For the past month, I’ve been watching ABC’s new hit sitcom of the Huang family in “Fresh Off the Boat.” The show is based off of Asian-American restaurateur, chef, food personality and former lawyer, Eddie Huang’s childhood. Eddie, in real life, and in the show was born in Washington, DC, but moved to Orlando, FL where his father managed a group of steak and seafood restaurants. Check out the trailer below. The show airs on ABC every Tuesday at 8/7 central.
Here is a video of Asian American YouTube sensations, The Fung Bros and their opinions on how they related to the show. As an Asian-American myself, I can easily relate with the show. It’s the first time America has seen an Asian-American family star in their own television show on primetime network. From the food, family life, and listening to Hip Hop as a kid in the 90s, I can relate to it all.
But the question I ask is… Why did it take so long for a sitcom for an entire Asian-American family to air on mainstream television? With hundreds of different channels on DirectTV, over 14 million asians in America, and 14% of Hollywood’s county of Los Angeles being Asian… I really just want to know why it took so long. I guess people are used to seeing Asians in real life, but they aren’t ready to see them on TV? Asians aren’t ready for their own tv show. Asians can’t even break out of their current roles of being casted as kung fu fighters, dragon ladies, model minority geeks, or some other sort of villain. Asian Americans have been able to be succeed in mainstream media and gain loyal followings and viewers, especially with the help of the internet and social media. Some examples include: The Fung Bros, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Joseph Vincent, Bobby Hundreds, Lucy Liu, or Brenda Song. The fact that these people are relevant, because the people decided to become fans of them and decided they were relevant is enough to show that they could star in their own TV show if TV networks would give them a chance.
It’s just pretty disappointing. In a world where people claim that racism is over and can decide to be “color-blind,” you would think that they would be able to make an Asian the main character for once. It would be nice to see an asian be the main character that falls in love or has an obstacle and life journey to overcome. Or at least let them break the mold and not succumb to asian stereotypes for once. It would be very nice. It would also be nice if we could see less caucasians playing the main character and hero in pre-dominantly asian movies, example: Kill Bill, The Karate Kid, The Last Samurai, (Avatar) The Last Airbender, or even Shanghai Knights. I’m sure you get the point. All I’m saying is… come on Hollywood… Get it together. It’s 2015, give Asian Americans a chance in the spotlight.
Fresh Off the Boat airs on ABC every Tuesday at 8/7 central. Support it! It’s pretty funny too!