Underappreciated Actor of Another Color #7: John Cho

~Special Edition Post~

I have a confession.  I've been a fan of Mr. Lucky Number 7 here since I was a teenager--I was one of the devout.  The crush I had on him was something fierce, and one of the very few reasons I don't have it as bad anymore (it's certainly not gone), is that a certain Korean performer had to go and get all ninjitsu-tastic on me...but I digress.

My main reason for seeing the new Star Trek film was John Yohan Cho.  When I heard he had a bad-ass fight scene...Mmmmm...I counted down the days like a fiend.

Now, you may be wondering why the hell one of the most successful (if not the most successful) Asian-American actors is on this list.  He's been a model, and has even been on People's list of pretty folks twice (which goes without saying).  He's done a lot of TV spots.  He's been in the American Pie Films, American Beauty, not to mention the Harold & Kumar films, and the iconic Star Trek.  And now...he's on FlashForward playing the sexy, gun-toting, hell-to-the-nawin' FBI Special Agent Demetri Noh (perfect name, by the way), and engaging in some sensuous Blasian love (**update: there was a hot video originally linked to that, but the idiot use removed it) with a fellow underappreciated beauty.

And now that we've gotten that out the way, let's talk realistically.  After all, he would.

Cho didn't "star" in the American Pie films.  His "supporting role" in American Beauty was a few-second cameo in which he uttered no dialogue.  He's had a major role on two other TV shows, both of which were canceled.  Harold & Kumar was a nice effort; he was funny, sexy, and all that jazz, but I'm a grown-ass woman.  I'm not a stoner, and I've never been into "bathroom" humor.  I don't see why these films were his "breakout" when he did an excellent job in an underappreciated, underfunded effort opposite His Irresistable Highness Jun-seong Kim (hint, hint) in West 32nd.  Not to mention a similar effort he was in before that, along with Jason Tobin the Great (hint, hint).  And guys...I don't hear a lot of love for Cho's musical accomplishments either.

In Star Trek, Cho was again not the star; sitting on the bridge of the Enterprise doesn't automatically make you a "star" (just ask either of the women who've played Uhura).  I didn't appreciate how he only had about nine-ish lines.  I was honestly quite displeased to find out he had to "share" his greatly anticipated fight scene with Chris I-already-had-too-many-scenes Pine.

As for FlashForward...all I could think was, Finally!!!!   An Asian-American male in a non-stereotypical role, looking sexy and bad-ass in damn near every scene, acting confidently, engaged to a fine-ass black woman also not playing a stereotypical role--finally, it has happened and yet...his character is scheduled to be killed off some time this month before the first season ends.

Now, if TPTB aren't just messing with us, there's a good chance their shiny new multi-award-nominated show will get some serious fever.  They already killed off one good-looking, gifted actor of color...it did not sit well with us, we did not like it, and we do not need them to do it to another.

And this is what bugs me about the whole John Cho Sitch.  If we were all to level with one another right now, we'd come right out and say, "He's doing outstandingly...for an Asian-American actor in America."  And he shouldn't have to be "limited" like that.  With that much talent, that face, and that body...Hollywood should've A-listed him back in '99.

*shakes head*

 **Update: Demetri Noh lives...but under a new regime.


  1. You know what is crazy about FlashForward - Demetri Noh seems to be one of the more popular characters with the fans. Well, it's not CRAZY, after all this is the awesomeness of John Cho we're talking about. But I'm always surprised to regularly come across fan comments that remark on how much more likeable/less annoying he is than the main white guy character. (I have to say, I feel a little bad for Joseph Fiennes, because I think he got stuck playing one of the most irritating characters in primetime...)

    Anyway, I think Demetri's popularity extends even to people who don't really think about race or the progress of actors of color. He simply has a more engaging story/dilemma, he's not a huge prick like Mark is, and John Cho has really taken the character and run with it. He has excellent chemistry with his castmates and looks yummy in those tight T-shirts they keep putting him in.

    ... I'm sorry, where was I going with this? Oh yeah. The relative popularity of the character gives me hope that the showrunners will realize how stupid it would be to kill him off. I think he's going to beat fate. He's John Cho, dammit!

  2. Oh, yes...his stylist deserves an award!

  3. I've have enjoyed watching FlashForward but I would hope they would show some wisdom and not kill off his character. He and Gabrielle Union's storyline is one of the highlights of the show. Here's crossing my fingers the network does something right for a change...

  4. LOL - they really won't kill him. The ratings would tank, people would riot on the net, and the hate mail will flow in.

    And if most people think Fiennes is irritating, and are watching it for Demetri, then I seriously doubt they're dumb enough to axe him to just reinforce the "lead white guy" bullshit.


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