One cannot stress enough how important representation is. When you see people who look like you in various positions, you then feel you can achieve more. It’s not hard to realize that. Growing up do you know how many interracial couples and mixed kids I got to see? Very freaking little. Shawn and Angela on Boy Meets World, and then that one kiss between Zack and Lisa were basically all I had to hold onto. While it wasn’t a matter of love on Fresh Off the Boat, it was about representation this week as we tackled Tiger Woods. Long before his wife bashed his car in a rage, he was the most celebrated golfer in the world, but many referred to him as only black and often cast aside his Asian side. Which, if you were an Asian kid in the ’90s, that was a bummer because you got the shit end of the deal there. While Emery was trying hard to get Tiger’s heritage out in the open, Jessica and Louis were betting on whose parenting style worked best.
Once the boys talk about Tiger being half Asian, Emery makes it his mission to educate others about it. Only, no one will listen. I feel as a society we see things as black or white and rarely note the other races in terms of inclusion when it comes to pop culture in many ways, but especially back in the day. If you couldn’t see why Emery was so upset about not only the kids at his school, but the media, pushing Tiger’s Asian heritage to the sidelines – then you’re likely…well you’re likely someone who has been lucky enough to see themselves represented in the media so much so that you don’t even get why this is an issue that others face. Really though, I knew Tiger Woods was mixed from the moment I heard about him. Perhaps this is because I came from a mixed family, and we thought it was awesome to see other people who were more than one race (no matter what the mix) on TV.
Elsewhere Jessica and Louis were debating parenting styles based on Tiger’s own parents; his dad being stern and his mother more relaxed. Of course we all knew who was who in the Huang household, but who say Louis’ laid back approach actually working on both Eddie and Evan? Well, I think most of us because if Jessica’s way had worked then it wouldn’t have been hilarious to watch her actually question herself, and then run into the arms of someone she swore was Tiger’s mother at the club. You have to wonder if Asian women and black men at those clubs in the ’90s really did get approached that often.
In the end this was a well crafted episode because it dealt with an issue that is still being dealt with today, as well as a comedic take on parenting.