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.