FRESH OFF THE BOAT Review: “Neighbors with Attitude”

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It’s a mystery that sets off a panic this week on FRESH OFF THE BOAT. Louis (Randall Park) and Jessica (Constance Wu) are committed to starting a neighborhood watch with some difficulty while Eddie (Hudson Yang) works with Trent (Trevor Larcom) to make Valentine’s Day perfect and get his first kiss with Alison (Isabella Alexander).

FRESH OFF THE BOAT - "Neighbors with Attitude" - Jessica is disappointed to learn that she is excluded from the Neighborhood Watch, because she has a reputation of not being a team player. But when Ann's son goes missing, Jessica proves that her independent security measures work better than everyone else's. Meanwhile, Eddie sets the stage for the perfect first kiss with Alison, on a special Valentine's Day-themed episode of ABC's "Fresh Off the Boat," airing on TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EST). (ABC/Michael Ansell) IAN CHEN, RACHEL CANNON

As Jessica and Louis are planning their Valentine’s Day doing taxes (again), they check their mailbox to find a half of a pastrami sandwich. After going to the police, they decide to bring up a neighborhood watch at Deidre’s (Rachel Cannon) neighborhood meeting. Well, the next day Jessica finds neighborhood watch signs on everyone’s lawn. Louis tries to reassure Jessica that it’s all just a misunderstanding. Jessica, however, feels that the ladies don’t think she would be good at leading the neighborhood watch. Jessica then resolves to prove that she’s good at finding things by using Where’s Waldo slides in front of the ladies. Deidre pulls Jessica aside and tells her that no one wants her involved because she’s not a team player, which is true. Louis sees how much this means to her and teaches her how to be a team player. Jessica tries to present some ideas during the neighborhood watch meeting, but Deidre isn’t having any of it and rudely brushes her aside and cancels the meeting after Louis says she worked hard on the ideas. However, when Louis takes Ann Gardiner’s (Courtney Thorne-Smith) ceramic lawn frog to prove a point, Anne’s son Peter (Corwin Allard) goes missing as he used the key in the frog to get inside his house. Jessica put up a security camera anyways, so Louis confesses to Jessica what he did and Jessica is very pleased. However, they discover that it was Marvin (Ray Wise) who put the pastrami sandwich in their mailbox as Honey won’t allow him to eat cured meats anymore due to high blood pressure. Marvin tells Louis and Jessica he sent Peter to the mall to get a key made to his house to which Jessica and Louis ask why he sent him alone. Marvin says he’s a grown seventeen-year-old man to which Louis and Jessica correct him saying that he’s a ten-year-old boy. Jessica and Louis find him in the mall food court and takes him home to Ann.

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Eddie, after bragging to his friends about how many girls he kissed back in Washington D.C., goes to Trent for help with some cologne. He finds a Sparrow Scout book and Trent in his uniform under his robe. Eddie comes clean to Trent in that he never kissed a girl and wants the night to be perfect. Eddie says he has the idea in his head of the perfect kiss after he saw Poetic Justice. He wants his first kiss to be perfect and he wants to go into high school not being a kissing virgin. Trent vows to be his wingman again on Valentine’s Day (last year it was the crazy mix-up at the Janet Jackson concert). However, Trent hates Girl Scouts and told them off. So as the dance is run by Girl Scouts, Trent, Eddie and Alison are not allowed to be let into the dance. With that Alison and Eddie share a milkshake at the diner. Eddie shakes out a Sweetheart that says “Kiss Me”, and as he pops it in his mouth to go in for a kiss with Alison, he chokes on the candy causing Trent to perform CPR on him. Eddie walks Alison to the door and is disappointed with how the night turned out. Alison counters that the night is not over and they kiss with Trent watching.

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This week’s episode had me dying with the exchange between Ann and Peter when Ann tells Peter they won’t mention his disappearance to his father and Peter telling his mom that they won’t tell Tanya. To which his mom asks who is Tanya. It’s so random and yet the delivery on that joke is perfect I had to stop the episode to get the laughter out. Jessica saying how white people are always losing their kids and that milk cartons are reminders of their failures had me dying as well. I honestly couldn’t believe they let that joke fly on network television. I did like how Grandma Jenny Huang (Lucille Soong) toyed with Emery (Forrest Wheeler) for the whole episode. She had him searching for her well-hidden money throughout the Huang house since she doesn’t trust banks. Instead of finding Grandma’s money, he found Evan’s (Ian Chen). Evan being mad at Carol-Joan (Stacey Scowley) for not paying back twelve dollars she owed him was great as well. My hats off to Abbey Caldwell who wrote a very strong episode and one that could’ve been easily a throwaway episode. This is one of the season’s best. Let’s see if next week’s is just as strong.

Needle drops for this episode:

“Again” by Janet Jackson on the Poetic Justice soundtrack (Fun fact: this song got an Oscar nom)

A+ Grade

Season 3, Episode 13 (S03E13)
Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays at 9PM on ABC

Read all of our reviews of Fresh Off the Boat here. 
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A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @bwood0824
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