What happens when a repressed, closeted, depressed kid meets the love of her life? A docuseries is made not only for her first love-turned-ex but to prove her parents wrong. “Crazy Broke Asian” is an upcoming, 6-part docuseries created by Céline Do and produced by Parlous House. Filmed and animated in 30-minute episodes, the series follows Do’s life over 10 years as she tries to become a “world class artist.”

Do, who is currently in her late 20s, is of Vietnamese descent and was born in Montreal (via Asiate Imparfaite // Imperfect Asian). When she started filming, Do had yet to come out as gay to her family, was still living with her parents and intended to drop out of college (which she did midway through filming the docuseries). During the first year of filming, Do thought documentary filming meant that she had to film everything, so she would leave her camera rolling continuously. In her interview with Asiate Imparfaite // Imperfect Asian, Do said that seeing all the footage at the end of the first year allowed her to do a lot of introspection and continuously filming kept her accountable for her actions in making progress in her life.

It was only when looking through the footage that Do realized she was filming a coming-of-age story. Before she met her ex, Meko, Do had always denied her Asian heritage because she wanted to be known for her work first before being labeled “Asian.” Over time, Do had come to accept her heritage was a part of her and the project’s story even when she didn’t intend to have that theme set at the start of filming. The title, “Crazy Broke Asian,” came to be when the 2018 Crazy Rich Asians came out while Do was filming; it was not a diss towards the film, but more of a nod to who Do is: a crazy, broke Asian.

Do credits her ex, Meko, for originally inspiring Do to start filming as she wanted to give Meko the courage to continue making things—they were both creative people. Since Do is filming everything, the docuseries will show the beginning and end of her relationship with Meko and other vulnerable aspects of Do’s life, including her relationship with her parents.

In the official Crazy Broke Asian trailer, Do referred to her mom and dad as “Tiger parents” along with a clip of her mom saying that every parent wants their child to become a doctor. Do didn’t film much of her parents at first, until she saw footage of her mom being vulnerable—a theme which would fit in her docuseries (via Asiate Imparfaite // Imperfect Asian). Do did admit that she grew resentful of her parents while filming because she had always heard negative things that diminished her passion; she later learned that the way her parents showed concern was a cultural thing.

While working on the documentary, Do wanted to repair her relationship with her parents. The first episode will take place in the present, where Do is talking to her parents to explain their side as she does not want to present them as entirely evil people. As of the recording of the Asiate Imparfaite // Imperfect Asian, Do said the documentary will be hard for her parents to watch and isn’t even sure that her mom will watch it entirely. Do’s mother supports her and has seen the trailer, but didn’t want to watch the draft of the first episode; her mother was worried about people finding out that Do was gay despite the trailer featuring Do and Meko’s romantic relationship.

As for Do’s father, he started to feel guilt for his treatment of Do and started to understand Do’s seriousness about filming; he even translated the trailer into Vietnamese while showing it to his friends. In an Instagram Reels post uploaded on May 13, 2024, Do’s father will work with her and Parlous House on the 2-D animation portions of her docuseries. This would be the first time he picked up the arts since escaping the Vietnam War. Do said that as she and the project matured, she realized that “Crazy Broke Asian” isn’t just about her story but her family’s story (via Parlous House). With her parents’ consent, the project will include a retelling of her parents’ boat people escape after the Vietnam War to enhance the project’s storytelling.

Having to review such vulnerable footage after living it herself, Do did her best in trying to keep herself mentally healthy by giving herself a sense of purpose and plans to seek therapy as of her interview with Asiate Imparfaite // Imperfect Asian. Do also stumbled upon the Facebook group Asian Creative Network and by seeing people similar to herself and her struggles, Do found the hope to help and inspire them, finding the will to keep working on her docuseries. The supportive comments—of relatability and general interest—after posting the trailer also gave Do the strength to continue working on the project and get out of her burnout.

In short, Do says that she started “Crazy Broke Asian” because she wanted to show someone’s progress from being a nobody to becoming somebody; this story won’t reach just Asian people but many others because the film is showing someone doing their best to pursue their dreams. Do also hopes that this film will help bridge the gap between her parents’ generation and her generation. 
“Crazy Broke Asian” is currently in its post-production stage under Parlous House, a full-service indie production house based in Do’s trailer. Those interested in the project can now sign up for email updates and news about “Crazy Broke Asian.” Crowdfunding on BackerKit will launch in less than a month, and Parlous House hopes to complete the project within a year. The Parlous House Linktree also includes links to Do’s Instagram page and the Parlous House’s official social media links, which would occasionally show behind-the-scenes footage.

(Editor’s note: As of July 18, 2024, the BackerKit launch has been pushed back. However, the project continues to be worked on and the BackerKit launch page is still open to those who want to sign up for future updates.)