Here’s what happened this week and last week and maybe the week before that.
I’ve thought long and hard over the past few weeks (which were spent not rewatching the series, since I forgot I had to pack for my big move), and I’ve thought about all of my positives and critiques of this season of Fresh Off the Boat. I think most of my criticisms were said in the first part of this post, but at the time, Eddie Huang hadn’t used Twitter to dig an even deeper hole for himself.
Author’s note: I discuss Bill Cosby’s characters in I, Spy and The Cosby Show in this article. Please note that me discussing the characters is not an endorsement of Bill Cosby himself. In light of the sexual assault and rape accusations against him, I can’t support him. Now that these allegations have come out, one of the frustrating aspects of Cosby’s acting life is that he’s become so institutionalized in our society and with what he has done for black actors in Hollywood with these groundbreaking shows. This article is separating the achievements from the man himself in order to fully address aspects of the history of black Hollywood.
Just like in my article about manhood and Asian-black relations, Emery speaks some truth that coincides with some of the show’s larger off-script themes. The quote I’m using this time is from “Very Superstitious,” in which he tells Eddie, “You’ve got an everyman’s husky build, and a middle-class background so everyone can relate to you.”
The “husky build” part doesn’t apply to this post, but the “middle-class background/relate to” part ties in directly into what I’m about to discuss, which is the real Eddie Huang’s upset over Fresh Off the Boat.
Fresh Off the Boat has been rightly lauded for bringing an Asian-American family back to television, but another reason it’s become a fan favorite is because of the talent showcased, including the show’s breakout star, Hudson Yang.
Yang plays a young Eddie Huang (who we know of today as famous chef/ Baouhaus restaurateur Eddie Huang). Yang’s Eddie (who I’ve called “Kid Eddie” in my Fresh Off the Boat recaps) is still trying to find his place in the world, and his current method of figuring out who he is includes tons of rap music, hip-hop shirts, and a lot of trial and error.
I’m excited to share my interview with Yang (mediated through email by his father Jeff Yang, Wall Street Journal columnist and an SVP/head of multicultural insights at The Futures Company). In the interview, Yang talks about catching the acting bug, working with his TV family, and what he hopes audiences learn from the show. Fresh Off the Boat airs every Tuesday at 8/7c on ABC.