Fresh is STALE? GASP

I don’t want to say it…but the last two episodes were pretty weak. Generally lack luster and not very funny. All sitcoms have these kinds of episodes but having boring, unoriginal episodes near the end of the season is quite alarming. I want another season, but episodes like “Blind Spot” and “Very Superstitious” could kill the series. There have also been outbursts from Eddie Huang (not the character from the show, but the actual person), in the form of tweets, echoing what he said about the show from the beginning:

 

“I'm happy people of color are able to see a reflection of themselves through #FreshOffTheBoat on @ABCNetwork but I don't recognize it.

“I had to say something because I stood by the pilot. After that it got so far from the truth that I don't recognize my own life.”

“I don't think it is helping us to perpetuate an artificial representation of Asian American lives and we should address it.”


Like Huang I’m going to echo what I said from my very first blog:

“They haven’t seen us.” Fresh Off the Boat is something radical, like changing form regular milk to soy, but not too radical, like changing from steak to stinky tofu; the goal of Fresh off the Boat is to give something that the average American can swallow, without causing anger, panic, or “a yellow scare.” When we watch the show over the next few days, we will understand that it is not Eddie Huang’s Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, but a more watered-down, “American” friendly ABC: Panda Express-style orange chicken Fresh Off the Boat. It is how it is, but it IS progress. Fresh Off the Boat is the first pill given to medicate American ignorance and to start research for a cure. For now, it’s time to get some popcorn and watch for any side effects.”

In all fairness, this is a family orientated sitcom. IT’S NOT HIS BOOK. Obviously the series is going to be watered down and have several incongruities. BUT, it is helping out the Asian American community especially in media in the long time, acting as bridge to new opportunities.

 

Episode 11: “Blind Spot” (6/10) – I almost fell asleep. Boring. Not that funny. Gross use of LGBTQ stereotypes

Jessica’s college ex-boyfriend Oscar is coming to Orlando and is staying with the Huangs. Jessica’s annoyed that Louis isn’t jealous and then proceeds to actively try to make Louis jealous by talking about her and Oscar’s grand plans to test-drive Jacuzzis. When Oscar arrives, he presents Eddie with wind chimes as a gift and reveals he’s in town to audition for a dance role in Aladdin on ice. It’s clear, as Louis puts it, that Oscar is “very, very gay,” but Jessica has a blind spot when it comes to gay people. Oscar have a crush on Louis and he was also under the impression that the two were a couple in college, because they hung out and sometimes split dessert. Louis’s blind spot is not knowing when people are in love with him. Jessica becomes insecure and goes to lesbian bar (she doesn’t know it’s a lesbian bar) to drink away her troubles until Louis and Oscar come to cheer her up. The lesson, according to Jessica: “It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight. The one thing we can all agree on is that I’m hot.”

 

Episode 12: “Very Superstitious” (7/10) – Funny moments with Pippen, but otherwise stale.

Things are going well at the real-estate office with Jessica managing to sell the Allen house (which is undeniably haunted). “No one ever goes in. No one ever goes out.” At first she’s like, “Pshhhhh whatever,” until she sees that there is a 4 in the home’s address. The janitor proceeds to tell us that, in Chinese culture, 4 is considered unlucky because it sounds like the Chinese word for “death.” Although she is gravely superstitious, she sells the home by standing outside and yelling through the window. When she gets her commission, she realizes that the bad luck followed her, since the check number is 4444. She tears the check up, but Louis tapes it back together so he can purchase a creepy electronic mooing bull for Cattleman’s Ranch. Eddie trips over it at the restaurant and breaks his arm. Louis asks his son to a “little white lie” about how the injury happened, so Jessica won’t find out he cashed the possibly cursed check. Like most of Louis’ advice it backfires, prompting Eddie to tell everyone at school he got into a street fight. The lie helps him win the election and become president. Unfortunately the lie raises the suspicions the new guidance counselor who now thinks Eddie’s parents are abusing him. This of course results in an awkward, unwanted visit from Child Protective Services that unravels Eddie and Louis’ web of lies to Jessica. The situation is eventually resolved with Louis respecting Jessica’s superstitious nature and with their grandmother providing a cleansing ritual.