Opinion: Fresh Off the Boat offers humor through sterotypes

Irene Liu, Feature Page Editor

ABC’s new television series “Fresh Off the Boat” is a new way for people looking for a comedic twist in their lives to fill that need. The show is based on chef Eddie Huang’s best-selling book about his life journey being an American born Chinese kid with the ever-so-stereotypical strict Chinese parents.

In the first episode of the first season (Pilot), we are introduced to the Huang family. “Fresh Off the Boat” is set in the 1900s with the Huang family living in a small house in suburban Orlando after moving from busy Chinatown in Washington D.C. Eddie Huang is an 11-year-old kid who loves rap and doesn’t really understand his parent’s culture. Shadowed by his younger brothers Evan (Ian Chen) and Emery (Forrest Wheeler) Huang in school studies and social skills, Eddie, played by the hilarious Hudson Yang, is constantly struggling in his school and love life.

Eddie’s mom is a tough realtor and cliche Chinese mom who is always fighting against her sister to gain attention from their mom and keeping the house the way a “Chinese family” should be. His dad moved the family to Orlando to chase his dreams of opening a western restaurant called “Cattleman’s Ranch Steakhouse”. Even with a tight budget and strict lifestyle, the family always finds some time for each other.

A lot of the time, shows like this can be remarked as racist or stereotypical. As a kid born in America with Chinese parents, I can actually relate to the show. Sure, the show has a whole load of stereotypes in it from the theme song to the strict parents to how smart Eddie’s younger brothers are, but most of the time the stereotypes aren’t at all racist. Maybe a little overkill, but not racist. The show’s casual racism does provide a hilarious aspect to it, but viewers still need to walk away from watching the show (or even this opinion) knowing not to judge a particular race because of how they act on a television show.

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