Entertainment

‘Fresh Off the Boat’ fell short of its promise, but the ABC sitcom still left a mark

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When the show premiered in 2015, it became the first broadcast series built around an Asian-American family since "All-American Girl," another ABC comedy, which starred comic Margaret Cho. That program premiered in 1994 and ran a single season.Inspired by chef Eddie Huang's memoir of the same name, "Fresh Off the Boat" explored his upbringing as a Taiwanese-American raised by immigrant parents. At the beginning of the series, they have moved the family from the Chinatown of Washington, DC, to a mostly white neighborhood in Orlando.Both Huang and Jeff Yang, the father of Hudson Yang, who plays the young Eddie, criticized ABC for a promotional tweet before the series even premiered. The ad featured cutout characters wearing different hats based on their ethnic backgrounds, and Huang called it "offensive."Huang subsequently disavowed the show, tweeting that he didn't watch it and asserting that the material "got so far from the truth that I don't recognize my own life."Finally, the sixth-season renewal was greeted with a less-than-enthusiastic tweet by actress Constance Wu, who had gone on to star in the movies "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Hustlers.""So upset right now that I'm literally crying. Ugh," she tweeted, later clarifying that while she loved the show, she was disappointed that its return would force her to sacrifice another project.In the early going, "Fresh Off the Boat" felt distinctive, capturing the immigrant experience through the parents and their three boys — the others played by Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen — as they adjusted to their new community.The parents, Jessica (Wu) and Louis (Randall Park), pushed their children to succeed. The family also spoke in English to the dad's mother (Lucille Soong), who responded in subtitled Mandarin, the way characters interacted with the grandma on "Jane the Virgin."Over time, the series became more conventional, focusing on teenage sitcom problems, as well as an assortment of wacky neighbors, Eddie's friends and Louis' employees.The final hour — really just two episodes airing together — gets back to the show's roots. Not only do the episodes feature glimpses of the boys when they were younger, but the focus is on Eddie wanting to attend culinary school, while his mom continues to cling to Ivy League ambitions."I did it!" she exults, when informed that Eddie scored well on the SAT test, later telling him, "You are going to make some woman I choose a great husband."For all its flaws and assorted controveRead More – Source

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