The special Lunar New Year themed episode aired on Tuesday
Connie Chung has appeared in a special Mandarin Fresh Off The Boat episode.
Tuesday’s Fresh Off The Boat episode was special for three reasons. Firstly, half the dialogue was in Mandarin, which is rarely seen in US television. Secondly, the episode was Lunar New Year themed, in time for Chinese New Year next week. Last but not least, Connie Chung made a short but sweet cameo in the episode.
In the show, Chung plays herself and calls out newscasters Gus and Mey Mey (Ken Marino, Kathleen Perkins) for failing to cover Chinese New Year properly. Chung was the first Asian-American to anchor an American major network newscast.
Episode writer Jeff Chiang commented on the significance of the presenting the episode in Mandarin. In an article on The Hollywood Reporter, Chiang wote, “working as a TV writer, I never thought there would be a primetime network sitcom centered on an Asian family. The fact that I get to work on it and pull so directly from my childhood, being a half-Chinese kid raised in a Mandarin-speaking household, is still hard to wrap my head aroun.,”
“Our brilliant showrunner, Nahnatchka Khan, always encourages the staff to bring in those personal experiences, and it’s amazing that the specificity of those stories can be found entertaining by a network TV-sized audience, many of whom didn’t grow up in a Chinese household.”
“So, to answer the original question, why did we do an episode that features an entire storyline spoken in Mandarin? Because on a TV show about a Chinese family, we can,” he concluded. “And hopefully people will enjoy it.”