Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fresh Off the Boat introduces Asian Flush

NBA star Jeremy Lin shows off his Asian Flush centered on his abs on Fresh Off the Boat.
BY NOW, you've seen or heard about the Asian Flush episode of Fresh Off the Boat. Asian Flush is a little known phenomenon that afflicts some Asians when they imbibe a bit too much.

Last week, on Episode 17 of the ABC hit, No. 1 son Eddie Huang and his friends get hold of a beer and Eddie takes a sip. He discovers he suffers from an adverse reaction to alcohol, known as the "Asian Flush," his heart beats faster, his face turns red and his body gets warm. 

His father Louis (Randall Park) takes the opportunity to share how he finally learned to deal with the condition in different situations, and how great it was to drink with his similarly afflicted Chinese college friends Chau (guest star Jeremy Lin), Stephanie (guest star Ming-Na Wen), and Margot (guest star Ali Wong). 

One of the writers, Keith Heisler, writes in EW.com  about the genesis of the skit.
"I knew about Asian flush since I had a roommate in college who had it and my wife gets it too. It’s kind of this weird thing where it’s there, and some people have it and hide it, so let’s just do something that isn’t talked about. We can get away with explaining it, and if it’s not boring, then people are like, “Oh, I didn’t even know this was a thing.” That was what intrigued us about it. 
"When our show works well, it tells something that everyone can relate to, it doesn’t matter what race they are. We’ve all gone through something similar, but here’s how it’s specific to our family or to the Asian culture. Whenever we do that is when it’s most fun for the writers and the actors to do because it’s so specific to our show. We take a lot of pride in that this is a story that only we can do. This is one of those weird little pockets that most people in America don’t know about Asian culture. You need to have fun with it, but hopefully, we did it in a way people enjoy and relate to." 
Congrats to the FOtB crew and cast for treating the topic not with kid gloves but as a fact of life.

Asian Flush is real - there's a scientific reason it occurs because some Asian/A can't process alcohol and their bodies react to alcohol as if it was allergic to it. Nothing to be ashamed of. It happens. As Louis tells his son - without lecturing - learn to deal with it.

That's the beauty of having a TV show about an Asian/American family. It exposes non-Asian Americans to some of the particularities of being Asian that they might not have know about. It helps break down stereotypes and makes us  ... well, more human.