Fresh Off the Boat is back to its regular schedule [Tuesdays at 8:30pm est] after taking some time off for the holidays!
The episode’s main plot is Honey’s mother [guest star Cheryl Hines] visiting and Jessica being there as a buffer because they have similar alpha personalities.
In a great callback to the season premiere Louis and Marvin take the cruise trip that Jessican and Honey won on wheel of fortune. Honey, initially worried Jessica would be mad she was bailing on the trip, is surprised when Jessica wants to back out because of the statistic that one woman falls overboard every year and if she went on a cruise in January she was just asking for it.
The clips we get of Louis and Marvin’s vacation mostly revolve around Louis trying to eat his money back after a gambling loss Marvin talked him into and it felt like a watered down version of the episode the Huangs stay at a hotel and are overly frugel-unfortunately, the episode’s focus and writing weren’t there to make it as memorable.
Even Jessica’s stroyline, which was naturally hilarious and had amazing zingers (like Honey needing to pick up a rotisserie chicken because her mom likes to devour a bird after a nap), but it all felt rushed and fell victim to the season 4 curse: the family and story being too spread out and needlessly forcing too many guest stars. As fun as Niecy Nash is as a hippie dippie childcare expert, the entire scene felt too rushed to be fun with Honey’s mom lying to Jessica and taking everything 0 to 60 — but we are grateful for Jessica’s parenting advice on budgeting affection and nursery colors.
A lot of this disconnect comes from over hyping Eddy’s storylines and just spending too much time trying to make him the “main character” which hasn’t fully worked since season one. His relationship storyline and “does she only like me because I’m Chinese” back and forth with the new girl was interesting, and allowed us to see Evan (and his bus friend from last season) momentarily but where were Emery and Grandma Huang?
The attempts to evolve the show into a teen drama harshly contrasts the winning formula the show has had for 3 seasons, and they’ve been hit and miss in the success of the writing, but he just can’t keep up with his mother’s quippy one liners or the heart of her motherly instinct–this is Jessica’s Place