I watched episode 16 of season 4 from Fresh off the boat. Fresh off the Boat is about an Asian-American family who just moved to Orlando, Florida from Washington D.C. and what happened in their daily life. The lovely family consists of six people, Grandma Huang, Father Louis Huang, Mother Jessica Huang, and their different styles sons, Eddie, Emery and Evan. This sitcom brings a lot joy to me while I discovered some contents in some episodes are inappropriate which reinforce the Asian stereotypes in American’s minds. Even if they are Asians, they can speak fluent and authentic English because actors and actresses themselves are ABC. In this episode, Louis taught his second son, Emery, a handsome guy, how to invite his favorite girl to the dance ball, and he said,” Ride the tiger high and hard,” which means encourage him to be brave to go up. The reason why he mentioned tiger was that it was the year of tiger, according to Chinese twelve zodiac. Louis also said “big head”, which means someone who is overly confident about themselves. “You’re getting way too cocky” means you are arrogant. What is the most frequently used phrase is “freak out”, which means someone becomes crazy because of someone of something. Having watched a tons of America TV series, I realize that native English speaker don’t actually use the advanced words in daily conversation, and they prefer to use some phrases with simple words, like get, work, and make.
In this episode, Evan and Mother Jessica had a competition which was the one who spoke Mandarin longest win. Both of them are competitive and reluctant to quit it. At last, smart Jessica knew his son backwards, won with the help of the TV show and Evan, the kind youngest son, settle for the fact. Eddie was depressed and had no ideas why his Big Auntie didn’t send him the red pocket money. Fortunately, he figured out the question but sandwich himself between his grandma and big auntie. Emery had no courage to ask his favorite girl so Louis wanted to give him a hand secretively. However, it didn’t work. Louis yearned for giving him confidence, though. Emery raised up his courage and confidence to do things he wanted at last.
To be honest, this TV series existed some problems, though the subject is rare in American TV series. For example, in the writer’ eyes, Mother Jessica seemed to cover all of the bad features, like selfishness, and at the end of the episodes, she would fix them. How strange is it! This background of the episode is in the Chinese New Year. There is a contrary between the root culture and the culture of the place where you live. It’s easy to lose one’s identity in a foreign nation. An Asian American actor, Jimmy O. Yang, wrote a book named How to American, using jocularity to talk about immigrants’ lives. To earn a better living, many people in last century had to choose to immigrate to America, and probably immigrants themselves what they suffered from the mental and body. They’ve spent a lot time fitting in the local culture and sometimes they are not treated well.