After a short interlude, where the Huang family celebrated Halloween on a “dead street,” the aftermath of the Fall Ball makes itself known on Fresh Off the Boat, and Louis goes onto Good Morning Orlando. Gus and Mey-Mey are the local news presenters at the four a.m. slot on television. The two local celebs meet Louis at his steakhouse and he does a couple of impressions which go over very well and garner him an invite to their show.
This episode deals with the pitfalls of seventh grade dating, Sixteen Candles and Jessica Huang’s insecurities of how American’s view Chinese people. Louis “kills it” on the show but both Jessica and his youngest child hated his appearance. After informing her husband that he was doing a “Long Duk Dong” (a stereotypical character from Sixteen Candles) Louis decides to go back on Good Morning Orlando to set things straight.
Meanwhile, Eddie and his friends have learned that they are dating the girls from the Fall Ball who shoved them around in the mosh pit. The lads have entered dangerous territory where smiley-face notes equal a girlfriend and group dates take place while passing on escalators.
Due to the mysterious nature of their limited courtship, none of the boys know who they are meant to be dating and things fall apart while Eddie tries to work it out with an evidence board.
Louis goes back on the TV morning show and is so aggressive that he gets banned. Jessica tells him off for being so annoying and making it look like the Chinese have no sense of humor. After giving him an impossible list of things to be, she realizes that Louis can only really be himself. The boys, Eddie and his pals, all meet the girls for another group date, this time at a skating rink.
As none of the male group know which girl is interested in them, the game plan is for all the boys to fall at once, the idea being that the girl who likes them will head toward her “date.” The plan fails when the littlest lad falls before the rest can act.
The girls react angrily when they learn the boys have no idea who they are meant to be dating and Louis gets his second chance with Good Morning Orlando. Everything works out for both Huang’s as Louis does more impressions at a live news feed and Eddie learns from Alison that they are dating and have survived their first fight.
Fresh Off the Boat is amusing and manages to work its humor via a family who are trying to fit into the American dream of the 1990s. Randall Park continues to shine as the Huang family father and Constance Wu is being allowed to be warmer and to show her character’s vulnerabilities.
This series, adapted from the real Eddie Huang’s memoirs is less a sitcom than a humour interpretation of Huang’s childhood. Human comedy versus situational that works very well and has no real need of an audience to sell its humor.
The storylines do not prompt full out belly laughs but rather an amused reaction to the scenes as they unfold. The youngster’s attempts at their first social interaction in the form of seventh grade “dating,” for instance is very funny for those who remember the mysteries of the opposite sex at that age.
Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays on ABC and offers a calmer type of comedy, a sort of variation on Everybody Hates Chris but with a Taiwanese nuance. Tune in and enjoy the Huang’s 1990s suburban journey.