When it comes to new comedies featured on TV this season, the result has been lackluster to put it mildly. NBC’s best output, “Marry Me,” is endearing and truly funny, but the viewership is just not there and it’s dead in the water. CBS hasn’t really offered anything interesting in the way of new comedies, while ABC only offered “Blackish” at the beginning of the season, which is a fine comedy but not my favorite.
I was hesitant seeing the commercials for “Fresh Off the Boat” as I didn’t think it would be my type of show. How horribly wrong I was. It’s such a fresh, new welcome to the TV season, pun intended. Easily the quirkiest and sharpest comedy any of the networks have offered this year, it’s a perfect fit for ABC and the best new comedy of the season.
The show centers on Eddie Huang and is loosely based on the biography of the real life Eddie Huang, a young Taiwanese boy who moved with his family from Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Florida in the mid 1990s. His father Louis (Randall Park) is in search of the American Dream and decides to open a roadhouse restaurant. Along with his father, Eddie’s mother, two brothers and grandma move as well.
The series delves into the culture shock the family experiences and their adjustments to the new place they live. It not only shows how they react to their new life, but how others around them handle the family.
Often hilarious but filled with moments that will warm your heart, the show does a excellent job of poking fun at the stereotypes associated with Chinese families but also dives headfirst into the problems that arise with social discrimination.
The standout star off the series is Constance Wu, who plays Eddie’s mom Jessica. She is profoundly funny and witty in the role.
The ratings for the series have been good and have especially held up in ABC’s shaky Tuesday night lineup. I believe it’s a lock for renewal, or at least it should be if ABC knows what they’re doing. It and “The Goldbergs” could make a lethal 7 p.m. comedy hour next season in the network’s Wednesday comedy block. It’s the smart move to make, and this show deserves every chance to succeed.
“Fresh Off the Boat” airs Tuesday nights at 7 CDT on ABC.