American Born Chinese (2023): Season 1, Episode 1 - What Guy Are You - full transcript

Jin Wang starts his sophomore year, hoping to make the soccer team and "level up" his social status, all while impressing his crush. But his plans are derailed with the arrival of a new foreign exchange student named Wei-Chen.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -

[wind howling]

[footsteps running]

[bird shrieks]

[eagle shrieks]


[eagle shrieks]

[eagle squawks]

[grunts, gasps]

[eagle caws]

[roaring, growling]






[growling continues]



[growling continues]

[panting continues]




[in Mandarin] Perhaps you
should focus on your skills

instead of showing off.

Perhaps you should catch your
breath before trying to talk.

[panting] Give it back.

You don't even
know how to use it.







[water flowing]

That's enough!


[grunts] Stop!

You don't have to do this.

Yes, I do.

[speaking Mandarin]

[employee on PA, in English] Customer
needs assistance in frozen food.

Jin, how about this one?

Uh, I don't think so, Mom.

[sighs] This one?

Yeah. No. [chuckles]

You need clothes
for tomorrow, Jin.

Mom, I'm starting tenth grade,
not directing airport traffic.

Why so picky? This
is a hip store.

Is it, Mom? 'Cause
they also sell milk.

This one?

[chuckling] Yeah, I
don't think I'm that guy.

Okay, then. What
guy are you, huh?

Uh, skateboard guy,
camping guy, handsome guy?

Yeah, you think that
mannequin's handsome?

Yeah. He's good-looking.

What about your friend
New-jee? Where does he shop?

His name's Anuj. Wait, have
you been calling him "New-jee"?

You know who I
was talking about.

Also, we don't
really hang anymore.

- Why not?
- [sighs]

You know, I had club
soccer over the summer

and he was busy with cosplay.

Who... Who's that?

Cosplay, Mom. It's where you dress up
as, like, a warrior or a sexy demon.

- What?
- Yeah, it's too hard to explain.

So, who are you gonna read
your comic books with?

I was thinking this year
I'd try to switch it up.

And, like, you know,
get on another level.

So, what level are you now?

In a lobby. [chuckles]

Parking. [chuckles]

- Hey, Mom?
- Mmm?

Uh, what do you
think about this one?

How much?

It is…



Uh, here.

Try this on. Good price.

Less is more!


I guess it's all right.



Sorry, I thought
you were my mom.

[stammers] I didn't think... I
didn't think you were my mom.

My mom was standing there a second
ago, so that's why I said that.

Hot stuff.

- Oh, my God.
- [Jin's mom] Oh, you like it?

Chili's cute, huh?

I don't. No, I... N-no.

Okay, I give up. Let's go home.

Wait. I need to get some milk
first. Bring the cart, huh?


[upbeat music playing
on cell phone]


[person] What could go Wong?

[audience laughter
on cell phone]

- [sighs]
- [video stops]



[inhales, strains]

[door closes]

[Jin's mom, speaking Mandarin]

[Jin's mom]


[Jin's mom]


You said you would
ask about the raise.

I'm not talking about
money right now.

- [father]
- [Jin's mom]

- [father]
- [Jin's mom]


[speaking Mandarin]

[father continues, indistinct]

- ["Tian Mi Mi" playing on radio]
- [singing along]

- [music stops]
- [in English] Jin,

did you wear clean underwear?

- What?
- Did you wear clean underwear?

Yeah, I did, Mom. What
kind of a question is that?

Sometimes I see your underwear
in the hamper and they're dirty.

Yeah. Right. Yes, that's
why they're in the hamper.

- Oh.
- Right?

- Okay, I'm just gonna hop out here.
- Huh?

- I'll see you at 3:00, okay?
- Wait, wait.

- Okay. Have a good day.
- Yeah.

- Don't fight. Don't talk back to teacher.
- Thanks. See you at 3:00, Mom.

[speaking Mandarin]


["I'm a Moth" playing]

[in English] Anuj! Hey!

- [students laughing, chattering]
- [student 1] Awful! This guy! [laughing]

- [student 2] You can't!
- [student 3] That's so funny.

- Hey. What's up, guys?
- [student 3] What's up, man?

- Yo.
- What, uh... What are we laughing about?

[all laugh]

Travis was telling us
about his mom's boyfriend.

- Tell him. Tell him.
- [chuckling] Okay. So... [chuckles]

So, his name is Spencer, right? And
we went to the pool the other day,

so this is the first time I'd
seen him without his shirt.

And he's got a back tattoo.
You know what it says?

- What?
- [laughs] "Spencer."

[all laugh]

Who does that?

He does have a sick-ass boat
though, which we should all go on.

- You have been waterskiing, right?
- [students] Yeah.

- [Travis] Right? Cool.
- Yeah, of course.

What are you guys talking
about? Puberty? That's cute.

- [all laugh]
- [Travis] What's up, Greg?

Yo. So, Coach Garrett wants me to round
up some more guys for JV tryouts tomorrow.

It's not really my problem anymore, so
you dudes need to hand out these flyers.

[students] Yeah. Sure.

What's your name, bro?

Ah, uh, Jin Wang.

- Greg. Varsity cap.
- Hi.

You play soccer?

Yeah. Or... [stammers]
Sort of. I don't know.

Love the confidence.

He plays. He was on our team
this summer. Solid midfielder.

Nice. Yeah, that's my position. You
should come to tryouts tomorrow.

- Should be a decent squad this year.
- Yeah. Uh, sure. Thanks.

Hey, don't worry, man. You just gotta
be better than this little turd.

[student 3 chuckles]


[bell rings]

Hey, Andy says you're a solid
player, so you should come.

Yeah, thanks. I appreciate that.

Here, here. Sometimes
you have to...


[teacher] All right.
Welcome to Bio 2.

I'm Mr. Larkins, and we're gonna
start the year off with evolution.

Now, contrary to popular belief,
it's not all smooth and easy.

It's actually a brutal
battle for survival.

Which is why my ex-wife
is on the chart.

She's the second monkey
from the left. [chuckles]

Not cool, Mr. Larkins. You shouldn't
comment on a woman's appearance.

You're absolutely right, Ruby.

Uh, that was not
funny and I apologize.

Speaking of natural selection, our
first unit is a partner project.

So, everybody, find a primate and
let's pair up. All right? Get to it.

[students chatter]

Oh, hey, Mr. "Hot Stuff."

Yea... Yes. Ye-Yeah.
"Hot Stuff." That's me.

- Amelia.
- Uh, Jin. It's nice to meet you, sort of.

Sort of?

I meant we sort of know each other 'cause
we went to elementary school together.

Then you went to Crest Road Intermediate,
I went to Dorothy Nichols Middle.

And now I'm kind of creeping myself
out. I should... I should stop.

You know, I think I do remember you.
Well, you kind of stand out, obviously.

- I do? [chuckles]
- Hey, you're trying out for soccer?

Yeah. Or, you know,
I don't know. Maybe.

No, that's cool.

I was actually
gonna try out too,

but, um, my mom wants me to do drama
because she did drama in high school,

and apparently we have to
have all the same interests.

Are your parents ever like that?

Uh, I'm...

I'm not actually sure if my
parents have any interests.


So, did you, uh, end
up getting that hoodie?

- Yeah, I got like eight of 'em.
- Eight?

One for every day of the week,

and then one more for laundry
day, in case I forget.

Do you think I could get one?

No, it's a collection.

- [laughs] Got it.
- [chuckles]

So, do you, um... Do you
have a lab partner yet?


[clicks tongue] Ah, Principal
Kinney, to what do we owe this honor?

- What?
- I just... I don't know.

Hey, everyone. Um, is
there a Jim Wang here?

Jim Wang?

[gulps] Wang.

Can I borrow you for a second?


- Okay. Please.
- I know. I know.

So, uh, what's going on?

[speaking Mandarin]

[in English] Oh. Uh, so sorry,
b-but my Chinese isn't super good.

- Oh.
- Uh, well, this is Wayne Chung.

- Wei-Chen.
- He's a new student

and he's Chinese, like you.

Uh, okay.

I thought that you could show him around
since you two have so much in common.

Uh, we do?

So, for the rest of the day,
he's gonna be your shadow.

Sorry, my what?

Well, he's gonna tag along with
you to all of your classes,

except English, because
he's ESL, and math.

He's way ahead of you in math.

You excited? Have fun.


Hi. My name is Sun Wei-Chen.

Nice to meet you.

- So, do you want to get started?
- Yeah. Yeah, sure.

[Amelia speaks indistinctly]

- Yo.
- Hey.

- We're, uh, over on the bricks.
- Oh, awesome. Cool. I'll, uh...

Jin! Jin! I found seats for us!

Come on! Here. Right here.

Oh, you're, uh,
sitting with someone.

- It's all good. Don't worry about it.
- [stammers] No.

Come on. Can you see me?

Jin, would you like
some luóbo gao?

Uh, no, thanks.


Um, Jin, do you
like barbecue sauce?

Not really, dude.


Oh, Jin, do you
like humorous films?

You don't have to say my name every
time, okay? You can just talk.

Oh, okay.

Oh, Jin! Oh, yeah.


[chattering, laughing]

Who's that?

This? Oh. This is from a popular
manga called Kugo Ren Saga.

- Uh, yeah, no. I know Kugo Ren.
- Oh, you do?

Yeah, I just... I didn't recognize
the character. Who is that?

This is Kugo Ren from book four.

No, that's not Kugo Ren. Also,
there's only three books.

No, there's seven.

Yeah. Maybe some have
not come to America yet.

Ah, here. Let me show you.

- Ah, w-wait, uh, hold on.
- What?

- What up, Jin?
- Hey, 'sup, Trav?

Uh, Andy said you couldn't
have lunch with us today

because you made a new friend.

What's up, man? I'm Travis.
This is Josh. What's your name?

Um, Wei-Chen. Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you. I like that
shirt, man. Where'd you get it?

Oh. Oh, this? Um...

This is from a-a
Chinese company.

Uh, you can buy this
on their website.

Oh. No way, I love websites.

I gotta check that out.

You know, I've been meaning
to wear more robot shirts.

Um… [stammers]

Yeah. Uh, nice to meet you. And
I'll, uh, check you later, Jin.

- Yeah. Later, Trav.
- Cool.

Who is he?

That's Travis. He's a
friend of mine from soccer.

That guy is your friend?

He kind of likes to mess
with people, as you can see.

He got into this whole thing with
my buddy Anuj over the summer.

Anuj is still kind of messed
up about it, honestly.

Hey! What are you laughing at?

Uh, well, hey, uh. Please... Please
don't... don't... don't do that.

- Why? He's being disrespectful.
- Yeah. Yes, but everybody's staring at us.

- Yeah. Good. Let them.
- No, no. Yeah. Please chill.



[grunts, sighs]

You're kind of, like, a
confident dude, huh? [chuckles]

"Confident dude"?

Yeah, like, you don't ever
really doubt yourself.

Why would I doubt myself?

Okay. You can show me the
book now, if you want.

Oh, yeah. Oh, but
it's not a book.


It's this.

Come with me.

- [Wei-Chen] Cool, right?
- [Jin] Yeah.

Just, it doesn't
look like Kugo Ren.

In book four, he learns
the 72 transformations.

So, wai... Where'd you get this?

Oh, my dad gave it to me.

He wants me to stay at
home and work for him,

but I want something different.

So, like, your dad wasn't
cool with you coming here?

No, my dad's never cool.

He's like a burning fire.


Uh, yeah. My dad's kind
of the opposite of that.

He's just sort of stressed
and tired all the time.

Last night he got into a fight
with my mom about "fried squid,"

which was pretty
pathetic. [chuckles]


Hey, Jin, I think you should go
ask that girl out for a date.

[chuckles] I should
w... Sorry, what?

The American girl
you were looking at.

Okay, yeah. Uh, that's
what I thought you said.

No, that's not a good idea.
That's... That's... [chuckles]

Why not?

Be a "confident dude" like me.

- Huh? Come on.
- [chuckles]

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

[chuckles] Here.

What could go Wong?

[both laugh]

This is so good. [chuckles]

[whispers] Stop. Stop.


I think it's, like, problematic.

No! It's ironic.

It's... It's ironic, right?

[chuckling] Yeah.
Uh, yeah, it's...

Yeah, I... Yeah.


- [in English] Hey, Mom?
- Hmm?

Do you think we could
go waterskiing someday?

[laughs] You don't
want to do that.

I... I… [chuckles] …think I do,
right? 'Cause I just asked you.

We went skiing
once. You hated it.

You fell in the snow and cried.

No. Mom, waterskiing, like, you
do it on a lake with a boat.

[sighs] Aiya, we are not
water ski people, Jin.

What's that mean, Mom?

Ask Daddy tonight if he's home.

He may be late, though. He's
supposed to talk to his boss.

What's he talking to him about?

Daddy has worked at the
company for a long time,

but he's been in the same
level now for many years.

I want him to speak up,
but it's not so easy.

Why not?

Because we are not
water ski people, Jin.

[in Mandarin] Bull Demon is planning
to attack during the Autumn Equinox.

His uprising is
building strength.

This isn't political.
It's personal.

We all know he wants
revenge against Wukong.

Whatever his reason, we won't stand a
chance against him without the staff.

[adviser] Why would Wei-Chen
steal from his own family?

He is my son.

I'll find him.

[in English] You know, in Taiwan,
people love this. It's good for you.


Can you explain to me
how it's good for you?

'Cause, it's literally...
It's skin and toenails.

[in Mandarin] Sometimes the things
you hate are the things you need.

Eat it. It's good for you.

[in English] Right. But this one looks
like it's giving me the thumbs-up.

[chuckles] Want me to put
it in the hot dog bun?

- A little ketchup? Some ice cream?
- Y-Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

[chuckles] Yummy.


Jin, how was school?

Uh, it was good.
School was-was fine.

Um, I've got American
Lit, Bio 2, Trig,

uh, World History, which I
think is way too broad. Art.

And I-I-I also have PE this year
which I can sub for a sport,

so, I was thinking,
maybe I could do soccer.

Not too many activities,
hmm? Just stay focused.

Study, work hard.
That is enough.

[Jin's mom] Sometimes…


Sometimes that's enough.

Sometimes you gotta speak up
so that people notice you.


Sometimes the best way to get people
to notice you is to work hard, hmm?

And sometimes people
treat you like an animal.

Like a little monkey.

[electricity hums]

Did you know that there's a kind of monkey
that... It knows if it's gonna rain?

It's called a Burmese
sneezing monkey.

- We learned about it in school today.
- Jin. Jin.

It's got a big nose, so
the condensation collects

- and irritates its, uh, follicles.
- [sighs]

In entertainment news, people
are protesting a 1990s sitcom

that is making a comeback
on streaming services…

[Jin's mom, speaking Mandarin]

[speaking Mandarin]

[speaking Mandarin]

[speaking Mandarin]

[speaks in Mandarin, laughs]

[Jin's mom speaking Mandarin]

[singer, in English] ♪ He's
a bachelor in the city ♪

♪ Looking for love ♪

♪ Then his landlord died
And left him all the above ♪

♪ Now he's gotta handle rent
And every maintenance call ♪

♪ When all he really wants
Is the girl down the hall ♪

♪ Beyond repair ♪

♪ Beyond repair ♪

Ugh. [sighs]

Well, Freddy, looks like this
fridge has gone to meet its maker.

- Maytag?
- [audience laughter]

It's just an expression.
It means that it's dead.

I'll order you a
new fridge tomorrow.

Gosh, I never knew taking over
this building would be so much work

when I inherited it
from old Mr. Henderson.

Ah, yes.

Old Mr. Henderson,
rest in peace.

He have gone to meet his Maytag.

[audience laughter]

You'll get the hang
of it eventually.

Hey, by the way,

do you think that your neighbor
Lindsay might need repairs too?

Ooh, Danny. Danny, are
you in love with Lindsay?

- What? No.
- [audience laughter]

- Okay, fine. Maybe I'm interested.
- [audience laughter]

But… [sighs] …I have no chance.

Just go for it. As my wise
ancestor say, "What could go Wong?"

[audience laughter, applause]

[audience whoops]

You know what? Maybe I'll fix
that ceiling fan while I'm here.

[audience laughter, whoops]

[Jin's mom laughs,
speaks in Mandarin]

[remote control rattles]

[Jin's mom speaking Mandarin]

[father snores]

- [clicks]
- [grunts]



- Hey, Amelia.
- Oh, hey.

Um, I was wondering,
would you be interested

in, like, maybe
hanging out sometime?

- Uh…
- [Wei-Chen] Jin! Jin!

Look, we are twins.

Oh, s-sorry. I didn't
mean to interrupt.

- Yeah. Yeah. Go.
- Uh, you're not. It's fine.

Listen, uh, forget
I said anything...

No, it was... It was
really sweet of you to ask.

Uh, maybe we could hang out.
Just, like, as buds, you know?

Yeah. Yeah, for sure.

Sorry, that was...
That was really lame.

Uh, it's good. It's all good.
Buds is cool. Buds is...

So, I guess I'll, uh...
I'll see you later then?

Yeah. See you.

Jin, are you okay?

[bell rings]

- I gotta get to class.
- Yeah, we should go.

- No, don't follow me.
- But I'm your shadow.

No, you're not. You're not my
shadow. You're not my twin.

You're not my friend, okay?
So, please just leave me alone.

- Jin, wait.
- [grunts]

- [grunts]
- [students gasp]

- [student 1] Whoa!
- [student 2] Somebody help him.

- [chattering]
- Jin! Jin! Jin, are you okay?

Hey, Anuj.


How's it going?


Cool. Uh…

That's, uh, cool
Rebel Hatsuko makeup.

Just, um, exploratory stuff
that'll... It'll get better.

For sure.

Hey, uh, did you know

there's actually seven Kugo Ren
Saga books instead of three?

Good to know. Thanks
for the update.

So, what's the plan, dude? You're
just gonna never talk to me again?

Because Travis made fun of
you, like, two months ago?


Listen, you can't just show up to my
club soccer game dressed as Naruto

and do a bunch of jutsus and
expect everyone to be like,

"Oh, that's normal." [chuckles]

Well, I'm sorry if I embarrassed you
in front of your new, cool soccer bros.

Why are you even mad at me? Right?
'Cause I didn't do anything.


That's right, you didn't.

You just stood there and let it happen.
Maybe you should've done something.

Okay, and maybe you should
learn to take a joke.

Have you seen that meme
that's been going around?

The one with the guy
from the old TV show?

Yeah. Why?

Well, there's a new one.

- [crash]
- [glass shatters]

- What could go Wong?
- [audience laughter]

Who made that?

Hey, who made that?

[whistle blows]

- [players chattering]
- [Garrett] Welcome to JV soccer tryouts.

My name is Coach Garrett.

We're starting with the speed drills,
so make sure you're warmed up and ready.

Glad you made it.

Thanks. Yeah, we'll see.

You got this, dude.

[Andy] Hey, Jin.

Hey, what's up?

Hey, where's your new buddy?

That was just something
I had to do yesterday.

That was pretty cool of you
to have lunch with him though.

Just glad I don't have
to deal with it anymore.

Why? What could go Wong?

- [whistle blows]
- [players chuckle]

[Garrett] Okay.

"Win the ball."

Here's how this works.

Two guys on each side of the
pitch, ball is in the center.

On my signal, you sprint and try
to... You guessed it... win the ball.

Who's first?

I'll go.

[Garrett] Very good, Travis.

Who else?

- I'll go.
- [Garrett] Great, what's your name?


Okay. Travis versus
Jim. Line it up!

Here we go. Ready. Set.

[breathes deeply]

[whistle blows]


It's good for you.

Be a confident dude.

[eagle shrieks]


- [players chattering]
- [Jin groans]

- You okay, man? That was pretty gnarly.
- [grunts]

Point of the drill is to win the
ball, not take the guy's head off.

Yeah, man. What the
hell was that about?

You know exactly
what that was about.

You're not laughing now, right?
At least do it to my face!

- Easy there, Jim.
- Jin! My name is Jin!

Listen, this is not how
we roll on this team, Son.

Now, I think you may wanna
consider another activity.

Just cool off. Take a walk.

[pants, grunts]

- Whoa! Whoa!
- [screams]


Coach. [scoffs]

Right. Right. Sorry. Come on. Let's
get you to the nurse's office.

[trash can rolling
on cell phone]

- [crash]
- [glass shatters]

[Wei-Chen] Hey, Jin.


Hey, um…

I'm really sorry about earlier.

And all that crap I said.

It's stupid. [stammers]

I swear I'm not that guy, you know.
Or, at least, I don't wanna be,

and honestly, maybe that's the problem,
is that I don't know what guy I am.

What were you watching?

Oh, uh… S...

Someone took a video of me and you earlier
and they posted it on this dumb app.

Can I see?

Yeah, sure.

- [glass shatters]
- Pretty sure it was Travis.

- [Freddy Wong] What could go Wong?
- [audience laughter]

[shutter clicks]

Not Travis.

- Greg?
- [vehicle approaches]

Oh, uh. That's my mom. So,
I guess I'll see you later.

Fried squid.

- Sorry, what?
- Fried squid.

[speaking Mandarin]

[in English] In Chinese, it means
"getting fired from your job."

[eagle shrieks]

[eagle shrieks]

[in Mandarin] You'll need a better
disguise than that to hide from me.

[scoffs] What are
you doing here?

I'm searching for
the Fourth Scroll.

[scoffs] Are you serious?

The Fourth Scroll is a myth.


It's real.

I brought back the sutras. There
were three scrolls, not four.

You're wrong.

How do you know?

I had a dream.


A dream!

Why can't you listen
to me for once?

I don't have time for this.

Have you forgotten about
the uprising back home?

You're a child
living in a fantasy.

And you're too weak
to carry my staff.

Give it back.

I'm taking you home now.

[in English] No.




- You think you know everything?
- I didn't say that!

[stammers] Why don't
you get a job then?

[Jin's mom]


[Wei-Chen grunts]

[both grunting]

Why don't you speak
up like this at work?

Then they wouldn't
walk all over you.


[Wei-Chen shouts]


Don't you remember
who you used to be?

We came here with nothing,
with no connections.

Where did that brave man go?

We were young.

It's different now.

One of us needs to
live in reality.

And I don't live in reality?


[father speaking Mandarin]

I fight for this family
just as much as you do!

Calm down!

[in English] Stop!


[magical chiming]


[in Mandarin] Wukong. [scoffs]

I haven't seen you act
like this in a long time.

Leave the boy alone.
He has his own journey.

With respect, Guanyin.

He is my son.

[chuckles] Clearly.


Don't let anyone find it.

[breathes heavily]
They will come for him.

[door closes]