The Fresh Off the Boat tv series is a big deal for those in the Asian American community (AAPI – Asian American Pacific Islander). Why? Because it features an Asian family! Asian actors are being featured in mainstream media, not as the doctor, the neighbor, the comic relief, or the sidekick, but as the main features. That’s just not something that happens very often! Read on and see where you come in…
Fresh Off the Boat TV Review
When I last voiced my opinion of Fresh Off the Boat, a family sitcom on ABC starring with Asian American leads, only two episodes had been shown. At first, I didn’t like the harsh language and overuse of racial titles. For most new series, the first couple of episodes are meant to shock and entice new readers. Now that a few more episodes have come out, I have a much better feel for the overall series and I have to say that I really, really like it!
I now get that the writers had to establish the young star, Eddie, as the black sheep in his family and to make clear how different things were in this new area. With that out of the way (and the language cleaning up), more attention is given to telling his stories. These focus much more on general family dynamics and, regardless of one’s nationality, are pretty easy to relate to.
Is Fresh Off the Boat Offensive?
While the characters portrayed don’t represent every Asian American family, there are definitely bits that I recognize. I totally had a perm in the late 80s, early 90s and, yes, some family gatherings sounded like shouting matches. I’m sure more nuances will be touched on in the future but I like that these are not the brunt of the jokes, just matter of fact. The comments by Constance Wu, the actor that plays the mom, are totally on point and you read it!
Some have wondered if the title of the show is offensive. Growing up in California, it was common among Asian Americans to use the acronyms ABC (American Born Chinese) and FOB (Fresh Off the Boat). Obviously, if people used terms these to cast derogatory comments based on prejudicial stereotypes, that would be bad. Otherwise, it was fine. Plus, the series is actually loosely based on a book titled “Fresh Off the Boat” which contained the memoirs of the author Eddie Huang.
Upcoming Media Event – I Need Your Input!
I’m sure there are a ton more questions you have about the show. Well, bring ’em on! This Thursday I’ll be heading to L.A. to preview an upcoming episode and to interview several major players in the show.
- Writer/Executive Producer Nahnatchka Khan
- Executive Producer Melvin Mar
- Actor Randall Park (“Louis Huang”)
Comment here with your question or send them to me on my social channels. Other bloggers attending include Thien-Kim Lam, Grace Hwang Lynch, and Stephanie Porter so check their posts out as well. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #FreshOfftheBoat.
FRESH OFF THE BOAT OFFICIAL SOCIAL INFO:
- Official site: http://abc.go.com/shows/fresh-off-the-boat
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FreshOffTheBoatABC
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/FreshOffABC, #FreshOffTheBoat
I was invited on an all-expense paid media trip as a guest of ABC to talk about Fresh Off the Boat. All opinions are my own.