10.04.2015

This Week in #POCtv: Black-ish and Fresh off the Boat

Blacki-ish is really off to a good start this season.  This first two eps have been a flawless victory, with the premiere tackling the infamous n-word and this week's ep tackling gun ownership.

Unlike Minority Report, Black-ish's season premiere "The Word" was a flawless victory.  I laughed so hard, out loud, the whole way through. I'm really glad that ABC - for the time being - appears to be sitting back and just letting Kenya Barris do what he do, hear?  Having Andre Johnson, Jr. tackle the n-word - the only way Andre - can is a stroke of sheer genius.

The smartest move, however, was to not make Andre go entirely overboard the way he usually does, at least not this time.  When his younger son Jack is expelled from school for using the word, Andre has to start re-evaluating it, starting with his family, friends and coworkers, and then the school board.

It's a really funny episode.



I'm just sayin', tho!

I also liked the final verdict Andre comes up with: white people got to create and hurl the word for centuries; black people need a run at it to figure it out.  The only reason they want to ban the word is when they can't say it; otherwise they feel everyone should get to say simply because they want.  This is particularly evident by the way Andre, his father, and his eldest daughter Zoe all treat the n-word: Pops' generation considers it a negative term, while Andre's generation attempted to reclaim it, and Zoe's "sexting, insta-dummy generation" is just "giving it away".

In humor, "The Word" vastly eclipsed the second episode in Andre insists on buying a gun for protection, even though it's obviously a huge mistake, replete with all the usual arguments.

With Fresh Off the Boat; the situation is reversed, as I barely remember the season premiere and was about to sit this one out, until I saw the second.  Every child of immigrants - even the most spoiled of the lot - sometimes feels like their parents are just in the way, and if they would just shut up and move aside, things would be better.

Eddie's situation in the second episode resonated with me in that he finally found a way to hang with his crush.  He and his neighbor Nicole agree that they will "study" together every day during a free period at school (with Eddie posing as her tutor).  In reality they're just going to hang out and listen to music.

Unfortunately, Eddie's mother Jessica wants him to start taking piccolo lessons, an instrument he doesn't give a shit about and is highly unlikely to use later in life (unlike, say, learning to comfortably converse with someone he's attracted to, build up his confidence and self-worth, and develop healthy social skills).  Thus begins the game of parent-child chess, something at which Jessica excels.  By manipulating the school into giving Eddie more students to "tutor", his magic one-on-one time with Nicole is lost.  It's a done deal once she notices a good-looking new kid and forgets all about Eddie.

To Jessica's dismay, Eddie falls into a deep depression, unwilling to get out of bed or eat, and playing "End of the Road" over and over again (to the point his father and brothers are singing it with him).  Jessica tries yelling at him to snap out of it, which doesn't work.  Horrified that she may have seriously miscalculated this one, Jessica takes a friend's advice and finally sits down to share her own dating woes stories with her son.

Fresh of the Boat is admittedly funny, and steadily getting funnier; however, I can't ignore that the person who it was based on has been effectively pushed out of the decision-making.  As an aspiring scribbler myself, I'm so not down with that, especially since I've noted the deviations the real Eddie Huang has pointed out on the show.  Once again there seems to be that pattern of taking a show about brown people and bending out over backwards to make white people wanna watch it.

Fashion tip?  Take your cue from Black-ish and just do whatever you have to do.  The Asian American audience is your priority - never forget that.

7 comments:

  1. I admit..when ABC announed that the N word would be used on an Episode of Blackish, I was very uncomfortable with that thought, but I guess they wanted the show to be as real as possible. Nonetheless, that episode was funny though it's unfortunate that I don't watch the show more than I do.

    Far as Fresh Off The Boat( Arrghh! as funny as these shows are, I hate the title names of them), I only watched one of the episodes and vowed that I would never watch another episode of the shows evernot because the show isn't funny, the only episode I ever watched from it was,but it's the creator of the show Eddie Huangt I have serious problem with.

    I'm giving a whole lot of thanks to Rainier for what he uncovered about that loser on his FB page. I don't have a FB page,but I was able to read parts of what he wrote about what he did/ said about Black women. It's been several weeks since he wrote that particular post,but if you ever get across reading that page you'll see what I'm talking about.To my knowledge, he never apologized for what he said.

    As funny as FOB is, I refuse to support individuals who are disrespectful toward Black women . I guess Eddie just think that only Asian people watch his show * crickets *

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    1. I finally watch FOB when it premiered last Tuesday. Honestly, It wasn't that great. It was okay at best. I still have to catch Black*ish.

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  2. I adore Blackish, and hate that it's up against Empire on Wednesday nights, as Black-ish is by FAR the cleverer and better-written of the two shows. I watch Empire for the drama and shenanigans, but whenever Lee Daniels opens his mouth in interview, damn-near everything she says about black women is *so* utterly cringe-worthy and embarrassing. As for Eddie Huang, while I greatly enjoyed his memoir, and hate that his vision and story have been watered down into family-friendly comedy for ABC, I can't ride with him as much as I want to, because of this: http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/865885-Eddie-Huang-Being-a-Racist-POS?highlight=eddie+huang

    It happened awhile back, but the fact that he proceeded to show his ass all over twitter after being called out for his statement (which, yeah, wasn't articulated very well at all) made me lose respect for the dude. Blah.

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  3. The real Eddie Huang creeps me out with his anti-black woman vitrol so i'm not exactly crying about the loss of his involvement. How can i be sympathetic about his marginalization when he does the same thing to black women? He needs to grow some self-awareness and at the very least, apologize.

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    1. Exactly. He has gone on some extremely misogynoiristic tirades against BW on social media. I was always bothered by the ways that many ppl want to consume blackness by being violently anti-black and he is no exception. They have had several cringe-worthy anti-black jokes so I cannot feign interest in the show when it likes to mock blackness as a way of elevating being Asian to being "equal" to whiteness. It's what we see from them in real life...this effort to distance themselves from brown and black POC and accept the very problematic model minority myth while ignoring white supremacy and white mediocrity.
      Eddie Huang is super racist, and yet would not engage with BM the way he feels comfortable dragging BW, and with good reason. He knows no one is going to challenge his anti-black woman misogyny because we are not seen as actual women and no one gets any brownie points for telling him to fall back.

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    2. Eddiue Huang's fuckery aside, I grow concerned at the thought of any writer of color having not just their work but their very life stories twisted, repackaged, and re-purposed to suit white audiences. Some folks may argue that Huang had it coming, but what about the cast of the show? Did Jeff Yang, Constance Wu, or Randall Park and the others have it coming as well? No, but their show (and thus careers) continues to struggle despite being renewed and despite fans really rooting for it to succeed.

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