Other than the main plot, cinematography is another essential factor directors use to communicate with the viewers. The way the director has designed the lighting, color themes, and shot choices can drastically change the viewer’s experience and the way the show is perceived. Lighting and color scheme can determine the mood of a particular episode and shot choices can create dramatic effects for action or dialogue. I decided to look how the directors designed the first episode of season two of Fresh off the Boat.
The episode begins with a flashback of scenes from the previous season, which is slightly darkened to give the typical “flashback” effect; however, it is not completely black and white like other scenes of flashbacks. It then changes back to the usual calming color theme that was predominant in season one. Since the show focuses on a family in a suburban neighborhood, it doesn’t necessarily have the vibrant colors of a big city but rather the color theme of a middle-class neighborhood in suburban Orlando. The shots vary in length as conversational shots are short and switches from character to character to focus on their facial expressions and responses to the conversation. Other shots could be longer but most of the comedic effects come from the conversations between the characters; therefore, the show has mostly short but well cut shots.
I chose the first episode of season two: Family Business Trip as it isn’t shot in the Huang’s house but rather at a resort that they went to. Instead of being mostly filmed in an indoor setting, many scenes of this episode showed the Huang family hanging out at the pool or at Gatorworld. As the scenes were shot in an outdoor setting, they were very well lit and portrays the idea of a family vacation in the hot, sunny summer. The indoor shots’ color theme and lighting remained relatively consistent with other episodes of the show.
I think it is very interesting to notice how the show is filmed; I don’t always notice the cinematography behind each episodes but deliberately thinking about these factors made the show much more interesting to watch.