FRESH OFF THE BOAT is growing up. As our characters’ interests grow, they seem to be moving on from other things. As such, Eddie (Hudson Yang) starts to grow up as he learns you have to treat your girlfriend like a goddess in addition to keeping things new. This Eddie-centric episode called “The Taming of the Dads” is pure joy in storytelling, character building, and comedy.
Eddie and Alison (Isabella Alexander) are celebrating their one year anniversary, with Alison giving Eddie a Flavor Flav clock with a photo of them in it. Unwisely not listening to Evan (Ian Chang) and Emery (Emery Huang) on getting her a gift as they “agreed”, Eddie does not have a gift for Alison in return. So I found it hilarious when Alison (reasonably I might add) has the reaction she does to Eddie’s on the spot gift of Too $hort’s Cocktails (or as Evan calls it too dollar sign hort) as it’s wholly justified. I got a great nostalgia kick when Alison suggested a makeup date of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Sadly, though Louis (Randall Park) and Alison’s father Gary’s (Cory Blevins) mutual love of Shakespeare (as well as the Spin Doctors’ “Two Princes”, another nostalgia kick for me) further makes Alison realize she’s grown bored with Eddie and needs a break. Louis tells Eddie he has to keep things fresh and spontaneous. Eddie then takes Alison to see the movie again, this time without their dads who had to sever their relationship to keep Alison and Eddie’s alive.
I loved this storyline as it shows that Eddie is taking steps towards adulthood, as well as growing up personally a little as he admits he’s lazy. The show is best when centered on Eddie. Here Eddie and Louis take center stage with Alison, who outside of the premiere episode, has been MIA this season. It was cool to see Alison’s father reemerge as well as we last saw in season two, episode thirteen “Phil’s Phaves”. Louis is so personable and likeable that him and Gary becoming fast friends was not only funny, but endearing. Louis consistently remains the most likable character on the show and this episode highlighted why.
Elsewhere, in keeping with what transpired in the standout episode “Citizen Jessica”, Jessica (Constance Wu) is called for jury duty. Like all of us, she tries to figure out ways out of it and unwisely listens to an idiot in saying she loves LA Law as a way out. Unfortunately for her that’s a huge pro for the court, and so she’s assigned. What make this b-plot funny is that she finds herself wanting to be jury foreman so much that she makes it a problem for everyone else who just wants to go home. When she’s finally made head juror, the case is a mistrial due to her outbursts when reading the verdict.
Meanwhile, Emery and Evan are sent a Tamagotchi (nostalgia trip number three) from their uncle Hennessey. The two boys are excited by taking it around the neighborhood in a red wagon and showing it off to neighbors, but are quick to learn why Hennessey sent the electronic pet their way. Sleep and homework becomes a problem as the boys take thirty minute intervals in taking care of their pet. It becomes such a problem that while arguing about it, the Tamagotchi dies. The boys have a little funeral for it. As they bury it, the Tamagotchi hilariously keeps beeping, and the boys both choose to ignore it. Jessica, Louis and Honey (why she was there I have no idea) are at the funeral where Honey informs Jessica that since her citizenship hadn’t kicked in yet, she could’ve said she was still here on her green card leaving Jessica dejected.
There was not a wasted moment in one of the best episodes of the season. Giving Jessica jury duty was a smart plot line that continues a story from the best episode of the season so far, “Citizen Jessica”. Also, again I hope we can have more episodes revolve around Eddie as now the show seems to be taking steps in evolving his character in smart ways. This is also the best the show has weaved in 90s pop culture to serve the story and not the other way around.
Needle drops for this episode:
“Two Princes” – Spin Doctors
Season 3, Episode 7 (S03E07)
Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays at 9PM on ABC
A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is a 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) .
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Brandon Norwood | Contributor