The gender representation in Fresh off the Boat suffers from a lack of women in its cast, and the women in the show are usually just side characters (besides the Huang matriarch).
The show has a lack of women in it, but this might be due, in part, to the lack of women in the Huang family. Despite this lack of women, the show will still usually have 1 of the 3 sub-plots dedicated to Jessica. In this episode, she is quite present.
Jessica is usually shown to be the least nonsensical family member, as her husband is a completely goofy character. Despite this, she is depicted as a bit of an eccentric in this episode because of her superstitious beliefs. She is proven right in the end, and the family must change with the help of their grandmother’s strange rituals.
Jessica is a strong mother, she takes an active role in her kids’ lives and plays an active role in the family affairs, usually overpowering her husband. Despite this good representation, this happens to fall into one of the oldest stereotypes of Asian women, the Tiger Mom. On top of this classical stereotype, Jessica is an Asian middle-class penny-pincher. The show does a good job at showing the audience these stereotypes, but also doe not do much in the way of breaking them.
The show tends to allow Jessica’s character with many victories, she basically controls the family, wins most arguments she gets into, and is extremely gifted at selling houses, all of which are great for a strong female presence, but these little victories can not make up for the classical stereotypes that the show espouses, the Tiger Mom and penny-pincher, both of which are never addressed or talked about outside of the many jokes and gags present.
While Fresh off the Boat may be a funny sitcom about an under represented race in America, it does little to fix the associated stereotypes and deceptions of that very same race’s women.
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