Fresh Off the Boat writer Rich Blomquist reveals the inspiration for Eddie's shoplifting story
Every week, the cast and crew of ABC’s Taiwanese American family comedy, Fresh Off the Boat, is taking EW behind the scenes. For each episode, one member is recapping, sharing thoughts on what went down, and walking us through the ins-and-outs of the show. This week, writer Rich Blomquist brings us into the season 3’s episode 15, “Living While Eddie.”
The idea for Eddie’s story came from fellow FOTB writer Sheng Wang. Growing up, his family never used their dishwasher. It was considered wasteful. Instead, they washed plates in the sink and only used the dishwasher as an under-the-counter “drying rack,” a place to air-dry dishes without taking up valuable counter space. Apparently, this is common practice in many Asian households. Hearing this, I imagined Jessica would have a similar philosophy. Why use a machine that runs up the water and electric bill when a little elbow grease can finish the job in five minutes? Jessica would be so adamant about not using the dishwasher, the Huang boys wouldn’t even know how the appliance worked… until one of their white friends spilled the beans.
In this episode, Eddie is accused of shoplifting a CD. Unfortunately, the fodder for this part of the story came from personal experience. When I was in middle school my friends and I were caught stealing candy from the supermarket. A security guard intercepted our crew and whisked us away to a back room. Unlike Eddie, I did have a pocketful of Runts candy, and it was hard, banana-flavored proof of my guilt.
While Eddie tries to prove his innocence, Louis and Emery help shoot an infomercial at Cattleman’s Ranch. The infomercial centers on a miracle gadget called the “On-Gun,” which is basically a Salad Shooter for onions. We were lucky to get the hilarious Rhys Darby to play the infomercial pitchman and the brilliant David Wain to play the director. They did a lot of great improv, some of which made the final cut. The only downside was that after shooting the demonstration scenes, the whole restaurant reeked of onions. Left with stacks of onion-scented plates, I think even Jessica would have used the dishwasher.
Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
Eddie Huang’s memoir adaptation tells the comical adjustments of a Taiwanese-American family settling into the wild ways of ’90s Orlando, Florida.