This May 2014 ad promoted a new ABC Television Network’s comedy series called “Fresh off the Boat.” Inspired by food personality Eddie Huang, this was the first sitcom in 20 years to center on an Asian American family. Struggling to fit in to their new hometown of Orlando, Florida, eleven-year-old Eddie Huang and his family must adapt to the untried circumstances that come along with living out “The American Dream.” Battling to fit in at school, Eddie changes up his wardrobe and what he packs in his lunches, while his mother must learn to adjust to the suburban culture of supermarkets and dog walking, and Eddie’s father tries to figure out the key to success in his new Cattleman’s Ranch Seakhouse restaurant.
Who is considered American? And, who is afforded the potential promise and benefits of the “American dream”?
How do different members of the family understand and try to achieve the “American Dream”? What struggles do they face in relation to the other characters they encounter in their new life?
Is the “American Dream” celebrated or critiqued? Does following the “American Dream” mean you need to assimilate and blend in to another culture? Or, can you maintain your racial, ethnic identity, culture, and heritage?
How is Eddie’s love of hip hop culture tied to the “American Dream”?
Does this promo perpetuate stereotypes of certain groups? How? Does the use of comedy challenge those stereotypes?
How does this promo and show compare to other kinds of representations of Asian Americans you’ve seen on television or in mainstream media?