I found this article which better describes some of the stuff I put in my last post, except in a much nicer, neater, non-emotionally charged way. I’m with a lot of the comments I’ve seen from fellow immigrant-Americans, and Nahnatchka Khan herself:
“When I read his memoir, the specifics were different to my growing up experience, being Persian American and him being Taiwanese American, but what I related to was the immigrant experience of the show, being first generation and having parents who weren’t born here. And that, to me, was my access point. When you take something from the source material that’s such a strong voice and make it into an 8 p.m. family sitcom on broadcast TV, you need a lot of access points.”
Some people criticized the story for being all about that 拉面 and not so much about 냉면 or ラーメン or even like, Maggi. And I understand that how that must feel, truly. But I also agree that the slippery slope is real; if this is accepted into media, and it doesn’t even have to be embraced, but if it gets, say, two seasons, then introducing other perspectives and other cultures and making them the heroes and the protagonists instead of the sidekicks and villains becomes one hundred percent plausible. If the networks see the money, then there’s a huge potential to expand into.
Yes, I’m biased because Fresh Off the Boat reflects my experience as an ABC (haha, ABC, get it? Because the network…It’s really early in the morning…) but I want to see all of my minority friends get their own on the screen without producers having to resort to placing everyone back in their respective countries (or fantasy countries; I’m looking at you, Disney) and their historical timelines that aren’t here and now. If this goes better than All-American Girl, we might actually get somewhere meaningful.
With this show I get to cheer on little Eddie Huang as my little brother if my little brother was awesome (just kidding, my actual little brother is pretty cool too) and as an extension of myself as I lived (R&B and hip-hop, Asian underachiever, strict parents, realization that I might not be worst off), not some random sword-wielding girl I can’t love like a younger OR older sister because she doesn’t exist as far as my reality schema goes.
You know who actually exists? Sophia and Louisa Chua-Rubenfield! The Fung Brothers! Joe Jo! David So! Bart Kwan! Olivia Thai! Ryan Higa! Freddie Wong! Anna Akana! Eddie Huang! David Chang! Ming Tsai! Dale Talde! Hung Huynh! Anita Lo! (if you recognize all or most of these names, we should be friends. Also, I present to you basically all the media I digest regularly. And literally.)
And ME! I EXIST!
Maybe it’s just because it’s really early in the morning, I still haven’t gotten anything done, and I’d really like to sleep, but I swear if ABC takes it off the air too soon, I’m going to send so many passive aggressive tweets, you won’t even recognize my Twitter feed.