Web Series review: Jade Dragon

“You all look Chinese to me”

Just a quickie for this web series which I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages now. Written by Rebecca Boey (with Daniel York contributing one of the nineteen short episodes), Jade Dragon is a mockumentary series set in a Chinese takeaway which does a couple of crucial things.

One, it represents a much-needed, and still all-too-rare, opportunity for actors of East Asian heritage to work in a British media that feels stubbornly resistant to crossing this particular Rubicon of diversity. But it also offers up a non-judgemental, matter-of-fact presentation of what that British East Asian experience looks like in all its varied racism from overt violence to subtle othering.

The tone of Boey’s writing is lightly comic, with definite melancholic undertones, as none of the realities of working in a barely-scraping-by takeaway are shirked, especially when a swanky new Chinese restaurant opens up down the way. But with each episode being so compact, there’s a real concentration of all the frustration of dealing with other people’s preconceptions and stereotyping and straight-up offensiveness.

A thought-provoking and funny-sad watch, recommended. 

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