Get ready to laugh at Wong Fu Productions’ parody of Netflix’s ‘To All the Boys’ film franchise with slight nod to Oscar best picture winner, ‘Parasite’

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An artist’s rendering of a key scene from Wong Fu Productions’ short video parody titled, “To All the Kevins.” Art illustrated by assistant graphics editor Karen Lee

Audrey Seo

Since the 2018 debut of the Netflix adaptation of Jenny Han’s young adult novel, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, many have fallen in love with this quirky teen romance. Film fanatics and bookworms alike have hopped on the “To All the Boys” bandwagon, including Wong Fu Productions, an online film production company featuring Asian actors. 

Its eight-minute YouTube parody, released the day before Valentine’s Day and a day after Netflix released “P.S. I Still Love You,” has a familiar resemblance to the original while centering its perspective on Asian pop culture. 

Wong Fu puts a comedic twist with its references to old stereotypes and modern-day inside jokes. Asians and even non-Asians alike will be sure to get a kick out of this lighthearted satire for its witty sense of humor and clever spin on the popular film franchise.

Let’s start first with Wong Fu’s decision to title its video short, “To All the Kevins.” 

It makes fun of the idea that “Kevin” is a very common name for U.S.-born or -raised Asian males similar to how “John” or “Robert” stands out as common Caucasian names.

The title character’s full name, “Kevin Nguyen,” has also become a meme that circulated around Twitter in late 2019. People in the Asian-American community consider that first and last name as the typical young Asian guy who browses TikTok daily, wears exclusively brand name athleisure clothing and often appears at raves and EDM festivals.

With that understanding, Wong Fu’s “To All the Kevins” follows the plot of the original story in which the main character, Lara Jean Covey, played by Michelle Fang (“9-1-1”), confesses her feelings to a certain Kevin in the form of letters. Like with the novel and first film adaptation, Covey keeps them until her younger sister, Kitty (Jordan Nguyen in her first role), finds and decides to send them to all the Asian Kevins at her school, not realizing the older sister meant them for a Kevin Nguyen (pronounced “Win” for those not familiar with how to pronounce certain Vietnamese last names; look for a poignant inside joke here about a self-help book written by an author whose last name just happens to be “Covey”).

The fun and laughs then start as an influx of Kevins visit the Covey house one by one — each having his own distinct interests and personality traits accompanied by their own Asian last name. 

Two of the Kevins whose performances stand out are the aspiring dancer and rapper, Kevin James Reyes, played by Kevin Trinio Perdido (“Illipino and Puberty”), and Kitty’s tutor, Kevin Kim, played by Joon Kim (Wong Fu’s earlier work, “How to Be an Instagram Boyfriend”).

The scene in which Kevin Kim introduces himself to Lara takes viewers totally by surprise as we can’t help but connect the allusion to an often-shown scene from the South Korean movie, “Parasite.” It’s with a masterful twist that the Wong Fu team and writer and director Taylor Chan (“Dating After College”) has found a way to insert this other tribute to this year’s Best Picture Oscar award-winning film.

Another ode to “Parasite” shows Kevin Kim dropping a stone boulder down the stairs. And be sure to stick around after what seems to be the end for another clever scene from the film that takes place in Lara’s basement.

Even those unaware of the movie will get a chuckle out of these references because the jokes hold great comedic effect and timing without explicitly mentioning the film at all.

The additional mention of the Subtle Asian Traits Facebook group is an amusing remark made by one of the main characters. Its title forms the acronym, SAT, the College Board test that many Asian teens have studied for since elementary school.

All the allusions surround a heavily Asian-themed banter among the characters, which is what Wong Fu is known for. The company started on the internet in 2003 and since then has provided positive forms of Asian representation in the media. Its confidence in how to carry through a parody like this one shows just how much Wong Fu Productions has improved in nearly two decades of storytelling and filming experience.

However, even with these comical hints to Asian culture, some aspects of the short video misses their mark. The lack of production value on some of the sets feel out of place in this video. Having Kevin Nguyen #2 performing an obviously fake DJ gig in front of a black backdrop that cuts to a much more professional setup of the Covey home also feels misplaced and lacking in effort.

Despite such inconsistencies with the setting, the short film is still enjoyable nonetheless. It provides a brief but amusing outlook into modern-day Western Asian pop culture and creates a clever interpretation of the famous book series. 

And perhaps when Netflix releases the adaptation of Han’s third and final book to the series, we can look forward to a Wong Fu parody sequel possibly titled, “P.S. I Still Love My Kevins.”