The Huang’s celebrate American Thanksgiving. Jessica is ecstatic for the celebration because for the first time, her mother has agreed that Jessica should host the annual family get-together in Orlando and not in DC, where Jessica’s sister, Connie, lives. Determined to outdo her sister and throw the best Thanksgiving her mom has ever seen, Jessica pulls out all the stops. Home-made cranberry sauce. Special individual Cornish hens. Oscar Chow. Unfortunately, things end up taking a turn for the worst.
After it becomes clear that Jessica needs the help of her sister to make Thanksgiving dinner a reality, the two bond sincerely. Connie confesses that she is jealous of Jessica’s successful life and marriage, which is why she always looked forward to the one time of the year when a positive spotlight could be put on her. Jessica agrees that for future Thanksgivings, hosting them at her sister’s place would be good idea.
I bonded with the sister rivalry narrative for this week’s episode of Fresh Off the Boat and found myself laughing whole-heartedly at some of the ways Jessica and Connie tried to outdo one another.
In one scene, Connie cuts up mangoes for her mother in a special way to receive more favour and says, “I cut you a mango. Look, how I haven’t wasted any meat. I thought we could eat it and re-live our memories of Thanksgivings past.” Connie’s mom dismisses the gesture and as Connie walks away, Jessica shoots her a knowing and triumphant smirk.
This reminded me of one memory from my childhood when it was my older sister’s 16th birthday and during the preparations for the party, I tried everything I could to grab my mother’s attention away from party matters. I feigned a stomach ache. I trailed after my mom from kitchen to dining hall with long-winded questions. I even tried simply clinging onto one of her legs as she walked to and fro.
Of course, the party still ended up happening because my mother was smart enough not to fall for any of my tricks, but the heart behind doing silly things to try and receive more attention than your siblings from the parents was something I could definitely relate to.
Sibling relations are not always competitive but it is never void of some aspects rooted in comparison. This is why I found the 8th episode of the 2nd season of Fresh Off the Boat an especially good one for any of us who have grown up with a brother or a sister.