Crazy Ex-Girlfriend takes musical comedy to next level in season 2
Everyone has that one show that “is so bad, that it is good.” There is also such a thing as a show that is “so good, that it is bad, which makes it even better.” While this idea is very hard to process, this chaotic description is actually the very essence of The CW’s show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend that began its second season after achieving universal critical praise.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a series that is about exactly what the title suggests, a crazy ex-girlfriend. Rebecca Bunch, played by the talented Rachel Bloom, is an unhappy New Yorker who suffers from extreme depression and anxiety. Her savior is Josh Chan, played by Vincent Rodriguez III. Josh, who is her ex-boyfriend from 10 years ago, bumps into Rachel on the street and tells her that he is moving out of New York.
Deciding that her life needs change, Rebecca throws away her established career and moves to California to live in West Covina. She quickly makes a new best friend Paula, who is a slightly psychotic lawyer. Other new friends include Darryl, her very sentimental and experimental boss, and Greg, who is cute and emotionally unstable. Slowly, Rebecca becomes much happier than she was in New York.
West Covina is also the city where Josh lives, but Rebecca insists that it is not why she is there. It takes Rebecca half the season to eventually admit to herself that she did move because of Josh, and then the other half of the season to confess that to him.
As the show dives into its second season, Rebecca and Josh are found in a relationship, bringing her a whole new set of problems. Ultimately, Rebecca has to re-evaluate her actions and decide if Josh is really the guy she loves, or if she is just obsessed with the idea.
The show was created and written by Bloom herself and Aline Brosh McKenna, who is famous for her critically acclaimed films Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses. McKenna noticed Bloom in her YouTube videos and together they decided to create a show that would portray women and their lives in a funny, but reasonable way. All characters in the show have major issues but makes them appear like real people—making this one of the most relatable shows currently running.
The writing of the show flows like a stream—nothing is forced, nothing is out of place. All plot twists and jokes progress from previous events and do not come out of nowhere, like in many comedy shows. The writing is exceptionally realistic; it is relatable, awkward and vibrantly bold.
Bloom, as an actress and a writer, is able to say and show everything that goes on in the minds of all of us. Rebecca is foolish, humble and selfish as much as she is brave, kind and smart. Her multidimensional personification of every unhappy ex-partner has gathered Bloom a numerous amount of awards, including the 2016 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.
Besides being a hilarious comedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is also a musical. Unlike previous series in the genre, like Glee and Smashed, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend uses only original music that adds to the comedy of the show. The fact that characters break into a song completely out of nowhere seems not only comedic, but fitting.
The songs referencing everything from Broadway’s Les Mis and Dreamgirls to pop culture’s Selena Gomez and Beyonce, adds another level of dynamic and universal appeal. Most actors have a background in New York Theater, so there is no cringing awkwardness when the actors start singing and dancing.
The actor’s vocal abilities are also very decent, especially that of Ms. Champlin. Her performance as Snow White in the second season is the gem of the season so far. The most outstanding aspect of the show that makes it even more sensible and relatable is the casting. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend also has a very diverse cast, featuring a Jewish girl who is deeply in love with a Filipino guy, who has a Mexican girlfriend and a Hispanic best friend.
Nobody brings up any racial issues and everybody speaks perfect English. None of the characters represent their ethnicities in a stereotypical manner. Instead, they are represented as Americans, who all live the same lifestyle and share the same values, a representation often missing from media.
Instead of filling a “minority” quota, this show simply portrays American diversity in a true way. At some point in the show, one of the characters comes out as bisexual and no one cares. The writers want to make a point that there should be nothing outstanding about a person embracing who they are.
Following all the raving reviews and accolades, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has joined another one of The CW’s hit shows, Jane the Virgin. The CW gave both shows a chance to live and have minorities be represented in a positive, realistic and respectful manner. These shows have drastically changed CW’s image. Jane The Virgin helped the network rise to another level of prominence while Crazy Ex-Girlfriend made it an important trendsetter.
With cheesy story lines, unstable and loving characters and satirical musical numbers, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is an essential guilty pleasure. It is funny, down-to-earth and very sincere. Season two has promised to include a couple of celebrity cameos and continue to explore the depths of the characters and their issues within themselves. As Rebecca continues pursuing her love life amid all the chaos, one can hope that more TV shows like this will arrive in future.