Sunday, January 14, 2018

New TV project: First Rule of Ten should be -- 'no whitewashing'

LET'S HOPE this TV project reaches fruition: A former Buddhist monk trying to balance his beliefs with modern-day Los Angeles. Sounds intriguing.

It's unlikely the producers or the network won't turn the protagonist into a white guy, (i.e.. Iron Fist) spouting Mr. Miyagi-like sayings.

It's a good project coming from actor-turned-producer Daniel Dae Kim's production coming 3AD, using to full advantage the production muscle he has gained through the success of his  ABC drama series The Good Doctor.

Also, having playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) working on the project gives more support for an Asian or Asian/American actor to play the lead.

The television project is First Rule of Ten, based on the successful books by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay.
First Rule of Ten focuses on a young monk, who after years spent struggling with the teachings of his Tibetan monastery, leaves to find his identity in the unlikeliest of places – Los Angeles, according to Deadline. There, he’s forced to reconcile the differences between the Buddhist teachings he’s grown up with and the new fast-paced lifestyle filled with temptations. His path to self-discovery becomes further complicated when he witnesses a brutal crime and becomes inextricably entwined in its investigation.
RELATED: AAPI actors moving from the sidekick to the star
“3AD is excited to develop First Rule of Ten as our first collaboration with ITV Studios America,” said Kim. “The books tell a beautifully universal story from a uniquely Asian American perspective.

Kim, who left his Hawaii Five-0 series over a pay disparity dispute last spring, went into the production end of the business, ostensibly to produce more shows with Asian perspectives and storylines.

His first project, The Good Doctor, though derived from a Korean series of the same name, had a white protagonist. He realized to gain credibility among the Hollywood community, his project needed to be a success. He decided to focus more on the autistic angle of the lead character rather than his race.

With the surprise success of The Good Doctor, one of the top shows of the season, he has been able to launch other projects that will have that Asian/American perspective that he has sought.
  • Re Jane is a comedy adaptation of the Patricia Park novel of the same name, has landed at TV Land. It's about a Korean/American woman trying to reconcile the conflicting values of Korea and America.
  • Exhibit A is a legal drama based on the South Korean series My Lawyer, Mr. Jo, in the works at CBS.  According to Deadline, if Exhibit A is picked up to series, it would be the first U.S. non-action drama to feature an Asian/American lead. 

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