“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: 3 Reasons You Should Watch this New TV Series

A year ago we all mourned the loss of Selfie and its revolutionary casting of John Cho as Henry Higgs, wondering if we’d ever see another Asian American man as the object of her affections.

If only I’d known that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would parade into this Fall’s American TV lineup and pretty much steal the show, featuring a white woman (played by Rachel Bloom) so obsessed with an Asian hottie (played by Vincent Rodriguez III) that she ditches her New York life to follow him to California (West Covina, to be exact).

It’s such a fresh, fun show for television. And even better, there are great arguments for why anyone reading this blog needs to watch (if you aren’t already). Here are my top three reasons you should check out Crazy Ex-Girlfriend:

#1: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend “Always Wanted the Male Lead to Be Asian”

Rachel Bloom and Vincent Rodriguez III from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Rachel Bloom and Vincent Rodriguez III from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

That’s right – from the beginning, the show’s creators intended to cast an Asian man as the romantic lead:

Since Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is set in the San Gabriel Valley, they wanted to make sure the lead and background actors represented the culture. “We always wanted the male lead to be Asian because I grew up with Asian bros, and I hadn’t seen that represented on TV.” Rodriguez, who plays her object of obsession/affection, is Filipino.

In a world where we’re pushing for more diverse casting on TV and in the movies, this is outstanding – and totally different from Selfie. According to NPR Codeswitch, “John Cho wasn’t supposed to star in the My Fair Lady-like ABC sitcom Selfie.”

While we’re at it, given that creator and star Rachel Bloom is white herself, that means she meant to have an AMWF attraction (or, more aptly, obsession) in the show. How cool is that?

#2: For the First Time, an Asian American Guy Is Clearly the TV Heartthrob

Vincent Rodriguez III and Rachel Bloom from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Philip of You Offend Me, You Offend My Family tipped me off to this fantastic reason to watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend:

Yes, the romantic male lead is an Asian American dude. And while rare, we have seen this before—most recently, in last year’s short-lived ABC comedy Selfie where John Cho was the male romantic lead to Karen Gillan–but here’s where Crazy Ex-Girlfriend takes that trope one step further and turns it into something I don’t think has ever existed on a prime-time broadcast network series before: the Asian American guy is the undisputed objection of affection for the white female lead. [emphasis added]

As progressive as a show like Selfie was, the premise is still based on the traditional love-hate relationship between the main guy and girl. Yes, you know the two leads are meant for each other and will eventually get together, but there’s a lot of back-and-forth in regards to how they feel about each other. With Bloom’s character in Crazy Ex-Boyfriend, there is no ambiguity. She is completely obsessed with Josh Chan—he is presented as the epitome of the “perfect” male specimen and she will do anything to win him over.

Josh is Andrew McCarthy in Pretty in Pink—the cool, sophisticated guy that Molly Ringwald has a crush on, but thinks he’s too good for her. When was the last time you saw an Asian American guy playing that role? We’re lucky if he even gets to be Jon Cryer’s Ducky (and yes, there is a Ducky equivalent on the show, but he’s the white guy).

Exactly.

Take a look at this pic of Vincent Rodriguez III. Doesn’t he remind you of that ultimate college hottie? You know, the one all the girls drooled over?

Vincent Rodriguez III from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

And if you’re still not convinced, then you must watch this clip where he stars as his own boy band. Justin Timberlake, eat your heart out.

#3: TV Critics Totally Love Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Here’s another area where the show excels over Selfie – the critics think Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is actually good TV.

The New York Times applauded the series, saying, “…this is a show about willing yourself, even past reason, to hope. Amid an overly cautious fall crop of network series, it could just be crazy enough to work.”

TV Worth Watching gave Crazy Ex-Girlfriend an A-minus, and said:

The situations and characters aren’t entirely novel to be sure. But Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s vibrant premiere episode nonetheless is able to make the sale…. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend romps and rolls without really missing a beat.

In fact, TV Worth Watching’s founder David Bianculli named Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as one of Bianculli’s Best Bets, adding, “If you found, and stayed with, last week’s series premiere, you’ve already seen one of the fall’s best new series.”

Vulture.com calls Crazy-Ex Girlfriend “Crazy Good” and writes:

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is that glorious anomaly, a welcome surprise. There’s a running gag in which our heroine Rebecca hears an “I’m in love” bar from South Pacific‘s “I’m in Love With a Wonderful Guy.” I hear it, too…. It’s funny and sharp and perceptive, with an emotional depth and magical attitude that reminds me of other outlier shows like Wonderfalls and Ugly Betty.

Frazier Moore of the Associated Press has great expectations for the series:

IF this series can sustain the infectious abandon of its pilot, and IF it can continue to do justice to the rapturous Rachel Bloom (its star and executive producer), THEN “Crazy” will be the fall’s big crazy breakout hit.

This show has a 96 percent certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes from the critics, plus an 86 percent approval rating from viewers, proving the public loves it too. And if you dare to watch (especially the hilarious and spot-on “Sexy Getting Ready Song”), I can almost guarantee you’re going to become a fan too.

OMG, I just laughed so hard I spit out my green tea. 😉 Seriously, though, you must watch this show!

P.S.: If you still can’t read enough about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, read this terrific article Vincent Rodriguez III: On facing challenges as an Asian American actor and scoring a lead role in CW’s ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’

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23 thoughts on ““Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: 3 Reasons You Should Watch this New TV Series

  • November 23, 2015 at 7:28 am
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    The title put me off so much that I was NEVER going to watch that show.

    Thanks for the heads up. I still hate the title, but I might give it a shot.

    Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 8:55 am
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    Sounds bit like one of those cheesy high school tv show. I’m afraid that doesn’t sound entirely appealing to me, but I’ll give that a shot. Is catch up service available on the net?

    Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 9:07 am
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    The show didn’t catch my eye but I may check it out.

    I’m still in love with, “我的娜塔莎” (my Natasha to non-Chinese speakers.) Even though it’s a Chinese drama and no English subs…also a WWII based drama in the beginning. I still will re-watch and recommend to anyone since it’s AMWF. 🙂

    Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 10:56 am
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    I really like the show. I am probably biased because I am an AM, but I do think the humor is really sharp, even the musical pieces. It is really amazing how many Asians are on mainstream American TV this year. And I am a huge fan of Rachel Bloom because of her support for “Asian bros”, as she puts it. But her show also does a really good job of showing Asians as real people, not just as exotic props, as a lot of other mainstream shows have done. Also, they don’t “ethnically cleanse” West Covina – there are lots of Asians in the background.

    I think unfortunately the ratings haven’t been great, even for a show on the CW network. Am telling friends/family about it, hoping it doesn’t go the way of Selfie, but wondering what else can be done to support this show.

    Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 2:06 pm
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    Thanks for the info. Will be checking out this show.
    BTW, there’s another show on AMC call “Into the Badlands”. It stars Daniel Wu.

    Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 3:03 pm
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    That sounds fun! I will check if my Xiaomi box has it 😀

    Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 11:35 pm
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    For curiosity sake, I would like to watch this TV serial. But being quite ignorant about TV program in general, where can I find the Channel CW and what time does it show on Monday?

    Thanks for your reply.

    P. S. Also I was very touched by the free sample movie “Never Forever (2007) except at the end the story gets hazy. Now, how can pay the Amazon for watching
    the rest of AMWF movies?

    Reply
  • November 24, 2015 at 1:27 pm
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    Thanks for passing this on. I just watched the first episode. The musical numbers were enjoyable, especially the singing and acting of the woman who plays her friend, Paula. I wasn’t impressed with Rodriguez’s acting skills.

    Reply
  • November 25, 2015 at 5:32 am
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    The actor above does not look 100% Asian. May we count him as an Asian American actor?

    Reply
    • November 25, 2015 at 11:30 am
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      @Fred – Asian-Americans don’t look 100% Asian? WTF?!? That’s like saying European-Americans don’t look 100% European.

      Reply
      • November 26, 2015 at 2:07 am
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        It is like this. When you become so good-looking, even Asian guys don’t believe that they are actually Asians.

        It goes like this.
        “The uglier you are, the more Asians you become.”

        That’s the mindset of Asians/Asian Americans.

        Once came across a Chinese guy from Mainland, and started chatting for a while. When I said I’m a full 100% Han Chinese, he didn’t believe that I’m a Chinese. He’s said I must be mixed with some other races.

        I’m 5’11”, fit, with rugged jaw, round eyes, and dark hairs.

        The funny thing is when I did my 23andme, it says I’m 98% Chinese genotype.

        The bottom line is when you do look like Wang Leehom, Godfrey Gao, both tall, rugged jaws Chinese, ignorant Chinese won’t realize they are actually Chinese. They started comtemplating whether they are mixed with some South Asian, Middle East or whatever to crack their brains.

        The more you look like Jackie Chan (super talented though), the more they believe you are truly a Chinese.

        That’s my personal observation after coming across lots of ugly Chinese guys.

        Sounds so irritating and self-righteous comment to your ears?

        Yes, come and walk into my shoes and feel it when other Chinese said you must be mixed with some other races. I just wanted to smack their faces.

        Reply
  • November 26, 2015 at 7:12 am
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    @ Seck.

    I do not agree with your assertion that the prettier the person is, the less likely he/she will be viewed as Asian and that the uglier the person is, the more likely he/she will be seen as an Asian. I have only seen this viewpoint several times. For example, I know a fellow lawyer named Katia Cheng and she is very pretty. Many guys tell her including me when I first met her that she must be 1/2 Asian and 1/2 Caucasian. She vehemently denied being mixed race as she is 100% Han Chinese from Hong Kong. At first I did not believe her. She finally showed me the photo of her biological mother and father both of whom look 100% Han Chinese. She simply said that she was born this way looking somewhat like a mixed raced girl. Sooooooooo many boys chased after her that it was not even funny because she is extremely pretty.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2015 at 7:45 am
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      No matter what the hue, white men chase after Asian women. They chase after Filipinas who are pretty dark.

      Reply
  • November 26, 2015 at 9:40 am
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    Fred,

    You already agreed my assertion (by Katie Cheng) although you do not agree with my assertion (Your statement).

    Of course when I said “The uglier you are, the more Asians you become” is a tongue in cheek comment, it’s not always the case. But from my personal experience, it seems to be the case. A part of the case is well-groomed Asians always stand out in a crowd whenever you go. Most Chinese don’t give a damx on their hairdo, their clothes, instead will spend thousands of money on buying a Rolex watch for their girlfriends.

    So when you become tall, fit like LV model Godfrey Gao, you are automatically labeled as “mixed-race” which is sad, also reflective of what Chinese people think of themselves.

    My personal anecdote; whenever I come across a stranger, they always wonder where I’m really from. Well, I’m not from mainland China. They can’t figure out my ethnicity. One time when we were having a dinner out, a Chinese guy from mainland asserted that I must be mixed. I told him my father and my mother are 100% Han Chinese. But he resists that since it’s been long my parents migrated out of China, there must be a racial mixing before I was born.

    For a moment, I was angry, not because of his accusation but because of his strong assertion on my family roots. By the time I got my 23andme results, it’s clear as sky that my mother DNA was from northern part of China, that’s why I’m freaking tall 5’11” and my brother is 6’1”. My father DNA was from South East China (Fujian, Taiwan). And then working out help me to become fit. So I’m automatically labeled as “Mixed race”. Funny how things turn out.

    Vincent from the “My crazy ex-GF” does not look like East Asian, but he does have a look of Asian for sure.

    Reply
  • November 26, 2015 at 1:55 pm
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    This guy looks like a spanish man. Like ricky ricardo not william hung. Am I the only one that thinks this?

    Reply
    • November 27, 2015 at 9:21 am
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      You’re just a classic example of a troll. Few followers on Twitter and you don’t tweet. In addition, you do what every insecure loser does: you claim that Filipino men are Spanish and not Asian. You probably aren’t even Asian.

      Reply
      • November 27, 2015 at 7:03 pm
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        please study the history of Philippines and you will know if blood of Europeans run in some filipinos is true.

        Reply
        • November 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm
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          Emphasis on the word “some”.

          Reply
      • November 27, 2015 at 7:11 pm
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        By studying human genes,geneticists find that everyone is “mix-blood”.

        Reply
  • November 30, 2015 at 6:08 am
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    @ Seck.

    I did not say that I agreed with you. In fact, I disagreed with you. I only said that I encountered this “warped” point of view only several times in my life, one of which was the case of Katia Cheung. But on the whole, I rarely encountered the viewpoint that the prettier one is, the less likely he/she is Asian and the uglier one is, the likely he/she is Asian. I have seen some very pretty Asian girls from Korea, China, Japan, etc. but yet I never ascribed them with the being part Caucasian.

    In my life time, I have been ascribed as being part Caucasian several times much to my dismay. In my opinion, I do not look any where near Caucasian but somehow someone said that I had some mixed blood.

    I have to admit though that mixed race children are so pretty and some mixed race girls of Asian and Caucasian descent are soooooo darn pretty that they are almost irresistible.

    Take care Seck.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2015 at 7:48 am
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      @David. pretty smart too! You live in Torrence. Try visiting Gretchen Whitney High School in Cerritos. Plenty of super-smart mixed Asian-white kids there!

      Reply
  • November 30, 2015 at 6:15 am
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    I also agree that many Mainlanders from China give less consideration to their physical appearance and physique as they tend to dress with less fashionable clothing and do not exercise to develop tone and definition in their bodies, unlike models such as Godrey Gao. When I was in Hong Kong last year, I observed the ordinary people on the streets many of whom were Mainlanders and they did not dress with grace or style unlike the people in the U.S. I, too, do not dress with grace and style ordinarily as I do not see the point of spending so much money and time to look outstanding especially when I am a married man who has no need to impress girls. I guess that Chinese tend to be more humble and give less weight to attire.

    Reply
  • December 12, 2015 at 3:05 am
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    Hahahahah I’m back !! I dress sloppy sometimes but most of the time I dress nice. Having a nice body can really make you look good. I told all my friends that I can make a $1 shirt looks like $250 if I wear it. Most asians think that by wearing a brand name shirt will make them look high class even if they don’t have the figure to match it. You really need to exercise to have the physical appearance so the clothes can wrap around your body nicely. It’s just my opinion .

    Reply

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