TV Review: Fresh Off the Boat

Fresh Off The Boat is by far my favorite television show to watch. It is so funny and at least for me, very relatable. It also stars Constance Wu who is one of my favorite actresses. Every episode of this show is always something new but yet extremely funny and relatable in a new way. It is also a very family friendly tv show, unlike many recent shows so, it is something that everybody can watch and enjoy.

This show is about a Chinese family who moves from Washington D.C’s Chinatown to Orlando where, they know nothing about the culture. The mother in the show, Jessica Huang, is like your typical Asian mother and as the show progresses, you get to see how she immerses herself in this new culture. The sons Eddie, Emery, and Evan all have extremely different personalities and each act like the different types of kids that you see growing up.

There are five seasons of this show, but as it has gone on, it feels like it has lost some of the Asian culture that made it so enjoyable in the first place. It is still a really good show but, the first season is by far the best with each subsequent season seeming to progressive farther and farther away from the representation of Asian culture that was the basis of the show when it first started. Though, after having watched the new episodes that are coming out in season five, it seems that the show is starting to go back in the direction of Asian culture that made it so relatable in the first place.

The best part of this entire show, is the grandmother, who only speaks Chinese but yet is the funniest character in the show. She is just so unlike any other character I have ever seen represented in media. She is so superstitious while extremely American at the same time which makes her my favorite character.

Overall, this show is great and is perfect for families to watch. I love it, and would recommend anybody who just wants to watch something comedic to watch it.

-Ava G.

Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah

Upon reading Mah’s Chinese Cinderella and its sequel, I recently was made aware of a precursor and her official autobiography.  Entitled Falling Leaves, the book follows the same plot line as her other two works.  However, what made it different was the voice Mah used as the story of her life progressed.

Little Adeline, originally Mǎ Yán Jūnlíng, was born into a high-class family in Tianjin, China.  Her mother, the light of her father’s life, died shortly after giving birth to Adeline.  This did not raise the youngest child’s status in the family.  From a young age, Adeline received nothing but resentment and mistreatment from her family, with the exception of her kind Aunt Baba.  Under the direction of the late mistress of the Yen household, Aunt Baba became Adeline’s surrogate mother.  But, Adeline was persistent to win her father’s attention, through and through, even to his deathbed.  She consistently was awarded medals and perfect report cards.  On few occasions, her father would notice, but with the addition of a new stepmother, Niang, Mr. Yen sent Adeline to boarding school.  Where, throughout the years she spent there, nobody paid her a single visit.

As Mah takes the reader throughout her painful life, she not only follows her own story, but retells her family’s (if they could ever be called that), so when the story concludes, all the pieces come together.  And, in Adeline’s case, quite heartbreakingly.

What Mah has written truly shows the willpower of human sufferance.  War-torn countries and refugees have stories worth sharing, inspiring the fortunate people of the free world.  However, within what may seem to be a noble Chinese household, the step-children, in particular the youngest girl, find a similar fates.  Though found the library’s adult section as it contains more mature content, I fully recommend Mah’s autobiography.

-Maya S.

The works of Adeline Yen Mah are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.