Tweetable Takeaway: Before the one ring to rule them all, there was Cathy Ireland in the SI swimsuit issue and the Saturday sleepover.Tweet
Airtime: Tuesday at 8pm on ABC
By: Eric Rodriguez, Contributor
FRESH OFF THE BOAT explores the peril of rising stock with Persistent Romeo. Eddie’s popularity improves at school when word spreads about him groping the neighbor lady at the block party. He is very close to making friends. Louis enjoys a night at the Cattleman’s when all tables are full and they have to make a waiting list.
Constance worries that success will make them targets for frivolous lawsuits. Cattleman’s is insured against slip-n-fall’s and food poisoning, but not sexual harassment. Constance puts together a sexual harassment seminar, but the first try doesn’t go well. Louis contracts a professional, Dusty Nugget, to conduct the train-wreck seminar. Dusty was a repeat sexual harassment offender who, through a complicated plea-deal, got Hannibal-Lecter’d into working for the good guys.
The lasting charm of the mid 90’s
Eddie finally gets invited to a Saturday sleepover, something the other kids have excluding him from. Constance, weary of sexual predators, won’t let him go, but offers to host the sleepover at the Huang home. The thing is, the big draw at the other boy’s house is a dirty magazine. In this case, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue with Cathy Ireland, “looking cold.” Narrator Eddie reminds us, “Obviously, none of us had seen a dirty magazine before. It was 1995, it wasn’t like you could just say, Siri, find me boobs.”
When I was young, the great white whale of dirty movies was 10, a Blake Edwards movie starring Dudley Moore, Bo Derek, and the original slo-mo beach run. As it turns out when I finally got to see it, no so dirty. I mention it because Dudley Moore was hilarious in it. He was a talented man with a deep bag of tricks. Young Hudson Yang, who plays Eddie on Fresh Off The Boat, has many of the same comedic qualities. He plays both innocent and scoundrel at the same time. His motives, to find friendship, are pure but sometime lead to troubled waters.
Eddie tells the kids he is having a sleepover, but to close the deal, he claims to have a dirty movie. He doesn’t and plans to steal one form the adult section at the local video store. He enlists the help of his two younger brothers to create a distraction, but plan “A” fails and he gets booted from the store, sans video.
When the kids arrive at Eddie’s house, one of the boys, Trent, finds a copy of Dusty Nugget Productions, Sexual Harassment, The Video. They don’t know any better and assume it is the dirty movie. They watch the video in Eddie’s room where they take the harassment scenarios as a training exercise for picking up girls. Some of the harassing archetypes include the Persistent Romeo, the Crooner, and the Temping Tanya who uses her sexuality to ensnare men.
What do you know about flowers and the watering can?
Brock, the kid with the Cathy Ireland foldout, senses his place on the pyramid slipping. He has a friend from the media room make dozens of copies of the Dusty Nugget video and hands them out at school. The video enjoys the 90’s version of going viral. All the boys watch it and there is a hilarious montage of the twelve year olds test-driving their Persistent Romeos and identifying the Tempting Tanyas. The Principal calls a sex-ed assembly to explain sexuality but also encourages parents to have “The Talk,” with their kids using the district-approved textbook, Flowers and Watering Cans.
The great thing about these guys is their courage and sense of forward momentum.
When Eddie’s dirty movie heist goes bust, he puts plan “B” into motion. Plan “B” involves a dirty red car, sponges, buckets of water, candy-apple red heels, and convincing the girl next door to wash it while he video tapes her. Of course she wants no part of it, but even the concept requires aiming high.
Louis does not use the textbook, nor does he defer “The Talk” to Constance. Instead, he has a more personal talk with Eddie about sex with a specific highlight on the teen and college years. Eddie does not get grounded, he gets educated. Furthermore, he offers to pass that education on to his friends Trent and Bed-Wetter Doug at his next sleepover.
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.