From Project Catapult: ‘Second Wave’

This is part of a series that looks at the shows in Project Catapult’s first cohort.

Originally debuting Sept. 5, Second Wave, from KUOW and PRX, examines the Vietnamese-American experience 40 years after the Vietnam War.

Host Thanh Tan uses her own story as a daughter of Vietnamese refugees to explore broader questions of identity, culture and family for second-generation Americans.

“Thanh is an incredibly engaging host who is full of stories about the Vietnamese-American experience, and we’re all so excited for her to be able to share her passion and knowledge with a wider audience,” said Second Wave producer Caroline Chamberlain.

During the first season, episode topics range from the ways the Vietnam War still impacts Vietnamese-American identities to a look inside the kitchen at how pho — Vietnamese noodle soup — is made.

Second Wave’s most recent episode, “Good Guys, Bad Guys,” features an interview filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on their recently released documentary, The Vietnam War.

The episode addresses issues of violence, intergenerational trauma and Tan’s personal reactions to the film.

Chamberlain says future episodes of Second Wave will revolve around trips to Vietnam to explore Tan’s connections to the country and explorations of “other Vietnamese enclaves across the U.S. to see the breadth of the Vietnamese-American experience.”

Producer Whitney Henry-Lester, left, host Thanh Tan, center, and producer Caroline Chamberlain make up most of the Second Wave team.

“We really want to strike a chord with second-generation Americans in general by exploring the Vietnamese experience,” Chamberlain said. “What are the common themes? What are the differences?”

Chamberlain is one of two producers on the Second Wave team, working with Whitney Henry-Lester, producer, and Jim Gates, editor.

Chamberlain says the team’s Project Catapult experience, supported by CPB, helped them keep the show focused on its audience: Vietnamese-American millennials who don’t know much about their Vietnamese identities aside from some family traditions and food, but who have recently decided they want to explore these themes more.

Season one of Second Wave consists of seven biweekly episodes, each between 15 and 30 minutes long.

You can follow the show on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic or wherever you get your podcasts.