Fresh Off the Boat, Season 2, Episode 1: “Family Business Trip” (Season 2 Premiere)
Original airdate September 22, 2015.
Microsynopsis: Eddie’s plans for entering seventh grade with a cool summer vacation story are destroyed (by a funny story from Yo! MTV Raps‘s Ed Lover) until Louis agrees to take the family to a business convention near a theme park. Evan struggles with realizing that he is no longer a baby.
Good: It was a great feeling just to see the opening credits again for another season. Many things about this show annoy me, but I really do enjoy the characters, editing, and pop culture references, so yeah: I’m rooting for its success. Evan’s opening voice-over is cute, and I enjoyed the clever way it was woven into the show’s narrative. Ditto the soundtrack music when Eddie couch-potatoes for the first three months of his vacation. One of my favorite gags, Emery’s popularity with the ladies, is played all-out this week and it’s hilarious. The character named Gator Carol is played by Sarah Baker, who had that great performance in the “So Did the Fat Lady” episode of Louie; it was a nice surprise to see her turn up here.
Bad: The writers aren’t making it a priority to come up with truly resonant, meaningful stories for Eddie without driving the whole show off the edge. It hadn’t been a summer hiatus secret that Eddie’s voiceovers would probably not continue into season two, but without it, his presence on the program is diminished to that of a supporting player, a move that weakens the program. Without Eddie’s being a central character, the theme song and hip-hop references don’t make any sense. He doesn’t have to be the main story of every episode; however, starting season two with this story feels like a statement about this becoming more a show about the family than Eddie. That’s going to take some getting used to.
FOB moment: Thousand-year-old egg with tofu and grass jelly drink.
Soundtrack flashback: “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan
Final grade, this episode: There’s not a lot to complain about, but neither is there much to get excited about beyond the show’s continued existence. It’s nice to see Lucille Soong and Chelsey Crisp moved to the opening credits. I’m very excited about this show’s return to my weekly routine–I’ve become a fan of the principal actors and appreciate the show’s continued attempts to deliver something creative and original. Still, everyone needs a little bit of time to get into mid-semester form after summer vacation. C.
FRESH OFF THE BOAT: SEASON 1