ABC is debuting a whole slate of new shows in the 2014-2015 television season, but one comedy might look a little different from the rest. “Fresh Off the Boat” will air in early 2015 (the exact release date has not yet been given) and bring a welcome dose of diversity to network comedy. The series is based on celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name and follows his Asian-American family as they move to Florida to chase the American dream.
The show centers on Eddie’s childhood in the 1990s at the point when his family picked up and moved from Chinatown in Washington, D.C., to Orlando, where his America-loving father had bought a cowboy-themed restaurant. Eddie is only 11 years old in the show and obsessed with hip-hop, but he and his family will have to adjust to life in suburban, mostly white Florida.
Here are seven reasons to give this hilarious new show a chance:
1. Culture shock
It has been 20 years since Margaret Cho’s “All-American Girl” was canceled after only 19 episodes. Since that time, there has not been a single American sitcom based around an Asian-American character or family. For a demographic that represents a significant and growing fraction of the country, some mainstream representation is long overdue. The fact that it comes in the form of this smart and truly funny show means “Fresh Off the Boat” deserves to be a hit.
2. Eddie Huang
Fans may already know Eddie Huang, the real-life celebrity chef on which the show is based, from his culinary career. Huang hosted “Unique Eats” on the cooking channel and now hosts a segment for media company Vice that shares its “Fresh Off the Boat” title with the new ABC comedy. Huang is also outspoken about his love for hip-hop culture and recreational drugs. His hilarious memoir was well received, and a show based on the childhood of a guy this interesting should make for good television.
3. Randall Park
On a show largely made up of unknowns, Park is the closest thing “Fresh Off the Boat” has to star power. Fans may recognize him for some notable guest starring roles, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s rival in HBO’s “Veep,” Danny Chung, and "The Mindy Project." He has also appeared in a handful of films including “Sex Tape,” and “The Interview” (playing Kim Jong Un). Park has earned a shot at the spotlight.
4. Young blood
It is not often that a sitcom is carried by a child actor, and although “Fresh Off the Boat” will clearly lean heavily on its adult characters for much of the comedy, this show (unlike shows such as “Modern Family,” which heavily feature child actors as well) is Eddie’s story. It should be a fun ride watching the young Hudson Yang take on that challenge.
5. Constance Wu
The big surprise of the “Fresh Off the Boat” trailer (below) is the hilarious performance of Constance Wu, who plays Eddie’s mom. A relative unknown, Wu steals the show in the trailer, whether screaming at customers at the family’s restaurant to drink more beer or questioning what a flashy suburban grocery store “is so excited for.”
6. '90s hip-hop references
Who doesn’t love 1990s hip-hop? Eddie, the show’s main character certainly does and between him and the show’s time period, expect tons of references and music from your favorite '90s rappers from Notorious B.I.G. to Dr. Dre.
7. It’s just funny
If that trailer does not convince you to tune in to the show, not much else will. The three-minute promo puts the show’s unique take on American life on display, while never ceasing to get laughs. The show might be the most original and hilarious network family comedy since “Modern Family” and seems primed to be another hit for ABC.
Watch the trailer for “Fresh Off the Boat" below.