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Karen Shou (born 1989) is a main character in Brandon Roger's series 'Theater Class', in both season one and two. She is a theater student in Mr. Rimmer's Theater 1A college course. She is portrayed by Karen Fokes.

Biography

Karen was born in St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, California in 1989, making her 19-20 years old when the series begins in 2009.

Karen enrolled in the treater class at the same time that Mr. Rimmer became the new class teacher. She initially didn't hold a lot of respect for Mr. Rimmer, mistaking him for another student and type-casting him as 'The Failed Actor'.

In Season 1, Episode 2 ('Confiscation'), she brings in cookies for the class in an attempt to make friends, but this fails when the cookies turn out to be disgusting. She then blames Mr. Rimmer for killing Mason's dog, Marianne, when he confiscates it.

Karen's mother passed away in the weekend before Season 1, Episode 3 ('The Art of Competition'), and was later cremated. Due to this, Karen was rude towards Cici when she performed her monologue, which lead to Mr. Rimmer telling her off and Linda saying that "nobody cares that your mom died". Later in the episode, she asks Mason and Cici to check if her car tyres had been slashed, even though she doesn't drive, which Jamie commented on.

After Season 1, Episode 3, Mr. Rimmer set Karen's arm on fire, which was the headline of an issue of the school people ("Racist Teacher Sets Ugly Asian's Arm on Fire"). She blamed Mr. Rimmer, although he and the rest of the class insisted it was an accident. She has also been in an article for being "one of the least attractive girls (or guys - still unknown) ever to evade capture and beat-ups by the football team", which also proved her to be a virgin.

In Season 1, Episode 4 ('Teamwork'), Mr. Rimmer threw a football into Karen's eye. She was then picked last (along with Jamie) during a team exercise, and was placed on a team with Oliver and Mason by Mr. Rimmer, as neither of the teams would pick her or Jamie. She played the jester in the small performance the trio did.

In Season 1, Episode 5 ('Camping'), Mr. Rimmer admits that he didn't know her name. She was also not told of the camping trip, instead wondering where everyone is in the classroom while the others are packing up the car. Although she finds the others just as they are leaving in the car, Mr. Rimmer ignores her running alongside the car and knocking at the windows, even though the students do not. She later meets them at the campsite and scares them by opening the tent door (the others had been telling scary stories, and thought she was Samara from 'The Ring').

In Season 1, Episode 6 ('Bye Mitzvah'), Karen initially doesn't sign Cici's petition to get Mr. Rimmer fired, because Cici (or any of the others) didn't come to her birthday party. However, she signs the petition after Mr. Rimmer labels her as unattractive. Later, at the 'bye mitzvah', she is told to sit in the corner after 'ruining' Cici's goodbye poster by signing it (although the others all had). She is then hit in the head by Jamie, after he tried to hit a piñata, knocking over a whiteboard which Mr. Rimmer then blames her for. He is later seen talking to Karen about how much he'll miss Cici when she leaves at the end of the episode.

In Season 1, Episode 7 ('Show and Tell'), Karen can be seen wearing traditional Vietnamese clothing (including an Asian conical hat), possibly indicating her heritage. For the Show and Tell segment of the lesson, she brings in her mother's ashes. Later in the episode, due to a chain reaction of events, she is pinched on the nose by one of Oliver's pet scorpions, resulting in Marlena kicking her in the face. Mr. Rimmer also uses the pot of ashes to trap one of the scorpions on the floor, spilling out the ashes while doing so. She is later blamed for the class being late for the fire drill, as, according to Mr. Rimmer, she attacked the class. She defends herself by telling the truth to Dean Shaft, but Mr. Rimmer says that because the class put up with her smell everyday, she's the real criminal.

In Season 1, Episode 8 ('Shafted'), Karen's pot of ashes is knocked over after Jamie threw a shoe at it. However, Miss Ballwinger, the substitute teacher in place of Mr. Rimmer proves to be affectionate of Karen, describing her as 'diligent' and smiling at her.

In Season 1, Episode 9 ('The Comeback'), Karen reveals her year and location of birth (1989 and California) while giving her presentation on Biography Day. However, she is soon knocked over by Mr. Rimmer bursting through the closet door. She appears to be the only person sad when Miss Ballwinger leaves, and expresses that she now wants to drop the class.

In Season 1, Episode 10 ('The History Class'), she says that she doesn't find Mason attractive enough to play Jesus Christ in the Christmas play. After being called ugly by Jamie and Mr. Rimmer, she calls the teacher arrogant. Linda then proceeds to use the pot of ashes to pretend to be Karen's mom, and mocks her for wearing glasses. When the class ransack the history room, Karen is made to catch a bin-bag of textbooks that are thrown out the window, which hit her. However, she is fine, as she runs away with the others after a computer smashes the theater class window. Although she later expresses that she wants to die, she joins the others in taking back the theater classroom from the history class, and throws the pot of ashes over another Asian girl. She is happy when the history class retreat back to the Dean.

In Season 1, Episode 11 ('The Sleepover'), she swears in front of a 'guest speaker' (actually a young girl, who Mr. Rimmer kidnapped "consensually") along with the rest of the class, but is hit in the head with a fast-food cup by Linda. Karen is then confirmed to be in the Christmas play, as well as being one of the tech producers with Marlene. She is also revealed as having a hereditary bed wetting problem, and that she cries in her sleep. During the night, she is mistaken by Jamie for Mason, causing him to run away in disgust when he realises that he's spooning Karen.

Personality

Karen is often offended by her classmates' comments, such as about her race or physical appearance. She can be described as sensitive as she tends to look down or cry whenever a fight breaks out in the classroom.

Karen has been described as a 'living buzzkill' by Mr. Rimmer for not enjoying the class activities. She has also been labelled by the teacher as 'unattractive' and as having Downs Syndrome. Her class and Mr. Rimmer often find her depressing. She is often overlooked by the teacher and other students, such as being ignored by Mr. Rimmer when she tries to perform, or everybody driving somewhere without her. However, she has been described as 'diligent' and 'caring about the class' by Miss Ballwinger, the substitute teacher.

Karen doesn't have many friends, and she has tried to make friends with other students, using attempts such as bringing cookies into class to share, but has always failed to find friendship. Mr. Rimmer and the other students acknowledge that she has no friends, but don't particularly care.

Karen likes to eat salmon. She also does not drive. Karen is possibly pro-life, after saying that abortions make her sad.

Karen sits mostly in the middle rows in the first season of 'Theater Class'. This is most likely because she's not keen enough to sit at the front, but not 'cool' enough to sit at the back. She usually sits on the left (from the teacher's perspective) but sometimes sits on the right or at the back.

Karen is described by Mr. Rimmer as smelling of urine and tofu, while Jamie and Oliver notice that she smells of salmon (although they initially thought it was her period).

Appearance

Karen is of East Asian (possibly Vietnamese) descent, and is sometimes mocked for this by Mr. Rimmer and the other students. She usually looks scruffy, wearing baggy clothing and simple hairstyles. She also wears glasses. Although she looks like a normal teenager, she is constantly mocked by other students and Mr. Rimmer who find her ugly. She was type-casted by Mr. Rimmer in the first episode as 'The Ugly Chick', and has been described as being unattractive and as having Downs Syndrome (although she does not).

Although she is obviously female, her classmates and Mr. Rimmer often speculate on her gender. In 'Teamwork', she was thought of as a guy by Mr. Rimmer, after being present for a conversation about penis size.

By the second season, Karen uses a wheelchair after becoming paralysed at the end of "Opening Night", when Linda shot her in the spine with a horse tranquilliser.

She was an adorable child, according to herself and Miss Ballwinger, but "then hit puberty".

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