that shows he is not a failure, just human, is exactly what I needed to get me through quarantine.

Feb 25, 2021
On Skinship

An ode to bathtubs, ‘PEN15,’ and the women in my life.

Jan 27, 2021
How Legend of Korra Gave a Big Black Girl Permission to Be Broken

Though she lives, some part of Korra—the flame throwing hothead, insistent on taking up space—does not survive.

What Diane Nguyen Taught Me About Finding Healing Through Failure

When I moved to America, I thought I could fashion a new life out of the escape, but a BoJack Horseman character taught me to be patient with setbacks

May 28, 2020
What Reality TV Taught Me About Ending a Friendship

I’m coming to terms with the fact that—whether it ends in an unfollow or in a blow-up bash in a house in Malibu—sometimes the kindest thing we can give one another is a goodbye.

May 21, 2020
The ‘Survivor’ Notebook

I remember the day Mom said “stage IV metastatic,” so now I need a show with forty seasons.

Mar 10, 2020
How Rewatching ‘Charmed’ Helped Me Separate Magic From Mania

When palm trees swing in the soft breeze, I remind myself that my body is not an orchestra, and the trees are not dancing for me.

What an Over-the-Top, Teen Cable Drama Taught Me About My Sexuality

I didn’t know—or think I knew—any visibly queer women, and watching these fictional women half-existing seemed both comforting and lonely.

Redrawing the Lines: How Anime Helped Shape My Nonbinary Identity

At the time, I didn’t know I could be anything but a girl, a quiet Chinese American girl, cute and easy to ignore, but Kurama hinted at other possibilities.

Jul 25, 2019
The Gospel According to Fleabag

The truth was, for me and as for Fleabag, I wasn’t just looking for a good story to tell my friends. I was looking for something so much harder to grasp: a narrative.

There Is No Purer or More Joyful Reality TV Show Than ‘Antiques Roadshow’

The Roadshow is so kind, so simple, and so pure that you begin to wonder, “Could this even be faked?” When I visited the set in San Diego, I discovered—no, it can’t be faked.

Apr 08, 2019
’90s Sitcoms Don’t Hold Up Well—But They Once Held My Family Together

I knew on a level the humor was cringeworthy, especially as a recently out gay boy facing heterosexist gender roles, but I didn’t care. I needed “Friends” to make our house feel less lonely and empty.

Mar 13, 2019