Friday, 20 January 2017

Fresh Off The Boat | Clean Slate

To celebrate Chinese New Year, ABC aired two episodes of their Asian family sitcom Fresh Off The Boat on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The second episode of the double dose was the official Chinese New Year episode titled "Clean Slate" which is undoubtedly one of the best episodes of the season and possibly the strongest episode since the show's first season. 

In the episode Jessica pushes the family to settle all debts, disputes and grudges on Chinese New Year's eve in order to ensure good fortune for the coming year. This is easier said than done. As we now know, Jessica is a loose cannon who has no problem voicing her dissatisfaction with people and as a result, she enlists Emery who "is always smiling" and "gets along with everybody" to help her keep her temper in check. The scenes between both characters, particularly at the dry cleaners are hilarious. We also get to see a less optimistic and more dramatic side to Emery after his mother fails to support him when the slimy owner of the dry cleaner tries to con Emery out of five dollars.

Meanwhile, Louis and Evan decided to get new haircuts for the new year (#NewYearNewMe) from a barbershop owned by Louis' "trusted" barber Rueben who gives Evan two TRAGIC hair cuts. In true Jessica style, Evan mails Rueben a hate letter which leads to the pair trying to get the letter before Rueben reads it. It is a common sitcom trope which has been used a multitude of times before but Louis and Evan are both beloved characters who transform their scenes from run-of-the-mill to something very funny. One of the best scenes involves Louis hatching a plan to snatch the mail from the mail man, which fails of course, and leads to an awkward conversation with a police officer.

And finally, no episode of Fresh Off The Boat would be complete without Eddie and his crew of misfits. In order to settle her disputes with her second cousin, Grandma Huang agrees to allow Susan to send her son Simon to stay with the Huangs for the New Year holiday. Eddie is assigned the job to take care of Simon whom he thinks is uncool. Following an enlightening conversation with his Grandma, Eddie decides to show Simon something that is truly American... Build-A-Bear! After he abandons Simon at Build-A-Bear the two have an awesome rap battle and find common ground. Again, this is a plot line which we have seen before, ironically in the first season of Fresh Off The Boat. However, the interactions between both characters are enough to make the half hour all the more enjoyable.

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