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Brawl in the Family

A new crime thriller from the co-creator of American Horror Story finds two estranged brothers and their force-of-nature mother trying to fend off an assassin while they reckon with their domestic drama

Brotherhood is a powerful force. Under the best circumstances, it breeds a close, lifelong friendship and a protective bond to rival all others. Under other, perhaps less conventional, conditions, brotherhood can be a complicated connection between two (or more) vastly different types of people. In the case of The Brothers Sun, all of these statements may very well be true.

Part of co-creator Brad Falchuk’s (American Horror Story) eight-figure deal with Netflix, the eight-episode debut season follows Charles Sun (Justin Chien), a Taiwanese gang member who is compelled to fly to Los Angeles to protect his mother and brother following a family tragedy. With the Sun family patriarch recently killed by a mysterious assassin, Charles decides to step into the role of protector, even if his brother proves very difficult to protect.


Sam Song Li plays Charles’ “utterly unaware younger brother Bruce,” a character who, from the looks of the teaser trailer, could not be any less like his high-powered elder sibling. As audiences learn early on, however, Bruce’s ignorance has largely been cultivated and sown by their mother, who has done her very best to create distance between her youngest and the life of crime led by the rest of the family.

And while The Brothers Sun is largely focused on, well, the Sun brothers, Eileen Sun, a.k.a. Mama, is truly a force to be reckoned with. Played by Everything Everywhere All at Once Oscar-winner Michelle Yeoh, “Eileen teams with Charles to protect the naïve Bruce, who never knew the truth about his family until his older brother arrived.” As such, in the official trailer, hopeful viewers are reminded that “Mama knows best,” while a slightly unsettling and action-packed montage plays out onscreen — a true harbinger of things to come.


The series, which has hopes of a second-season renewal, is created and produced by showrunner Falchuk, who is best known for his work with Glee and AHS mastermind Ryan Murphy, and Byron Wu, a budding writer/producer known only for the 2018 short film The Getaway at this point in his career; however, given the star power both on and off the screen throughout The Brothers Sun‚ audiences can likely expect a lot more from Wu going forward.

“I am thankful to Brad Falchuk, Teley-Vision and Netflix, who have championed this Asian-American-centric, Asian-American-written, Asian-American-directed show,” Wu said. “I am excited to be a part of this wave of new content that speaks to our experiences with honesty and dignity.”


Co-directed by Viet Nguyen (Lucifer) and Kevin Tancharoen (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), The Brothers Sun joins the ranks of productions such as Crazy Rich Asians, Everything Everywhere All at Once and American Born Chinese, which have helped increase Asian representation in Hollywood and aided in opening the door for more Asian-centred stories and roles in the future. (Bonus points if you noticed all four of these productions, including The Brothers Sun, star the incomparable Michelle Yeoh.)

While discussing the project with Variety, Tancharoen, who recently directed episodes of The Book of Boba Fett and Helstrom‚ as well as four of Thai Cave Rescue’s six episodes, also expressed his delight to be a part of a new, more inclusive era in Hollywood.


“I am so excited to explore this incredibly rich world full of interesting and layered characters,” Tancharoen said. “The story resonated with me on a personal level because it speaks to my identity as an Asian-American and the struggle to figure out who I am and where I fit in the world. To be involved in a project with a predominantly Asian cast, crew and team of writers is something I feel incredibly fortunate to be a part of.”

Joining Yeoh, Chien and Li onscreen for the new action series are comedian and Last Man Standing star Jenny Yang; former children’s television actor Madison Hu (Bizaardvar); Sex Education actress Alice Hewkin; Eternals stuntman and actor Jon Xue Zhang; and rising talents Highdee Kuan (Fear the Night) and Joon Lee (To All the Kevins).

The Brothers Sun, streaming Thursday, Netflix

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