So many people are praising the latest episode of American TV show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” for getting Filipino culture right. Even Vulture entitled its episode recap: “How Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Gets Filipino Culture right.”
But first, a backgrounder: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is a six-week old TV musical comedy-drama series currently being shown in the States. It’s about a Manhattanite named Rebecca Bunch who moves to West Covina in California to follow the love of her life, Fil-Am Josh.
“My Thanksgiving with Josh” is its sixth episode where they showed all the right things about being Pinoy — or at least that’s what the Western critics say.
There’s the “warm, large” family, dinuguan of all our dishes, and of course, language. That the show is a musical harks to the Filipino’s penchant of breaking into a song and dance in the middle of a movie.
“Every detail of the Thanksgiving episode — from the casting to dialect to the food — was carefully considered,” writes Maria Elena Fernandez on Vulture.
The episode was written by Fil-Am Rene Gube, previously a writer and an actor for another TV series, where he said, “I fought all year to get one joke in that identified me as a Filipino person… To have an opportunity to create a fully developed Filipino character, a male romantic lead, I’ve never seen that before, and I was super excited about that. It’s a great opportunity to show a Filipino family on network television and show how American that Filipino family truly is.”
Josh is played by Fil-Am Vincent Rodriguez III, who also served as inspiration for the character’s ethnicity. “Before producers cast Rodriguez, the part was vaguely sketched as Asian Bro,’” continues the Vulture report.
“It’s cool to have this be my breakout role because it means so much more to me personally that I’m playing a role that is altering network history and putting Filipinos more on the map,” Rodriguez said.
Fusion.net says “My Thanksgiving with Josh” was “the first time we’ve seen a Filipino family’s Thanksgiving dinner portrayed on U.S. television… likely the first time we’ve seen a Filipino family sit down for a meal together at all.”
This makes it “the first TV series to depict Filipino-American family life, with a large Filipino cast of actors in a single episode,” notes Vulture.
How nice. Now mano to lola.
Source: Coconuts Manila