Always Be My Maybe

I want to root for this Asian-American rom-com, but I am not feeling it. I love Ali Wong’s work as a comedian, but not so much as an actor. Randall Park is OK. As far as portraying the lives of Asian-Americans, they got the details right, but I can’t relate to Sasha and Marcus. My childhood was different because unlike them I did not speak English; therefore, my experience growing in America was much different. Not that a film has to be about me for me to like it, I just thought the chemistry was off and the story was predictable, which most rom-coms are like that.

Michael Yo: Blasian

In Blasian, Yo shares his personal experience of being raised by a Black PhD father and a Korean mother. His story, accompanied by family photos, is sweet and hilarious. Yo also shared his own marriage to a white woman, his love for old school hip-hop, and his experience going to all white school. His special is light-hearted and entertaining. Worth a watch on Amazon Prime.

Wanda Sykes: Not Normal

Wanda Sykes’s comic style reminds me of Chris Rock’s. Not Normal, her latest Netflix Special, has a few jokes similar to Chris’s. For instance, her Vicks’s solution to cure everything was like Chris’s Robitussin. The word “glistening” was used in her case to keep her kid from being ashy and in Chris’s case was about Jermaine Jackson. The one joke that shared the most similarity is that everyone needs a Black friend. I am not saying Wanda stole Chris’s jokes. They just have similar style and subject matters. Nevertheless, Wanda’s special is pretty hilarious. The most memorable line is that, “Everyone is different, but everyone is equal.” I also agree with the title of the special. The Trump presidency is Not Normal.

Anthony Jeselnik: Fire in the Maternity Ward

I must confess. As someone who loves standup comedy, I have never heard of Anthony Jeselnik before this Netflix Special. I did not know what to expect, but within a few minutes, I knew I was in for a real treat. The giveaway for me was his sister’s pregnancy and their relationship. From domestic violence to slavery to racism, Jeselnik’s punchlines were ironically ruthless and satirical twisted. His take on murder-suicide was fucking dark yet hilarious. His trip to an abortion clinic pushed beyond the comfort level, and yet he managed to pull it off with laughters. His comedic taste reminds me of Quentin Tarantino’s filmic vision. They were horrendous and glorious at the same time. Only great artists can pull of the line between moral and despicable. Jeselnik had accomplished that in this special.

Kevin Hart: Irresponsible

Kevin Hart is as energetic and charismatic as always. His materials continue to disappoint. I prefer deep and thoughtful comics. Hart goes for the quick punchlines instead. His over-sexualized, in-your-face-grossness snippets get staled quick. They are not my type of comedy.

Amy Schumer: Growing

Schumer stepped it up in her latest Netflix special. She not only shared her pregnancy but also showed it. From vagina to period, she nailed jokes on women’s body. She addressed men in the #MeToo moment. The heart-warming moment was when she revealed her husband’s autistic characteristics. This one is way better her previous special, which was raunchy and in your face. She is indeed Growing.

Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho

Apparently Jeong, a Korean doctor turned actor, is famous and an unapologetic “minority millionaire.” He was in The Hangover and Dr. Ken. Both I have not watched. He was also in Crazy Rich Asian, which I did watch but could not remember his character until he mentioned it in his debut Netflix special: You Complete Me, Ho.

The title plays off his Vietnamese wife’s last name. If he learned to pronounce her name correctly with proper diacritics, which is Hồ not Ho, he would not be making fun of her name. The convenience of the word ho in English fits well with Jeong’s raunchy materials. Somehow two of the audience members who sat in the front also had the last name Ho. Is that a coincidence or a set up?

Nevertheless, his jokes are good, especially the ones about being a physician, and he speaks without an Asian accent. The tribute to his wife who is a breast cancer survivor is inspiring. It was the reason Netflix released this special on Valentine’s Day.

I am happy see another Asian comedian made it. Unfortunately I can’t let my kids watch it, but I can’t wait to tell my wife about a doctor who changed his career to become a comedian. She wanted our boys to become doctors; therefore, she had been mad at me for encouraging them to become comedians. They make tons of money for making people laugh. I didn’t say it will be easy. It would satisfied us both if they become doctors first then comedian. Then again, they won’t need to satisfy us. They just have to satisfy themselves.

Ray Romano: Here, Around the Corner

After 23 years, Ray Romano returns to standup for a Netflix special at Comedy Cellar. His materials included growing old, marriage, and sex while raising kids. With ease and wit, Ray proved that he still has the chops to pull it off. Definitely fun to watch.

Neal Brennan: Here We Go

This half-hour Netflix special is part of the “Comedians of the World.” There are four parts of this series, but I skipped the rest and only watched Neal Brennan. Unlike his full-hour special 3 Mics, Here We Go takes on a more popular topics such as Trump, #MeToo, and pornography. Of course, Brennan puts his own spins on them. His writing is still on point even though the subjects are sensitive.