If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that this week I was SUPER EXCITED for the new show Fresh Off the Boat.
I actually do not cover this show for Entertainment Weekly. I am just damn excited for it on my own. (Though I DO cover The Musketeers and Veronica Mars, if you would like to read up on those, shameless plug)
Why? Because it’s the first show in over 20 years to star an Asian American family on network TV since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl came out in 1994.
Seriously? It’s taken TWENTY years for America to be ok with seeing an Asian American family on TV again?
Sure there have been Asian actors that have had major roles in TV shows.
Yunjin Kim, Daniel Dae Kim, Naveen Andrews
Those were just some notable examples. But while Asians have starred in TV shows, there’s only been one show on network TV that stars an entire Asian American family. Which is insane considering that Asians make up 5.3% of the U.S. population. I mean are we STILL that foreign to you?
The only other Asian family I have seen in a TV show over the past few years was Sullivan and Son which featured an interracial family (and coincidentally starring the same mom from All American Girl) where cultures are blended. But that as on TBS and sadly it got canceled last year.
Why did I love the first two episodes of FOB so much? First off, it was actually REALLY funny. And it’s funny right from the beginning and not like Selfie funny where all the better writing happens right before the show gets canceled. Second, the acting so far is great. Constance Wu, who plays the mom, is hilarious and is pretty much my mother. She’s a tiger mom yes (it’s not a stereotype, if you grew up with parents who immigrated to the US, they really are like this) but she also loves her boys and she plays it well. The dad is great too (really the Bill Pullman scene is funny because it’s true) and the boys are adorable.
Also if you’re trying to place where you might have seen Randall Park who plays Eddie’s dad:
Finally, because I could relate so much to Eddie’s character. The story is just like my family with three boys instead of the three girls. The feeling of wanting to assimilate to find my own identity. Being teased because I was different. Being called ethnic slurs. I can’t begin to tell you how many times the scene when Eddie gets called a “chink” has happened to me just liked that when I was growing up. And I’m SO glad that was shown because yeah, this stuff actually happens. The show is not racist or stereotyped because for many Asian Americans: THIS ALL HAPPENED TO US. As long as the show does not go into stock Asian characterization, this should be a breakthrough as more diversity needs to happen on TV because….it happens in REAL LIFE.
I know I’ve been going on a diversity kick lately on my blog but that’s because it’s something that is very important to me. I’ve grown up for years trying to be like everyone else and wanting to be like everyone else because that was what surrounded to me and what was presented to me as the ideal. But then this dialogue from the pilot episode made so much sense:
- Eddie: Why aren’t chicks giving me soda? Emery: You want it too much.
I’m not the one one who really enjoyed the first two episodes as ratings were pretty darn good and most of the reactions I’ve seen have been mainly positive. This Buzzfeed article explains everything. Everything is truth, especially 4 and 8. Even if you aren’t Asian, if you’ve ever felt like you wanted to fit it but you stand out because of cultural differences, I think you’ll enjoy the show. And even if you didn’t, I still think you will.
Asian American families. WE DO EXIST. And now the whole country will know.