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Fresh Off the Boat:

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Annie Manning

on 7 April 2016

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Transcript of Fresh Off the Boat:

Fresh Off the Boat:
Meeting Whose Expectations?
Thank you for listening!
Jiahong Wang
Pittsburg State University
designed by Péter Puklus for Prezi
Eddie Huang
Thesis Statement
I would argue that
Fresh Off the Boat
is not only an
unfaithful adaptation
, but, more importantly,
a measurable subversion
of the memoir’s original values. It
softens the racial struggles and conflicts
depicted in the original text, and
presents a typical “model-minority” Asian American family
, which
misleads its audience
further enhancing the stereotypes
that Huang fights against in his memoir. I would further argue that
fidelity is crucial
in the adaptation of Asian American literature and other works alike. Without the basic fidelity, the adaptation has become a pure reinvention and even creation.
English Department
Jiahong Wang
Dr. Casie Hermansson
Dr. Sandra Cox
All-American Girl
Fresh Off the Boat
Eddie Huang
Fresh Off the Boat:
A Memoir
"a cornstarch sitcom"
"a mascot for America"

(Huang "Bamboo Ceiling")
Cultural Struggles
“sometimes it is tomato and eggs over fried rice, others it is braised beef and carrots with Chinese broccoli, but every day it smelled like shit” (Huang 30)
Kid Cuisine
Cultural Struggles
"goopy orange stuff"
"boiled intestines in an
orange sauce"
"stunk like feet"
"nasty shit" (Huang 40)
Macaroni and cheese
Racial Struggles
stincky toufu
just can't give up american food
(episode 13)
"... avoid me like spinach"
"My mom would pick me up after school and see the
bruises on my face
from the elbows or
cuts on my arms
from the hard fouls and trips.”(Huang 28-29)
"We lived in a world that treated us like
and we were
" (Huang 60)
To Americans, this may seem sick, but to first- or second- generation Chinese, Korean, Jamaican, Dominican, Puerto Rican immigrants, whatever, if your parents are FOBs, this is just how it is. You don’t talk about it, you can’t escape it, and in a way it

you the rest of your life. (Huang 47)
“People think it’s funny;
the stereotypes have the power to become self-fulfilling prophecies
if we aren’t aware.” (235)
“Our parents, Confucius, the model-minority bullshit, and kung fu-style discipline are what set us off. ” (50)
“They’re [some Asian Americans] all dying to live under the bamboo ceiling and
subscribe to the model-minority myths;

I’m not OK with that shit
Not only I was not white, to many people, I wasn't Asian either (148)
Huang's opinion on
-“basic and banal” (Welsh and Lev xiv)
- “simplistic” (Sanders 24)
- “fruitless”(Leitch “Adaptation” 64)
- “hopelessly fallacious”(Leitch, “Twelve” 161)
- “unlikely to play a leading role in advancing adaptation studies” (Leitch, “Adaptation” 68)
- “futile and deluded”(Brooker 108)
“Fidelity…to what?” (Stam 64).
“particular book-to-film comparative approach…whose main tendency is to evaluate the adaptation’s faithfulness to the original” (Hermansson 147).
“This show is
a lie
…[it] isn’t about me, nor is it about Asian America” “...
reverse-yellow face show
with universal white stories played out by Chinamen” (Huang “Bamboo-Ceiling”).
Consequences of the unfaithful adaptation
“...just because many Asian Americans have "made it," it

does not mean that all Asian Americans have made it
.” (Le "The Model Minority Image")
"[Asian American students are] compared against an ‘Asian stereotype’-
high-achieving, goal-oriented, academically focus
students with a preference for science and math fields." (Kiley "Thinking Outside ‘The Box'")
Works cited
Food 4 All (S1E2)
"I like all of it,
Melrose Place...
mac and cheese, it's so easy to make!" (S1E13)
people just want exciting stories
with interesting characters behind them."

"now that people are embracing these characters and waiting to watch them every week and laughing, we definitely are
going to pick our moments
to come back to that idea"
(Faye, Danis ""Fresh Off the Boat's
Nahnatchka Khan."")
Andrews, Dudley. “The Economies of Adaptation.”
True to the Spirit: Film Adaptation and the Question of Fidelity.

Eds. Colin MacCabe, Kathleen Murray, and Rick Warner. Oxford, UK: Oxford UP, 2011: 27-39.
"Awkward Moments Arise for ABC Sitcom 'Fresh Off the Boat'"
Mail Online.
Associated Newspapers, 14 Jan. 2015.
Web. 11 Mar. 2016.
Brooker, Peter. “Postmodern Adaptation: Pastiche, Intertextuality, and Re-Functioning.”
The Cambridge Companion
to Literature on Screen
. Eds. Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007: 107-20.
Clanfield, Peter. “Teaching Adaptation, Adapting Teaching, and Ghosts of Fidelity.”
The Pedagogy of Adaptation.
Eds. Dennis Cutchins, Laurence Raw, and James M.Welsh. Lanham, MD:Scarecrow, 20010:139-55.
Cutchins, Dennis R., Laurence Raw, and James M. Welsh. T
he Pedagogy of Adaptation
. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow,
2010. Print.
Faye, Denis. "Fresh Off the Boat's Nahnatchka Khan."
Fresh Off the Boat's Nahnatchka Khan.
Writers Guide of
America, 30 Oct. 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.
Geraghty, Christine.
Now a Major Motion Picture: Film Adaptations of Literature and Drama.
Lanham, MD: Rowman,
Hermansson, Casie. “Flogging Fidelity: In Defense of the (Un)Dead Horse.”
. 8.2: 147-160 (2015).
Hodgkins, Jack.
The Drift: Affect, Adaptation, and New Perspective on Fidelity
. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.
Huang, Eddie. “Bamboo-Ceiling.”
. New York Media, LLC. 4 February 2015.
Fresh off the Boat: A Memoir
. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2013. Print.
Kiley, Kevin. “Thinking Outside ‘The Box.’”
Inside Higher
Ed. Oct. 12, 2012. Web. Nov 25, 2015.
Le, C.N. "Model Minority Expectations and Suicide : Asian-Nation : Asian American News, Issues, & Current Events
Model Minority Expectations and Suicide : Asian-Nation : Asian American News, Issues, & Current Events Blog.
N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
Leitch, Thomas. “Adaptation Studies at a Crossroads.”
.1(2008): 63-77.
--. “Twelve Fallacies in Contemporary Adaptation Theory.”
45.2(2003): 149-71.
McFarlane, Brian. “It wasn’t Like That in the Book…”
The Literature/Film Reader: Issues of Adaptation
. Eds. James M.
Welsh and Peter Lev. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2007:3-14.
Ray, Rober B. “The Field of ‘Literature and Film.’”
Film Adaptation.
Ed. James Naremore. London: Athlone,2000:38-53.
Stam, Robert. “Beyond Fidelity: The Dialogics of Adaptation.”
Film Adaptation
. Ed.James Naremore. London:Athlone,
"Statistics Don't Lie . . . Do They?"
The Model Minority Image : Asian-Nation
. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2016.
Welsh, James and Lev, Peter. “Introduction: Issues of Screen Adaptation: What is Truth?”
The Literature/Film
Readers: Issues of Adaptations
. Eds. James M. Welsh and Peter Lev. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2007: xiii-vvxiii.

By carrying out this research, I want to call for:

(1) a more honest representation of minority groups' experiences of living in American diaspora;

(2) and a more faithful representation and better understanding of minority cultures.
Full transcript