Fresh Off the Boat: Eric Ziobrowski on this week's 'ill' episode
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 Eric Ziobrowski brings us into the season 3 episode, “Time to Get Ill.”
In this week’s episode, we wanted to throw the Huang family into crisis. But in order to do that, we needed to think of something big. Something we’ve never seen one of our characters experience. Something that would push everyone to their absolute limit, leaving the audience to wonder: “How will they ever survive?” The machine that is the Huang family literally needed to break down.
So we gave Jessica the flu.
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One of the great things about writing for Fresh Off the Boat is how story ideas can come from so many different places. Sometimes, they spring from someone’s personal experience. Other times they arise from what was going on in the world during our show’s time period (the glorious 90s). But in this case, the central plot came from our own character’s unique personality. For most people, getting sick is no big deal. It’s a part of life and you get through it by resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and trying not to sneeze on the family dog. But for Jessica Huang, a person who never slows down, the flu is a catastrophe. So we knew there was plenty of fun to be had in seeing her come to terms with that. On the flip side, Louis and the boys have some decisions to make in how to handle this new reality as well. And thanks to an inspiring monologue from Eddie, the Huang men band together… and totally break the rules of the house.
In the end, this episode is about a family learning to see things from the other’s point of view. The fact that they learn this lesson via a professional wrestling match, featuring two grown men dressed as a fish and a crawdad, is just icing on the cake.
Fresh Off the Boat airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
Fresh Off the Boat
Eddie Huang’s memoir adaptation tells the comical adjustments of a Taiwanese-American family settling into the wild ways of ’90s Orlando, Florida.