“Underemployed” puts an Asian queer woman front-and-center

On October 16, MTV’s new one-hour series Underemployed will premiere with a lovable group of twenty-somethings trying to find their way in recession-ridden economy. There’s Daphne, who aspires to conquer the advertising industry and Raviva, who plans to tour the world as a not-so-starving musician. Lou just wants to do something that isn’t soul sucking and bad for the environment, while Miles hopes to use his good looks as a model. But it’s Sofia (Michelle Ang) who really brings the group together as the show’s narrator and an aspiring novelist who decides to start telling the true story of a group of friends struggling to achieve their dreams, but having a lot of missteps along the way.

And when she’s not trying to write her book or shill donuts at her dayjob, she’s trying to figure out her sexuality. On there premiere episode, Sofia goes on a date with Laura (Angel M. Wainwright) and seems to enjoy herself.

Underemployed is smart and funny with believable relationships and situations that fans of shows like Friends or Happy Endings will enjoy. The fact that the lead is a woman of color who has a not-so-straight sexuality is positively awesome. Although it’s not certain as to if Sofia will be identifying as a lesbian, there are glimpses of Laura again throughout the season, as well as an awkward exchange where Sofia decides maybe she should try to sleep with a guy and jumps into bed with Lothario Miles, though it’s not clear if they actually do it or just have a discussion of how weird his penis looks (to her, anyway).

Photo from MTV

If Michelle Ang looks familiar, it’s probably because she was on South of Nowhere as Lily. In her younger years, she also appeared on Xena as Akemi. She’s no stranger to shows with Sapphic situations, and so far she’s proving to be a terrific lead of one of this fall’s best new shows.

And since Underemployed was created by Dirty Sexy Money‘s Craig Wright, it’s likely to get a little dirtier and sexier, with hopefully some money to follow for the hardworking millennials who are all just trying to catch a break.