Netflix released a new series today – The Brothers Sun, starring the incomparable and reigning Best Actress Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh. I wish I had pictures to show you from the premiere but I don’t think they’ve had one (yet) which is surprising to me. Hopefully that’s happening soon. Because this cast deserves its red carpet moment.
The Brothers Sun is about two brothers, Charles and Bruce, from Taiwanese crime family. Charles is based in Taiwan, the heir to the empire, but Bruce has been raised in LA by his mother, played by Michelle, who has kept him in the dark about his family background. The brothers haven’t seen each other in 15 years and we pick up the story in crisis, which is when Charles and Bruce reunite during a crisis and Michelle is brought back into the family business.
Not surprisingly, she is magnificent in this role as a complicated and cunning woman and an uncompromising typical Chinese mother who, most of the time, knows better than her children but also all of the time won’t let them know more about her or themselves – in other words the kind of Asian mother who’s probably familiar to those of us of similar cultural backgrounds, especially of a certain generation.
This, for me, is one of the highlights of The Brothers Sun: its Chinese specificity. There’s a moment early in the first episode, when Bruce stumbles home from a sh-tty night out and throws open the fridge for a late night snack to find a leftover bun. Which he then wraps in a wet paper towel before he puts it in the microwave. Because that way the bun will come out soft and steaming. Asian food hack! (Seriously ever non-Asian I’ve ever passed this onto comes back to me afterwards telling me it’s a microwave gamechanger.) The show is full of these small details that don’t necessarily have an impact on the larger story but colour the experience for those of us from the community so it serves the audience on multiple levels.
Another highlight? Justin Chien, who plays Charles. IS HOT. This is his breakout role. Please add him to your thirst list.
All eight episodes of The Brothers Sun are streaming now on Netflix.
Yours in gossip,