Friday, October 5, 2018

REVIEW: 'Fresh Off the Boat' - Louis and the Boys Celebrate Jessica's Success with Her Book in 'Fresh Off the RV'

ABC's Fresh Off the Boat - Episode 5.01 "Fresh Off the RV"

While Honey and Marvin celebrate the birth of their baby, Jessica's book is finally released, and she's optimistically looking forward to a book store reading that's been set up by her publisher to help boost sales. Louis is so excited to promote the book across the country that he buys an RV. Emery and Evan are concerned about Eddie after Nicole tells him that she's moving to New York, and he seems completely unfazed about losing his best friend.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of ABC's Fresh Off the Boat.

"Fresh Off the RV" was written by Matt Kuhn and directed by Anya Adams

The release of Jessica's book and the birth of Honey & Marvin's child were stories that were somewhat cut short due to the reduced episode order for the fourth season. As such, they are a big deal throughout this premiere. Sure, it's amusing how Honey and Marvin have a girl instead of a boy like they were planning. There is no real good explanation for why that occurs other than it allows for a couple of jokes when they are briefly on the screen. It's a much bigger deal that Jessica's book has been released and it flops immediately. There was always the suggestion that her book wasn't all that good. Sure, it got endorsements and a publishing deal. But whenever the show featured a passage, it was always treated as comedy despite its grim and confusing premise. It was something she was really passionate about. She has achieved a dream of hers. And now, it's snuffed out simply because the first Harry Potter book is released at the exact same time. That is such a crushing blow. Her family thought all of that success was for her when it wasn't. Sure, it's also amusing how Jessica immediately gets obsessed with the Harry Potter world even though she doesn't like magic being used as a convenient plot device. But all of this turns into an immense parenting lesson. Jessica feels the urge to put on a brave face for her family because they are celebrating this major accomplishment. She doesn't want them to know that she failed. And yes, it does get to the point where she does have to confide the truth to Louis. Of course, that doesn't stop her from going on this road trip with the boys in order to fake a book tour. She doesn't even leave with a planned destination. She just has an RV and a promise that Louis made. She knows it's not the right thing to do. But she still wants to set a good example. But it's also much more important that she supports her children no matter what. That's the lesson in all of this because she cannot fail them. She can't be the reason why Eddie doesn't get to say goodbye to Nicole. Now, the fourth season was an incredibly strong one for Nicole. She had more focus than ever before thanks to her coming out story. It's no surprise that casting directors took notice of Luna Blaise and wanted her for their projects. It just means she is no longer available to keep appearing on this show. That's a bummer because of how vital she became for Eddie over the last year. But Blaise now has a new hit show in Manifest on NBC. It's absolutely bittersweet. The story gets its humor from Evan and Emery trying to psychoanalyze their family to figure out how they will react if they keep denying their feelings. And yes, Eddie does finally express himself in the one sacred place he has with this friendship. Nicole may be leaving for New York City but she will always be his friend. He trusts that she will be back because she has a loving and supportive family here as well. That's a sweet and genuine moment. However, it also creates an uncertain future for Eddie because he still has three years of high school left and he no longer has the person who understood him the best.