Week 10 Blog

In this weeks Fresh off the Boat, We Done Son, it alluded to multiple points that I deemed interesting. The points that I would like to address includes: the fortune teller and the apologetic feelings that Jessica expressed. When I think about fortune telling the first thing that pops up in my head is scam. However, that’s not the point I am trying to make. What I’m trying to tackle is the stereotype of how Asians are mystic or mysterious by focusing on the introduction of the fortune teller in Fresh Off the Boat. As we see in the episode, Jessica is a huge advocate of fortune telling, while Honey, being born and raised in a traditional American community, not saying that Americans do not believe in fortune telling or any superstitions, is skeptical and against the words of a fortune teller. Over here we have the juxtaposition of a Chinese “mystic” or a “mysterious orientalist” and a White American “realist”; this contrast exacerbates how oriental and how otherworldly Jessica is when placed under the same spotlight of a female from a different background. Through this contrast and, Jessica, having strongly and adamantly placing her trust on a mystic fortune teller, enforces the stereotype that Asians are spiritual and mystic advocates or beings. Yet, throughout the episode, we see that Jessica slowly abandons her attachment towards fortune telling and starts to embrace the realism of the world and place her trust on Honey. In doing so, it seems that she is debunking the stereotype that all Asians are mystic and spiritual. At the end of the episode, it’s funny to see that the fortune telling where in fact true.

Towards the end of the episode, but not only present towards the end, I was able to draw the idea that episode was tackling the stereotype that Asians are unable to adequately express their emotions. At the end,  Honey is preparing for “JobProv”. In this scene Jessica steps in to “improvise” with her. Instead of performing the improvisation, Jessica starts to express her feelings and admit her faults as a friend. However, before we continue, it is important to note that prior to her apology, Jessica was shown to be unsettled with her current status with Honey, and even when she did attempt to fix it she was unable to, due to her inability to express her emotions. For example, in the scene where Jessica requests Evan to help her return Honey’s belongings, as Evan returns, Jessica quickly questions him on Honey’s reaction and whether or not she seemed distraught. Additionally, when Jessica barged into Honey’s house stating that she forgives her, Honey denied it because Jessica took the wrong approach. Adding all these examples, it resonates well with the Asian stereotype that Asians are unable to express their feelings adequately. However, returning to the “JobProv” scene, Jessica was able to win back her friendship with Honey by adequately expressing her apologetic feelings. For Jessica to apologize, it debunks the stereotype that Asians are emotionless or unable to adequately display their emotions. Instead of seeing Asians as unable to express their feelings, it is most rational to assume that Asians have a different way of expressing their feelings due to cultural differences.  It is also important to note that due to cultural differences, one’s approach to politeness or way of appeasing a matter may come out as rude to another. Because of this, it is important to keep an open mind when interacting with other who have a different culture other than your own.


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