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Fresh Off the Boat - Lou Wants to Be a Millionaire - Review

13 Dec 2019

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Ah, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It was must watch TV and the most talked about piece of media for like a year - my family even got the computer game, which I remember correctly was like lame Trivial Pursuit - and then I think most of us forgot that it existed. At least in the USA, I don't know much about it's international impact. It's a fun framing device for a plot if you can get Regis Philbin on your show and apparently ABC can. I especially enjoyed Regis's bright white hair; it looked blue in the light, making him look kinda like Stanley Tucci in The Hunger Games. "May the odds be ever in your favor" is even a great tagline for the show. Awesome.

Okay, enough nostalgic rambling. Louis is distracted from WWtBaM by Eddie's newest food idea, the Cow Bao. And let me say, I'm so in for a Cow Bao. Is that real? Did real Eddie Huang make a Cow Bao at some point for the BaoHaus or something? Anyway, as I said, the framing device works for the episode, emphasizing how distracted Louis is with Eddie's invention. It's another story about how Louis and Eddie experience racism and their place in America differently. Louis is always trying to buck the expectations of him and prove how American he is, since all anyone sees when they look at him is that he's Chinese. Eddie is comfortable with being both Chinese and American, and in finding new ways to express himself as his own "fusion." I think it's incredibly relevant to be examining how different generations confront racism, or sexism or homophobia, and what we can all learn from each other going forward. Eddie is so confident in being a fusion because Louis used his experiences to teach him, and now Louis can learn from how Eddie implements those lessons. It's also a solid step in Eddie's continued maturation as a character, which I always encourage. All in, the main part of the episode really worked for me.

The B- and C-stories were both mediocre with fun spots in them. Evan is trying to keep the lines open for Louis to use his call a friend lifeline, which ends up doing nothing because none of the speed bumps in his way are funny or interesting and it's never needed anyway. However, Jenny has a new science boyfriend who shares her kink for globes, so I'm good with it. Jenny makes all stories better. As for Emery and Jessica, the beats of their conflict were predictable, the idea that a guard would let not particularly gruff-voiced Emery past him nonsensical, but the bonding part did kinda work. Emery's idea of likening acting to manipulation is a smart play for his mom, and her admission that she worries about his future is consistent with her character and completely understandable. I liked that they came to a better understanding, and it didn't take up too much screen time, so this worked for me too. As is unfortunately often the case with FOtB these days, neither of the side plots did much for me, but unlike other episodes, I got enough from them to be worth it.

So what did you guys think of the episode? Do you also crave Cow Baos? Let me know in the comments below!

90s Stuff: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, the beginning of the Asian fusion trend, Kathy Lee and Regis still hosting together, Rubik's cube (I never solved it either, Mr. Philbin)

Best Quote: Basically any time anyone says "Cow Bao," I'm as delighted as Trent. So all of that.