It's no question that Good Trouble is a series that's been ahead of the curve, not so much timely as having a headstart, tackling a plethora of issues, and displaying authentic storytelling since 2018.
It has a knack for addressing issues and showcasing diversity before the conversations even hit the mainstream, every bit a groundbreaking trendsetter as its predecessor.
And Good Trouble Season 3 Episode 15 is a perfect example of it with its organic display of intersectionality and Chinese culture through Alice and her Kwan and Coterie family.
We caught up with the personable, passionate, and, of course, funny Sherry Cola to discuss the nuances of another great installment. Check it out!
Good Trouble has always been ahead of its time and topical. How does it feel to be part of a series that produces content at the forefront of the diversity and representation discussion?
Yeah, the truth is Good Trouble is that bitch and has been that bitch. I mean, we've been around since 2018 before the mass majority knew what "good trouble" meant, and the fact that it came from the words of the late, great John Lewis, you know?
The topics we touch on from Black Lives Matter to Trans rights, to equal pay, to, of course, you know, my queer Asian experience -- these are stories that deserve to be on the screen, and we do it in a way that is so nuanced.
It's not forcing it down your throat; it's literally showing characters that are all going through some sort of fight in a very authentic way. We are all imperfect, but we're trying to find purpose, and we're trying to find something to believe in, period, and I think that's such a universal story.
It's just evolving and growing as humans and learning, so I'm so proud of this show, and I'm a fan of the show and our cast. We practice what we preach. We talk the talk, and we walk the walk because of this show.
We've done 50 episodes, and it really has become a part of my identity, so I'm just so grateful to Joanna Johnson, our producer, creator, and showrunner. She sees my passion as Sherry, and she honors and respects that in Good Trouble.
Yes, yeah, I completely agree. It's one of the most relatable and most authentic series on television because you're right. It captures our lived experiences and shows them as just life. This is just how we live and have been living.
We truly were fighting the fight before people started fighting the fight; let's be real.
Now the Lunar New Year episode, which is probably one of my absolute favorites of the season, was that a collaborative experience with you and the writers? How did that one come to be?
I was absolutely very vocal about having a Lunar New Year episode, and once again, I'm so grateful that Joanna Johnson gave it to me. [laughs]
It was so emotional because we started the Lunar New Year episode at the end of March, amid the Anti-Asian hate crimes, so it really hit home. To be there, to be able to share my culture and show such an important tradition that I grew up with, you know, what I mean?
And this is on American mainstream TV. I couldn't ask for more. As an immigrant from Shanghai, I never would've dreamt of it. It's just so cool that we definitely had input in the process, especially Kara Wang, my castmate who plays Sumi.
She had a lot of knowledge on the superstitions and the specific food items, like the whole fish -- I've never seen that whole fish with the green onion and ginger on it on TV like that!
And we're just showing the superstitions of not cutting your hair on the New Year and things that my mom always warned me about, and I thought she was out of her mind, but these are things that I actually believe in.
All of these ridiculous little details that we got to put onscreen right down to the decorations, so shoutout to our crew, our prop department, our set design department, our wardrobe department, everyone who really, really killed it, and our director Erica Dunton who is so collaborative as well down to the speech that Alice gives after the line dance.
I loved that speech so much. Loved it!
Yeah, babe! They originally had something in the script, but then they allowed me to make it my own, and like I said, because of all of the AAPI hate crimes happening, I really wrote that from my heart.
I thought I wanted to have this party to prove to my parents that I'm an adult, but I think what I really wanted was to share a piece of my culture with everyone. Sometimes it's hard to balance keeping Asian traditions alive and also trying to feel American. My comedy program folks and I have been through some tough times recently being forced into a stereotypical box. I realize that everyone's experience is different, no matter what you look like. Celebrating and understanding those differences go a long way. Tonight was healing for me, and I hope in some way for all of you. I've never been prouder to be Chinese, and I'm just so proud to be able to call all of you family.Alice
It is this constant balance, this constant battle of trying to stay true to who you are, where you came from, but at the same time trying to fit into what it means to be American.
As someone who society has tried to define for so long, to be able to own my own voice and to amplify that for the community, and to share that with other communities ... I have chills. I literally have chills! It was really dope to kinda bring Sherry into that Alice speech, and it was clearly emotional.
There were a lot of tears. I was fully crying when we were filming that one because it was so real. It was so real, and it came from such a genuine place of pain, really, because of everything we were going through this year. Filming this episode, that was a couple of weeks after the Atlanta shooting.
Yeah. So it was really cool that Joanna Johnson and Erica Dunton let me kind of do my thing on that one.
It translated well and came through, and we felt it. It was the same with everything with your brother, which I felt he had one of the best reactions -- the most sibling-like reaction to Alice coming out. Sort of a "cool, whatever, so about lunch?"
[laughs] So fun. The family dynamic is so real and yet so universal. All of us are trying to live up to our parents' expectations. All of us are being compared to our siblings.
I don't have a brother, so that was cool, working with Chau [Long]. We definitely have chemistry, and that brother-sister scene was so cute, so adorable. [laughs]
And we actually looked alike and felt like we could be brother and sister --
You did. You guys nailed that sibling dynamic. I have brothers, and you totally nailed that whole dynamic. I loved it so much.
Love/hate relationships with your family are so relatable to everyone. I'm so happy we got to show that because yeah, even with being queer, Alice is, of course, kind of living out loud to an extent now.
We've seen her grow. We've seen her evolve. But at the same time, we have these hesitations when it comes to being ourselves in front of our families.
This is her brother, of course, he has unconditional love for her, yes, they have this friction, and she's so nervous to tell him that she's queer because, well, you feel like you're imperfect or something, or you feel like you're showing them a version of you that they're not used to, whatever it may be.
And so when she blurts it out, it's just such a weight off everyone's shoulders, and of course, he's accepting, of course, he has a classic brother reaction of like, awesome, cool, whatever, I don't care.
And, so now she's fully out to everyone in her family, and we've seen her just become herself and be comfortable in her own skin, and it's such a beautiful human evolution.
It is, and that is a very natural one for her character arc. Another thing that struck me watching this episode is that I have never seen a series that had three Asian-American queer women at once, and they're in a love triangle at that.
Let's go, baby. Let's go!
Exactly! Not only is it a love triangle, I mean that's really the cherry on top, but two Asian women -- we've seen Alice and Sumi go through the ups and downs, push and pulls, for all three seasons, from day one. This isn't just like a casual fling, you know?
This relationship has depth; it has history. It has layers. It has, you know, the cultural connection goes a long way as well in this Lunar New Year episode. That's why you see them share this kiss. It's so long overdue.
They've been wanting to for so long, and they realize how much they mean to each other, and yeah, it's like literally I've never seen this, not in my whole upbringing on TV in this way. And it's been missing for this long, and I'm the one now doing it on the screen. What's going on? Like, I have true chills!
Yes. An iconic queen, that's what you are!
Thank you, love. And on top of that, we have Ruby and Alice, and it's the love triangle between Asian queer women.
It's like, what's going on? This is a dream come true, and I hope this is a step toward the right direction.
I want to see more stories like this because people like me deserve to feel seen, and we can't settle for less. I refuse to settle for less than this level of representation on Good Trouble. Period.
You can find Sherry Cola breaking ground and making you smile and laugh on Good Trouble, which airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Freeform.
Tune in, and don't forget to check out our Good Trouble Reviews, too.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.