Fresh Off the Boat: Coming From America – Ghost (Review)


Fresh Off the Boat comes blasting out of the gate with a season three premiere that takes up where the season two finale ended.  Louis and his family have come from America to attend Gene’s wedding and to get Grandma Huang back.

Taking place in Taiwan, the episode features a brilliant look at those who left home to make their fortune.  Returning home, as Thomas Wolfe once wrote, is not really possible and when we do, according to the show, we wish we had not.

Fresh Off the Boat starts with a comic turn as the Huang’s enter the country via customs at the airport. When asked the purpose of his visit, Louis gives a recap of last season’s finale. The officer says he will stamp “visiting relatives.”

Jessica is more to the point.

Jessica: “I’m here on business. I need to get $200 back from my brother-in-law who wronged me.”

Customs official: “Great. We can just check that box.”

Jessica: “You have a box for that? I’m home.”

(The punch line is that there is indeed a box on the form that says Brother-in-law who wronged me. There are also seven more “wronged Me” boxes that can be ticked.)

While Randall is there to attend the wedding, Jessica is ready to take on the markets and walk down memory lane. Believing she can fit right back in, Jessica is in her element or at least she thinks she is.

The kids are all excited to visit but hate the heat and the mosquitos.  Louis  is shocked to learn that Gene is doing very well in Taiwan.  His brother’s fiancée  is a beautiful actress, the wedding venue  is The Grand Hotel and his apartment is a penthouse.

WEI NING HSU as Margaret

Not only is Randall confused but he is very jealous of his brother’s success.   Eddie is paranoid that his girlfriend will leave him if he does not fax her everyday. Evan falls in love with the idea of year-round school and Emery is eaten alive by mosquitos.

Jessica’s vist gets off to a great start as she picks Gene’s pocket to get her $200 back.

Gene:  “I’m sorry. Uh, that’s my wallet.”

Jessica: “You owe me $200.”

Gene: “Oh, that’s a lot more than $200.”

Jessica: “Give up the dance, Gene. The song is over.”

As the visit progresses, and the wedding date approaches, Jessica learns that moving away has left her “out of practice.”  She also learns that everyone in Taiwan is obsessed with the movie Ghost.  (The 1990 American “Patrick Swayze” film and not the 2010 South Korean/Japanese remake.)

Louis allows his jealousy to boil over but things get worked out before the big day. Jessica points out that Gene is successful due to his connections and that Louis worked on his own to succeed.

They talk about moving back and staying in Taiwan but Jessica tells Louis that he will miss America. He says that she will miss Taiwan. Louis then realizes that he and Jessica  are Sam and Molly from Ghost.

There were many comic moments in “Coming From America” but the highlight had to be the market scene.  Eddie’s knock-off sneakers and Evan’s pencil box were very funny.  The scene with the video of how Margaret and  Gene met was a close second.

(As usual Jessica put a comic cap on the scene with her “Why was the pot already painted?”)

Jessica and the kids on the way to eat.

Just as funny was Evan’s discovery of Taiwanese teachers and how they treat their students. (Smack!)

Ken Jeong reprised his role as Gene and like the rest of the cast, killed it. Constance Wu still rules the comic roost in this show and the kids of Fresh Off the Boat  continue to knock it out of the park.

Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in and see what the Huang’s get up to next.


Guest starring  Ken Jeong as Gene Huang and Wei Ning Hsu as Margaret.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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