Fresh Off the Boat, Season 4, Episode 1: “B as in Best Friends”
Season 4 premiere airs tonight, October 3, 2017 on ABC.
Synopsis: (deep breath) The Huangs have moved out of the new home they decided they don’t like. They’re homeless because their former landlord has already leased their old place to a guy played by Chris Elliott. Honey and Marvin invite them to stay over as long as they’d like until they get the housing situation resolved, but Jessica and her family are terrible houseguests. Eddie’s friends haven’t forgiven him for calling them losers, so he hangs out with Nicole, his former crush who has a new car. Emery and his father build a birdhouse. Evan, committed to the reading list of the private school he’s been unadmitted to, turns his nose up at Nicole’s old books, a collection of The Babysitter’s Club. Jessica and Honey compete on Wheel of Fortune.
Dope: It’s a genuine pleasure to have the Huangs back, and maybe it’s not fair to put extra weight on their return because Dr. Ken didn’t make the cut, but there it is. They are back to being the only Asian-American sitcom on broadcast television. I need them to be good.
I can’t explain it, but two little visual details really cracked me up. A Dolly Parton photo in an unexpected (yet not surprising) place, and a tiny welcome mat. They bode well for a show whose visual gags have usually been good. And it’s great to have Nicole back. She and Eddie have always been good together.
Whack: I’m not backing down from my distaste for celebrity cameos, although I can sorta look the other way on Pat Sajak and Vanna White, who are pretty funny. There’s another cameo I really dislike.
Also, Evan continues to be a little prick sometimes. This is not an Evan I like.
The episode is all over the freaking place, but it’s okay. It’s like that first day of school in eleventh grade. You’re so busy running around making sure to say hi to everyone that you don’t have any real quality time with anyone except the hot Asian girl who can’t stand you. But I showed her. I took her best friend to the prom.
FOB moment: Can’t type it without spoiling a moment, but it’s what Jessica says to Honey when Honey finally calls her out on her awful behavior. Also, there’s a callback to the dishwasher episode.
Soundtrack flashback: Awwwwww yeeeeeah boyeeeee! “Don’t Sweat the Technique” by Erik B. & Rakim (1992). I seriously love this song. Also a little snippet of the Michael Bolton cover of “Lean on Me” (1993). I was less thrilled to hear that.
Final grade, this episode: You can’t get a high grade on the first day of school, or you’ll expect good marks for mediocre work all year. Let’s grade this like summer homework: credit for doing it but no letter grade. I’m just happy to see the Huangs again. Really, though: you’ll want to see this one. I’m leaving out something rather unexpected, so check it out and let me know what you think. CREDIT for completion.