By Oscar Villalva ‘16
Fresh Off the Boat is a new Asian-American sitcom that comically portrays the struggles of an Asian family as they adapt to life in Florida after moving from D.C.
Based on Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang, the show follows the Huang family as they seek to live the American dream in the 1990s. 11-year-old Eddie (played by Hudson Yang) seeks to fit in at school. He does this by requesting his mother to pack him “white people food,” like Lunchables, for lunch instead of the usual food he is given, which causes him to be rejected by others. Louis Huang (played by Randall Park, Kim Jong-Un in The Interview) has trouble finding success in the new family-owned steakhouse, which is why he moved his family to Orlando, along with not wanting to work for the brother of his wife Jessica (played by Constance Wu).
Many people will find the show funny, but some might find it offensive as stereotypical jokes are made throughout the show, such as tiger mom, which is the main basis for the show’s second episode Home Sweet Home-School. Some might even see the show as unauthentic, Americanized.
According to Deggans, Eric, “ABC Tones Down Author’s ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ For Sitcom Audience” (NPR.org, National Public Radio, 4 February, 2015), a few weeks prior to the show’s premiere at a press conference, Eddie was asked whether the show be more “Americanized” or more “about the chopsticks.”
“It’s more about the chopsticks,” replied Eddie.
Randall Park added that the show’s original title was, in fact, Chopsticks.
The show does have a touching side to it as Eddie’s parents try to see the positive side of change, even putting up with the way their children have adapted to the American lifestyle.
Eddie loves hip-hop, so the show plays portions of classic 90’s hip-hop songs from Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, the Notorious B.I.G. and other artists. Eddie also wears hip-hop shirts, which his mom disapproves of.
The show has a similar style to Everybody Hates Chris, a show based on the life of comedian Chris Rock in which Chris is the narrator, like Eddie, who also narrates throughout the show.
Overall, Fresh Off the Boat is a great show that will invoke laughter and draw attention, as it is the first Asian American sitcom since All American Girl, which aired in 1994 for only one season.
The show will regularly air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.