Fresh Off the Boat, Season 1, Episode 2: “Home Sweet Home-School.”
Original airdate February 4, 2015.
Microsynopsis: Jessica’s stinginess in trying to keep the restaurant from losing money becomes hostile, so Louis encourages her to spend time at home, tutoring the kids after school, in an effort to keep her away from the employees and customers.
Good: The show so far succeeds in very funny little moments. While it has more than its fair share of yelling, the funniest moments are often in lines whispered, or muttered under someone’s breath. I’m still feeling that a lot of stuff in this program is just to be endured; yet the small moments will keep me coming back. The small moments and Constance Wu.
Bad: There’s some funny stuff about getting straight As, but it’s kind of negated by too much time spent on the alligator and cloud stickers. Not funny and not interesting.
FOB moment: If someone in a Chinese family says “Love you,” someone is hiding something!
Soundtrack flashback: Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain.” Yes! Also Ice Cube’s “Today Was a Good Day.”
Final grade, this episode: I’m still expending a lot of energy reminding myself that the silly, cartoonish stuff can work if the rest of the show is sincere. The rest of the show is sincere, but I still find the cartoony stuff to be a distraction, not (yet) as much a part of the show’s charm as it is in shows like Ally McBeal and Malcolm in the Middle. On the other hand, I laughed aloud a few times, and both of this episode’s story lines revolve around Jessica. If my hopes for this show were lower, I’d give it a B, but because I think it might get a lot better, I’m giving it its second B minus in a row.