Right after I got over the shock of the November election (a little over a week ago), I’ve been searching for entertainment that lets me really escape. I haven’t been too successful escaping reality with books. I’ve just finished reading The Dead Zone by Stephen King which features a character eerily similar to Donald Trump, and I’m currently reading Why The Right Went Wrong-From Goldwater To The Tea Party & Beyond.
We are now at “beyond”. So, what better way to get away from the crazy than choosing a show with “crazy” in its title? I hesitated a lot before watching it. The reviews were good, but it’s a musical comedy. Don’t get me wrong, I love musicals and comedy. But starting towards the end of Glee’s second season, I found myself fast-forwarding through the musical numbers, and I dropped the series altogether at the end of the third season. I didn’t want to face the same scenario with a new show.
Eventually, I decided to watch the series because I saw that all the episodes had “Josh” in the title. This sounded too obsessive and too funny to pass up.
So, I binged-watched the entire first season and I can tell you that I’m crazy about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show features Rachel Bloom as Rebecca. Bloom is the show’s creator, writer, and main actor. She’s simply amazing. She has an energy and an on-screen presence that reminds me of Lucille Ball (I’m a huge I Love Lucy fan).
Her writing is spot on, hilarious. But, what makes the show so special is how relatable it is. Maybe I’m crazy, but Rebecca is me, or, better said, I could have been Rebecca a few years back before meeting and marrying my husband. She’s crazy, but not really. She’s just desperately looking for love. This desperate search is very familiar to many young, single women. I won’t go deeply into the reasons why here, but some have to do with social pressure and biological clocks. I would bet that many women can identify with Rebecca.
Another reason I’m crazy about the show is Paula. I love Paula (played by Donna Lynne Champlin), Rebecca’s new friend at her new law office. Champlin, who is not a very familiar face on TV due to her work in theater, is wonderful as Paula. She’s a bit nutty herself, nosy, married and also desperate; her marriage is falling apart. But, despite her flaws, she has a big heart and ends up being a positive influence for Rebecca, and a great friend.
Josh, is cute, although a bit dumb. Even in this, I can relate. Although intelligence is a big turn-on for me, I once had a boyfriend like Josh. I get it, Rebecca.
I love Greg. Yes, there’s a love triangle. He’s the right one for Rebecca even though she’s too obsessed with Josh to see it. He also has to work through some issues.
Now, another reason why I’m crazy about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is….ta da….the musical numbers. They are not too frequent, or too long. They are bitingly sarcastic, always funny, and pretty elaborate at times. If one of them starts off kind of sugary and corny, it doesn’t stay that way for too long. Most, hilariously point to the truth like the one showing how a woman prepares for a date vs. a man. I even love the title sequence.
Finally, did I mention that Rebecca has a normal body shape, even a bit on the chubby side (and big boobs)? Yep, she’s not stick-thin or obsessed with her figure (that would be Valencia, Josh’s girlfriend). How refreshing to see a female lead that looks more like us and is totally comfortable in her skin.
Now, all that said, I’ve started on the second season, and for the sake of full disclosure, after three episodes I find myself being less crazy about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. For starters, they changed the title sequence! The new one has the look and feel of a 1950’s chorus line. It’s cute and well done. But it doesn’t compare to the one for the first season.
More importantly, Rebecca is now really crazy. She’s really way out there. I no longer think that she’s me, or that I could’ve been her a few years back, although…No, really, I find her less likable. She’s actually a bit obnoxious. I may have been desperate at times, but I was never obnoxious. I hope.
The difference for me between the first and second season is that I totally lost myself in Rebecca’s world in season 1. In season 2, I’m watching her from a distance, more aware of my surroundings. For someone who wants to escape reality for a little while, this is obviously not so good.
But, I’ll keep watching the second season until the end. I might be a bit less crazy about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but from everything I saw in season 1, I’d be crazy to let it go, now. Rebecca would understand.