By now, it’s hard to deny the existence of the recent surge of nostalgic television, from the monsoon of classic 90’s sitcom reboots to the plethora of true crime reenactments. The current season of American Crime Story takes part in this nostalgia, and transports American television viewers back to the late 90’s with the reenactment of the events leading up to the assassination of Gianni Versace. Having been a fan of the highly successful first season revolving around the OJ Simpson trial, I expected nothing short of amazing with the proceeding season. As expected, I found myself clutching my sides in anxiety, gasping (and sometimes scream-yelping) at alarming pitches, and shielding my eyes from the intensity of the show. I watched in horror, bewilderment, and anger as the scenes played before me. Being that American Crime Story is another bullet point in Ryan Murphy’s long list of high-intensity, boundary-pushing television shows, I was ready for the sleepless nights I spent pondering the latest episodes and eagerly awaiting the ones to follow. What I didn’t expect was the sudden rush of empathy towards Andrew Cunanan as his life story unfolded before my eyes.
It’s definitely no secret that I’m Filipino. I mean, it’s not like I go out onto the streets and make giant “Look at me, I’m Filipino!” proclamations when I get the chance – upon first glance, people can usually tell what my ethnicity is. That being said, it’s not normally something I think about until one of the following things happen: 1. Someone asks what ethnicity I am “just to make sure” or 2. I do something that is just absolutely, undeniably Filipino. It is during those times that I start to realize that different practices and cultural customs I was raised on find ways to filter themselves into my everyday living. Make no mistake, I am by no means ashamed of any of it – it amuses me more than anything, especially when I hear one or both of my parents’ voices in my head when it does happen. Here are a few examples that have happened to me recently that made me realize, “Wow, I’m definitely Filipino.”