Crazy Ex-Girlfriend could be the best show America isn’t watching.
The freshman dramedy on the CW network certainly has flied under the radar.
It stars Rachel Bloom as Rebecca, a neurotic young lawyer who has had a ten year crush on a boy she met in summer camp.
The two haven’t seen each other since the last day of camp, but bump into each other on the streets of New York where both of them are tired of the rat race.
Josh Chan as played by Vincent Rodriguez III tells Rebecca he’s been in New York for eight months and is leaving to return home to West Covina, California–a small town he describes as a community two hours away from sunny California beaches or four in heavy traffic.
Rebecca, who clearly hasn’t lost her crush on Josh, turns down a job as a partner in a prestigious law firm to move to West Covina to follow her love.
Problem is she doesn’t discuss this with Josh first, has no idea whether he’s interested in pursuing a relationship and then arrives in town with dreams of hooking up with him again.
The story plays like a Disney fairy tale, music and all. If you enjoy Disney animated musicals such as Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, you just might enjoy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
The difference between Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Aladdin is that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s a dramedy after all. You get the feeling that Bloom, who also executive produces the series, is doing the whole show with a wink.
The pilot almost has the feel of Enchanted, the 2007 Disney movie starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey that pokes fun of the Disney fairy tales.
Bloom breaks into song and dance about West Covina in the pilot, and according to Aoki, two songs will be featured in each episode.
Rodriguez, who is Filipino, Chinese, and Spanish just like his character Josh, recently spoke to the Inquirer about his new role.
“You’re going to meet Josh Chan, find out that he’s Filipino, and see his family values,” Rodriguez said. “The Chan family dynamic is very true to form–it feels very real to my own family.
“As a Filipino actor, I always wanted to be a part of the growth of Asian American representation on TV and onstage. Now I feel like I’m a part of that journey to exposing modern, cultural America.”
Bloom herself made a conscious decision to make sure the cast represented the diversity of West Covina and to cast an Asian as her co-star.
“We always wanted the male lead to be Asian,” Bloom said, “because I grew up with Asian bros, and I hadn’t seen that represented on TV.”
You can read about Rodriguez journey as an actor and the reaction from his family in the Inquirer.
You can also check out Aoki’s review in Rafu Shimpo.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend airs Monday nights at 8/7c on the CW. It only debut October 12, so you can catch up with the series by watching the two shows that have already aired on CW’s website. I don’t know how long those episodes will be on the site, so if you’re interested, you should probably check it out before Monday.