Golden Globe Nominations Prove 'Asian August' Was All Year
'Crazy Rich Asians' and 'Killing Eve' changed the game, and are getting the recognition they deserve.
Left: Photo of Constance Wu in 'Crazy Rich Asians' via Warner Bros. Right: Photo of Sandra Oh in 'Killing Eve' via BBC America
Golden Globe nominations are live which means it’s time for all of us to devolve into a shouting mess over who was slighted (looking right at you, Widows) and who we want to win. This awards show is a bit more fun because—for those of you who aren't familiar—the Golden Globes cover both film and television. Also, there's drinking at this one so more opportunity for stars to say or do wild shit. Looking at you, Ricky Gervais.
Though there’s no way to know yet who will win the awards, the Globes have already given us one big win: recognition for Asian American led works, namely Crazy Rich Asians and Killing Eve. This year, Asian American led films and television shows not only smashed records, but also changed the way we think of the genres themselves. The number of popular Asian American led films released in August alone—Crazy Rich Asians, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and Searching—even inspired critics to coin the phrase "Asian August." With the formal recognition of some of these works by by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, we now know: In 2018, Asian August was all year.
Crazy Rich Asians has been nominated for Best Motion Picture in the Musical or Comedy category and leading lady Constance Wu has been nominated for Best Actress. The nominations are well deserved for a film that played a pivotal role in revitalizing the rom com genre, one that quite literally made us both gawk and cry, sometimes simultaneously. It can't be understated how much this film changed the game for Asian American representation in the US film industry—it boasted all the A-list talent you can imagine, from Wu (of course) to Awkwafina to Youtube star Kina Grannis to a cameo from Glee's Harry Shum. It obliterated the notion that people won't watch films helmed by a diverse cast, and its success blazed a path for additional films to be made in the US with majority Asian American casts.
We also have, drum roll please, Killing Eve for Best Television Series in Drama. In case you've been sleeping on this, this show is absolutely one of the best of 2018. It's a reimagining of a classic cat and mouse detective drama, one that centers two women. Sandra Oh plays an MI5 desk jockey turned detective who must catch a skilled assassin (played by Jodie Comer). They slowly become more and more obsessed with one another, in darkly told tale of lust mixed with strategy. Viewership increased as the season progressed—which is practically unheard of—because word of mouth was so strong.
Accordingly, Oh is nominated for Lead Actress, making this her first Golden Globe nomination in more than 10 years. In 2006, she won as a supporting actress in Grey's Anatomy. If she wins this year, it would be her first Golden Globe in a Lead Actress role. This is a sweeping year for her, after her historic Emmy nomination—a moment that was also a bittersweet reminder of how little representation Asian Americans have on screen.
Not only that, in a tumultuous season where award show viewership is on the decline, Oh has decided to bless us by hosting the Golden Globes alongside Andy Samberg. She makes history again as the first Asian person to host the Golden Globes. Clearly 2018 is our holy year of Sandra Oh. Please give her a golden statue.
And let us not forget the success of Asian led films and shows outside of the awards circuit. To All the Boys I've Loved Before became on of the most streamed and re-streamed movies on Netflix, and a sequel is already on the way. Long live Asian August.
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