Lessons abound in this episode of Fresh Off the Boat, “Phillip Goldstein.” To give a very quick synopsis: Eddie wants to go to the Beastie Boys concert, but Jessica doesn’t want him to go. She really doesn’t understand her son sometimes, and his obsession with rap is one of those things. To quote her, she asks him why he can’t just be a “good Chinese kid” like his brothers.
COLOR has covered Fresh Off the Boat extensively when it comes to the episodes and characters, including an interview with Kid Eddie himself, Hudson Yang. But now we’re going behind the scenes with Sanjay Shah, one of the screenwriters for Fresh Off the Boat.
I was happy to ask interview Shah via email about working on the show, what fans can expect from upcoming episodes, and how he feels about the public embracing the show.
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.
So what happened on this week’s Fresh Off the Boat? There were Always-There Bears, an Ice Cube cd, adults spray-painting billboards, and mentions of Caddyshack. Let’s take a closer look at the episode in a non-linear format (because I feel like it):
Guest post by Alex Wen
Few TV shows have created as much fervor within the Asian American community as Fresh Off the Boat. Between the coordinated hashtags, back and forth pre-release debates and the constant scrutiny on the smallest of details, it’s easy to forget that this is a network sitcom. Based on the memoir of chef Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat has morphed into a call for change and symbol of pride for the Asian American community.
This week on Fresh Off the Boat, we revisit the ’90s trend of fajitas! Personally, I don’t remember this trend, but then again, I didn’t go to a lot of restaurants as a kid—we didn’t eat out a lot. So if you were a person who frequented Chili’s or TGI Fridays, then maybe you remember when the fajita craze got started. To tell you the truth, the fajita craze still seems around, what with the sizzling pans you can still get at Chili’s. Anyways, the recap.
Two phrases stuck out to me while watching Fresh Off the Boat episode, “The Shunning”:
“Real life isn’t a rap video, Eddie.”-Emery
“I couldn’t just search ‘Asian Kids who like hip hop’!”-Eddie
Not to mention the vast amount of hip hop that makes up the show.
I’m recapping Fresh Off the Boat now! WHOO! Let’s get into it.
In my review for Fresh Off the Boat, I wrote a lot about how Eddie’s love of rap (and his parents befuddlement about it), Eddie’s experience with a racist black kid and the lack of Asian-American representation only taps the top of the iceberg of black-Asian relations.
Synopsis (ABC): It’s the 90s and 12 year old, hip-hop loving Eddie (Hudson Yang) just moved to suburban Orlando from DC’s Chinatown with his parents (Randall Park and Constance Wu). It’s culture shock for his immigrant family in this comedy about pursuing the American Dream. “Fresh Off the Boat” is based on Chef Eddie Huang’s memoir Fresh Off the Boat.
“Fresh Off the Boat” is executive produced and written by Nahnatchka Kahn and executive produced by Jake Kasdan.
Starring: Hudson Yang (Eddie), Randall Park (Louis), Constance Wu (Jessica), Forrest Wheeler (Emery) and Ian Chen (Evan)