Photo Credit: ABC
Fresh Off The Boat is ABC’s new Asian-American family sitcom, the first such show to air on U.S. network television in 20 years. The show tells the story of the Huangs, a Taiwanese family living in Florida.
The sitcom is based on the best-selling 2013 memoir of the same name, written by New York restaurateur Eddie Huang. The author also serves as a producer on the show and as the series' narrator.
Randall Park and Constance Wu star as the parents on the comedy. They have three children.
The show is sure to gain attention for its head-on dealings with racism. The pilot contains a scene in which a fellow student calls Eddie, the family’s 12-year-old son, a racial slur.
"To deal with the word 'chink' in the pilot episode of a comedy on network television is borderline genius and insane at the same time," Huang said to reporters.
Last year, out of 130 prime-time dramas and comedies on major networks, only five featured an Asian-American in a leading role, according to Dan Mayeda, co-chairman of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition. Census data shows that Asian-Americans make up almost 6 percent of the U.S. population.
Although some critics have taken issue with the show’s title, which is often used in a derogatory manner towards immigrants, Asian-American audiences praised the show during advanced screenings. The comedy is a new take on the traditional ‘coming to America’ story, but this show puts a more positive spin on the oft-depressing genre. Let’s hope that TV networks get the message that audiences are looking for more diverse family stories on the air.