Final Paper Brainstorm


For my final paper, I have chosen the television show Fresh off the Boat on ABC. The show revolves around the main character, Eddie Huang, and his family, a semi-traditional Chinese/Taiwanese family, as they move from DC to Orlando, Florida, in pursuit of the American Dream. It is currently on its third season and has not yet been determined for a fourth season.

Why this show?

The ABC network has a very culturally diverse set of shows. Along with Fresh off the Boat, they have Blackish, which is an African American-centered show. They also have a show called Quantico, which is a typical FBI/CIA/national security show. The only difference is that the main character is Priyanka Chopra, a famous Indian actress. What’s unique about this example is that when you think of a national defense show, you would assume that the main cast is all white, however they are tackling this norm with Priyanka.

The reason I chose Fresh off the Boat over Blackish or Quantico is that it is relatable to me. I am American born Chinese, just like Eddie Huang, the main character. The show jokes about/tackles issues that I have experienced myself, such as racial slurs, “strange” foods, and other cultural norms.

Possible theories

  • Cultural Studies
  • Intersectionality
  • Signification
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Internalized Oppression
  • Hegemony
  • Media Literacy


  • Textual analysis

Ideas to talk about

I think one of the most important parts about the show, and with Blackish, is that they satirical. They use humor to talk about serious topics, like race. This supports the claim that humor is the only way to talk about race seriously from the movie Reel Bad Arabs. The topic of race is stigmatized, as it has been an issue for a long time; people don’t want to hear about it anymore.

I think it is also interesting to discuss the authenticity of the show, what cultural norms are a problem, and what aren’t/exaggerated. When the show first premiered in 2015, I actually had a few friends from different schools who were a part of some sort of Asian Student Union at their respective schools. Those groups actually had events to watch the show together and discuss the authenticity of the show and what it means to Asian Americans in society today.


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