Over the show’s last three seasons, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” has taken risks, created comedy out of tragedy and brought the unexpected onto television like no other show out there. But now, the show is thinking of doing it again in perhaps an even weirder way.
The showrunners have announced that they’ll be recasting the role of Greg Serrano, a popular character and generally the preferred love interest for the main character, Rebecca Bunch. The role was played in the first season (and part of the second) by literal prince charming Santino Fontana. “Literally” because he starred as Prince Charming in Broadway’s “Cinderella.”
Recasting is a weird choice, if only because the show had mostly ended Greg’s arc by the beginning of Season 2, and especially in Season 3 when Rebecca found out that he had a new girlfriend and was happy away from her.
Apparently, Fontana wasn’t even asked to come back to the role — although he probably would have been busy anyway — and his place will be taken by Skylar Astin, an actor best known for his work in the “Pitch Perfect” franchise. This decision is, of course, a concern since I’m not fully convinced he can sing based on “Pitch Perfect,” but that’s not really the point here.
Astin’s chance at the role opens a lot of possibilities for the plot and Rebecca’s journey. Viewers of the previous season know that Rebecca learned a lot about herself and made some strides in her emotional health and learning to take responsibility for her actions. Greg’s return could cause her to regress.
However, Aline Brosh-McKenna and Rachel Bloom have said that the sudden change in casting will likely be more of an “experimental” and “playful” twist for viewers, much like the show has displayed an air of the experimental in all of its episodes.
The good news is that the new Greg won’t just drop into the season without explanation. According to Bloom, in typical “Crazy Ex” fashion, Rebecca will recognize the change and comment on it openly.
This open recognition of the difference will allow the show to explore the way that a character’s perception of a person can change over time as they encounter their own personal changes. Every decision that happens in the real world that effects the show has been handled with at least some grace so far, so fans should be hopeful that this change could be an opportunity rather than the mess it might have been on other shows.
Astin presents an interesting opportunity to the showrunners that viewers can only hope they will use well. Fans, based on their past experiences, should probably trust that Brosh-McKenna, Bloom and their team will create something unexpected and yet wonderful with this twist and all the others, especially that end-of-the-season cliffhanger.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, pull up Netflix right now. Like always with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” you’re in for a pretty big surprise.