‘Fresh off the Boat’ Episode Review: “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Fresh Off the Boat, Season 4, Episode  10: “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
Original airdate December 12, 2017.

Synopsis:  Deirdre’s college roomie Holly (it’s Paula Abdul!) is visiting, and since she’s a “performance and movement” instructor, she offers to coach the homeowners’ association carolers.  Jessica (who still takes Christmas very seriously) doesn’t think most of her neighbors sing very well, so she insists that Holly conduct tryouts, limiting this year’s group to six participants.  Although Jessica sings very well and does a great audition, Holly doesn’t include her in the group because Jessica doesn’t have enough Christmas spirit.

Louis and Honey have fallen in love with Titanic, and since they can’t get their familes to join them at the cinema, they go together.  Marvin is suspicious of Honey, since she promised to save Titanic for when they can watch it together at home on video.

In the best thing about the episode, Nicole asks Eddie to meet her at a cafe, where she’s crushing on Jackie, one of the baristas.  Nicole doesn’t know how to approach her (It’s Diamond White, from season two of The X Factor), so Eddie tries to help her out.  In a silly gag, Emery and Alison each pop out of nowhere when it’s convenient for the story, each eager to help Nicole as well.

Right On:  The Nicole story is really sweet, and I love the way her three friends help her out with every indication that Nicole’s crush being a girl is no big deal.  The over-caffeinated gag is kind of dumb, but the strategy of using coffee cups to get attention is cute.  I know I’m not alone in trying to read into the little things the cute baristas at my local cafe write on my cups!

Some lines I enjoyed:

“I can taste the laziness.  We all can!” (Jessica)

“Did you hear me ascend the ladder?  I climbed up over Celine — I stepped on the shoulders of that French Canadian angel and I kissed the heavens!” (Jessica)

“That kind of negative energy is toxic to a group.  Just look what happened to Oasis!” (Holly)

Bogus:  The Honey-Marvin-Louis story is soooooo dumb.  It adds nothing to this episode, and while I love the cultural references, there must be something better to do with this.  If it’s all a setup for the baby announcement, it’s even dumber.  Honestly, although I love (love!) Honey, I don’t think anyone really cares whether she’s having a baby or not.  In the context of this show, it’s kind of meaningless.  And I hate to say this, but everyone knows that one of the truest signs of a shark-jump in a TV sitcom is the introduction of new kid characters because the original kids are growing up.  Is there one show that got better when new kids were added?  Please don’t let this be Cousin Oliver Syndrome.

FOB moment:  The return of Chinese Santa, in flashback and as a disguise for Louis.

Soundtrack flashback:  “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler (1983, sung by Evan).  “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion (1997, sung by Jessica).

Final grade, this episode: This episode is saved by a solid Deirdre presence and the kids in the cafe.  Otherwise it’s annoying, and I am normally a sucker for Christmas episodes on sitcoms.  Add the gratuitous group carol as the closing credits close, and yeesh. C+.

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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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