By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
To call Huang’s World, the show from Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat2 would not be accurate, but comparisons are inevitable.
The reality show from the inspiration for the ABC comedy makes its debut on the new cable network Viceland April 29.
The network is making an episode of Huang’s World available for free on the internet.
Officially Huang’s World is being described by Viceland as a traveling culinary show.
Future episodes will no doubt reflect that, but the episode being made available to watch on the internet, looks more like Fresh Off the Boat, Uncensored. We meet not only Eddie, but his real life father, Louis; mother, Jessica; and brothers Evan and Emory. The influence of hip hop and basketball are evident in Huang’s World. At one point, we see Eddie competing with his brothers on the court outside their home. In another scene, we see them driving pass the home of Shaquille O’Neal who used to play for the Orlando Magic. Hip hop music is sprinkled throughout.
If that all sounds familiar, it should be. Fresh Off the Boat, the ABC show, is based on the memoirs by Huang on his real life story.
This episode of Huang’s World opens with a driving shot on the freeway in Orlando, an almost identical shot that Fresh Off the Boat opened with in its series debut.
The home Eddie grew up is is damn nice and pretty luxurious. Eddie makes clear the home belongs to his father and mother, and not him.
He recounts the story of his dad spanking him to remind him their nice home was the result of the hard work of his mom and dad. Dad stressed that Eddie would have to work to get his own home, a life lesson that the celebrity chef and author says is still with him today.
Eddie also takes us to his father’s former restaurant, Cattleman’s Ranch. That restaurant has since been sold to Hooters.
It’s there that his father tells him “Me and your mom as your parents, what’s our goal? What do we wish? We wish our children the next generation are better than we are.”
If a culinary show is what you’re looking for, don’t fret. There’s plenty of food in the preview episode. Chinese sticky rice, duck, lechon, mafungo, and a Chinese New Year feast are all weaved into this episode.
Eddie goes with his mom to Rudy’s Organic Duck Farm to find a fresh duck. This scene is not for the squeamish as cameras zoom in on the duck being slaughtered for food. This scene also opens up Eddie’s life to the viewers. Eddie engages with owner Rudy Galicharan about their lives as immigrants.
“For me growing up as a kid in Orlando, not having any other Chinese/Taiwanese kids around, it really affected me and affected my identity because I didn’t know who I was and I felt like an alien,” said Eddie to Rudy.
“I know who I am now.”
“Good! Dyanamite, replies Rudy.
The most interesting and bizarre scene happens at The Sausage Castle which its manager describes as a Playboy mansion with no budget.
It’s here where Huang’s World ventures into the outlandish, not something associated with Orlando which is more known for Disney World and Universal Studio.
When an Asian woman working at The Sausage Castle is turned into an object and exotified, Eddie decides he’s had enough.
“I kind of don’t want to be part of this,” Eddie tells the manager. “This sucks.”
The preview episode of Huang’s World ends with a Chinese New Year feast.
“Everything I learned is from my mom,” said Eddie. You can see the entire preview episode below.
One thing will be apparent after you watch the episode. Eddie has an endearing personality. It’s that personality that will keep the show together and determine whether you like it or not.
This trailer may be more representative of Huang’s World than the preview episode.
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