There is a deep sense of satisfaction that comes from binging on a television series, a new form of pleasure. (There’s also the pleasure of waiting for the series your addicted to week after week, but it’s a pleasure I don’t have access to anymore since we cut cable).
Anyhoo, my latest obsession is Fresh Off The Boat. One of the weird things is how a number of my TV series picks come from fashion websites (e.g. the And Then There Were None miniseries, and Outlander Season 2… strangely, I never felt like watching season 1) and feminist sites (e.g. True Detective and I’m pretty sure Fresh Off the Boat). I can’t remember what the site said about Fresh Off The Boat, and having watched it, I’m pretty sure its politics aren’t up to scratch, but unfortunately, I’m addicted. There’s an added pleasure of watching it through my familiarity with Chinese culture though
First of all, I’m in love with the kid Eddie (though the other two are pretty darn adorable as well), and his swag. Now that I have kids, I’m gobsmacked as to what it would take to get a kid to act. And that kid really can act. Unless that’s his personality. In which case, I want to be his friend. Although I’m not into the Beastie Boys. Eh.
But more than Eddie, I’m into Jessica. That woman is so badass, I want to be her. Also I identify with her even though I’m totally not her.
For example, in the opening scene of the first episode, Jessica grumbles about having to move to Florida at all. And this is so going to be me when we eventually move back to India. Except some episodes down when Jessica concedes that her dear husband was right. That is not going to be me. Unless it all turns out to be wonderful, in which case, yes, I will grudgingly concede. In the matter of the move, Jessica is more of a softie than I would ever be.
Jessica’s reaction to encountering someone better than her at something she has decided she is good at is also familiar to me. I’m scared at failing at things I really want to be great at (e.g. making a career in academics), so I might just cop out instead. This could also apply to cooking: the best or nothing.
Obviously, I’m not tiger mom. In fact, I was telling a friend the other day that I’m more Panda Mom (I just want to lie around sleeping and eating bamboo shoots while the children do likewise, preferably feeding themselves but since I’m too lazy to teach them to properly do that, I end up spoonfeeding) but I have certain standards that I expect my kids to achieve. Thus, I now do some “alphabet” practice with the kids every day. Just 15 minutes but it feels like 3 hours.
Mainly I wish I had Jessica’s thick skin. She is utterly confident really does not give a shit. She does not feel bad to be a cheapo, an auntygiri trait I’m trying hard to master, and she she tells it like it is. I never thought I’d be the groupie of an Asian Tiger Mom but there you have it.