FRESH OFF THE BOAT Review: “The Vouch”


Jessica (Constance Wu) has finally finished her novel on this week’s Fresh Off the Boat and it’s not good. With Kenny Rogers coming to visit Cattleman’s Ranch this week to check in on how his business is doing, Louis (Randall Park) is faced with the fact that he’s going to have to lie to his wife about the book.

After getting over her writer’s block to complete her novel, she presents it to Louis and it takes him forever to read it (during a very dope hip-hop instrumental). When he does finish it, he does not like it one bit. And with Matthew Chestnut (Matt Oberg) telling Louis that Kenny Rogers is visiting to check in on the restaurant. Jessica gets wind of this and wants Louis to show Kenny her book, so it can get published.

Louis doesn’t know how to break it to Jessica that her book is now good and continues to lie to her. With no choice, he turns to Honey (Chelsey Crisp) and Marvin (Ray Wise) for advice on what to do. They point out how harsh Jessica is as she has no filter saying whatever comes to her mind. Marvin won’t read it as he goes out into the world and makes his own stories while Honey has a pact with Jessica on keeping creative endeavors separate from friendship. However, Honey does have an idea on how to break the news that her book is not good to her.

Honey has the neighborhood ladies read it and they all hate. Sitting down with Louis and Jessica, the women air out their grievances with the novel providing extensive notes on what they liked and especially what they didn’t like. Louis is happy to seemingly have a weight lifted off his shoulders. Jessica does not like the neighborhood women. Dierdre (Rachael Cannon) more so than the others. She takes their notes and throws them directly in the trash. Jessica tells Louis to make sure that Kenny Rogers gets the book.

On the day of the visit, Louis is wearing a single stud earring. The earring is bad y’all. Matthew Chestnut seriously thought that it was a piece of glitter and the happy/sad drama mask faces? Why? We see that the visit went well, and Louis is through the roof about it. Sending Kenny off, Louis runs back in the restaurant to take a gander at his new boots. Jessica, however, runs in behind him with the manuscript and Louis lies about handing him the book as she gave him an envelope with the instruction manual for their coffee maker and her twenty (yeesh) page complaint about it. Louis looking embarrassed as he’s caught in the lie, he tells her the truth. Jessica lays into Louis about support as she supported him and his crazy dream of opening Cattleman’s.

Louis makes it up to her by submitting the book to Kenny. Louis apologizes to her and they make up. Two weeks later, as Louis is breaking in the rattlesnake boots Kenny gave him, a letter comes from Kenny Rogers. His agent sent it to a publishing company who liked the book and it’s going to be published. Jessica rubs it in Louis’ face as they hug.

Eddie (Hudson Yang) and his friends hate getting up to change the CD in the player. Coming across an ad for a 300-hundred-disc CD changer. The boys decide to put money together to have it with sixty dollars apiece. Eddie borrows his share of the money from his brothers. However, since every technically owns a piece of the CD player they all put in a CD which angers Eddie. Eddie says that since it’s in his room, it’s his way or the highway. As the group of boys fight including Eddie’s younger brothers, they all decide to have the player spend a day at their houses eventually.

Eddie listening to an album alone comes across Evan’s (Ian Chen) CD on the Revolutionary War. He gets so wrapped up in it, that he hears the message of tyranny. Evan and Emery (Forrest Wheeler) are there to remind him that democracy is the only way and Eddie see the error of his ways.

With that, Eddie heads out with his two brothers and the stereo equipment agreeing with his friends that democracy is the only way as the boys listen to the stereo together.

This disposable episode continues a pretty disposable season of Fresh Off the Boat. This time last year we had a few episodes that were timely and had things to say. Sure, the tyranny thing plays well to current events but barely. I do like the fact that Kenny Rogers likes Jessica’s book when everyone else doubted her. Hopefully, this leads somewhere.

Needle drops for this episode:

The classic track “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” by Busta Rhymes off the album When Disaster Strikes…

“Only Time” by Enya off the album A Day Without Rain

A Gwar Song

“The Circle of Life” off The Lion King Soundtrack


Season 4, Episode 8 (S04E08)
Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays at 9PM on ABC

Read all of our reviews of Fresh Off the Boat here. 
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.

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
Keep up with all of Brandon’s reviews here.

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