A: From the first meeting I had with Aline Brosh McKenna, we knew we were going to be creating a musical television show called "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." This is before we even went out to networks to pitch the show. Aline had had an idea for a movie called "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" about how love makes one do crazy things (from a woman's perspective), and, when we were trying to brainstorm TV show ideas based around my music videos that often featured me playing a manic, sad character, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" seems a perfect fit for everything we wanted to do.
From the beginning, the show was always meant to be a fucked up romantic comedy from a woman's point of view. Many romantic comedies contain premises that, in reality, would be seen as creepy and stalker-ish, so our goal was to take a romantic comedy premise and explore the implications of it. The title "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" came first, everything else came after.
A: One of the things I've learned most from working with Aline is that the key to new and interesting characters is specificity. When you get very specific with character work you transcend stereotype and, thus, stumble upon things that haven't been done before. We knew we wanted the show to take place in Southern California and that Josh should be a bro, so he very naturally became an Asian bro to reflect both my experience growing up here and the natural diversity of the San Gabriel Valley. The same went with his girlfriend, Valencia - we knew we wanted her to be a yoga teacher but have the casting reflect the demographics of the area.
It goes back to the thought process behind the other characters as well; we wanted someone even more obsessive than Rebecca to be her best friend and, short of that character being a 13-year-old girl, the best idea was an unhappy, sexually frustrated woman in her forties. That demographic consumes a lot of the same type of media that 13-year-old girls do.
A: Mindfulness. The fact that we are mindful of it is already such a huge step forward. There are so many awesome fellowships out there that specifically develop diverse voices. I think that people have realized that, to tell a new and interesting story, the same old TV-by-the-numbers shit won't do anymore. Audiences are more sophisticated than that now. Also, America is a nation of immigrants and our media should reflect that!