The Series Philosopher

Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn

Fresh Off the Boat

the-series-philosopher-Fresh_Off_the_Boat_intertitleFresh Off the Boat is a comedy series starring Hudson Yang, Randall Park, and Constance Wu that is loosely inspired by the life of chef and food personality Eddie Huang and his book Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir. It is the first American television situation comedy starring an Asian-American family as protagonists to air on network primetime since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl, which aired for one season in 1994. Its style has been compared to the comedy series Everybody Hates Chris. The flashback technique with voice-over narration from the present day (first season only) is similar to The Wonder Years.

The show debuted on ABC with two preview episodes on February 4, 2015. The second episode which aired after Modern Family was promoted as a bonus episode and formally premiered in its prime time slot on February 10, 2015. The first of the two preview episodes garnered 7.94 million viewers, becoming the second highest rated comedy premiere that season.

Premise

The story follows the course of Eddie Huang’s Chinese family as they make their way from Chinatown of Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Florida to open up a cowboy-themed steak restaurant in 1995 (with the first season being set between 1995 and 1997). His mother struggles with the culture clash of her upbringing with a Florida community that doesn’t have a large Asian population, his father embraces the “American Dream”, and Eddie struggles with assimilating into school.

Main cast

  • Hudson Yang as Eddie Huang, the show’s protagonist and a die-hard hip-hop and rap fan, as well as a great fan of basketball. The oldest of three brothers, he eschews Chinese culture and is more rebellious than his younger siblings, which makes him a frequent target of Jessica’s complaints. Because Eddie represents the writer of the book that the show is based upon, all of the Season 1 episodes were told from his perspective. A creative change for Season 2 expands the focus to the entire Huang family.
  • Randall Park (Supah Ninjas, Veep) as Louis Huang, father of Eddie, Emery and Evan and also husband of Jessica. He is nice, naive, and embraces all things American. He owns a Western steakhouse restaurant in Orlando named Cattleman’s Ranch.
  • Constance Wu as Jessica (née Chu) Huang, wife of Louis and mother of Eddie, Emery and Evan. She is a no-nonsense, pragmatic woman who believes in tough love. She wants her children to be successful and also keep in touch with their Chinese heritage.
  • Forrest Wheeler as Emery Huang, middle child of the Huang family. He is a romantic and lovable kid who is fairly intelligent. He is also depicted as charismatic and mature for his age.
  • Ian Chen as Evan Huang, the youngest child who is a star student and obeys the rules. He is Jessica’s favorite child.
  • Lucille Soong (Desperate Housewives) as Grandma Jenny Huang (season 2–present, recurring season 1), Louis’ mother and Eddie’s grandmother. Although she clearly understands English, she speaks only in Mandarin (subtitled in English).
  • Chelsey Crisp (ACME Hollywood Dream Role) as Honey (season 2–present, recurring season 1)  the Huangs’ next door neighbor and Jessica’s new best friend.
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The Series Philosopher is a woman in her late 20s. Not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

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