Fresh Off the Boat, Season 1 Episode 4 Review: “Success Perm”

(Beware, spoilers below!)

Jessica’s family are coming to visit and Louis isn’t looking forward one bit. Eddie’s looking forward for it because his favourite cousin Justin who introduced him to hip-hop is coming. His parents get perms to suggest that they’re successful.

Jessica gets demoted from being her mother’s favourite and her brother in law show off his fancy Nineties computer to Louis. Cousin Justin doesn’t like rap music anymore, preferring Nirvana and rock to rap, whilst both mothers compete to get better deals during shopping in hope that it’ll make their mother choose which one she likes more. The dinner at the restaurant becomes a disaster where Louis confesses the restaurant isn’t doing well but the next morning Steve’s Miyada gets stolen because the owner was really behind on repayments, something Connie didn’t know about at all. The two sisters finally reconcile over memories and as Jessica’s family leave the she tells Louis that they’re the more successful couple because they’re honest to each other.

The stars of the show were the two elderly ladies discussing the O.J. Simpson trial, as well as the constant reminders the we were in the nineties. Whilst the competitive nature of the two families might be put in a scenario which is purely Asian, such competition seizes up all kinds of families, rich and poor, Asian or not. Just as Justin has now become a moody teenager obsessed with grunge, so stereotypically happens to millions of teenagers around the world. The subtitles underneath as Connie and Jessica talk were also a nice touch – the dialogue we develop between one another can be just as hidden and unique as any language. Like Jane the Virgin, Fresh Off the Boat uses these to add humour and realism to the situation and this contained competitiveness between the two families this week makes the episode a sweet one.


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