Tonight was the premiere of Fresh Off the Boat. It’s about a family that moves from D.C. to Orlando, Florida in 1995 so the dad, Lousis Huang (Randal Park) can open a steak house. But what makes this show stand out from other family sitcoms is that it’s an all Asian cast. Check me if I’m wrong but I think that is a TV first. I’m pretty sure most people were worried about how this family was going to be portrayed. Well, no worries… it was hilarious!!!
First, off let me just give a huge shout out to Hudson Yang, who plays the oldest and most gansta, hip hop listening little boy ever, Eddie Huang. Eddie cracks me up. His idols are Shaq, Snoop Dog, and Biggie Smalls. He has no fear and you can’t tell him that he ain’t the baddest dude on da block (sorry, had to get hood for a minute). He actually reminds me of this Filipino guy I went to high school with. He wore more South Pole and short sets than any black dude I knew. Another thing I loved about this kid was his acting. He was so natural. He wasn’t corny like those new-age Disney show kids. The boys that play his little brothers are just as talented: Ian Chen and Forrest Wheeler.
The show is superb because it doesn’t spend 30 minutes making fun of Asians. Being Asian is not the punch line. They have real dialogue. Anybody who has been 12 before can relate to Eddie and his mom, Jessica (Constance Wu). For example, in the first episode, Eddie no longer wants take Asian food for his lunch because the kids make fun of the way it smells. He tells his mom that he wants “white people food” so the kids will stop teasing him. At first his mom plays hardball and tells him to suck it up. Then, like a mom, she gives in to him, takes him shopping for white people food better known as the staple food of the 90’s, Lunchables.
|Jessica and Eddie are the best mom and son duo|
Who can’t relate to being 12 and not wanting to stand out? I remember back-to-school shopping and wanting Crayola crayons because that’s what the cool kids had. My mom, on the hand, wanted to purchase Rose Art crayons because they were cheaper. Not only did the cool kids not use Rose Art crayons, they were basically crappy. Like Eddie, I would pout and whine until she finally gave in and bought the Crayola. I look forward to seeing the two of them grow together.
Living in such a sensitive society, I was surprised there wasn’t any outrage about the show. I do want to make the point that the show is based off the real life of Eddie Huang, restauranteur, chef, food personality, and former lawyer. So these aren’t just a whole bunch of white writers in a room coming up with these storylines. Yet and still, I just knew there was going to be rants on social media about how racist this show is. After tonight’s premiere, I hope not to see any think-pieces dragging the show through the dirt. If there is, I will petition to get the author of the think-piece banned from the internet. Take your negativity somewhere else and let me enjoy the show.
I’m excited for this show and can’t wait for next week’s episode. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend watching it on ABC Go or wherever it’s streamed. It will have you laughing from the first line to the last. Can I also say a big thank you to the Universe for giving us such good TV in the last year: Empire, Black-ish, How to Get Away with Murder, and Broad City. For the first time in a long time, I have a regular TV schedule that I can be proud of.