‘American Born Chinese’ Season 2: Is It Renewed Or Canceled? What Can We Expect Next?


Though there is no official news of it yet, a second season of American Born Chinese seems inevitable, considering the vast number of Chinese mythological characters yet to be explored and the number of unanswered questions left behind in Season 1. But since season 1 was so underwhelming and badly executed, it is possible that Disney might let go of the idea of continuing it. We would prefer that since if and when Season 2 is announced, we don’t have much incentive to watch it. The narrative was so boring, despite it being such a short series, and we are not expecting any improvements. Season 1 of American Born Chinese ended with Wei Chan and Jin being best friends, but their relationship literally had no development in the entire series. Then there was the whole idea of the fourth scroll and the Jingu Bang saving the heavens and, subsequently, the world. But those stakes were not really high when you consider that literally, every other adventure series deals with the world about to be destroyed. As a millennial who has seen one too many of these, we had long accepted that Thanos had a point when he snapped his fingers, so Jin saving the world was a bit of a bummer.

But again, capitalism has stopped caring for actual art, and something like “American Born Chinese,” which deserves to be wiped from public memory, is going to get another season. The first and foremost issue that it will deal with is the kidnapping of Jin’s parents. Simon and Christine are finally working on their marriage instead of fighting amongst themselves for their lost ambitions. But with their kidnapping, they are going to discover everything that their son was involved in. There will be an Asian joke for sure about him being a fourth scroll and not reading his scrolls at school, aka, his textbooks. They had also met the Monkey King, also known as Sun Wukong, in Season 1. They had assumed that his son must have been a drug addict or something. Imagine their surprise when they find that it is the well-behaved Wei Chan after all. We wonder whether Simon and Christine will get all superstitious or whether they will be indignant when they discover the entire truth. There is also a bit of family history to uncover here. They had a love marriage, and if they came from two opposing families, how did their love unfold? Why were their families opposed, and what is their connection to the gods? It is possible that they are related to the Monkey King through his wife or through his own bloodline. Maybe Wei Chan and Jin are distant cousins. Additionally, digging into family history means we also need to know who Wei Chan’s mother is. What is the Monkey King’s love story, and how did his journey to the West happen, as interpreted by the writers at Disney?

Then there is Guanying to consider. She is the mysterious Goddess of Compassion who has trouble figuring out IKEA furniture. In the original myth, Wukong is indebted to her after she provided an opportunity for his freedom with the journey. That equation is likely to change here. We are also saying this because it seemed a little too far-fetched that she was just helping Wei Chan because of his right to grow up in his own way. She took on the role of a mother there, and if that is not what we are thinking, then there is a hidden agenda that is yet to be revealed.

Of course, there is the character of Princess Iron Fan. We saw her at the celestial party episode and then in the final few minutes of American Born Chinese. However, where is her fan? In the myths, she is married to the bull demon, and there is bad blood between the couple and the Monkey King because of the latter’s arrogant trickery. In Chinese mythology, the princess always seems to be at a disadvantage. She has been mad at her husband because of his affair with her friend, Jade Face. But even Wukong has gone to great lengths to trouble her. He turned into a fly and entered her stomach, torturing her for her fan. When that did not work, he stole it by impersonating her husband. The Bull Demon pulled the same trick on Wukong to get it back, but then the Jade Emperor intervened and made the couple give the fan to Wukong. The biggest kicker of all is that Wukong needed the fan to put out a volcano of his own creation. He has annoyed the couple again and again. It is also through this story that we can understand why Princess Iron Fan would be so mad at the heavens. She is not a goddess, and though the Monkey King has been a brat, even the Jade Emperor has shown a lot of partiality by favoring him, even though it wasn’t the fault of either the princess or the Bull Demon. That insulting hierarchy must have pinched the princess. The stories also say that she has a son. He might make an appearance in Season 2 of American Born Chinese. Another stray fact about her is that she is the teacher of the “Goddess of Forgetfulness,” named Meng Po. If the goddess’ allegiance to the princess continues, imagine the power she would have over the characters. She might just be the most dangerous of them all.

No matter how much we disliked Season 1 of American Born Chinese, we cannot deny that they had a great message that was very cleverly placed and connected through the various plots: that one must speak up to make their place in the world. We don’t know if the makers would like to continue with this message, address its nuances, or maybe just pick another topic altogether. This series meant well, but its execution was beyond terrible. However, we might be tempted to give it a chance if they at least improve their costumes and set design. Also, they might change the backstories of the gods, but we hope they keep the essence of their characters alive. That is crucial to the appeal of American Born Chinese, and the makers need to be mindful of how they write it.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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