Fresh Off the Boat: Louisween – Invoking the Name of Stephen King (Review)


It is Louis’ favorite time of the year, Halloween, aka Louisween and he celebrates by trying to scare the family first thing in the morning. Fresh Off the Boat follows Louis’ frustrating attempt to scare Jessica.

Anyone watching the series knows that Louise adores Halloween  Everyone in the family share his love for this holiday except Jessica. She loves Stephen King and emulates the horror master by writing her own scary book.

Meanwhile Evan and Emery have problems with their themed costumes as Evan wants to stop being the sidekick. Louis tries everything to scare Jessica who hates the holiday.

Eddie  and the gang are invited to Nicole’s teenage party for Halloween and the eldest Huang opts to go to the party, with disastrous results. Nicole’s party is a flop as everyone leaves to go to another party being hosted by a 10th grader.

Nicole gets help from Eddie to turn the party around. Moments into the new revved up party, there is a knock a door.  Nicole is excited as she believes there are more guests. Sadly it turns out to be a cop. The two kids are taken down to the police station for disturbing the peace.

Eddie calls home and his mother and the rest of the family rush down to got him out of jail.  Luckily he is not in any serious trouble and they bring him home.

Because of the arrest no one gets any trick or treating done. The boys are crushed but Jessica saves the day by heading out to neighbors the day after Halloween.

There were some funny bits in this episode. The scares done by Louis at the start and his continuous attempts to  scare jessica were funny. Her reactions to the “scares” frustrates Louis.

Jessica’s un-wavering  support of Stephen King and her decision to write her own scary novel along with Eddie’s plan to liven up Nicole’s part make the episode completely different from last year’s Halloween theme.

These characters are adorable. Emery and Evan’s going out for trick or treat in paired and themed costumes is cute.  Last year it was Hannibal Lector and a lamb. This year was meant to be, initially, a Jurassic Park theme with Emery as Hammond and Evan as Barney the Dinosaur.

Later it was going to be Indiana Jones and Short Round but Evan decides he is through being a sidekick so there are two Indiana Jones characters.

The argument over costumes was cute and funny. Finally  Evan is allowed to pick the theme and he chooses be Judge Ito from the OJ Simpson murder trial.  He asks Emery to dress as the live-in house guest Kato Kaelin but he refuses.

Jessica finishes her 60 page book and reads it to the family as the three boys eat late Halloween candy.

The young actor’s costumes were funny.  Brian’s costume was the Martian from Looney Tunes and it is perfect. Early on in the episode Brian and Trent have a brief but comic interchange.

Brian quotes part of the plot from the 1981 comedy Porky’s.   He explains he saw a good portion of the movie when Cinemax inadvertently unscrambled its signal. Trent replies in a tone full of disappointment and annoyance, “Thanks for the call.”

While Constance Wu is a personal favorite as Jessica, the kids are coming into their own. Wheeler, Yang and Chen have always rocked their roles but in earlier seasons the “non-Huang” kids left a bit to be desired.

This year every actor is firing on all cylinders and giving it their all.  Kudos to the whole cast for making this a fun Halloween special.  Mad props to Constance Wu for killing it as the unflappable Jessica Huang.

Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays on ABC.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

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

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