Ming-Na Wen has had a killer presence on ABC for five seasons now thanks to her role as the badass Melinda May on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but she's trading in her weapons for a brand new kind of role on another ABC series. Wen is joining the cast of sitcom Fresh Off the Boat to play a character who sounds like she couldn't be more different from Agent May, and it should give her the chance to flex her comedic muscles. Here's what we know so far.
Fresh Off the Boat fans will find Ming-Na Wen playing a character by the name of Elaine, who will appeal to Jessica in some key ways. The Chinese-American woman has a knack for dispensing the best kind of advice, and TVLine reports that Elaine will win the nickname of "Chinese Oprah." Not too many details about Elaine are available at this point, but it's probably safe to say that we can expect a fair amount of her time on screen to be shared with Jessica. Who else is already excited at the prospect of Ming-Na Wen and Constance Wu sharing scenes on a semi-regular basis?
Yes, Ming-Na Wen will indeed be on board for more than just one guest appearance, which might have been the case if not for the long hiatus between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seasons. Wen is on board in a recurring capacity. Jessica could spend a healthy amount of time with Elaine, and that will almost certainly result in all kinds of hilarity as Jessica tries to win her over as BFF.
Elaine won't be the only fresh face joining Fresh Off the Boat as a recurring character. Her husband and son will join her. Reggie Lee of Grimm fame will play her husband, Julius. Also Chinese-American, Julius will begin to build a friendship with Louis, which should please Jessica. Unfortunately, their new friendship won't be smooth sailing, which should not please Jessica as she builds her own friendship with Elaine. One of Louis' old friends will complicate Louis' growing friendship with Julius.
A Crazy Rich Asians star will play Elaine and Julius' son, Horace. Jimmy O. Yang will reunite with Crazy Rich Asians co-star Constance Wu for Fresh Off the Boat, and he'll play a character with a lot going for him. Horace won a full scholarship to Harvard... at age 16. Jessica will be impressed with Horace at first, but not everything is as it seems. He has some secrets in his past that could complicate things.
All three of these actors will recur in the upcoming fifth season. Throw in guest star Jaleel White in his new role (shortly after receiving a Reparations Emmy in a hilarious Emmys sketch), and there's a lot to look forward to. Fresh Off the Boat joins the fall TV lineup on Friday, October 5 at 8 p.m. ET. Hopefully Elaine will give viewers a Ming-Na Wen fans a fix while we wait for more Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. next summer.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).