Fresh Off The Boat's Huang family will become the first to celebrate Chinese New Year on network TV when the show returns for its mid-season premiere episode on Tuesday, 2 February, at 8pm EST on ABC Network.
Season 2's episode 11 is titled Year of the Rat. Its official synopsis reads as follows:
The Huangs are getting everything in order to celebrate Chinese New Year with their family in Washington, D.C. But a mix-up with their plane tickets forces them to spend the holiday in Orlando. Scrambling to find other Asians to celebrate with, they stumble upon the Asian-American Association of Orlando, which is hosting a less than authentic interpretation of a Chinese New Year celebration, on ABC's Fresh Off the Boat.
Showrunner Nahnatchka Khan spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the special episode. Khan said, "The history of television, every year you have Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas and Valentine's Day. To have a new holiday that you can do that's not been done before, it's all fresh territory. ... It's so important to so many people, but also inherent in the DNA of this show; it would be really important to these characters. They would celebrate every year."
The episode will feature traditions unique to Chinese Lunar New Year, according to the showrunner. She shared, "These kids want presents — you understand that, no matter what culture you come from. Jessica and Louis miss their family — they want to be around people who they've spent their whole lives with, who understand and share in their culture. When they can't do that, I think people relate to that."
"After this episode airs, kids on the playground will have a better understanding of holidays that aren't necessarily traditional American holidays," Khan said,
The show is inspired by a real-life story and follows a Chinese-American family that relocates from Washington, D.C.'s Chinatown to suburban Orlando in the 1990s. Randall Park stars as Louis Huang, Constance Wu as Jessica Huang, Hudson Yang as Eddie, Forrest Wheeler as Emery, Ian Chen as Evan and Chelsey Crisp as Honey.