Update: Video replaced with YouTube because it’s easier to embed.
This trailer successfully made me laugh several times, particularly at jokes that seem targeted towards intra-communal humour, which was both surprising and refreshing. I found the jokes about the White people’s supermarkets hilarious, and actually also appreciated the first joke in the trailer about the parents wanting the youngest Huang son to have been a daughter (a joke that challenges the myth that Chinese Americans are universally anti-girls). Also, I couldn’t help but crack up at the overly-litigious reactions of Mom and Pop Huang in the principal’s office.
However, I’m also very unnerved by Constance Wu’s portrayal as the less acculturated Huang matriarch. She’s at once intimately familiar — there are elements of my mom throughout her portrayal — and also a little terrifying. I laughed at her tirade about the dog poop and appreciated her fretting about her hair. But I’m also a little worried that her character will fall into stereotype, particularly considering she is (and I didn’t realize this before) one of the only Asian female characters on the show so far (there’s also a silent grandmother in the back of the van). I think a lot of my reaction seems to be related to the accent, which seems a little forced at the moment. I’m worried that in totality, Fresh Off The Boat might end up stereotyping the Asian American woman in its efforts to normalize the Asian American man.
Finally, I can already tell that my least favourite thing about this show is going to be the young Eddie Huang’s infatuation with hip hop culture. This was my major concern prior to the show’s green-lighting by ABC, and this trailer hasn’t done much to assuage my fears. Frankly, the opening of this trailer comes off as culturally exploitative; I hope this issue will be addressed in subsequent episodes.
It’s ultimately way too early to any real judgements on Fresh Off The Boat, but I’m still thankful that ABC picked this show up and is giving viewers the chance to judge it for ourselves! I do think this show should be interesting to watch and I can’t wait until Fall!