Very Low Expectations for ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat

Because I had to live through ABC’s last attempt at an Asian American sitcom, the-show-that-shall-not-be-named, I’m gonna be skeptical. But because I’m a fan of Eddie Huang, enough to pay full price for a signed copy of his book Fresh Off the Boat, I’m gonna ignore the recently announced deal to translate his book into a sitcom until its Season 1 DVD release before I pass judgment and hope for the best. And to kill two birds with one stone, I’ll make this post into a bookish bitchin review of his autobiography and mention my favorite parts of the book which will hopefully not be butchered on the small screen.

Eddie Huang Fresh Off the Boat

Here’s my book review: This book should be required reading in all Asian American Studies classes. Plain and simple. Although it wasn’t historical or related to the Asian American “movement” in any sense (I guess unless you were also growing up as the only Asian kid in Orlando like Huang). It also wasn’t a story of an immigrant family and their struggle to get to AMERICA and to finally MAKE it in this crazy country (which was pretty much 3/4 of all the books I read at Cal, sorry Professor )(@$)&)(*@# and )*)(!*@)!@*). This is a story of an Asian kid growing up in the drrty around the same time as me growing up in Cali (bright white Reeboks and Charlotte Hornets parka WHAT?) and how he ended up being the poor man’s Chinese version of our generation’s Anthony Bourdain cause Tony stopped cooking well into his second book while Eddie’s still got the fire in him. What else did I like? The 2 page digression into the 90’s Golden State Warriors helped. The entire chapter on the mid-00’s NYC sneaker scene kinda hit too close to home (and in my mid-00’s wallet – THANKS FOR NOTHING DAVE’S QUALITY MEATS). The deep discussions on Shanghainese dumplings also helped. I think the WHY DID I GO TO LAW SCHOOL-I WANNA DO SOMETHING ELSE chapters really hit close to home for pretty much any one of my friends too. But this book really did it for me cause it was funny as fuck and real as hell. And although I wasn’t his biggest fan after watching him roll through the Bay on his Vice shows, I am a BIG FAN now. BIG FAN.

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