TV Club: Only one character learns about love on Fresh Off The Boats’s Valentine’s Day special

Of any network sitcom currently on the air, Fresh Off The Boat may have produced the most holiday episodes this season. So far, the series has tackled Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chinese New Year, and, if we’re bending the rules a bit, Eddie’s twelfth birthday. This makes sense, given the show’s frequent exploration of the differences (and similarities) between the traditions of the Huangs and those of the mostly white, middle-class suburban community where they live. And what better vehicle to explore cultural tradition than a holiday?

While “Love And Loopholes” focuses on the American edition of Valentine’s Day (the Chinese equivalent has fallen on August in recent years), the episode becomes less about the holiday itself and more about the characters’ romantic education. Curiously, however, only one of them actually learns anything about love, which strips away any thematic unity and renders the rest of the …

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