ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat premiered last night and #FreshOffTheBoat trended on Twitter in Los Angeles and New York. From what I read, there was a lot of positive response, but I’m waiting to see how FOTB fares over the upcoming weeks. This was a huge moment for Asian Americans since there hasn’t been a show with an all-Asian-American cast since 1994, when Margaret Cho’s All-American Girl debuted on the same network. My fingers are crossed in hopes that the comedy sustains its opening-night momentum.
I’ve followed the FOTB story for a few months, as creator Eddie Huang (he wrote the autobiography that the show is based on) ripped ABC for watering down and de-politicizing the source material. It fascinated me that Huang would sabotage his own show before the pilot had even aired and I worried that studio executives were doing him like they did Cho two decades ago.
Thankfully, the first two episodes weren’t bad at all. The actor that plays the young Eddie is terrific and all of the other actors were solid. I’m eager to see how the characters develop and I hope that ABC gives FOTB enough time to find itself. It’s a real shame that it’s taken 20 years for a show about, and starring, Asian Americans to reappear on the airwaves, but it’d be an even bigger shame if it wasn’t given a chance. And while I’m not expecting mainstream America to make FOTB the next Seinfeld, I am expecting other Asian-American-based shows to appear sooner than 20 years from now. At the very least, I’ll settle for a Walking Dead spin-off featuring Glenn called “I’m Korean, Not Chinese.”