Archive for December 10, 2015
As a person who becomes excited whenever a new tv show is introduced with a diverse cast, I was especially excited when I heard about Fresh Off the Boat premiering on ABC. From the trailers and early buzz of the show, it was clear that it would be a ground-breaking show. Groundbreaking in the sense that it would feature a primarily Asian American cast, something that hasn’t been seen on TV since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl. It’s always exciting to see minority groups represented on TV and Fresh Off the Boat seemed like the kind of show that would bring actual Asian american experiences to the forefront of mainstream media. As with most shows that have a diverse cast, that did not prove to be totally true.
Fresh Off the Boat definitely has problematic moments. From Jessica’s accent to other Asian American tropes, the show isn’t perfect. There is a lot of talk surrounding the show’s ability to portray real life experiences of Asian Americans. My opinion on the matter is that the show should be commended for the fact that it has cast a primarily Asian American group of actors. That feat alone is tremendous and should be recognized for the light it sheds on the fact that Asian American actors are rarely seen on TV in such a grand scale. Is the show perfect? No. But the show should not be seen in the lens of being the one show that represents all Asian American experiences. One show could not possibly ever cover all of the experiences of one minority group or one community. I don’t think Fresh Off the Boat falls short in terms of representing Asian Americans. Overall, it brings to light the things Asian American endure and experience when they come to the United States.
I feel the show provides a platform for Asian American actors and for more diverse TV shows to be created in the future. It also provides opportunities for Asian Americans to work behind the scenes and write for the show.
This show aligns with ABCs recent efforts to diversify television. ABC is also home to all of Shonda Rhimes’ shows which always feature a diverse cast and provide a platform for black actors to be included in the media and entertainment dialogue.
Fresh Off the Boat is a great show that brings to the forefront of mainstream media the lack of dialogue around Asian American Identity. While not a perfect show it definitely can be seen as helping Hollywood diversify its television shows.