Original Content: Netflix’s ‘Tigertail’ tells a melancholy immigrant story

“Tigertail,” a new film on Netflix, weaves together the past and the present to tell the life story of Pin-Jui, who we first meet as a Taiwanese boy dreaming of moving to America.

We soon see that he eventually made it to New York. In the present-day sequences, he struggles to connect with his adult daughter Angela, while also reflecting on his past — a past illustrated in vibrant flashbacks that show his hardscrabble childhood, followed by blossoming romance.

In many ways, “Tigertail” marks a more expansive, less funny treatment of the material that writer-director Alan Yang previously covered in an episode of “Master of None,” one that was all about adult children trying to understand their immigrant parents.

Not everything benefits from the feature-length treatment. The contemporary storyline can feel a bit repetitive — particularly in contrast with the richer, more eventful flashbacks — with one montage after another of Pin-Jui and Angela staring glumly into the distance. But the performances are compelling and the relationships feel believably strained.

And it’s rich thematic territory, prompting your Original Content podcast hosts to argue about the value of parental sacrifice, and to reflect on their own family relationships.

You can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:44 “Tigertail” review (mild spoilers)
23:01 “Tigertail” spoiler discussion
47:33 Quibi update