It’s a fusion of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Fresh Off the Boat Season 6 Episode 9 after Louis made it as a contestant on the show.
Jessica, Eddie, and Emery were in the audience of the taping, while Grandma Huang and Evan were on the couch ready for Louis’ lifeline call.
Amidst Louis’ contemplation of the answer choices, flashbacks were provided of previous interactions that helped him figure out the right answers to Regis Philbin’s questions.
Most of the interactions revolved around Louis chatting with Eddie about handing down Cattleman’s Ranch to him.
Eddie had many suggestions of items to add to the menu, but Louis was especially against his Asian fusion idea of the cow-bao.
Originally Eddie thought it was just because of Louis’ need to control everything, but later learned it was because he didn’t want to be a stereotype.
I have a photographic tongue. I remember every taste.
A common challenge among many American immigrants is how to balance the American culture and their original culture.
Louis said it wasn’t that he was ashamed of being Chinese or about the Chinese culture, but it was the stereotyping and microaggressions he experienced with the restaurant seller that made him strongly averse to adding anything other than strictly American to the menu.
Microaggressions are so common and as the term would suggest they may be so small and slight that they may not be recognized as racist.
But they are entirely hurtful and racist, and most of all unnecessary.
The American Dream holds such precedence in especially Asian American families and this is a common theme found within the Huang family.
Their idea of money and success is based on their struggle to come to America in order to make a new life and provide more for their family.
The Wheel takes physical skill, Millionaire is just knowing lots of stuff.
Jessica’s opinion on acting not being a suitable career are valid, and truly any parents concern, but her strict guidelines and hopes of Evan and Emery one day becoming doctors or scientists lie all in her desire for them to be successful.
Success is a completely subjective idea, but in an immigrant family, it seems to remain the same. Making money and a name for yourself.
And the point of the game show fit perfectly within the Asian American’s concept of success.
Emery and Eddie successfully point out that their family has acclimated to the country and culture and should not see it as China versus America, but instead as a fusion.
Combining both cultures eliminates the possibility of forgetting their Chinese culture, but still accepting their current culture.
We missed out on a classic lesson from Grandma Huang, but a lesson from Regis Philbin wasn’t too far off, either.
Jessica: Don’t worry Louis, money isn’t everything.
Eddie and Louis came to a compromise, and Jessica got on board with acting after realizing that although she may not understand Emery’s love for it, he does love it.
Any mother will understand that when it comes to their child’s happiness, that’s far greater than any passionless success will ever be.
I will give it to Jessica. When she started explaining how her father’s persistent lying was the real reason she hated acting, I almost felt bad.
If I’m not mistaken, that was one of the first times we really heard about her parents.
Honestly Mom, I’m surprised you’re not more on board with acting. It’s basically manipulation.
There needs to be an episode that provides backstory to how Jessica was raised and why she is the way she is. Sometimes, I want to know who hurt her!
It’s important that Fresh Off the Boat tackles these questions and challenges specific to immigrant families.
Albeit, every family can trace their lineage back to immigrants, a lot of people of color have more recent family ties to immigration.
It’s an especially important topic in this political climate when immigration has become a point of contention.
Recently the discussion of whether or not Asians can be considered an ethnic minority has seemed to be growing, and I would say that this show does a strong job of offering insight into answering that question.
This wasn’t necessarily an exciting episode since most of the scenes were focused on Louis on the game show, but it did contain many subtleties.
Additional Side Notes:
It is ironic watching Jessica talk poorly about acting when she’s a character being played by an actress.
If “ass” is allowed on the show, but they censor most things Grandma Huang says, it makes me even more curious to know what she could possibly be saying.
I wonder if some of those questions were recycled from actual episodes of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Specifically the computer question, it seems like it could have been a plausible scenario in the early days of computers.
- How have cow-baos not been invented already?! Somebody better get on that now!
- Trent is not only his work wife but his lifeline as well. And, of course, Trent would be the one to use the full term of lateral epicondylitis over tennis elbow.
As always, if you missed the airing of the episode, you can always watch Fresh Off the Boat online via TV Fanatic.
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Inga Parkel is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.