The APAHM Project Days 2-6: Single By 30
Updated: May 10, 2021
Film: Single By 30
Created by: Phil Wang and Wesley Chan
Where to Watch: YouTube
Wanna Skip? Pick a Movie from APAHM Project 2020
Why it Made the List:
I'm always excited to support WongFu, since they have done so much to support us over the last 10+ years. "Single By 30" is a web series, that happens to star 2 Asian leads. about best friends who make a pact to marry each other if they are single by 30. The show was one of the first "studio" projects WongFu made and it was a really big step in their careers as a company. During Covid-19, YouTube and WongFu made the series available to watch for free.
I've always wanted to watch this series, but due to not having YouTube Premium, I wasn't able to see it. Thanks to the pandemic and stay at home orders, I was finally able to watch it for APAHM! This was my first time watching the series, and I binged it in a single day, despite what my APAHM Calendar advised.
What I liked about this series is it was such a simple premise. 2 high school BFFs who make a pact to marry each other if they are both still single when they are 30. But something so simple was able to expand over 8 episodes and not feel rushed nor that it was filled with unnecessary fluff. We see Kina Grannis sing and Harry Shum Jr. dance.
I'm starting to think that Harry just has chemistry with everyone he works with. And it's exciting to think that the two of them went from this web series to parts in "Crazy Rich Asians" (Grannis as the wedding singer and Shum as Charlie Wu, who has a post-credit scene).
The side characters were enjoyable and had their own growth as well. I would have loved to see a cameo from Phil and Wes. In fact, I was hoping for it! I was also excited to see Anna Akana have a role and hear Harry speak in Cantonese (only because I was proud of myself for understanding parts of it). In real life, I would never be friends with Chloe, but even she started to grow on me and we see her own growth as she starts to really care about Joanna and Mark.
As much as I love WongFu, I do sometimes feel like they fall into some predictable plot points or character types. The best friend is always a complete 180 degree foil to the main protagonist, the emotional story lines try a little too hard to make you cry. But "Single By 30" felt the most real and the grounded. I could totally believe that these characters really exist, and that they can be friends with each other and fall in love with each other.
Additionally, the production value was an improvement to WongFu's previous content at the time. This is obviously because it had a studio support, but even the music made such a difference. In WongFu's work, they often use a very comedic/stock sounding music to help turn the tone more lighthearted. But even with the funny scenes in "Single By 30," I didn't have to rely on audible cues to see that the tone was changing.
Overall, I think this was WongFu's best series. It wasn't trying to make a bold statement (not that I don't enjoy it, but sometimes I feel like I would just like to watch a show/series/short with Asians in them), it was done really well, and the cast was enjoyable. It's always a big moment for me when Asians are cast in romantic parts because it shows me and others that we are worthy of love and being loved. Asian men are often emasculated and Asian women are often hypersexualized in media. Both of these stereotypes and depictions are harmful to how Asians are perceived in real life. For us to have shows and movies like "Single By 30," "All My Life," and "Last Christmas," it allows us to be seen as normal people falling in love. I recommend "Single by 30" if you are looking for a quick show to binge on a lazy afternoon (as I did). I found it really easy to watch and enjoyable!
Stop Hate and Donate:
**A Reminder! I will be matching donations from this blog post based upon the number of likes it gets! Share this post and tell your friends to like this post!**
Today’s donation link is for Hyun Jung Kim, one of the victims of the Atlanta spa shootings that happened in March 2021. Kim was 51 years old and worked at Gold Spa, one of the three targeted places that were attacked. She enjoyed dancing and partying and was a single mother. She leaves behind 2 sons, one of which describes her as his best friend.
Donations will go towards rent and other expenses in the wake of losing their mother. Click here to donate to the GoFundMe page.
If You Liked This, You Might Like:
The Last on YouTube
Dating After College on YouTube
Single By 30 Watch Party with Cast and Crew on YouTube
Always Be My Maybe on Netflix