Fresh Off the Boat gets better with stereotypes and gender representations as the series continues. However like many other shows, it doesn’t deal well with tropes, stereotypes, and genders during the first season. Starting the series off, there are 2 main male characters, Eddie and Louis, and 1 main female character, Jessica, along with two other boys, Emery and Evans, and grandma Huang. Jessica is a stereotype Tiger Mom pushing her children to perform well in academics. Jessica is a typical housewife staying home taking care of the kids and house chores. Louis is a typical male breadwinner of the household working each day and being away from home. In season 1 episode 9 “License to Sell,” Jessica becomes a realtor, selling houses, however, she still isn’t able to break away from being a housewife. Even though she has a career, Jessica only really sells house when her kids are at school despite how successful she is. Fresh Off the Boat does present us with the fact that Jessica is truly the head of the household, instead of Louis, as she is seen commanding everyone around.
Near the end of season 1 episode 3, we are introduced to Nicole who is the beautiful girl on the block that Eddie instantly falls in love with. In this episode, we are shown how Eddie considers women more like objects of attraction. First, Eddie wants to use Honey to show off to his classmates in order to get friends; then we see Eddie fall in Nicole simply because of her beauty. Both also dress in slightly revealing outfits. Then later we meet Connie who is Jessica’s sister, Connie then tells us how she got fake breast implants. Also when we meet the neighborhood women in the “Pilot,” they are all in a group skating around the neighborhood; it was quite obvious that all the women were housewives and whenever we see them it’s with Jessica not allowing us to see their daily lives.
In Fresh Off the Boat, nearly everyone is straight with the exception being Nicole; however, we don’t learn about this until a later season. The most notable episode, about this, in the first season is episode ten “Blind Spot.” This is where we learn of Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Oscar, who is gay. The problem with the shows portrayal of Oscar is that they seem to of use every gay stereotype in the book. Oscar first is given a short of accent, then we learn that he is auditioning for the Aladdin Ice Show Spectacular. Later when Oscar gets out of the shower, he is wearing a pink robe and a “gaysian” necklace.
One inclusion that is notable is including Grandma Huang backstory of foot-binding that shows us what women had to deal with in old China.
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