“When Fresh Off the Boat first premiered in 2015, it was the first time I saw a family on-screen that not only looked like mine but shared similar sentiments and memories of trying to balance contrasting cultures and heritages. But after four years and six seasons, it was announced on Friday that Fresh Off the Boat would be canceled after its sixth season. Despite the news, the series will forever be a trailblazer that paved the path for talent and films that have become instrumental to the media representation of Asians.
Since airing, Fresh Off the Boat became the longest-running sitcom revolving around an Asian-American family in broadcast TV history, according to Vulture. Each week, viewers have tuned in to mainstream television to understand one family’s experience of emigrating from Taiwan to America and coming into their own as minorities. It addressed themes of immigration, the American Dream, and cultural assimilation through the lens of parental characters Jessica and Louis Huang and their three sons Eddie, Emery, and Evan Huang. Despite its groundbreaking run on ABC, the show’s ratings have declined in the past few years, per Zap2It, making its cancelation barely a surprise.”
‘Fresh Off The Boat’ was the first U.S. television show since Margaret Cho’s ‘All American Girl,’ which was over twenty years of absence highlighting an Asian American family.
I had the great opportunity to interview Hudson Yang, and his father, Jeff Yang, back in 2015. Most sitcoms are lucky to survive their first season, so in many ways, the show’s cancellation was inevitable. Personally, I was most impressed with the story arc of Eddie dating his white girlfriend without race ever becoming that big of an issue – something I wish I had seen while growing up in the 1980s.
The series is set to conclude in an hour-long series finale set for February 21st, 2020. I am wishing the best to all the cast & crew, and I would like to see the cast in future television, film or more broadly, entertainment careers – whatever path they choose to go from here. I’m hoping that we’ll continue to see Asian American faces and stories being told in the future – it was pretty amazing to see both ‘Fresh Off The Boat’ and ‘Dr. Ken’ on broadcast television at the same time!