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'Fresh off the Boat' on ABC-13 could be a game-changer (KTRK)

Who among us hasn't felt left out for being different?

It's a sentiment common among Asian Americans.

"The Asian American community tends to be characterized as, 'oh, those foreigners,' " said Deborah Chen of OCA, an Asian Pacific American Advocacy group.

In Houston, there are about 200,000 Asians, and most of them are first-generation.

In the U.S., census numbers show there are about 19.4 million Asians in the U.S. But though millions of Asians were born and raised in the U.S., some say they still don't feel accepted as American.

But that where ABC's primetime sitcom "Fresh off the Boat" could be a game changer.

The comedy is the first in over 20 years to star an Asian-American family on a major TV network.

Many Asians are used to seeing their own portrayed as sidekicks, stereotypical laundromat owners or Kung Fu fighters...not as what they are -- normal Americans.

"This is an opportunity to highlight that we're part of America too," said Chen. "This is really the American experience. We are all immigrants here. It's just a matter of when you got here."

The show is about celebrity chef Eddie Huang's '90s childhood as he moves from D.C.'s Chinatown to suburban Orlando.

"America is really ripe for this. I think there have been significant shifts, demographically, psychologically, culturally, in America such that an Asian American family can really be seen as not just something as exotic or strange or unusual but representative as kind of the American Dream," said Jeff Yang, the father of lead actor Hudson Yang and a columnist for Wall Street Journal.

"This is just another kid going through the same things that other kids went through in school," said Hudson Yang, who plays Eddie Huang on the show.

In Houston, some hope the show could change how they're treated.

"My kids, at times...do get bullied in school because of what they look like, so there's definitely conflicts as an Asian American growing up," said Cecil Fong, the president of the OCA Greater Houston chapter.

While the show may change how America sees Asians, more simply - it'll show we aren't so different from each other after all.

Catch a special airing of the show tonight at 7:30pm and 8:30pm. You can catch it on its regular day at Tuesdays at 7pm!


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