Fresh N’ Thorne-y

Courtney Thorne-Smith as ‘Ann’ in “Fresh Off the Boat” (ep #3.13)Just the other day, I was writing about Courtney Thorne-Smith’s voice-work for the animated “fan-film” Batman: New Times, and wondering what she’d been up to lately… only for her to crop up in this week’s (excellent) episode of Fresh Off the Boat! Technically, this isn’t her first appearance in the series… she made her debut all the way back in April of last year (ep #2.19), but that was just a winking in-joke cameo, coming at the end of a Melrose-Place-themed episode that also incorporated vintage footage of her from that show… whereas this time around, her character (‘Ann’) has been properly fleshed-out as a recently-divorced working-mother with a misanthropic son (who goes missing shortly after the formation of a Neighbourhood Watch group, from which ‘Jessica’ (Constance Wu) is cruelly excluded). I can’t help thinking that playing a minor supporting role here is a bit of step-down for Thorne-Smith, considering the prominent parts she’s had in past comedies such as Ally McBeal and According to Jim… on the other hand, this has been a really strong season for Fresh, and she makes the most of her meagre screen-time with some very funny two-handers, so there’s no shame in that.

I also have to give a shout-out to ickle Ian Chen, who’s absolutely killing it as the adorably-precocious ‘Evan’ (his debt-collection sub-plot here was a fantastic runner, with a brilliant pay-off)… though obviously Wu remains the show’s powerhouse MVP, bless ‘er.

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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