First, there was NYC restaurateur Eddie Huang’s memoir, Fresh Off the Boat, (RH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio; BOT), and his beyond-Bourdain TV food series of the same title on Vice’s Munchies Channel, just renewed for its third season. Next, there may be an ABC TV series based on the memoir. The pilot awaits network executive’s decision about whether it will get the greenlight. The title of the pilot, however, was recently changed to “Far East Orlando,” regarded as racist by many, including Huang himself.
The Wall Street Journal‘s “Speak Easy” blog sticks to the original title in “Why the Fresh Off the Boat TV Series Could Change the Game.” Admitting to possible bias, the author, the father of the 10-year-old lead, Jeff Yang, predicts,
The show is like nothing you will have ever seen before on television. If it makes it to air, it will blow minds, raise eyebrows and, to quote a line that my son says as Little Eddie, “change the game.” I would honestly say the same if I weren’t the lead actor’s father. It’s that different. And provocative. And, yes, gut-bustingly funny.
He notes that if it makes it to series, it will be the only Asian American family sitcom since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl gave hope twenty years ago that “millions of people across the nation might be gathering to watch a show in which they’d be invited into an immigrant Asian household, experiencing our unique issues and aspirations through the humanizing lens of comedy.”
But first, something has to be done about that title.