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Asian American Film Home > News > Help "My Life Disoriented" become a series! Watch the pilot Dec. 26 and email your PBS affiliate today!

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Help "My Life Disoriented" become a series! Watch the pilot Dec. 26 and email your PBS affiliate today!

12.22 - Posted by Editor

Asian American filmmaker Eric Byler has made a television pilot called "My Life Disoriented" that airs on December 26th on PBS stations around the country. Please, please, please, watch the pilot! And tell your friends and family to watch it. Apparently, if enough people watch the show, it has a chance of being greenlit as the first Asian American television series since Margaret Cho's "All American Girl." Here's the good word from Byler's blog:

if enough people find out about the show, and enough people watch it on Tuesday -- we might post the kind of Nielson ratings that could earn us a seat on that bus for 2007, and earn the next band of insurgent TV pilot trouble-makers a spot on the bus with us.
What else can you do, you ask? Byler encourages folks to "write to your local affiliate... to thank them for programming "My Life Disoriented" on Independent Lens, or to ask them to program it if they have not yet done so, or to ask them to program it at a better time slot if it's playing at 3 AM where you live."

Additionally, please watch the YouTube clips -- presumably, the more they're viewed, the better in terms of getting the show picked up for a full season:

High School Clip (with Karin Anna Cheung, Di Quon, Autumn Reeser, Amanda Fuller)

Family Clip (with Tamlyn Tomita, Dennis Dunn, Di Quon, Phil Young, and Karin Anna Cheung)
And here's more from Byler himself:
"My Life Disoriented" may become the first Asian American television series since Magaret Cho's "All American Girl" over ten years ago. We need the APA community to make their voice heard, and get the kind of ratings that would earn us a full season of episodes either on PBS, or MTV or ABC Family all of whom have expressed interest.

"My Life Disoriented" has been gaining momentum in the last few days before the premiere, with MySpace and YouTube hits exploding (see below), and The Boston Globe, Washington Post, O.C. Register, and L.A. Times all doing stories. But if I could have picked one city we really need to reach it would have been yours.

“MY LIFE DISORIENTED” Ready for National Broadcast Asian/Pacific American Comedy/Drama Premieres on PBS Dec. 26th LOS ANGELES, CA – December 20, 2006 – A new Asian/Pacific American television show called “My Life Disoriented” will premiere on the PBS series INDEPENDENT LENS as part of an episode called “Short Stack with My Life Disoriented,” with national broadcasts starting Dec. 26 at 10 p.m. (check local listings). The show’s impressive cast includes Karin Anna Cheung (“Better Luck Tomorrow”), Tamlyn Tomita (“The Joy Luck Club”), Dennis Dun (“Big Trouble In Little China”), Autumn Reeser (“The O.C.”), and Di Quon (“Maid In Manhattan”). Cheung, a familiar face from the 2003 film “Better Luck Tomorrow,” recently remarked in an Asian Week article, “I remember being so excited when Margaret Cho's ‘All American Girl’ was going to be the first Asian American sit com -- actually, it didn't even occur to me until then that we didn't HAVE a show. It's cool to be able to possibly do the same thing for a new generation.” To find out when “My Life Disoriented” Airs in Your Area http://deerstudio.com/myspace.mld/ You Tube: High School Clip (with Karin Anna Cheung, Di Quon, Autumn Reeser, Amanda Fuller) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qk57L6LBPY Family Clip (with Tamlyn Tomita, Dennis Dunn, Di Quon, Phil Young, and Karin Anna Cheung) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jftiJIqIOL8 www.MyLifeDisoriented.com www.MySpace.com/MyLifeDisoriented SYNOPSIS: Life gets turned upside down for Bay Area teens Kimberlee and Aimee when their father loses his job and relocates the family to Bakersfield. Suddenly, Kimberlee and Aimee are two of only a handful of Asian American kids at their school. In episode one, Kimberlee quickly makes friends with a street-smart outcast named Tisa, but the new friendship is strained when three “popular” girls take Kimberlee under their wing. Meanwhile, Aimee puts on a brave face for the sake of the family, but shares the cause of her secret suffering with her peculiar, mixed-race cousin, Phil. QUOTE FROM PHIL YOUNG – “Cousin Phil” “I ran into Hira Ambrosino who plays my Aunt on the show. Hira mentioned that she noticed her 15-year old son soon was drawn to the show as mixed characters showed up on the screen. She told me he watched the show 3 more times, and that each time, he seemed more 'into' it. I had not thought that a role I would play would make a difference in a teenager's life. For that reason, among many others,I am proud to be part of this production. This teen is exactly who mainstream Hollywood is ignoring - and I know exactly how that feels.” QUOTE FROM DENNIS DUN (Big Trouble in Little China) – “Johnny Fung” “My Life Disoriented” captures a slice of Asian Americana with deft humor, complexity and humanity. It breaks new ground for American television. "My Life Disoriented" The Series: Although My Life Disoriented explores certain nuances unique to the Asian American experience, its presentation is de-signed for mainstream appeal. The High School Genre is the perfect format for this goal. Social pressures that affect us in adult life are universally magnified in high school, where rigid standards of beauty and behavioral expectations can make anyone feel like an outcast. Whether it’s new braces, a weight problem, or just a bad haircut that separates an adolescent from the norm, almost anyone who experiences or reflects upon these years can relate to the fear of social isolation. In this environment, the challenges facing Kimberlee and Aimee as minorities in a mostly Caucasian high school are not as foreign as one might otherwise expect. Kimberlee and Aimee hope that they will be accepted by the “in-crowd” at their new school just as any teenager would. But does their status as “the only Asian girls in the entire county” make them more suitable for an outcast group? By exploring this question within the framework of the quintessentially American High School Genre, My Life Disoriented provides mainstream audiences with a window in which they can see themselves reflected, regardless of race. The final scenes of the first episode demonstrate how universally compelling a high school drama can be. Whereas Kimberlee was comfortable associating with Asian Americans in San Francisco, she suddenly finds herself reluctant to be seen with Naka and Charlie, the only Asian American boys at her new high school in Bakersfield. In a pivotal scene, the boys offer Kimberlee a ride home from school. Under the scrutiny of the Caucasian “in crowd,” Kimberlee hesitates long enough for Charlie to write her off as a sell out and zoom off without her. Kimberlee then embarks on a mission to prove herself to Charlie and Naka, developing into a delicate game of trust that could lead to friendship and even romance. This storyline mirrors a phenomenon in adult society. Mainstream media and mainstream culture welcome and celebrate Asian American women as beautiful and exotic. But doors that are open for Asian American women are often closed to Asian American men, who are perhaps too closely associated with the wars of the 20th century and “the axis of evil.” This leaves Asian American women in a quandary. Should they insist that doors of opportunity be held open for their Asian American brothers and risk having it closed on themselves? In My Life Disoriented, Kimberlee is offered the ideal doorway to acceptance and popularity at her new school. But, if she is observed hanging out with Char-lie and Naka, will she be branded as “one of them” and lose her fragile status as “one of us?”


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