About

Daniel’s life as a young, gay, Korean American, struggling actor in New York was complicated enough — and that was before his disapproving and devout Christian mother moved in.

Based on a true relationship. 

A few years ago, Daniel K. Isaac, a gay Korean American actor living in New York City, started posting conversations with his mother, Esther Lee, an ultra-conservative, uber-Christian Korean immigrant living in Southern California.

#Accordingtomymother on Facebook and Instagram was born.

Since then, many people have fallen in love with Esther and her blunt, often insensitive, and always unintentionally funny words of wisdom. 

Including Cathy, Daniel's friend who also happens to be a filmmaker. She approached Daniel to turn the posts into a film. With the backing of 200+ Kickstarter supporters, they shot a pilot presentation / short film about Daniel and Esther. 

And then Cathy and Daniel realized that this wonderful relationship shouldn't just exist within the confines of a short film or a pilot or even a feature film. There should be a whole series about Daniel and Esther.

Why? While Daniel and Esther's story has a uniquely contentious backdrop of an Korean American immigrant family struggling with tolerance and acceptance, ultimately, their story is universal. It's about the love between a parent and child, despite the cultural, religious, and political differences that pull them apart. Can you still love someone even if you don’t agree with them? Even if you think demons are feasting on a buffet of your son’s soul because he’s a “sinning homo-gay?” We think yes. We have to believe yes. We have to believe that in an America that is more divided than ever before, there is still hope that love can bring people together. And laughter can bring people together too. Rather than converting one side to another, we poke fun at both sides through dark, uncensored comedy. 

Television has been at the forefront of representing the underrepresented. It’s about time we use the lens of Daniel and Esther’s funny yet heartbreaking, unique yet universal relationship that stretches from Queens, New York to Orange County, California to 1970s Seoul, Korea to explore what it means to be family in America today: Judging and being judged, yet finding a way to love, if not to understand.


The Team

Cathy Y. Yan

(Co-Creator, Director)

Cathy Yan is a filmmaker based in New York City, born in China and raised between Hong Kong and Washington, DC. She received her MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business and an MFA from the Tisch Graduate Film Program. Her feature directorial debut, DEAD PIGS, shot in Shanghai with Alibaba Pictures and Media Asia producing and China’s renowned director, Jia Zhangke (A TOUCH OF SINMOUNTAINS MAY DEPART) as executive producer. She is currently in post-production. Previously, she was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Cathy graduated from Princeton University, magna cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs. 

Daniel K. Isaac (Co-Creator, Lead) Daniel K. Isaac was born and raised in sunny Southern California. When he was in fifth grade, his mother heard a mortifying story about a preacher who went numb with stage fright and had to be escorted off the stage. Daniel was promptly signed up for Grace Korean Church's theatre troupe and he's been an actor ever since. After receiving his Bachelor's in Theatre from the University of California - San Diego (UCSD), Daniel moved to not-always-sunny New York City where he's been seen on large and small screens and stages. Some Film/TV Credits include: “Foshay” on The Jim Gaffigan Show (TV LAND), MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster, with George Clooney and Julia Roberts), “Virgil” on Person of Interest (CBS, recurring), The Following (FOX), Believe (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO). Some upcoming projects include: Search Party (TBS), Crashing (HBO), Shades of Blue (NBC), Drew (CBS, pilot), and “Ben Kim” on SHOWTIME’s Billions (with Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis). 

Daniel K. Isaac

(Co-Creator, Lead)

Daniel K. Isaac was born and raised in sunny Southern California. When he was in fifth grade, his mother heard a mortifying story about a preacher who went numb with stage fright and had to be escorted off the stage. Daniel was promptly signed up for Grace Korean Church's theatre troupe and he's been an actor ever since. After receiving his Bachelor's in Theatre from the University of California - San Diego (UCSD), Daniel moved to not-always-sunny New York City where he's been seen on large and small screens and stages. Some Film/TV Credits include: “Foshay” on The Jim Gaffigan Show (TV LAND), MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster, with George Clooney and Julia Roberts), “Virgil” on Person of Interest (CBS, recurring), The Following (FOX), Believe (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO). Some upcoming projects include: Search Party (TBS), Crashing (HBO), Shades of Blue (NBC), Drew (CBS, pilot), and “Ben Kim” on SHOWTIME’s Billions (with Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis).