Thoughts on Fresh Off the Boat: Year of the Rat

I’m doing things a little different today, today I’m reviewing one single episode of a tv show, and a tv show I really like known as Fresh Off the Boat.

First happy Chinese New Year, yes I realize the irony of a Mexican saying that, but my sisterinlaw is Chinese and I’ve learned some things about the culture and enjoy the food she sends, so this is for you Diana.

It is Chinese New Year and the Huangs are getting ready to take off to DC to celebrate Chinese New Year with their family and everyone is excited including Grandma Huang, but due to a scheduling error by Luis the Huangs can’t make it over.

The family is a little put off for various reasons, but try to keep their chins up and make each other happy despite this set back. However after a bad experience with a local Asian group the family goes into a deep bout of depression.

This episode took a very different turn from the usual antics the family gets into and we see the Huang family authentically beaten down for the first time in the series and this time it’s not played for laughs. For the first time since moving to Florida they truly feel isolated, there are a few laughs in the episode but it takes a back seat to see how the family handles this predicament.

However there was a light at the end of the tunnel, the friends that the Huangs made in Florida since moving there put effort into a makeshift Chinese New Year celebration for them (even the women from the neighborhood Jessica hated on the first episode but are best friends with her youngest son). Some actually researched the traditions and dancing styles of the celebration. Keep in mind that this is 1996, ten years before YouTube would become a household name and the internet was still slow and your best bet to get accurate research would be from a library and the books they have to offer and vhs tapes of said dance routines and music if one is lucky.

There is also some educational facts about Chinese New Year that would normally be shoved into a PBS children’s show.

I’ll give the episode five out of five red envelopes.

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