The Pretty Little Liars actress, Shay Mitchell graces the cover of the renowned Seventeen Magazine for the January 2012 Prom Issue. Mitchell, previously featured in our Fall ’10 Issue, models fabulous designs by Jovani whose prom line commonly consists of animal print, loud vivacious colors and bejeweled trims.
Mitchell does a great job in displaying the dresses as fun, youthful and suitable for dance-floor activity; an indirect antithesis to earlier years’ trend of puffy prom dress disasters. ABC Family’s sexy Filipino and Scottish/Irish actress cites her prom photo mantra as “always have fun,” because a smiling face always looks good on camera. With these dresses, young teens everywhere will want to do nothing else but that. At least, that is what Mitchell makes us believe with her very charming and flirtatious photo spread.
Throughout the years, Asian Americans have yearned to see faces like theirs on the small screen. With Nickelodeon’s new show Supah Ninjas, the Asian American family is returning for the first time in 16 years as the star of a mainstream television series. While teen-oriented shows are saying they’re committed to diversity, do AA teens today really feel well-represented?
ISSUE: Spring 2011
STORY: Janice Jann
There’s a new family moving into TV-land this spring. The dad, a bumbling cop. The grandfather, a wise old man. And the son, a doe-eyed high-schooler named Mike who just wants to win over the girl of his dreams.
The other day, we caught a glimpse of the gorgeous Arden Cho on ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. She plays Pru, Paige’s friend, in a scene shot at a high school bathroom. And we all know what happens in a female high school bathroom: gossip!
Though Arden was only cast for this one scene, it’s refreshing to see her representin’ on a popular show like PLL. It seems from her fan page that people decided to catch up with the show just to watch her. I mean, why not? She’s amazingly beautiful and talented: she’s been a cheerleader and a gymnast; she can play the cello and sing; and she is now a model/actress. Seriously, what can’t she do? Back in 2004, she even won the title of Miss Korea Chicago and competed in the Miss Korea Pageant in Seoul. She has also appeared in fashion magazines Vogue, Purple Fashion and Nylon for Alexander’s McQueen’s diffusion line McQ (Spring 2008).
Issue: Fall 2010
Girl Next Door
Former model Shay Mitchell is more than just a pretty face on ABC Family’s new hit series Pretty Little Liars. In her early 20s, the Filipina- Scottish-Irish American actress plays Emily, a redhead Caucasian in the original books on which the series is based. “She doesn’t look anything like me,” says Mitchell. “I think it says a lot. The girl-next-door isn’t just blond-haired and blue-eyed anymore.”
The show, at press time the highest rated among female teens, follows four popular high school girls whose friendship is shattered when the former leader of their clique goes missing. Some compare it to the other popular teen show Gossip Girl, except that Liars “is more of a relatable show,” says Mitchell. “We’re not riding around in jets and carrying $10,000 purses.”
In fact, the show addresses some rather serious issues, like Emily grappling with her growing attraction to another girl. “What I love about this show is that it’s putting it out there, what she’s going through,” says Mitchell. “People need to see what’s going on and, hopefully, it will create dialogue for teens and their parents.”
And it’s not just the bisexuality that makes Liars edgy. Mitchell says that the casting call for the show was full of women of all ethnicities. (Asian Americans Janel Parrish and Nia Peeples also star in the show.) “I’m finding there are so many auditions that I can go to that I’m sure actresses before me couldn’t go to five, 10 years ago,” says Mitchell. “If I feel, looking as I do, that I can be a girl next door, I think that’s a really good thing for Asian American actors.” – Han Cho
Bemoaning the loss of Lost? It’s the same feeling we had after Friends and Seinfeld ended. Well, television execs are not giving up on you so easily. They’ve got a whole slew of shows set to premiere for the summer season, starting tonight. Here, some shows with some AA representation you may wanna watch this week.
Drop Dead Diva, Lifetime
Premieres Sunday, June 6, 9 pm
Former Audrey cover girl Margaret Cho returns as the title character’s sassy assistant Teri in the second season of the Lifetime hit series Drop Dead Diva. Here’s the premise: shallow wannabe model Deb dies in a sudden car accident only to find her soul resurfacing in the body of a brilliant, plus-size and recently deceased attorney, Jane (Brooke D’Orsay). Deb has to come to terms not just with Jane’s curvier frame, but with how to reconcile her beauty-queen ways with her brilliant new mind. D’Orsay does an amazing job conveying Deb-in-Jane, and based on some premiere photos, it looks like Cho is gonna take on a bigger role in the series.
Pretty Little Liars, ABC Family
Premieres Tuesday, June 8, 8 pm
You’ve seen the billboards. Four hot young girls, covered in dirt. Eye catching, to say the least. But what really stood out to me is the girl on the far right, actress Shay Mitchell.
Mitchell plays Emily Fields, an athletic girl who is struggling with her sexuality and the loss of her best friend. Emily, along with her now estranged, former BFFs, holds a deep, dark secret within in what appears to be the perfect little town of Rosewood. But they’re not the only ones with secrets apparently, as things start to go very wrong.
Mitchell, whose mother is Filipino and father is Irish-Scottish, is a native of Toronto, Canada. She’s been performing and modeling since the age of 5, appearing in the hit series DeGrassi: The Next Generation and Disney’s Aaron Stone. She is featured in the music video for Sean Paul’s hit song “Hold My Hand” and will appear in the upcoming ABC series Rookie Blue.
But Mitchell is not the token Asian in this series. Janel Parrish also stars in Pretty Little Liars as now popular classmate Mona Vanderwall. Parrish, best known for her role as Jade in the Bratz series, and May in NBC’s Heroes, was born in Oahu, Hawaii, and is Chinese-Caucasian American.
The Next Food Network Star, The Food Network
Premieres Sunday, June 6, 9 pm
Another season of cooking hopefuls looking to land their own show. Last season, Korean American Debbie Lee made it to the top three. This season, Chinese American Doreen Fang is gonna try to make it with her California cuisine with Asian influences.
The 38-year-old from Los Angeles co-owns a catering company and teaches cooking classes for adults and children. Raised in a predominantly Chinese community, Fang says she finds culinary inspiration in her family and friends, and wants to encourage home cooks of all levels to explore new cuisines, and stretch their imagination in recreating dishes inspired by a childhood memory or favorite haunts.
True Beauty, ABC
Mondays, 10 pm
Last (and unfortunately, probably least), we have yet another season of the reality show competition where contestants think they’re being judged on their good looks, but they’re actually being judged on their “inner beauty.” (They haven’t figured it out yet??)
Filipina-Italian American Vanessa Minnillo returns to host, and this time, they’ve got an Asian American contestant, Amy, who was adopted from Korea as an infant. The bio on Amy on ABC’s website describes her as “ditzy” and she says she “doesn’t identify with Asian culture.” Hm. I say, watch at your own peril.