All-American Girl

ABC (ended 1995)


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All-American Girl

Show Summary

This sitcom made mild history as the first network program to deal with a multi-generational Asian family (the Korean Kim family) coping with the shifts in attitude between the traditional grandmother, the transitional parents, and the more-or-less all-American grandchildren. Its failure stemmed from its uncertain focus on what it means to be Korean in contemporary California society, including the somewhat objectionable casting of Chinese and Japanese actors as Koreans, and from the treatment of stand up comic Cho as a rather stereotypical Valley girl on the prowl for boys, in complete contradiction of her popular image as a tough-talking, independent woman. In the latter episodes there was an attempt to shift the show into a show-biz formula, with Cho's character becoming manager of an inept rock band, but to no avail. In fact, the last episode was a "retooled" pilot for ABC, which included axing most of the original cast (Amy Hill and MC being the exception), a new cast and locations.moreless

    Cho turns to mom for Fox comedy script

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    • A prime example of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

      All-American Girl had a lot of promise. The cast was stellar featuring two very talented stand up comics (Margaret Cho and Judy Gold) and some very accomplished actors (Amy Hill, Maddie Corman and B.D. Wong)and the premise (a multi-generattional Korean family all at different stages of asimilation to American culture)had endless possibilities.

      The main problem with the show was interferance from network execs (this from MC's own lips). They were constantly retooling the show. When you base a show on the stand up comedy of the star you can't go around telling them what won't work. Think about how lame Sienfeld, Roseanne, or Fat Albert would have been if Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, and Bill Cosby would have been dissmissed in the creative process and told how to be funny. Network executives usually come from a management background not a creative one. The problem is that they think that because they work in an artistic medium that makes them artistica and creative. Most Aren't.

      Another thing that would have helped the show is to have Margaret Cho and possible Judy Gold to have a more active role in the wriiting of each episode. If you notice, each episode has the tag line based on the stand up of Margaret Cho, and yet she never received a writing credit.

      All-American Girl is now available on DVD and if you look around at Dollar General Stores you can pick up the whole series for ten bucks. What a deal.moreless
    • Gag me with a spoon

      All-American Girl was ABC's attempt to strike gold for a third time by giving stand-up comedienne Margaret Cho her own sitcom. They'd previously had success with Roseanne and Brett Butler. The show was billed as groundbreaking when it premiered because it was the first sitcom to deal with an Asian family. All-American Girl might have been billed as groundbreaking but what we got on-screen was a bloody awful mess that I rank as the third worst sitcom of the 90's behind The Brian Benben Show and Veronica's Closet. Cho was awful as an actress. Her character seemed to change every episode. The rest of the cast wasn't any better. Several Korean-American groups criticized ABC for using actors of non-Korean descent to play Koreans on the show. What they should have criticized them for was their awful acting.

      The viewing public is always the ultimate judge on the quality of a show and they gave All-American Girl a thumbs down. It was deservedly canceled and consigned to the scrap heap of sitcom history. Except that now it's being released on DVD. Which just goes to show you that they'll release anything on DVD these days. There may yet be hope for Me and the Chimp and My Mother, the Car.moreless
    • The story of Margaret and her off-the-wall, funny relatives.

      Margaret Kim lives in California with family, including among them her brother, who loves her but drives her to distraction, her mother, who has a caring but critical eye, and her grandmother, who thinks Margaret is the most embarrassing person on the planet. Her brother gets to be the object of all the family's hope and expectations; meanwhile Margaret must carry on in his shadow, searching for a solid job, good apartment and a relationship that's worth it.

      B.D. Wong was very funny as Stuart Kim and Amy Hill also quite good as the grandmother. The writing, courtesy of Cho herself, was warm and intelligent and showed that as oddball as the characters could be, they really loved each other.

      I wish this show had been around longer. It was the rare family comedy that isn't sappy or dull. Cho's stand-up is powerful but has gone different places; this sitcom was an indicator that she could bring her unique wit, charm and honesty to any format.moreless
    • 10:00 pm