Titled KTown, the series comes from Barry producer Jason Kim and actress Greta Lee, who also stars. Set in Los Angeles’ Koreatown (hence the show’s name), it follows the lives of a lavish “kingpin family” at the centre of the cultural hotspot. Lee will play the lead, Yumi, a self-described “Brentwood Barbie” who reconnects with her “embarrassing” Korean roots to become a powerful Korean-American woman.
“Jason and I both have a lot of experiencing working with them [HBO], it’s a very comfy place for us,” Lee previously told Grub Street, according to Vulture. She also explained that she and Kim met while working on HBO’s Girls – Lee played Soojin on the show, while Kim served as a writer. Since then, Lee has gone on to star in Comedy Central’s Broad City and HBO’s High Maintenance. Kim previously worked as a consulting producer for Love on Netflix and also penned the critically-acclaimed musical K-Pop: The Musical.
No further details about KTown have been revealed yet, nor is it guaranteed that the show will be picked up for series. But if it is, The Hollywood Reporter says it will be the first on HBO to center solely on the lives of Asian Americans — a major win for the community.
A University of California, Los Angeles report found that Asians only made up 2% of roles in scripted cable shows in the 2014-15 season. And even with the introduction of series such as ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat in recent years, Asian Americans still remain marginalised and tokenized on-screen.
If the success of Crazy Rich Asians has proven anything, it’s that viewers are beyond ready to see stories about Asian Americans in theaters and on TV alike. And when Greta Lee is involved, we’re all in.