Fresh Off The Boat – TV’s first All-Asian Sitcom – Season 1 Review




There was a lot of buzz leading up to the premiere of the ABC sitcom ‘Fresh Off The Boat‘, based on the book by world renowned food personality and VICE contributor Eddie Huang, or atleast inspired by it. It is the first all-Asian sitcom on American television (since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl) featuring a family from Taiwan.

fresh-off-the-boat-eddie-orlando-magic-gearThe lead character is Eddie Huang – An Asian kid, who is really into American Hip-Hop culture. The series centers around him trying to ‘fit-in’ at school and the suburban society around him.

So how does it stack up? Was the buzz worth it? Let’s check it out:

Now, the first rule I have when it comes to any sitcom, breakthrough or not, is that it has to be funny.

Genuinely funny, not just laughing-track funny…

In that sense YES!

Fresh Off The Boat delivers, and all without that annoying laughing track. The humour in the show is based on randomness and awkwardness…

Check out this scene for example:

The show is filled with moments like these, where Eddie’s hip-hop attitude is in the mix with his “trying-to-be-as-tumblr_inline_nk1laleJzY1rggm3qamerican-as-possible” father and “Sneaky-in-your-face” mother. As well as some awkward and random moments with Eddie’s two younger brothers, who are the exact opposite of Eddie. The grandmother also, who only speaks Chinese, steals some of the show’s most hilarious moments.

BTW…On a side note, you may notice that that the father is portrayed by Randall Park, who played Kim Jong Un in the highly controversial ‘The Interview‘.


Anyways…If one had to make a comparison, the closest example of something like this was the show ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ Created and narrated by Chris Rock, just like ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ is created and narrated by Eddie Huang.

The show is set in the 90s, so there are all sorts of references to 90s Pop-Culture nostalgia, including video games, celebrities and novelty products (They even pay respects to their own pre-cursor, Margaret Cho’s  ‘All American Girl’ which aired in 1994)

I definitely think that there needs to be more Sitcoms like these, Even though the show isn’t a sweeping representation of the immigrant experience. Even though I am Indian, I am able to relate to so many of the situations from my own childhood experiences…I was into the Hip-Hop Culture as well, and I also had some conflict when bringing Indian Food to school…and that’s just the first few episodes…haha

Yes, the show definitely has some issues to sort out, going into the second season (which I hope it does) but in a world of sitcoms dominated by the now-boring Big Bang Theory and several other similarly-shitty novelty ideas. Fresh Off The Boat is just that, a breath of fresh air in a tired genre…

The show is set to air in NZ in May, but until then you should definitely Check It Out online.


Archaeo Outdoor TableBy:
Dhaivat Mehta

(Editor – ARTbop alternative)

Dhaivat Mehta is a film-maker and performance poet, and a member of the Tauranga Writers…Involved with many aspects of local creativity! As an organizer he was responsible for last year’s National Poetry Day event “Caught In The Act” He also raps and does spoken word under the stage name Archaeo


About Author

ARTbop has been written, collated and distributed as a free Bay of Plenty arts focused periodical to cafes in Tauranga and its surrounds.  Starting as a simple text newsletter, ARTbop now has several excellent contributors and covers a wide range of topics informing readers of the thriving art scene and interesting events that happen in the Bay of Plenty. You might have heard about us through friends, or even picked up a copy to read while you were out having coffee. We've got lots of exciting and ambitious plans for this website.  If you’re interested in contributing, advertising or you would like to profile your portfolio on our artists gallery, or have an event that you think should be reviewed, please contact us at

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