After seven years of devotion to The Walking Dead, I decided to take a break from that show and watch a new one. I ended up giving something very different a try—Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It’s an hour-long comedy with bits of dark humor and musical numbers thrown in.
Rebecca Bunch is a smart, hard working and successful Yale and Harvard educated lawyer who’s got a very promising career in New York City. Right before big announcement at the firm, she steps out for a breather and runs into an old summer camp flame, Josh Chan.
Soon, memories flood her mind and all she can think about is Josh. Josh tells her, after eight months in New York, he’s ready to move back to West Covina. Next thing you know, Rebecca packs up her high-powered professional life and moves to—you guessed it—West Covina, California.
Of course she tries to make it look like she moved because she felt it was time for a change, but she doesn’t fool everyone with that line.
While Rebecca makes a few new friends and connections and builds a little circle for herself in West Covina, she also gets herself into one sticky situation after another. She gets into all sorts of trouble just trying to cover up the fact a lot of her actions and motives are clearly all because she wants to re-ignite that summer camp flame. She often has to lie or put on acts. It gets even stickier because Josh has a serious girlfriend, Valencia.
I think we all know someone who has moved or changed their lives for a love that wasn’t exactly certain. Maybe we know someone who has gone out of their way to find out where their crush likes to hang out, where they might be on a certain night and what they might be doing so they can conveniently run into them. Or they might start taking up the exact same hobby. We might not just know someone—that someone could be us.
Rebecca gets unhinged and does show signs of emotional and mental instability. She is a whiz when it comes to her career, lawyering and being book smart but she’s all over the place when it comes to her personal life.
As mentioned, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is peppered with two or three clever and funny musical numbers per episode. There’s actually a lot of story to be told on such a simple premise.
Credit the writers—including show creator and lead actress Rachel Bloom for this. Rachel won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is also co-written with Aline Brosh McKenna (Devil Wears Prada), with Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) directing the pilot episode. The first season with 18 episodes aired a year ago on the CW and a new season started on October 21.
By the way, Josh Chan’s family is Filipino and there’s a great episode on how Rebecca tries to win their hearts over Thanksgiving.