Articles that were recently put out discussing the advent of the show Fresh Off the Boat and the problems that came along with airing it on TV really showed what much of the greater cultural views are toward the Asian-American story. With conflicts over the title of the show, the directing of the show, the portrayal of Asian Americans in the show, and conflict in the higher offices of ABC, these struggles illustrate that we still have a long way to go in breaking Asian-American stereotypes.
What really caught my attention was the tension that came from the existing Asian American community in terms of wondering how they were going to be portrayed in the show. Many were sitting down waiting for the first episode to air wondering if they were going to be portrayed in a good light. What actually came out of the show was an incredible dance between addressing current racial stereotypes and portraying that some of this stuff actually does occur in Asian American families. Finding a way to move in a delicate enough manner to be remain proud of your heritage but honest with your upbringing is an incredible aspect of the show.
I know I can relate to the tension of wondering how you will be represented because as a Christian man, every time someone in America gets a spotlight on them and says they are Christian, I feel a very real tension in me wondering if they will portray Christians well or if they will make a mess of what we believe. This is the same thing that many Asian Americans have to deal with when a show like this takes such bold steps to picture the experience. However, the reaction to the show seems to be one mostly of relief. Though that tension still lingers as Season Two airs, there is a momentum and a solid audience that the show is successfully drawing and satisfying.