Fresh Off the Boat, Season 1, Episode 12: “Dribbling Tiger, Bounce Pass Dragon”
Original airdate April 14, 2015.
Microsynopsis: Louis volunteers as coach for Eddie’s basketball team, a group of boys who don’t value team effort. Jessica volunteers as director of Emery and Evan’s school play, despite her disdain for thespian pursuits.
Good: There are a few laugh-aloud moments, and some of the fantasy sequences are funny. Grandma has a couple of strong scenes. There’s a bit of clever, ironic meta-ness about Asians on television, with a completely unexpected (and fun) payoff at the very end, so ride it out at least for that.
Bad: Much of the cartoonish nature of the action can be excused by the thematic tribute (hinted at in the episode’s title), but it goes a bit far. Once again, school life is exaggerated so much that it’s practically impossible to see as part of the same television program. Worst of all, while the episode’s set-up is interesting, the execution is uninteresting at best.
FOB moment: Chickens and a moped at the Taiwanese basketball court.
Soundtrack flashback: “Pass the Shovel” by Gravediggaz.
Final grade, this episode: This is one of those episodes that’s tolerable only because we like and care about the characters. Despite isolated funny moments, the story is kind of a yawn, and the entire school play plot just doesn’t carry its share of the weight. The little bit of self-awareness is well done, but it’s more color than structure, and not enough to rescue twenty minutes of blah. C.
FRESH OFF THE BOAT: SEASON 1