TV Club: Fresh Off The Boat: “Phillip Goldstein”
Even when stripped of some of the complexity found in Eddie Huang’s memoir, ABC’s adaptation of Fresh Off The Boat has succeeded wildly in subverting stereotypes. The Huangs and even secondary characters like Honey all appear to be one thing on the outside—the smart Chinese kid, his domineering mother, the ditzy trophy wife—only to reveal various new layers to the audience. There’s always more to them than we think.
The same goes for Phillip Goldstein, although in a much more negative sense. Where as someone like Jessica has a sternness that gives way to more positive traits such as humor and a love for her family, Phillip appears to be a golden child when, in reality, he’s a manipulative little shit.
The writers’ decision to make Goldstein an antagonist rather than an ally to Eddie is a smart one. When dealing in stereotypes, Asian …