Fresh Off the Boat: Where Are the Giggles? (Review)


IAN CHEN, RAY WISE

Fresh Off the Boat “Where Are the Giggles?” manages to pay homage to three different Christmas themed stories in one episode. The holiday based segment takes a loving look at Home Alone, Jingle All the Way and A Christmas Carol. The Parks’ take on Christmas is a winner and the only real loser is their neighbor Deirdre.

The Park family are eagerly getting ready for Christmas. Jessica gets six movie tickets from a satisfied customer to see “Jingle All the Way.” They get ready to leave and get good seats.  Not everyone makes it to the cinema, Evan is left at home, alone.

Louis calls Marv who tells his friend to stay at the theatre and watch the film, it is, says Marv, worth it.  Jessica asks him to go over and look in on Evan. He agrees and ends up getting hurt by a boobytrap  set by the youngest Huang.

The Parks return home and find Marv on the floor with a back injury. Evan is wildly disappointed in his mother and she offers to get him any new toy he wants. Evan asks for a “Tickle Me Elmo.”

Just like the plot line of “Jingle All the Way,” Evan has asked for a toy that is nearly impossible to find anywhere.  Jessica hunts down the Elmo while Louis learns that Marv has sued them for his back injury.

Honey gives her husband muscle relaxants that he takes with beer. Louis has already told his friend how he feels about being sued. Marv’s guilt and his mixing of the tablets and alcohol cause him to have “A Christmas Carol” type dreams.

Emery, Grandma Huang and Eddie all show up as Christmas ghosts and they convince him to drop the  lawsuit. On top of these themed storylines, Eddie tells Emery that he is celebrating a  little known African alternative to Christmas; Kwanzaa.

Amusingly, in Marv’s “dream” Eddie turns up as a ghost of Christmas Present dressed in African ethnic clothing. He tells Marv that he is not the ghost of Christmas but of “Kwanzaa” present.

As Marv has his Scrooge-like visions, Jessica works to get her favorite son his Tickle Me Elmo. She dresses up as the Chinese Santa, a female in charge of all the Santas, to deliver the Tickle Me Elmo to Deirdre’s daughter. Her outfit terrifies the children at the girl’s party and Deirdre refuses to part with the other one.

Deirdre’s husband offers up the other toy and Jessica gives it to Evan. He reveals, on the day, that he does not really like new toys but he feigns excitement to please his mother.

Ray Wise knocked it out of the park on the festive themed episode. Constance Wu was hysterical as the Chinese Santa “Lao Ban Santa” the “boss of all the Santa’s.”

This was a fun episode on so many levels. Lucille Soong managed to come awfully close to stealing the show with her Christmas future and the kids on the show, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler and Ian Chen all managed to hold their own against the adult actors.

(The interaction between Wheeler and Yang regarding the Kwanzaa holiday was very funny.)

Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays on ABC. If you missed this brilliant episode, it can be watched either on demand or via Hulu.

Cast:

Guest starring Rachel Cannon Deirdre and Robert Paul Taylor as Ronaldo.

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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