Kim’s Convenience is HILARIOUS – Available on Netflix

I had heard of the Canadian television comedy Kim’s Convenience a few years ago when it debuted, but never got around to watching it, even when it became available on Netflix last year in the U.S. But after remembering a friend mentioning how great the show was, I got around to binge watching Seasons 1 &2 on Netflix and catch-up to Season 3 through other means … I have to say, the 30 minute (less without commercials) show is pretty hilarious!!!

Kim’s Convenience is:

“… a Canadian television sitcom that premiered on CBC Television in October 2016. The series centres on the Korean Canadian Kim family who run a convenience store in the Moss Park neighbourhood of Toronto: parents “Appa” (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and “Omma” (Jean Yoon) – Korean for “dad” and “mom” – along with their daughter Janet (Andrea Bang) and estranged son Jung (Simu Liu). Additional characters include Jung’s friend and co-worker Kimchee (Andrew Phung) and his manager Shannon (Nicole Power). The series is based on Ins Choi’s 2011 play of the same name.

The first season was filmed from June to August 2016 at Showline Studios in Toronto. It is produced by Thunderbird Films in conjunction with Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company, with Lee and Yoon reprising their roles from the play. Scripts were created by Choi and Kevin White, who had previously written for Corner Gas.

The second season premiered on September 26, 2017. The show has been renewed for two more seasons.

In July 2018, the series became available to audiences outside of Canada when it debuted internationally on Netflix.”

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee who plays Mr. Kim is a pure comic acting genius if you ask me, as well as the rest of the cast is top notch. Actress Andrea Bang is terrific and kind of reminds me a little of Korean American San Francisco former City Supervisor and former SF mayoral candidate Jane Kim, especially in her mannerisms and fierceness (or at least her character).

Simu Liu plays a handsome and charming, if not so bright, Jung (which is kind of nice to see the anti-Model Minority). Andrew Phung is also terrifically funny & upbeat Jung’s roommate and sidekick. And I do like the fact that Nicole Power’s Shannon has a crush on Jung.

To be honest, I think it’s a lot funnier, more edgy than ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and ‘Dr. Ken’, though I did like both those shows and could certainly relate to certain episodes a lot.

For those looking to catch Kim’s Convenience in its 3rd season, it’s coming to Netflix as soon as the regular season ends in Canada – on April 3rd, 2019 (at least for the U.S., U.K. and Australia).

Andrew Yang for President 2020 – CNN Townhall Meeting – Sun April 14th, 8 PM EST

In my last blog post about presidential candidate Andrew Yang, I mentioned he had made it on The Daily Show as well as made the Democratic Party Presidential debates. Well now, Yang has his own CNN Townhall this coming Sunday, April 14th, at 8PM EST:

” We just received the news – I am getting a CNN Town Hall on Sunday, April 14th at 8pm EST!  This is an enormous opportunity for me and the campaign.  Most Americans are just getting to know the various candidates.  Together we can make the case to the American people for a new economy that works for people.  More info to come about how we will rally the Yang Gang around our national moment. “

It’ll be interesting to see if Yang can get the CNN Townhall bump that Democratic presidential Pete Buttigieg candidate did after his townhall – raising $600K in 24 hours after his townhall and a rise in his poll numbers:

” Buttigieg’s standing lands him at fifth and tied with Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg is ahead of both Sens. Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, who are each at 2%. In other words, the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is polling in the same area as a number of candidates who are regarded as having a legitimate chance of winning the Democratic nomination.”

I’m hoping Yang can go the distance to help raise the profile of Asian Americans and be a role model for political activism. As I’ve often complained, Asian Americans are not nearly as politically engaged as we should be.

Ken Jeong’s Netflix Comedy Special: ‘You Complete Me, Ho’ Now Streaming

On Valentine’s Day, Netflix released Ken Jeong’s first ever comedy special titled, ‘You Complete Me, Ho’ :

In his first-ever stand-up special, Ken Jeong pays tribute to his wife and shares stories about Hollywood and how “The Hangover” saved his life.

in honor of his wife, Tran Ho, who has been cancer free for over 10 years:

“It’s a play on my wife’s last name, which is Ho. It was actually her suggestion for that title,” he said. “Netflix wanted a catchier title than what I initially pitched, and Tran, my wife, thought ‘You Complete Me, Ho.’ We were both laughing hysterically and I pitched it to Netflix and they loved it. In many ways the act and the title were inspired by my wife. I look at is as almost like a one-man show touching upon my family and my wife with a bunch of dick jokes.”

In the special, Jeong talks about his marriage and his wife’s brush with breast cancer 10 years ago, while the camera cuts to her reactions in the audience. According to Jeong, the cutaways were the idea of “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu, who also helmed “You Complete Me, Ho.”

The comedy show was filmed at The Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, Calif., where he got he first performed stand up for his wife.

Without any plans for Valentine’s Day evening, I had a chance to watch the special and was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t a ton (there was some) of overlap material (from what I recall – I admit, I had a few required drinks) from when I saw Ken perform back in April of last year with a fellow Asian American Duke alum – where Ken also went to school where he called my friend and I out as “Duke dorks,” as we were seated near the front.

The comedy special is about

” … working on, and being recognized from, his role in three Hangover movies, as well as riffing about his ABC sitcom, Dr. Ken, and how he’d still be sad about its cancellation if he hadn’t hopped on a plane and shot his first scene for Crazy Rich Asians the following day. Jon M. Chu, who directed Crazy Rich Asians, also directed Jeong’s special.”

and how his wife inspired him, especially his difficult times when his wife was battling cancer around the time when The Hangover opportunity materialized and was filming. If your a Ken fan and have Netflix, I highly recommend the special.

In Ken’s media blitz to promote his Netflix comedy special, I caught this great 20+ minute GQ YouTube video, Ken Jeong Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters:

where he talks about his most iconic characters, including his roles in ‘Knocked Up,’ ‘The Office,’ ‘Role Models,’ ‘The Hangover’ trilogy, ‘Community,’ ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ ‘Dr. Ken,’ ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’  and his recent hit TV show ‘The Masked Singer’.

Ellen DeGeneres Surprises McDonald’s Pranksters Pushing For Asian American Inclusion

This a great story on a prank when two Asian American men noticed that Asian Americans weren’t being profiled in some of McDonald’s restaurant’s posters:

“Earlier this month, Jevh Maravilla and Christian Toldeo became viral superstars because of a mock poster they created and hung on the wall of a McDonald’s restaurant in Pearland, Texas. It featured themselves in an apparent advertisement for the fast food chain.

The image was so convincing that it had reportedly gone unnoticed by the eatery’s employees for 51 days before Maravilla tweeted about it Sept. 2. As of Monday, it had been liked more than 1 million times.”

Inspired by ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ for representation, Jevh and Christian were motivated to have themselves represented.

In mid September, day time talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in hosted Jevh and Christian and surprised them:

“She also revealed that the pair will be highlighted in a forthcoming McDonald’s ad campaign, and handed them each a check for $25,000 as “payment” for their commitment to diversity.”

Imagine making onto to national TV and getting a surprise $25k for a prank! I’m looking forward to seeing this at a local McDonald’s hopefully.

‘Fresh off the Boat’ Episode Review: “Mo’ Chinese Mo’ Problems”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 5, Episode 5: “Mo’ Chinese Mo’ Problems”
Original airdate November 9, 2018.

The ladies will kick it:  While going door to door as a U.S. Census volunteer, Evan discovers there’s another Chinese family in the neighborhood (Reggie Lee, Ming-Na Wen, and Jimmy O. Yang).  The Huangs and the Lees are overjoyed, but Louis feels his new buddy moving in on his friendship with Marvin, and Jessica becomes disillusioned when Elaine turns out not to be the role model she hopes.

Eddie and Emery, inspired by Evan, pose as Census volunteers in order to find out which neighbors have their own swimming pools and when during the day nobody’s home.

The rhyme that is wicked:  I’m not going to lie.  I’m totally here for anything Ming-Na is in (okay, except Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), so I was going to like this episode almost no matter what.  Add Jimmy O. Yang, this year’s runner up (to Awkwafina) for Summer of ________ status, and I’m willing to forgive almost anything.  I love the decision to play Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First” when Elaine saunters up to the mural wearing her low-rider jeans.  Everyone bows to Ming-Na.

There’s an interesting and almost surely deliberate irony when Jessica twice, in the company only of Louis and the Lees, utters stereotypes of Chinese people and Jewish men in an episode where she protests the stereotypical portrayal of Asians in a school mural.  I am not smart enough to break it down, so somebody please do it in the comments!

Deirdre is hilarious in this episode.

Lines I enjoyed:

“You always find fresh ways to be boring.” (Eddie)

“I’m usually four times more beautiful than this.” (Elaine)

“My oldest son’s middle name is Elvis.” (Louis)

“I hate racism and I love a trap.”  (Jessica)

“Betrayed by my beautiful face.” (Jessica)

“Maybe turn you into a sausage man.” (Marvin)

Those who don’t know how to be pros:  

I said I’d be willing to forgive just about anything.  Among “anything” are tons of overacting by all the principals including the guest stars (but not including Yang).

Is “whale tale” an anachronism?

FOB moment:  The Huangs welcome the Lees with a fruiting lemon tree.

Soundtrack flashback:  “Ladies First” by Queen Latifah (1989).  If you haven’t heard the early Latifah stuff, I recommend it highly.

Get evicted: The episode is rescued from a C by the end, with Horace’s redo of the We Are the World mural, plus of course the guest cast, whom I adore.  B.

 

‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Episode Review: “Workin’ the ‘Ween”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 5, Episode 3: “Workin’ the ‘Ween”
Original airdate October 20, 2018.

It’s the heart afraid of breaking

Marvin and Honey ask Louis and Jessica to be their baby’s godparents.  Jessica eagerly agrees, mostly so Marvin and Honey can have a date night, leaving the Huangs to babysit on Halloween night, and shutting down Louis’s efforts to persuade Jessica to dress in a couples costume with him.

Jessica and Louis are alarmed to discover that they aren’t the naturally talented parents they thought.  Their claim that Eddie was weaned from the pacifier with no problems is a deception by Louis; their claim that Emery’s weaning was even easier is a deception by Jessica.

Eddie gets a job selling mattresses (his boss is played by George Wendt) and works Halloween night to prove he has what it takes.  Trent comes by to help, but he’s much more of a hindrance.

Evan and Emery, dressed as Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, get to hand out candy at the front door, where they have a problem with a girl who shows up repeatedly, each time in a different costume.

That never learns to dance

Another silly but mildly entertaining Halloween episode.  The costumes are great, and it’s nice to see the continued development of Eddie’s character (in two separate plots!).  There’s a moment at the end of the teaser where Louis gives his dejected face.  That face is some excellent Randall Park acting.  My favorite costume in the episode is Grandma as Freddy Krueger.

Despite this being a really meh episode, the tag at the end is completely unexpected, perfectly in character (which is a brilliant paradox), terrific character development for Eddie, and genuinely sweet.  Sweet Eddie is the best!  Eddie made Evan!

Lines I enjoyed: “Alf was a puppet?” (Jessica).  “You love black dresses and putting words into my mouth” (Louis).  “Not being wise is being dumb.  You make me dumb” (Jessica).  “Damn you, perfect Evan!” (Louis).

It’s the dream afraid of waking

Trevor Larcom as Trent was, last season, regularly the best actor among the young men who play Eddie’s friends. He has an off episode here, and it may not be his fault.  Trent’s part in this episode is idiotic.  Hudson Yang as Eddie feels pretty off as well, although he has a few good moments in the mattress store.  All three plots feel like something out of the sitcom plot handbook.

FOB moment:  “A Japanese man saved my father’s life once, so you’re hired.”

Soundtrack flashback: “The Rose” by Bette Midler (1979) and the theme from The X-Files by Mark Snow.

That never takes a chance: The wonderful final few seconds of the episode give it a boost, but not much of a boost.  B-.

 

‘Fresh Off the Boat” Episode Review: “The Hand That Sits the Cradle”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 5, Episode 2: “The Hand That Sits the Cradle”
Original airdate October 12, 2018.

I’m goin’ out tonight: Jessica volunteers to take care of Honey’s zuo yue zi (“sitting the month,” which I just learned is a thousand-year-old tradition).  Her insistence on Honey’s taking it easy makes Honey suspicious, overheated, and wine-deprived.  She has a feeling Jessica is compensating for something.  Louis takes advantage of Jessica’s being at Honey’s house for a month by trying to bond with Evan, who’s much more interested in doing his own thing until Jessica returns home.  His own thing includes reading Churchill: Lad to Legend.  Eddie and Emery are inspired by Pumping Iron to get into bodybuilding, mostly because they “just want to get stronger than Grandma.”

I’m feelin’ all right: There’s something endearing about Jessica’s not knowing how to deal with (or talk about) the failure of her novel, A Case of a Knife to the Brain.  She seems humbled in a way she’s completely unprepared to understand, and rather than lash out or muscle her will into being, she wanders.  I love this Jessica, and Constance Wu does some wonderful acting in the scene where Honey calls her out.  I also will not complain about any Honey-heavy episode that’s not baby-centric.

Eddie-Emery partnerships are almost always interesting, and Louis going too far while being focused on someone else is one of the best Louises.

Some lines I enjoyed: “I sleep on her failure every night” (Grandma).  “There’s no such thing as quality time.  There’s just time” (Jessica).

Gonna let it all hang out: I have no real complaints about this episode.  Even Marvin is charming (especially when he says he’s hit his pre-baby weight: before Nicole, who’s 18).  But this is the second episode of the season, so it’s apparent that there is no Roseanne joke coming.  Come on, FOtB writers.  The door is wide open for a very funny joke about Roseanne Connor throwing the Huangs under the boat and then finding herself written out of existence.  It doesn’t have to be cruel; it can just be pointed.

FOB moment:  I learned something about sitting the month.  There’s also something cultural in “There’s no such thing as quality time; there’s just time,” right?

Soundtrack flashback:  “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain (1997).

Final grade, this episode: An altogether pleasant episode that doesn’t distinguish itself from the rest of the utterly competent episodes making up most of the corpus. B.

Non-Spoiler ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Episode Review: “Fresh Off the RV”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 5, Episode 1: “Fresh Off the RV” (season premiere)
Airs tonight, October 5, 2018 at 8:00.

It’s the end of summer, 1998 in Fresh Off the Boat time, and it’s time for Honey to have her child, and it’s time for Marvin to give up his sports car, and it’s time for Jessica’s novel A Case of a Knife to the Brain to finally see its release.  Nicole and Eddie have some Saturn Time: Nicole’s got some big news for her best friend.

The official summary from ABC gives more details than I would, so skip this paragraph if you’re very sensitive about spoilers.

While Honey and Marvin celebrate the birth of their baby, Jessica’s book is finally released, and she’s optimistically looking forward to a book store reading that’s been set up by her publisher to help boost sales. Louis is so excited to promote the book across the country that he buys an RV from Los Angeles Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who owns an RV dealership which is managed by underappreciated Calvin (Jaleel White, “Family Matters”). Meanwhile, Emery and Evan are concerned about Eddie after Nicole tells him that she’s moving to New York, and he seems completely unfazed about losing his best friend.

It feels like the show is slipping into its groove.  All the characters feel familiar, and there’s even a celebrity cameo in the RV sales lot across the street from Shaq Motors.  It has a few surprises and laugh-aloud moments, and everyone looks great.  Especially Jessica.  I’ll comment on a couple of disappointments in my review of episode 2 next week.

Part of the plot is suspect.  People line up for a certain novel published in the U.S. on September 1, 1998, but I don’t think it was quite the phenomenon its successors were in following years.

Soundtrack flashback: “Everywhere You Look” by Jesse Frederick, the opening theme for Full  House.  “Back in the Day” by Ahmad (1994).

My grade for this episode: B.

AA Industry Success, Geoffrey Owens & Acting Realities

by Tim Lounibos

It’s an amazing time

The past several weeks have been absolutely amazing for the Asian American entertainment industry. Crazy Rich Asians blew past $100 million at the box office in less than three weeks, becoming the most successful rom-com in almost a decade on its way to surely cracking the top ten all-time list for that genre.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a huge success on Netflix to the point where it has actually raised the popularity of the Japanese yogurt drink Yakult and the stock value of the company who produces it.

Searching had the second highest per-screen box office average in its opening week, trailing only CRA, and more than doubled its distributor’s box office expectations.

As a result, Hollywood has begun greenlighting Asian American projects left and right, and is being more inclusive in casting Asian American actors in general. It’s an amazing time, one to be celebrated.

Geoffrey Owens

Yet, thoughts of African American actor Geoffrey Owens dominate my mind.

His recent Trader Joe’s job-shaming has brought attention to how difficult it is today to make a living as an actor. The general public, for the most part, has a very skewed perspective. If people watch actors in the movies or on shows and recognize them in public, they conclude that those actors are well off—that they’re living the high life. If you’re an actor who’s made it to the top of the profession, this very well could be the case (at least, while you’re at that top); but for the vast majority of actors, this is sadly and laughingly not the situation—and for Asian American actors in particular, well, let me share my story.

Continue reading “AA Industry Success, Geoffrey Owens & Acting Realities”

Kids Meet Issues in New Web Series ‘Radical Cram School’

By Nako Narter

What does it mean to be an Asian American child in Trump’s America? New episodes are still rolling out for comedian Kristina Wong’s Radical Cram School, a web series featuring not merely a cast of Asian kids, but a diverse cast of Asian kids, with one identifying as gender fluid, and nearly half of mixed race. This series is this generation’s (and for lack of precedent, every generation’s) answer to how to be resilient to the racist and misogynist rhetoric of our times.

This groundbreaking new series is equal parts cathartic and informative, a window into the minds of our children who don’t always have a chance to speak up, and a spotlight on bright and eager young minds. For parents, older siblings, cousins, and babysitters who want to know how to facilitate conversations about ethnic and gender identity with kids, this web series spells it out through puppet shows, music, and games.

While the kids in the series are young (ages 7 to 11), they’re wise beyond their years and certainly old enough to notice that they aren’t seeing people like them on TV or in movies, to have had a few confusing race-based encounters, and to have questions and opinions of their own.

Issues such as intersectionality, wage inequality, and structural racism can be tricky topics to tackle, but they don’t have to be. Giving these girls a chance to vent and affirm each other, they are able to empower each other and us to be proud of who they are.

Episodes are launched weekly on Facebook, but you can watch all six episodes on YouTube.

Nako Narter is a senior majoring in writing for film and television at Emerson College. She is originally from the Bay Area and has read forty books so far this year.

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is not our ‘Black Panther.’ It’s a Movement.

By Tim Lounibos

Major strides (25 years ago)

Twenty-five years ago, an Asian American industry movement seemed imminent. I was young and returned from Hong Kong as the lead in Clara Law’s Wonton Soup. Major strides were being made with the successful releases of Dragon: The Bruce Lee StoryMap of The Human HeartThe Joy Luck ClubAll-American Girl (highest-ranked new series of the season), and Vanishing Son.

My acting success was directly entwined with this movement. From summer ’93 to spring ’94, I booked a high-profile indie film, big-budget commercial film, sweeps-period telefilm, Star Trek: TNG guest star (which was just plain cool), and the pilot episode of Margaret Cho’s ground-breaking series as a would-be suitor. My career was taking off and dreams were tantalizingly achievable. Success seemed right around the corner!

However, despite the nation’s readiness to embrace Asian American actors on the large and small screens, the overall failure of All-American Girl – due to the network’s mishandling of Margaret Cho, unenlightened writing, and negative community reaction – brought everything to a screeching halt. The proverbial balloon popped and studios and networks reverted back to tried-and-true non-inclusive projects.

Popped balloons and fears of backlash
Over the next decade, though, I remained optimistic as I continued to land guest star roles, buoyed by the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition’s efforts to increase diversity on both sides of the camera—but my career eventually plateaued as momentum proved elusive for an Asian American actor in Hollywood. Along with being considered “too manly” and often hearing “we’re not going that way,” I sadly discovered that white writers hesitated to write POC-specific roles because they feared backlash from advocacy groups and feigned ignorance due to their lack of life experience.

Yet, I persisted in following my passion and overall conditions continued to improve with the help of various initiatives (internships, showcases, staffing mandates, etc.), but this forced transition of inclusive change often resulted in feelings of marginalization on staffs and in writers rooms. Some actors did find success as series regulars or supporting leads, but more often than not diversity and inclusion were reflected in the delivery guy, the nurse, or the silent extras in the background.  By that time, I reached an age where I just fell through the cracks.

Thus, as an Asian American actor, my optimism waned. I lost confidence that the industry would undergo real and meaningful change, not even allowing me the ability to provide for my growing family.  So I left Hollywood.

Business mandates, game-changers, and new optimism
Fast forward in my absence, social media and streaming content begin to wreak havoc on the Hollywood landscape. Tinseltown undergoes a seismic transformation, becoming an ultra-modern Wild West with seemingly unlimited access points and distribution outlets. Decision-makers are forced to adapt or be left behind. Content creators and viewers’ voices demand change on a viral level, and the small screen responds for Asian Americans with the shows SelfieFresh Off the Boat, and Dr. Ken.

This piques my interest.
Continue reading “‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is not our ‘Black Panther.’ It’s a Movement.”

‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Renewed for Fifth Season

Aaaaaaaaand EXhale.

I’m often optimistic to a fault.  A Pollyanna.  An extreme benefit-of-the-doubt-giver.  Yet if I’d had to bet, I would have lost this one.  I thought things were looking horribly grim for Fresh Off the Boat’s chances at a fall return.

First there was an uncharacteristic lack of advance late-season info about upcoming episodes.  Disney-ABC’s media site, which usually has synopses, promo video, still photos, and behind-the-scenes photos for the next two or three shows, was unusually quiet.

I’ve reviewed for 8A each episode through the show’s run, something that requires a bit of planning.  Suddenly without my advance info, I couldn’t find word anywhere about why the well was dry.

Then there was the abrupt ending to season 4.  Heading into the 19th episode’s broadcast, FOtB‘s actors on Twitter congratulated each other on another fun season, with ABC hyping it as the season finale.  This is after a 24-episode season 2 and a 23-episode season 3.

Then, because I was pathetically slow to connect them myself, the dots finally connected themselves for me.

Roseanne was coming back for a short, late-season run, complete with its original cast.  On ABC.  On Tuesday night.  At 8:30.

In FOtB’s slot.

I didn’t watch the two-episode return because I was working on something else.  The next morning, it was all anyone could talk about.  Eighteen million viewers for Roseanne.

That’s fourteen and a half million more than FOtB drew for episode 19 the week before.

Okay.  No reason to panic, right?  I mean, there’s plenty of room on the weekly schedule for two sit-com families.  I said it aloud, but even I didn’t believe it.  My heart prepared itself to find something else to cheer for; my fingers to find something else to type about.

“What about music reviews?” I asked jozjozjoz one evening.  “Maybe I could do that.”

Randall Park shot a video literally pleading for a renewalOthers chimed in.  It was not looking good.

Then Roseanne Connor cracked a joke about Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, hitting a nerve like classic Roseanne.  I wasn’t as insulted by it as many others, but I saw where people were coming from.  Former FOtB writer Kourtney Kang laid it out very well in a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter.

Maybe in a world where unfair representation were merely a memory, the joke would have slipped past anyone’s notice.  But America’s only major-network, prime time, Asian American sitcom family was teetering on the precipice, and Mrs. Connor was not only kicking it over with a privileged toe, but joking about it at a time when we’re especially sensitive to the way many in this country would use our Asian-ness to question our American-ness.

Was the mild controversy good for FOtB’s chances or bad?  I hoped it put ABC in an awkward position, almost demanding that it bring the show back for another season if only to avoid the appearance of the Connors throwing the Huangs under the boat.  I want to believe there are principles in play, but maybe it all comes down to 18 million and 3.6 million, and maybe affirmative programming action isn’t really a thing.

I’ll probably never know whether this was ever part of the conversation at ABC, but after leaving FOtB’s fans hanging for so many weeks, the news came out Friday.  Season 5.

I’ll repeat what I’ve written many times (usually while reviewing a Dr. Ken episode).  For all the big-picture reasons I want AA-centric shows to succeed, I don’t want them to get a free pass.  I want the shows to succeed because they’re excellent, because there’s no reason for them not to be.  While I was sad to see Dr. Ken fail, it did get a fair shot and never took full advantage of its opportunity.  FOtB, however, despite slipping into a rut or two last season, is still creative, interesting, and (best of all!) subversive.  Up to a point I’m not smart enough to define, these by themselves are a fair trade-off for a few million viewers.

Especially the subversion.

Now that it’s coming back, I’m begging the writers to go tapioca-balls-to-the-wall with creativity and subversion.  It’s playing with its second life now.  Fresh Off the Boat should go into each episode begging to be thrown off the air, the way season 1 Eddie would do.  Better to blow it all up than to be turned away at the border.