The Macguffin Report

s02e03. Asian-American cinema/tv including Always Be My Maybe, Kim’s Convenience

August 7, 2019

The MacGuffin Report gives the ol’ Netflix subscription a real workout this week as we review the streaming service’s original production Always Be My Maybe (2019) and the Canadian TV series Kim’s Convenience based on Ins Choi’s 2011 theatrical production of the same name.

Whereas MacGuffin Report co-hosts Walter Hong, Raechel Wong and Os Davis typically take pride in their deep dives, they may have outdone themselves this time. Get ready for some serious (and not so serious) analysis of this movie and series.

The trio starts the show with Always Be Maybe, with discussions of everything from importance of soundtrack to the clichés – sometimes necessary, sometimes unnecessary – of the romantic comedy genre to the importance of frank talk about sex in Asian-American movies.

At 24:30, Kim’s Convenience gets a look; the MacGuffins talk economy of script, the importance of setting and the appeal of setting any tv series in a specific sociological environment. Plus, Os gushes about several highlights of episode 1.

At 35:20, it all leads to the question, “Has Asian-American film/tv truly arrived in the U.S.?” This in turn leads to Walter and Raechel educating Os (and, ideally, us all) on Asian-American cinema, its audience and the relation of each to entertainment imported from Japan, Korea and China.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the MacGuffin Report without namedrops and callbacks. This episode features references to movies including When Harry Met Sally (1989), Murder Mystery (2019), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), It Happened One Night (1934), Mary Poppins (1964), Gladiator (2000), Black Panther (2018), Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992) and Spirited Away (2001). And while mulling over tv, there’s references and mentions to Barney Miller, M*A*S*H, Cheers, Night Court, Corner Gas, Northern Exposure, Miami Vice, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Teen Titans Go, among others.

All this plus an appearance by Keanu Reeves tormenting Os, and Raechel displaying uncanny MacGuffinspotting powers...

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