American Born Chinese Series Review

American Born Chinese Series Review: Built for All Ages and All Audiences

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"American Born Chinese" is unlike any other show out there right now. This is a show that is out to serve a spectrum of audiences and ages at the same time and the end result was surprisingly well-balanced and wonderful. It may have had a rough couple of episodes but once it was able to build up its momentum, the series ends well and was able to tie-up its narrative and characters in a deep, thought-provoking, and surprisingly emotional journey.   

Heaven and Earth meets when Wei-Chen (Jim Liu), the son of the great sage Sun Wukong (Daniel Wu), decides to steal his magical staff in the belief that he can find the fourth scroll on his own and stop the Bull Demon's (Leonard Wu) rampage once and for all. During his descent into humanity's realm, he befriends Jim Wang (Ben Wang) who is a young man battling problems with his own identity, morals, and family. Can real-life and myth team up together to fix their own personal demons and stop an actual demon from destroying both worlds?

Coming off the success of "Everything, Everywhere, All at Once",  you may think that "American Born Chinese" is riding the wave from its success (especially casting a large portion of its cast into the show). But this is much farther from the truth as the end product shows that time and effort was spent in crafting all of its 8 episodes. If we could best describe this series, it would be that it is "well-balanced". We've already mentioned how it was able to create a series that could entertain both its target audience and still grab the attention of adults in the process. We won't deny though that we found its heavy PG tone and campy teenage humor limiting but at least it was replaced by superlative action sequences (at least one per episode) and more mature topics being tackled through Jim's parents Simon (played by Chin Han) and Christine (played by Yeo Yann Yann). The series, as expected, will tackle issues about racism towards Asian-Americans and we felt that it portrayed this well also. It wasn't heavy-handed and its subtlety was much appreciated. Overall, "American Born Chinese" was deeper than we imagined it could have been and we highly-recommend it to both teens and adults.    

Rating: 4 reels

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