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The Representation of 'Tresh Off the Boat'

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Daphne Yung

on 29 November 2016

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Transcript of The Representation of 'Tresh Off the Boat'

Representation #1: Memoir
The Representations of
Fresh Off the Boat

Fresh Off the Boat
Representation #2: TV Series
family sitcom (situation comedy)
the first American television sitcom starring an Asian-American family as protagonists to air on network primetime since Margaret Cho's
All American Girl
, which aired for one season in 1994.
Television portrayals of foreign cultures will never be truly authentic because of the importance of audience ratings.
Fresh Off the Boat
Learning Outcome:
Show the way mass media use language and image to inform, persuade, or entertain.
Eddie Huang's Response
Characterisation: Sanitisation of Characters
have a background in organised crime in Taiwan and violent tendencies
Characterisation: Eddie and his love for Hip Hop
"We listened to hip-hop because there wasn't anything else that welcomed us in, made us feel at home," he writes. "I could see why Milli wanted to pull a pistol on Santa or why B.I.G. was ready to die. Our parents, Confucius, the model-minority bulls**t, and kung fu-style discipline are what set us off. But Pac held us down."
The original phrase "Fresh Off the Boat" refers to immigrants (mainly Asian-Americans) who have arrived at a foreign country but still hasn't assimilated to the host nation's culture and continues to practice their ethnic culture.
Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
(published in 2013)

was originally a memoir written by Eddie Huang, a celebrity chef known for BaoHaus, a Taiwanese bun shop. The book describes his experiences as a Taiwanese-Chinese-American during his childhood in Orlando, Florida.
Fresh Off the Boat
was adapted to a TV series by ABC and it was first released on February 4, 2015.
Audience Ratings
: Also known as TV ratings, this is a number of people are in audience in relation to TV viewership.

To find out who is watching TV and what they are watching, the company gets around 5,000 households to agree to be a part of the representative sample for the national ratings estimates.
(taken from HowStuffWorks)
: a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge
(definition taken from the Oxford Dictionary of English)
Hyperbole: for Comedic Purposes
Characterisation: Sanitisation of Characters
"If you were an outsider, then Hip Hop was your anthem. And I was definitely the black sheep in my family."
bound feet - rather unknown aspect of traditional chinese culture in the Western world
Grandma 'Jenny'
Compare and Contrast:
Eddie and hip hop
Sanitisation of characters
Hyperbole for comedic effect
Jessica's (the mother) insistence on the family maintaining their Chinese identity/culture
New York Times best seller
“My entire life, the single most interesting thing to me is race in America. How something so stupid as skin or eyes or stinky Chinese lunch has such an impact on a person’s identity, their mental state, and the possibility of their happiness. It was race. It was race. It was race.”

“They’d never see me as one of “them.” If they did try to see me as one of “them” it wasn’t in my true form; it was as a reformed, assimilated, apologetic version of myself that accepted the premise that my people were barbarians”
Claim: Television/film portrayals of foreign cultures will never be truly authentic because of the importance of audience ratings.
detachment from the emotions of the original memoir (more passive)
character sanitisation
using hyperbole to make serious matters more light-hearted, perhaps to the point of ridiculing/mocking
First Season: avg 6.99 million viewers for each episode
Second Season: avg 5.48 million viewers for each episode
Full transcript