'Glee's' Harry Shum talks 'The Situ-Asian,' Asian Camp and The LXD
His "Glee" character Mike Chang may have spent the first season largely silent, dancing in the background, but in Season 2 those nimble feet earned him some lines and his very own story -- as one point in the love triangle with Tina ( Jenna Ushkowitz) and Artie ( Kevin McHale).
"There is a group of people who hate Mike Chang, for the fact of them being huge Artie fans," Shum tells Zap2it. "It's to be expected because Artie is a fun character, a good character. If Tina and Artie are together forever though, then where can you go from there? I think it's good to stir it up, stir the pot a little."
That pot will continue to be stirred as Artie fights to win back his lady. Did we not just see him join the football team and start pumping iron in Tuesday's (Sept. 28) episode?
"It's going to be a little interesting over the next couple episodes between Mike, Tina and Artie," observes Shum. "Artie was a bad boyfriend, but is a good guy at the end of the day. He realized it. That happens a lot in relationships, you realize, 'Oh man, I messed up.' The new guy comes in. Mike Chang is starting to open up and be vocal about things and actually have a little more confidence."
That confidence was proudly displayed at "Asian Camp," where he and Tina fell for each other. On the show, we see that Tina's memories of camp include stereotypical Asian props -- the Chinese lucky cat, unexplained Asian character writing, bamboo and little Asian kids playing with techno toys.
"I heard the set was going to be like full-out woks all over the place, so it was actually toned down a lot," says Shum with a laugh. "It was really funny. I never went to Asian Camp. I never knew that that existed. Then I Googled it, and it actually does exist. People on Twitter were telling me, 'Yeah, I used to go to Asian Camp, but it was never that much fun.'"
What's 'The Situ-Asian' With Those Abs?
The fun they're referring to, of course, is Mike Chang and Tina's romantic interlude, in which they embrace and kiss -- in front of the little Asian kids. Another aspect of that scene is Mike Chang's corrugated abs that not only catch Tina's attention, but the attention of viewers at home as well.
"Who goes to camp with these short shorts and open shirt, half naked? It's so funny," says Shum, adding that he was surprised at the focus on his physique. "Even when I was shooting that I didn't expect the response that I got. It comes all in little trends I guess. First it was the 'Other Asian' that came in and got forgotten and then 'No Bones' kind of came in and now I guess that."
There has to be a better nickname for him now besides "that."
"Yeah, someone -- I guess the whole Internet is calling me 'The Situ-Asian,'" admits Shum, referencing the "Jersey Shore" and now "Dancing With the Stars" cast member Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino known for his six-pack. "It's flattering but I don't think that's the only thing that Mike Chang has to offer. They're going to reveal a lot more things about what he is, what he can and what he can't do."
What Mike Chang, and therefore Harry Shum, can do is move. Not only do we see his loose-limbed, serpentine moves on "Glee," but also as part of the superhero-themed dance webisodes "The LXD," which stands for The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. Shum's LXD alter ego is Elliot Hoo, a guy who stumbles upon a mystical pair of shoes that have a personality of their own. Take a look:
After the first season's origin stories, "The LXD" will release its 10-episode second season this fall in which the heroes take on the villains. Some underground names that dance fans might recognize are B-Boy Casper and Frantic, whom Shum says are "some of the best dancers in the world." He also teases what else to expect in Season 2.
"You are going to see a slew of the evil side and it's kind of creepy," he says, adding that more women will also be joining on. "There's some members of ['America's Best Dance Crew' runner ups] The Beat Freaks. Definitely Pandora and the Dark Nurse will come back as well. We're trying to fill up the girls as well because we know it was off balance last season."
"Glee" airs on FOX Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET, and "The LXD" will debut its second season this fall.
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Photo credits: Keith Munyan, FOX