I first stumbled across Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a few years ago, probably scrolling through Netflix avoiding my A Level revision. To say Rachel Bloom and the whole creative team behind this show are inspirations to me would be a HUGE understatement. I think the tagline to the theme tune of Season 1, “The situation is a lot more nuanced than that!” pretty much sums up my feelings about this show.
Perhaps due to its name, when I’ve mentioned the show to others (because I do, like, all the time) I’m often met with that familiar sceptical look about another teen tv series. But Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is nothing like you’d expect just from the title. It has so much depth and meaning, and addresses some serious issues in such a unique way.
To give some context for those who are unfamiliar with the show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend follows Rebecca Bunch, played by Rachel Bloom who also co-writes and produces the show (I KNOW right??). She tries to reconnect with her first true love from Summer camp, Josh Chan, by following him all the way back to his home town of West Covina, California from her well-paid but dreary law career in New York. The show explores mental health in such a unique way that I haven’t seen in any other TV show. Did I mention it’s also hilarious and heartwarming all at the same time?
The amazingly witty dialogue reminds me of all the reasons I love Gilmore Girls. In the same way that Gilmore Girls is crammed full of pop culture references, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend feels like a love letter to the theatre kid of the room who makes jokes nobody else understands. It’s like I’ve finally found a TV show that GETS my sense of humour, without having to explain the whole plot of a musical in order for someone to get the joke or *gasps* who Stephen Sondheim is (which I have to do on a soul-crushingly regular basis).
Another reason it’s so perfect for theatre kids, aside from the fact that there are several original musical numbers in each episode is that, as a form, it so cleverly makes fun of itself. It’s both an ode to and a parody of musical theatre.
I can’t explain what I’d give to be able to sit in on some of the creative meetings on this show. Imagine working with a writing team that’s focusing on tackling the stigma surrounding mental health, promoting self-worth and also casually writing literally hundreds of original songs with niche Broadway references throughout – seriously, where do I sign up?? 🙏🏼 I can only hope that one day I’m able to create something that makes people feel the way Crazy Ex-Girlfriend makes me feel.
Now, onto the frankly iconic guest appearances. Can we talk about the fact that QUEEN PATTI LUPONE casually swoops in during Season 2?! If that isn’t enough to tempt you to watch the show, Broadway stars Lea Salonga and Josh Groban have also appeared. It’s like Rachel Bloom went “who would make theatre kids FREAK if they appeared on the show? Cool, let’s give them a call!” and then she only went and got them.
I thought I’d put together a list of a few of my favourite songs from the show. I should say that, when going through all the songs from the 3 seasons so far, I tried to put a playlist together of my favourites for this blog post. Guys, there were twenty-eight songs on the playlist I made. TWENTY-EIGHT. That’s more than a lot of musicals have in their whole score and these are just my highlights??? The sheer volume of work produced by the creative team is astounding. So here are just five of my all time favourites from the show so far:
(*side note* The fourth and final season is yet to air and I know this is gonna have some absolute bangers as well)
The Moment Is Me
Serving some major High School Musical vibes, Vella Lovell is hilarious in this “finding yourself” number. It’s just another example of how clever the writers are in poking fun at the very thing they’re doing, with the character of Heather reluctantly breaking into song.
Settle For Me
Santino Fontana (aka actual Prince Charming from Cinderella) and Rachel Bloom dance around like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It’s magical.
(Tell Me I’m Okay) Patrick
I’m not even kidding, I’ve genuinely considered using this as an audition song on several occasions. It’s SUCH a good song. The camera shots in this number are just genius as well.
We Tapped That Ass
Tap is my all time favourite form of dance and so I absolutely love this song and dance routine. It’s similar to Avenue Q in the way that the music is so upbeat and charming that you forget the risqué nature of the lyrics. (Okay risqué is definitely the wrong word but you know what I mean😂)
This Session Is Going To Be Different
Michael Hyatt is AMAZING in this “Maybe This Time” style number. I’d loved her character as Rachel’s therapist up until this point so was thrilled she was given an entire number to shine in.
Where’s The Bathroom?
This is SUCH a great number performed by the incredible Tovah Feldshuh and the lyrics are just genius. Tovah is such a skilled actress and I love it when she appears in the show.
Some of my other faves from the show:
– What’ll It Be?
– After Everything I’ve Done For You (That You Didn’t Ask For)
– One Indescribable Instant
– Maybe This Dream
– George’s Turn
– Remember That We Suffered
– Let’s Generalize About Men
– I Feel Like This Isn’t About Me
– A Diagnosis
Finally, a note on Rachel Bloom herself. It baffles me that she’s so involved in so many different elements of this show. As someone who aspires to be not only a performer but also a creator (be that composing, writing, directing) it’s so incredible to see someone absolutely smashing all of those things respectively. Oh, and if you need another reason to be a fan of hers, she wore a t-shirt with Stephen Sondheim smoking a joint on it to the Tony Awards this year. Need I say more?
For the US readers out there (thanks for tuning in to my blog – I see you!), you can catch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on the CW and for my fellow Brits and beyond, it’s on Netflix!
I really hope this post makes you at least a little intrigued to check out the show. I want this blog to encourage people to be unapologetically stagey so, if you need that little extra push to believe that, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a great place to start.
Olivia Rose 🌹