Note: Apologies in advance, as this very well may turn into stream of conscious bout of rambling, much of which has already been said in various places here, but even if this turns into a glorified diary entry, I just need to organize my thoughts in whatever chaotic way this post turns out to be. May I suggest gearing up for a light-hearted review of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (coming soon!) or below with a hilarious spoof of K-Dramas.
Fresh Off the Boat, the new family comedy based on the memoirs of chef Eddie Huang, has been officially announced during last weeks upfronts and will be coming to ABC this Fall. To the best of my knowledge this is the first “Asian” show to grace the networks since All-American Family with Margaret Cho in 1994. That’s twenty freaking years people! Now I’ve already seen multiple accusations of this pilot, saying the humor is steeped in Asian stereotypes. And to those I say kind of, but… Yes, the trailer uses foreign accents and the hilarity of smelly ethnic food as comic fodder, and like all humor it depends on the joke, context, and receiver (viewer) if it can be considered funny without being offensive. And if the entirety of this series was based on the jokes of that three minute trailer, I’d be concerned. But comedic pilots are a tricky beast, one thats damned near impossible to pull of. (Seriously. Cramming loads of exposition, character introductions, and comedy into 22 minutes is just not right.) With the network TV model no pilot is guaranteed to air* so comedies will tend to go big and broad with its humor, and unfortunately when race is involved broad often equals stereotyping.