So, I got into HBO’s Westworld recently by a friend’s recommendation. When I first started watching the show I thought, why choose the Wild West? That’s so random. But as time went on I began to understand the setting more and more.
My mom constantly brings up struggles that people living in impoverished conditions face in order to make the people around her, and herself, feel more grateful for what they and she has. “Whenever you think you have it bad, just think about the people who walk bare foot in carrying heavy logs on their heads in [insert 3rd world country/continent named here]. It really puts things in perspective.” That reminds me of the aphorism parents say, “There’s people starving in Africa, you better finish your food.” My mom (and other people) uses “third world problems” to make her feel better and rid herself of white guilt. It helps her cope with her own “first world problems.”
I’ve written before that I don’t like sitcoms. Mainly because they rely on a laugh track to make unfunny things, funny, and use manipulative music to make you feel things, you’re not actually feeling. Another reason I don’t like them is because they usually get their laughs from stereotypical characters (either racially or by sexuality, or gender), and the jokes are based around these marginalized “others.”
When I heard there was finally going to be an Asian American family sitcom, I was pumped. I don’t normally like sitcoms, but having a TV show reflect what I physically look like on cable was a big step for the community that I identify with. So I wanted it to do well, and support it by tuning in each week. Unfortunately, I had to stop watching it. I just couldn’t get into it, even though I sat through almost all three seasons, it just fell flat for me.
24 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.