The theme of a TV show determines the central focus of the story, it is able to connect the characters and the plots to demonstrate the message from the director. In The Real Santa (Episode 10, Season 2) of Fresh Off the Boat, the story focuses on the Huang family celebrating Christmas. There are two subplots in the episode: Jessica and Louis trying to convince Evan of who Santa really is and Emery and Eddie trying to find the perfect present for their mother.


One of the main question posed in this episode is: “Who is Santa Claus?” Jessica believed that Santa needs to be “improved” and tries to instill values upon Evan by trying to create a Santa Claus who is a scientist that graduated from Princeton. When the plan for Marvin to act as Santa backfired, Jessica told Evan that Santa is actually Chinese! At this part of the story, the question of “Why Can’t Santa be Chinese?” is raised. Instead of forcing everyone to believe the white and chubby Santa Claus and sticking to the norm, Jessica’s version of an intelligent Chinese lady as Santa offers a look on diversity as a part of Christmas culture. In the end, Jessica successfully convinced Evan of her version of Christmas, and Eddie and Emery were both able to find amazing presents for their mother.


Jessica as Santa Claus


This particular episode relates to the show overall as the Huang family finds balance between their traditional Chinese values and the American culture. Throughout the show, the Huang family sees the differences between the two cultures but are able to find the pros and cons of both and adjust appropriately to the new environment. In this episode specifically, Emery and Eddie were able to learn what “good presents” really are, and Jessica was able to create a different concept of Santa Claus. It was an interesting episode as it wasn’t the usual gift and Santa Christmas episode and offers a cultural twist on the idea of the holiday.