Fresh off the Boat Review

Photo courtesy from

Pauline Ngo, Photojournalist

Almost every show on television is dominated by white actors, but the new ABC sitcom, Fresh off the Boat, diverges from the norm by casting an Asian cast for the first time in 20 years. Fresh Off The Boat portrays the Asian American experience, inspired by Eddie Huang’s memoir. Since Fresh Off The Boat is currently the only all Asian-American show on television, it is guaranteed that people will criticize it. Huang even had doubts about ABC’s adaptation of his book, which represents how race, class, and culture should be more prevalent in Hollywood to familiarize people with racial variety. Although some view Fresh Off The Boat as discriminatory towards Asians, it has been a huge success for the Asian American community since it depicts Asian American life quite accurately.

The show is based on the Huang family, but they are not marginalized or condescended. The show, instead, reveals the difference between white culture and non-white culture, particularly Asian Americans.

Fresh Off The Boat can be relatable to many Asian Americans, making viewers more fond of the sitcom. The show depicts the crazy overbearing mother, who expects her kids to get straight A’s, faking grades on report cards to avoid getting punished, growing up in a white suburban neighborhood and never being able to fit in, a family who worries endlessly when they are not making any money; and being embarrassed for bringing foreign and exotic lunches to school. Most of these situations mirror Asian Americans’ past experiences, creating nostalgia for the viewers.

Isabelle Chau (12) believes this show isn’t offensive in any way because it “pokes humor than trying to be racist.” The show isn’t based on making Asians look bad; it focuses more on the Asian American lifestyle and their experiences in America.

Due to the lack of diverse roles, Fresh Off The Boat is important for society, as it helps make people feel more comfortable watching different races being portrayed on television. Continuing to broadcast Fresh Off The Boat will make the experience of watching Asians on television as common as seeing black or white people on the screen.