Last night’s episode of Fresh Off the Boat was quite the episode! Unsurprisingly, it dealt with some very racy/touchy subjects, yet again. I think for me some of the big stand out moments were when they referred to the black girl having to be the girl friend of the black boy in the group because of race. I think it’s really interesting how fresh off the boat manages to tie in such touchy subjects in such a casual manner. These are super risqué comments or ideas that lights are shone on and yet it is almost nonchalant. On another note, it was super neat to see the show tie in something so powerful and so often brought up in class, such as the mentioning of Long Duk Dong from 16 candles. As a class we saw just how ridiculous it was to portray an asian-american in the way that long duk dong was in this classic American film. He was ridiculed, laughed at, and treated as some foreign animal or literal alien. The reason why Long’s role was so impacting was because it really perpetuated this idea that all asian american men were placed on this earth to get laughed at or to make us laugh at their goofiness/stupidity/foreign qualities. It was definitely sad to see that even though Louis thoroughly enjoyed doing impressions of people and embracing his silly side, it had to get shut down immediately by Jessica because she knew what that would get automatically equated to. After that, Louis was seen as TOO serious. I think that just goes to show and say a lot about how Asian Americans have this fine line they have to walk in terms of media exposure and just overall external exposure in society. They really can’t be too much of one thing–which means, they can’t really be themselves? Which means they have to stay within some form of extremism and without even trying and as a result of being unconsciously controlled by the media and media runners (usually caucasian people) they perpetuate these extreme stereotypes.
Therefore, I was extremely happy to see that Louis came to the realization that he could be a balance of things, and if he wanted to be goofy then he could be JUST that– goofy and silly and happy.