*I am receiving an all expense paid trip thanks to Disney and ABC studios. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*
Last Wednesday night, Fresh Off the Boat debuted to critical acclaim. While I had the chance to watch the first two episodes prior to the debut, I knew right from the start that this show would be a smashing success. Then once it actually aired, I watched with the rest of the country and followed along with the twitter feed on it. The reviews out of Twitter were astonishing – “My favorite new show” -“I can’t wait till next week” -“Laughed from start to end.” It was so well received that it ended up trending on Twitter that night and into the next.
When I watched the two first shows, I was in tears from laughing so hard. If you are unfamiliar with the premise, it is an all new hilarious comedy about an all Asian family (The Huangs) living in America. It is based on Eddie Huang and his book Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir. It starts out in episode one showing how Eddie Huang (the father) takes his family to Orlando from Washington D.C. so he can live his American dream of opening up a steak house and showcase the triumphs and struggles involved. It showcases the cultural struggles that could be faced during this transition and how the family is doing once they relocate. The show does it in a very funny and very true to heart way. Aside from the ingenious concept and amazing cast (Randall Park, Constance Wu, Ian Chen, Hudson Yang, and Forrest Wheeler), it takes place in the 1990’s, a time when music is at the forefront. The soundtrack alone in each episode will have you up and dancing in your seats.
I had the chance to visit ABC Studios to meet with Writer/ Executive Producer Nahnatchka Khan and Co-Executive Producer Kourtney Kang (former executive producer “How I Met Your Mother”). To hear how the show actually came about and how it went from a concept into a ABC comedy, was amazing! When they first came up with Fresh Off The Boat, many networks were interested but they decided to go with ABC with their commitment to diversity. They developed the show because they knew that at one point or another, everyone feels like they don’t fit in. Many people feel at one part of their life or another, that they don’t fit into a certain sector and feel like they are not part of things. This show brings to life all of these problems in a way we can all relate with a comical tone. They are excited that is the first real show set in the 90’s and told how they all loved working with the children on the show.
After interviewing them, I had the chance to meet with two of the stars from the hit comedy, Ian Chen (“Evan Huang”) and Forrest Wheeler (“Emery Huang”). These kids (as you can see from the picture below) are the two cutest kids I have ever met. They are so completely humbled and were truthful in all of their answers. For example, one of the bloggers asked him if his friends are excited to see him on TV. His answer was, “Yes..They are so excited for me…They gave me an Oreo!” I don’t think I laughed as hard as I did that day! Also, when Ian was asked what he wanted to do when he grows up, his answer was to be a cruise ship captain. They were just the sweetest little boys and their moms who were also there, seemed so excited to be able to talk to us. They are fantastic and I suggest you check them out on their twitter handles (TheIanChen, wheeler_forrest) so you can interact with them. They are very good with answering back too!
While there, I also had the chance to see the next two episodes and without spoiling them too much, I can assure you that you will all absolutely love them! They are so funny and continues to bring the issues that all of us face to the big screen. Although I am not Asian American, this show has mass appeal. It themes around showing how we all at one point or another in our life will feel like outsiders and will have to find ways to overcome that. Eddie (the older boy in the show) has a hard time fitting in to his new school and surroundings. He has to deal with a lot of criticism from his peers and has to overcome it and win! I know for me, this resonates in at various points through my life. While the Asian American population can definitely relate to the themes of this show, I can assure you that this show has mass appeal and is for everyone to watch! It provides a broader perspective of not being a part of things. I truly believe whatever your skin color is, you will thoroughly enjoy this show. I know for us, my husband and I watched the first show at least three times, and although he has not watched the last two episodes to air, he along with all of you will enjoy them! Trust me!
To learn more about Fresh Off the Boat, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Google Plus, and on their website today! Fresh Off The Boat has all new episodes on ABC Tuesday nights at 8 pm! Be sure to tune in and don’t miss an episode!