TV Review: Fresh Off the Boat (3×09) “How to Be An American”

Becoming a citizen takes more than paperwork. That’s something Jessica and Louis had to find out the hard way.

A good thing that Fresh Off the Boat continues to do is show that parents aren’t perfect, and being in a marriage is more than saying “I do.” In order for Jessica to gain her citizenship, the couple had to divulge some secrets they had been keeping from each other for years. For example, how Jessica used to be a teacher, which was a fact that Louis didn’t know. What made it even better was that she hated teachers, but now the audience and Louis know it also stems from personal experience. Her whole interview was about them figuring out that the reason they originally got married wasn’t only a love at first sight story. There were a lot more pieces in motion that explained how they met, which made the narrative more intriguing. Real life isn’t a fairy tale, so for the Huangs realizing that only made their lives seem more relatable.

In the end, Jessica did get her citizenship, and it was a proud moment. Her face showed how much she had been waiting for that moment, and since the viewers found out that she had been working at it for awhile, it made that scene feel more special. Nice job, Jessica!

Meanwhile at home, the boys thought it’d be a great idea to steal the car and go out. What was nice about the scene when Eddie convinced them to come along was that it was so easy. Yes, it did serve the plot, but it was also a reminder that Evan and Emery are kids. Not only that, but they’re the younger brothers, and no matter how good they are, there’s always a chance the older sibling can convince them to do things that they wouldn’t normally do. That being said, since the three of them are kids, they would do something like lock the keys in the car. Luckily for them, Evan called AAA, but that didn’t save them from getting in trouble.

Grandma didn’t play big part in this episode, but her last scene made an impression, when she used a picture to blackmail her grandkids into doing something they didn’t want to do before. What made her seem even more devious was that she had a whole wall full of pictures of the family doing things they shouldn’t, which meant that she’s blackmailed her family before and plans to do it again in the future.

This episode reminded the viewers that Fresh Off The Boat excels at storytelling and humor, while also bringing attention to topics like immigration and citizenship.


Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays @ 9/8c on ABC

Leaf Miranda is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is currently a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.). His major is Individual Studies, which is when he creates his own major, so he considers himself an "English" major. He also minors in Creative Writing. After college he aspires to be a media critic, author, and Youtuber. When he is not working, he can be found either watching TV or playing video games. He also believes that pizza is the best food ever!