‘Ultra-Rich Asian Girls’ producer hopes show will break stereotypes
Ian Holliday, CTV Vancouver
Published Thursday, October 16, 2014 8:21PM PDT
If you watch the promotional video for “Ultra-Rich Asian Girls” -- as more than 3 million have on YouTube and its Chinese equivalent -- you’re likely to find yourself feeling a bit of deja vu.
“How many reality shows are dedicated to following around unfathomably wealthy people as they travel and party and drink?” You might wonder. “Will this one be any different?”
At a press conference introducing the show’s cast members -- Chelsea, Florence, Coco Paris, and Joy -- on Thursday, there was ample evidence for both sides of the argument.
On the “this is just more trashy tv” side: The only thing 19-year-old Coco Paris -- the show’s youngest star -- said during the formal press conference was “I like to travel. I travel to at least five countries per year for vacation.”
On the other side, Florence -- who sometimes goes by Flo.Z, which is also the name of her clothing line -- used her time at the press conference acknowledge the history that led to her current life of privilege.
“I feel very fortunate to be a young, independent woman living in this society,” she said. “When I was really young and my parents didn’t have the fortune they have today, I saw how hard they worked. They were always working.”
For producer Kevin K. Li, the Ultra-Rich Asian Girls of Vancouver are “a success story.”
“China, back 30 years ago, was broke,” he said. “How do you get from real broke, village living into a Shaughnessy or a British Properties house? I think that transition is a big success story, and people need to learn about that.”
“You think it’s shallow now, but why don’t you listen to the story? It might inspire you.”
While it’s debatable whether watching wealthy daughters spend their parents’ money is the best pop-culture venue for exploring China’s so-called “economic miracle,” there’s no doubt that the girls are a product of that country’s recent history.
Li frames his show -- which will feature shopping, drinking, driving expensive cars, and a trip to Italy -- as an opportunity to discuss “a new demographic” in Canada, and perhaps break down some of the stereotypes around it.
The show will be in Mandarin and English, with subtitles for whichever language the girls aren’t speaking at a given moment. Li also said he hopes to work facts about Chinese-Canadian history into the episodes.
In the end, though, it is still a reality show.
“The camera just follows everywhere we go,” said Chelsea, describing the show’s concept. “There's definitely going to be some drama. Lots of drama. It’s entertainment.”