Binge Watch This – Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Over the last few decades, the Asian American/Pacific Islander community has been celebrated and embraced in mainstream television and film. Here are shows and movies to binge watch for this Month.

Mykel Hilliard, Editor-in-Chief

“Fresh off the Boat”

Year released: 2015-2020 

Streaming service: Hulu


ABC’s “Fresh off the Boat” was a ratings hit during its six-season run, helping it become the longest running series featuring an all Asian American cast. The series is loosely based on the life of director/food personality, Eddie Huang, and his 2013 autobiography. It depicts the Taiwanese American Huang family, as they move from Chinatown in Washington, D.C., to Orlando, Florida. The show’s main cast play off of each other with ease and the show’s writing is hilarious. Aside from the cast, the overall concept of the show is refreshing. Prior to the show’s premiere, it had been over 20 years since a sitcom starring an Asian American family aired on primetime. Before “Fresh Off the Boat,” the only Asian American show on primetime was Margaret Cho’s, “All-American Girl,” which ran for one season in 1994.



Year released: 2016

Streaming service: Disney+

Walt Disney Pictures 3D computer animated adventure film “Moana” is a wild music-filled ride. The film follows titular character Moana, a polynesian princess who is chosen by the ocean to reunite a mystical relic with Te Fiti, an ancient land goddess. When a blight begins to deforest her island she sets sail in search of Maui, a shapeshifting demigod, in the hope of returning an ancient relic to Te Fiti to save her island and its people. Newcomer Auliʻi Cravalho is the perfect fit for Moana, breathing life into the character. The film was a success grossing over $690 million worldwide. It also earned two nominations at the 89th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, “How Far I’ll Go.” 


“Young Rock”

Year released: 2021

Streaming service: Hulu

Though only halfway through its first season, NBC’s family comedy “Young Rock” has been a runaway success, earning a second season before airing its first season finale. According to NBC, the show became the second biggest new comedy in the 18-49 demographic and the series pilot episode was seen by 13.4 million viewers. The show stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a fictional version of himself. It follows him in the year 2032 as he becomes a candidate for the 2032 U.S. presidential election. Each episode shows him in some type of interview or conversation recalling various moments from his life such as his early childhood in Hawaii; his high school years in Pennsylvania and his college years at the University of Miami. The show is hilarious. It is amazing to watch a family with Pacific Islander roots represented on mainstream American television.


“Crazy Rich Asians”

Year released: 2018

Streaming service: Netflix

Based on author Kevin Kwan’s book of the same name,  “Crazy Rich Asians” is a romantic comedy with a lot of heart. The film follows Rachel Wu, a New York based Chinese American professor who travels to meet her boyfriend’s family in Singapore. Much to her surprise she discovers his family is one of the wealthiest in the country. Constance Wu and newcomer Henry Golding are an on-screen match made in heaven, bringing an undeniable chemistry to their characters, Rachel and Nick. The movie is elevated by its larger than life production, filled with breathtaking locations and luxurious costumes and jewelry. The film was successful and grossed over $230 million worldwide. 



“Never Have I Ever”

Year released: 2020

Streaming service: Netflix

The coming-of-age drama-comedy series “Never Have I Ever” was one of Netflix’s runaway hits this Spring raking in over 40 million views since its premiere. The series was created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher and is inspired by Mindy Kaling’s teenage years growing up in Boston. The show follows Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a high school sophomore who is looking to pick up the pieces of her life after the death of her father and a rough freshman year. Ramakrishnan is hilarious as Devi and the show’s South Asian representation is amazing. The show’s second season is set to premiere on Netflix in July.