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Have We Failed John Cho Again?

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | August 23, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | August 23, 2016 |

We are huge fans of John Cho around these parts. We loved him in Selfie. We put ourselves through New Girl for him. He was a select member of this year’s Pajiba 10. We have also talked about his frustrating career, and about how he’s too often overlooked for leading man roles because he’s Asian.

He’s finally got a leading role now, according to Variety.

Insiders tell Variety the cabler is developing “Connoisseur,” an hourlong drama hailing from Gary Lundy, Hand of God creator Ben Watkins and “Star Trek’s” John Cho, who will star in the series.

Connoisseur centers around Clay Park (played by Cho), a brilliant con artist who dupes the wealthiest, most powerful people in the country into paying millions for fake wine, but his hustle forces him into a deadly bargain with an organized crime syndicate, puts him in the cross-hairs of the FBI, and unearths the details of a tragedy that fractured his family years ago in Korea.

Is this good news, or have we failed John Cho again?

On the plus side [add link to Joanna’s optimistic take on Vanity Fair]: He’s a leading man in a resurgent network that is retooling in a post-Mr. Robot world, and he’s landed an actual Asian role written for an actual Asian actor (suck it, Hemsworths!). A conman show could be fantastic, if it’s done right, although critics were decidedly mixed on Watkins’ previous effort, Amazon’s heavy-handed Hand to God.

On the other hand, it’s still the USA Network, where the weak Colony and a Dana Carvey impressions competition are among the post Mr. Robot offerings, as well as Queen of the South, which I bailed early on, but both Joanna and Seth say is good. His name is Clay Park, which boooo! The premise also sounds like a convoluted, conman Burn Notice, but it could be a convoluted conman Alias!

It could be an amazing series (that will probably be cancelled), or it could be another letdown for an actor who richly deserves some of that sweet, sweet Netflix money and exposure. We’ll have to wait until 2017 to find out.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.