A fish-out-of-water story about a family trying to fit in and run a successful business hardly sounds like anything new. But the fact that the family in question is Asian American in a show where race and cultural differences are unapologetically (and hilariously) omnipresent makes FOTB a true gamechanger.
For the most part, Eddie Huang's show has been hailed by Asian American boosters as a smashing success. White guys who wear track suits stand behind it. Asian guys who aspire to a certain kind of edginess dig its groovy hip hop stylings and in-your-face-stick-it-to-the-man street vernacular. But I actually found it a depressing show.
Ever since Bruce Lee died, much of our self-confidence as Asian Americans has died along with him. Today, it feels like we have no Asian heritage to embrace. We no longer view martial arts or Eastern philosophy as our own. And most of us would feel uncomfortable embracing Bruce Lee's spiritual side.