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Writer: Kristina Woo
Showrunner: Gemma Baker
Alex is a master of navigating the stereotypes of being a Chinese-American woman, but while in Hong Kong pursuing a big promotion, her M.O. is upended when she realizes her skills in bucking and fulfilling gendered and racial expectations mean nothing where she’s just another face in the crowd.
ALEX WOO, early 30s, Chinese-American, tall, whip-smart, and sassy, she’s defiantly Americanized and proud of playing against Chinese stereotypes. A first generation child of parents who emigrated to the US from Hong Kong, she knows limited Cantonese and rebels against her Chinese heritage and the expectations put upon her by others because of her looks/appearance. A star at her high-powered consulting firm, she’s confident, graceful, effortless, but with her mother, with whom she has a complicated relationship, she can be bratty, contrarian and headstrong.
QUINN MARANO, 40s-50s, Alex’s career mentor and champion, she listens attentively and encourages Alex to take on the Silks Incorporated account despite Alex’s protests. The first female partner at the consulting firm where she and Alex work, Quinn came up in business well before the #metoo era.
HARRY LEUNG, 30s, extremely aware of how dashing he is, an “Asian James Bond,” he’s the CEO of a growing Hong Kong textiles business and a new client at Alex’s firm. A quintessential Hong Cong playboy, he challenges Alex’s views on her Asianness, world status, and romantic entanglements. Harry’s modern playboy image belies his deep knowledge of and adherence to tradition.
NICK, early 30s, New Yorker through and through, he’s Alex’s colleague and secret work hook up. Funny, amiable, and a little neurotic, he encourages Alex to use all of her assets and heritage to help earn her a promotion.
HANNAH WOO, late 20s, Alex’s obedient younger sister, she’s engaged before Alex, much to her mother’s chagrin. Hannah is much more inclined to keep the peace than rock the boat.
GREG CHOW, late 20s, Hannah’s easy-going fiance. His family has been in the US for much longer than Hannah and Alex’s, and is much more Americanized and middle class than their family. It appears that he and Hannah are marrying for love rather than status.
EMILY WOO, 60s, Mystically ageless, impeccable, refined, she looks like she’s stepped out of a Wong Kar-wai movie. Alex & Hannah’s mother and de facto Hong Kong royalty, she has impossibly high standards for her daughters. She clings to traditional beliefs, including the fact that her younger daughter getting married before her oldest daughter implies bad luck. On their face, her constant criticisms of Alex’s age and lack of a husband seem typical of a “tiger mom”, but they are rooted in her own beliefs (from a different culture and generation) of how women can best move through the world.
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