Fresh Off the BoatLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Roseanne's jab at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat was "a dog whistle so strong that it might have brought Lassie back from the dead"
According to Emily Nussbaum, that one controversial joke about "all the shows about black and Asian families" explains Roseanne. Nussbaum says the joke was a racial dog whistle. If it wasn't, why not target shows about white families like The Middle or Speechless? Is it because those shows are "just like them"? "The jab," says Nussbaum, "was clearly aimed at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, comedies that share ABC’s Tuesday schedule with Roseanne. The line establishes a few things. One is that the Conners don’t live in the same America as the Johnsons, from Black-ish, or the Huangs, from Fresh Off the Boat. There will never be a crossover episode—no fun clash, say, between an aging Jessica Huang and Roseanne, on a Conner trip to Florida. Instead, the Conners are themselves bored, alienated ABC viewers, unable even to remember titles, just that these are the 'black and Asian' shows."
- ABC having the No. 1 show with Roseanne hasn't happened since Who Wants to be a Millionaire in 2000
- What is the point of Mary Conner? The one black Roseanne family member is nearly invisible
- Johnny Galecki's return was a perfect metaphor for the revival's messiness
- David being back only made sense in an alternate universe
- Did Barbara Bush actually call Roseanne Barr "brave," as Barr claimed? Not exactly
- 90-year-old Estelle Parsons looked really good in her return as Bev
Posted Saturday 4/14/18 at 12:07AM EDT
Asian-American Bob's Burgers writer shares the aftermath of criticizing a Roseanne joke
Kelvin Yu, who also appears on Master of None, went viral with his tweets slamming Roseanne for a joke taking a shot at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat. "Many of the comments I received were supportive — retweets, likes and the always flattering fist emoji," he writes in The New York Times. "However, I have to admit that the loudest voices to me were the ones that were vitriolic and shockingly mean," including racially disparaging remarks. Yu writes that he found it "so galling that a show celebrating ostensibly marginalized Americans would consider shows about even more marginalized Americans a punch line, tossed off between two yawns and a meh, followed by a roomful of people laughing. And although, admittedly, I have no idea what it means to be white or working class, there are at least a half-dozen shows out there through which I can experience it vicariously. Meanwhile, white working-class people have one — and only one — current network show to help them understand the lives of Asian-Americans (hint: it rhymes with Shmesh Off the Shmoat)."
- Even the haters should appreciate Roseanne: "When a TV show — or any pop culture artifact — is drawing that kind of a mass audience, it has something to tell us about ourselves and the times in which we live"
- Here's your first look at Roseanne's mom Bev's return next week
- Seth Meyers has Roseanne "fans" explain to him why they love the show so much
Posted Wednesday 4/11/18 at 5:05AM EDT
Is ABC ditching its reputation for diversity in wake of Roseanne's success?
Roseanne's emergence and ABC's "heartland strategy" come as Shonda Rhimes is leaving for Netflix, with Fresh Off the Boat on the bubble, and after a controversial Black-ish episode was pulled, prompting creator Kenya Barris to reportedly seek an early exit from his ABC Studios deal. "Recent signs suggest that ABC is entering a new and more complicated era" when it comes to diverse shows, says Alyssa Rosenberg, "and the network isn’t alone — the number of women and people of color creating new shows declined across the industry as a whole in the 2017-2018 television season. And it’s striking, if a little tricky to discuss, that ABC’s reputation for bold discussions of race has hit a rough patch under the leadership of Channing Dungey, who became the first African American woman to serve as president of a major broadcast television network in 2016." As Rosenberg notes, Dungey has used "the language of diversity" in trying to broaden the network's audience to appeal to so-called Heartland viewers. "So far, Dungey’s attempts to secure a broader audience have shown some success," says Rosenberg, pointing to The Good Doctor and Roseanne. ALSO: By trying to appeal to "heartland" viewers, is ABC becoming "Trump TV"?
Posted Tuesday 4/10/18 at 1:35PM EDT
Fresh Off the Boat's Hudson Yang worries his show will be canceled
Ratings have declined in Season 4, and the 14-year-old actor thinks if Fresh Off the Boat is renewed, it will be moved to Fridays.
Posted Friday 4/06/18 at 4:27AM EDT
Bob's Burgers writer: Here's why Roseanne's joke about Fresh Off the Boat and Black-ish was so offensive
Kelvin Yu addressed the controversy over Tuesday's episode in a nine-tweet thread. "At the very least, it's reductive and belittling, as if to say those shows are nothing more than 'Black' and 'Asian' in their existence," he wrote. He said Tuesday's joke "implies that the point of any show about a minority family is simply to normalize them. That's it. The stories, the humor, the characters... not important."
Posted Thursday 4/05/18 at 12:48AM EDT
Did the Roseanne revival betray the old Roseanne?
Tuesday's episode was "jarring" because it contradicted a key part of the original Roseanne series, says Laura Bradley. "During its original run, Roseanne was a lightning rod for a multitude of reasons—not the least of which was Roseanne Conner’s parenting style," says Bradley. "She was loud, crass, and more permissive than a traditional sitcom parent, a far cry from the squeaky-clean, 1950s sensibilities the series frequently mocked. One thing she never made a habit of, though, was spanking her children. And her reasoning was extremely well established: as the characters make clear through multiple seasons, Roseanne and her sister, Jackie, were abused by their father. The one time Roseanne was ever shown spanking one of her children, her outburst ended with a tearful apology—which is why the central plot of Tuesday’s installment of the rebooted series felt misguided at best, and like a forced expression of conservative talking points at worst. It’s further evidence that despite any protestations to the contrary, the new Roseanne has a distinct ideology—which is why it’s struck such a chord with right-leaning viewers."
Posted Wednesday 4/04/18 at 5:25PM EDT
Why did Roseanne take an "unnecessary jab" at Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat?
Last night's episode contained what one critic called a "snide dismissal" of Roseanne's fellow ABC comedies, which Dan Conner called "shows about black and Asian families." As the Shadow and Act blog notes, "in an effort to represent 'middle America,' the network has completely missed the mark, and seemingly the writers room as well, for this not only unnecessary jab, but one that has the audacity to compare what the show represents to the plight of black and brown families." Asked about the remark, Roseanne co-showrunner Bruce Helford said the show was "commenting on the fact that all sitcoms really want everybody to feel included of all diversities and it's kind of a funny thing. That's all. When we did the George Lopez show, we didn't want anybody to feel excluded because it was about a Mexican-American family. And I don't think anybody wants to be excluded because it's (a show about) either a black family or an Asian-American family."
Posted Tuesday 4/03/18 at 11:20PM EDT
Roseanne boss expects to continue not mentioning Trump's name in Season 2
In a wide-ranging interview, co-showrunner Bruce Helford reflected on all the hoopla surrounding the past week, including Roseanne Barr's new controversies and accusations that the show panders to President Trump's base. He also responded to Trump trying to take credit for the show's ratings success. "It's always weird when someone at that level weighs in on these kinds of things. In any case, everybody wants to be part of a winner, so everybody sort of jumps in," said Helford. When asked if Trump's name will come up in Season 2 after not being mentioned in Season 1, Helford responded: "We never set out to be a show about politics. We set out to be a show about the Conners and how the current political climate affects the family. We made a point of not mentioning names in the beginning and I believe we will probably maintain that same thing. There is no agenda here, in any direction. The idea is to present all sides of the dialogue. Making it specific like that isn't necessary. That's not what we're doing. We're not talking about the personalities involved. We're talking about the effects of all the politics on the lives of people like the Conners."
Posted Wednesday 3/21/18 at 11:27PM EDT
Fresh Off the Boat creator: Why we used our season finale to fight gender norms
Showrunner Nahnatchka Khan says the initial plan wasn't to write a gender conformity storyline.
Posted Tuesday 2/06/18 at 11:36PM EST
Why Fresh Off the Boat aired an episode that was about 50% in Mandarin
Jeff Chiang says of writing tonight’s episode: “Working as a TV writer, I never thought there would be a primetime network sitcom centered on an Asian family. The fact that I get to work on it and pull so directly from my childhood, being a half-Chinese kid raised in a Mandarin-speaking household, is still hard to wrap my head around.”
Posted Tuesday 1/30/18 at 2:04AM EST
Which Tuesday shows will be preempted by President Trump’s State of the Union speech?
Two new episodes of Fresh Off the Boat on ABC and a new episode of Ellen’s Game of Games on NBC are the only fresh episodes that will be on the Big Four networks on Tuesday.
Posted Thursday 1/25/18 at 9:04PM EST
Female Indian-American reboot of The Greatest American Hero gets an ABC pilot pickup
The new Greatest American Hero follows a 30-year-old Indian-American woman from Cleveland who takes on the William Katt role. The revival is from the Fresh Off the Boat team, with writer-producer Rachna Fruchbom penning the pilot.
Posted Monday 1/08/18 at 5:52PM EST
The Bachelor Winter Games will get visits from past Winter Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner
ABC said there will be 26 singles competing on The Bachelor spinoff, which will receive visits from current Bachelor Arie Luyendyk, Jr. and former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. ALSO: Nancy Kerrigan will play herself on Fresh Off the Boat.
Posted Wednesday 11/29/17 at 12:21AM EST
In defense of “boring” old-fashioned joke-telling sitcoms
Acclaimed traditional sitcoms like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Superstore and Fresh Off the Boat are often damned with faint praise, says John Schneider. Because they look conventional, they aren’t seen as boundary-pushing as shows like Atlanta and Bojack Horseman. “But this perception glosses over the fact that those conventions evolved for a reason,” says Schneider, “and they often allow traditional sitcoms to tell more resonant stories than more overtly innovative shows. Jokes are only the most obvious such convention. A series like Master of None and Atlanta will often go for entire scenes without anything resembling a joke. In many cases, this makes the dialogue feel more realistic, and can often set up bigger laughs later in the episode. But often, the lack of jokes in prestige comedies feels self-aware, a way of telling you this scene is supposed to be important. On the other hand, the comfortable patter of a sitcom like Brooklyn Nine-Nine allows them to sneak in discussions of issues like the NYPD’s credibility and racial profiling without feeling preachy."
Posted Wednesday 11/08/17 at 9:32PM EST
Fresh Off the Boat’s Eddie Huang says he was sexually assaulted as a teenager
The celebrity chef and Vice Huang's World host, whose life story inspired the ABC sitcom, detailed his harassment story at age 14 on a church trip, in an article titled, “Why I Denied My Sexual Assault for 20 Years.”