Fresh off the Boat was inspired by the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang and his book: Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, which chronicles his life growing up in a Chinese American family. The last time we saw an Asian American sitcom on network television was Margaret Cho’s All American Girl. Like many coming of age, first generation American stories, FOTB gives you the funny while also touching your heart.
Eddie, played by the incredibly cute Hudson Yang, is a hip-hop loving little Chinese boy with big American dreams whose narrative shapes the entire show. Eddie’s father moves the family from their comfortable dwelling in China-town, Washington DC to Orlando, FL to fulfill his American dream of owning his own business, despite his wife’s issues with the humid weather ruining her hair.
The first episode tackles American vs Chinese food, when Eddie goes to school and gets made fun of for bringing “stank Chinese food” for lunch. After, being condemned to eat behind the gym with the janitor who flies a kite (true story), Eddie begs his mom to get him “white people food”, which ultimately means lunchables.
The show is refreshing because it gives the Chinese-American take on a familiar storyline. It has just begun its run on ABC, premiering between Modern Family and The Middle. It has stiff competition and needs to work on stepping the comedic game up.
(This article was originally published on The Feed on February 18, 2015)