We would never say this was a bad episode of Fresh Off the Boat, it was decently funny and had a few unexpected “gotcha” jokes that made us laugh, but it felt too hyper focused on just Eddie and Jessica.
The two main storylines involve Jessica in a spiral of self doubt about her novel being published and Eddie thinking he needs cooler friends. Jessica’s madness wrangles in Honey when she asks her to take her author photo but then uses not liking them as an excuse to scrap the book in fear of failure–I may have just felt personally called out by this storyline.
While Jessica decides to write a new book about an alligator that eats dreams (Honey says Jessica is her own alligator, but it seems more like a metaphhor for Florida to us), Eddie falls in with a bad crowd. Not learning from last years finale or this years opener, he decides that his friends are becoming losers [Trent on safety Patrol, Dave in a musical, Brian joins cheerleading, and Walter goes to book club] and after receiving detention from TrentEddie starts hanging out with the hackie-sack kids [burn-outs].
Even if the storyline is fun, when we focus too much on Eddie and his group of friends, the rest of the Huang’s get less screentime, with Evan and Emery getting three small interactions while trying to help Jessica/get her attention, grandma being mia once again, and Louis almosy completely adrift with the rest of the cast busy with their own stories.
Things work out for Jessica when Honey enlists Evan and Emery to submit the perfect picture they’d captured of a powerful Jessica without telling her and it snaps her back to reality and all is well. However, the ordeal hlgave us yhr hilarious interaction where Jessica considered sending her publicist an author picture of Amy Tan saying he’dbe too scared to call it out, and also responding to Honey’s “where’s my favorite author” with “I don’t know where Mary Higgins Clark lives.” The shows strongest asset is the witty dialogue and when they stick to what they’re good at comedy gold is struck.
Eddie has to do some growing up after he accidentally helps his new rule breaking “friends” steal money from the school which gets Trent fired. Louis pulls a strong dad moment but Eddie has never had the funniest dialogue (the writers just can’t seem to nail down that fine line). In the end, Eddie does the write thing and the gang reconnects, Trent even gets his job back! The after credits scene is HILARIOUS with a komentary portrayal of the Rent knockoff Brent and seeing Dave happy only to have the principal rush in and shut it down for copyright infringement and it is hilarious and we need more of her in the show.
Speaking of needing more of someone in the show, the episodes feel better when they don’t erase Grandma Huang. More Jenny interactions please!