Fresh Off the Boat is The Goldbergs crossed with Malcolm in the Middle. Part of the fun comes from its setting in the 1990s and the other from the depiction of family life mostly from the perspective of 11-year-old Eddie Huang portrayed by Hudson Yang.
There have been many articles written about the significance and interesting origin story of this show. Because it is based on the true stories of chef Eddie Huang’s childhood (in his memoir by the same name), there is always going to be some distortions made by sitcom writers for the sake of “good television,” as they say. The original concept would have made it a heavier show, but the vibe so far is light and perfectly suited for its position on ABC.
When you consider the population of the United States has ~73% European, ~12.6% African, and ~4.8% Asian heritage, it is perhaps not surprising that the media landscape is predominantly aimed at the largest group [2010 census].
That’s not to say that all television shows are generic – some of the best new writing comes from very specific perspectives, and television executives are not always successful at identifying what the majority wants to see. It can take years for a show to really grab a large audience. Even Mad Men and Breaking Bad started out with fairly low numbers.
The things that can make or break a sitcom are different than a dramatic series though. Malcolm in the Middle was on air for seven seasons, which is pretty long considering the cast grows up. This isn’t The Simpsons where the delightfulness of childhood can be portrayed for over twenty-five years.
Reasons to Watch:
1) This is a no laugh track show – hooray!
2) Excellent ’90s references that will make anyone over 30 laugh.
3) Constance Wu and Randall Park are hilarious parents.