Fresh Off the Boat: Gotta Be Me – Farts, Fights & Floridatowne (Review)


 PROPHET BOLDEN, CONSTANCE WU, EVAN HANNEMANN, HUDSON YANG

‘Fresh Off the Boat’ this week looks at a number of character’s being true to themselves as the theme of ‘Gotta Be Me’ applies to more than one Huang family member.  Emery gets into his first fight, yet refuses to bend to farty peer pressure. Louis  stands up to the video store clerk and watches movies vs films and Jessica shows that she can be fun.

While Constance Wu was on top form as the colonial history addict who shows Eddie how much fun she can have when not being “mom,” the entire cast were spot on with a script that was excellent.

Louis, who wants to be accepted by the video store clerk watches obscure foreign films when he really wants to watch “Animals…Acting…Crazy.” He finds out, after being intimidated into renting a French film, that Emery has been renting action movies with his video card.

Jessica refuses to let Eddie go on  the class trip until she learns it is going to be at Colonial Floridatowne.  Once there, his mother reveals a side that Eddie never knew existed.  All his friends are impressed about how much fun she is.  Unfortunately Eddie is annoyed that his mom never let her fun side out before.

“You could have been fun this entire time.”

Emery’s battle with his classmates sudden explosion of puberty (shown by an instant mustache showing up miraculously on each of his friend’s faces) ends with a fight after he takes his dad’s advice. Louis asks his mother Grandma Huang and she explains that his advice was good for him but not for Emery.

IAN CHEN, CONSTANCE WU, FORREST WHEELER, HUDSON YANG
Louis about to interrogate his family

Louis apologizes for giving Emery bad advice, Eddie realizes that his mom needs fun too and he turns over a new leaf. The two play Super Mario Bros before school and Emery writes his poem, but signs it with Chad’s  (the boy who punched him) name.

At the end of the episode Emery wins this battle but realizes he will continue being at war with puberty and Louis rents ‘Beethoven‘ finally breaking the pattern of watching films just to impress the clerk.

Comic Highlights: 

Eddie (Hudson Yang) doing his “Dorf” impression and mom Jessica not getting it at all.

Louis and Emery (Forrest Wheeler) talking about the action movies and their interaction. Especially the “fart” explanation and Louis’ reaction as well as  Emery’s reaction to his father.

Ian Chen, as Evan, with his line:

“Now I understand the difference between a movie and a film.”

Louis (Randall Park) with the final scene in the episode and the camera zooming in on his last line:

“From now on, I’m only renting the kind of movies that I like. Movies about animals (camera zoom) acting (camera zoom) crazy.”

Jessica’s entire colonial spiel that ends with her agreeing with Honey that, yes, that mouse does look like Sally Field.

Jessica again with her Denzel “legal brief” bit was hysterically funny.

Ray Wise’s Marvin telling Louis that he shot the deer as it was drinking, “That’s why his tongue is out!”

DASH WILLIAMS, TREVOR LARCOM, HUDSON YANG, EVAN HANNEMANN, PROPHET BOLDEN
DASH WILLIAMS, TREVOR LARCOM, HUDSON YANG, EVAN HANNEMANN, PROPHET BOLDEN

Overall Thoughts:

All the young actors in this show have improved beyond measure.  While the Huang boys have always been on top form (Ian Chen is scary good at being the little child/grown-up) the other non-Huang “child” actors have varied in delivery.

This week Eddie’s friends were spot on and Emery’s puberty mustache-spouting pals (complete with new deep voices) were very funny.  This series gets funnier and better in terms of character development and the ensemble cast are brilliant.

‘Fresh Off the Boat’ airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in for laughs and to marvel at the talent on offer.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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