I was very nervous about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Very nervous. Just based on the title alone, then even more so after seeing the trailer, I knew it could either be golden or it could be incredibly obnoxious while being equally offensive because “bitches be crazy” cannot be a a series premise.
Happy to say, the former is the case.
A successful Harvard- and Yale-educated Mandarin-speaking New York lawyer with an overbearing mother (who is clearly the source of her psychological trauma) is haunted by the notion that she has zero happiness in her life. She is Rebecca Bunch and, yes, she is unhappy. She Googles things like “How long can one survive without sleep?” and “How many people have died during sex?” She’s got pills for “emergencies” and a healthy faith in foxhole prayers to go along with them. There’s not much that’s too crazy about her, though, which, unfortunately, makes her sadness spread to us, the dear viewer, until she runs into the teenage-summer-camp-love of her life (Josh), all grown-up and about to move to California. Realizing that following him is what she must do (Hey, Felicity!), she breaks into a huge song and dance number to explain to us viewers why. And, gurl… it works. Consider that shit explained. Call it a cliché if you must, but this gay man is not mad at a big song and dance number. (Just to reassure, dear reader… I’m not your typical musical gay. So, if you yourself don’t enjoy going into the woods with mamma mia either, don’t expect to dislike this show just because a crazy chick sings sometimes.)
Aside from having a tiny non-Jewish button nose (her new boss definitely regrets that “compliment”) and stalker tendencies, she’s pretty run-of-the-mill. And kind of fun. Which is evident by her (romantic comedy cliché alert) immediately attracting other nice, normal, yet fun men. Just one in particular, actually (Greg), who invites her to a house party and ignores her obvious obsession with his friend Josh. She’s not fun enough, however, to repel jealous co-workers (Paula) threatened by Mandarin and those damn New England law schools who can smell her bullshit from a mile away.
Escaping jealous co-worker clutches for long enough to get ready for the house party…
…Rebecca shows up, finds Greg and makes out with him for, seemingly, hours. All with one eye open so as to not waste any valuable stalkee searching time. He does take it like a champ (because, apparently, lady tongue is just… worth it?), but he finally draws the line when she bursts into tears while kissing his manly, nice, and normal chest after finding out that Josh, the man of her dreams who she’s obviously(?) meant to be with forever… has a girlfriend. Heartbroken, kind of drunk, and with the sexy-time line drawn with Greg, she exits the premises just in time to be confronted by Paula (who, yeah, just happens to know where the random house party is because… plausible). She spills all the stalker-y secrets she’s managed to find out about Crazy Becca who suddenly, and reasonably, feels very threatened. The twist comes when Paula reveals that she’s no longer jealous of our crazy ex. In fact, she’s totally gung-ho with her and all of her crazy! She is all in on getting Josh to text a bitch back. And just then, like magic… he does. With a smiley face, no less. Emojis save the day, all is right with the world, and it’s time for the first crazy ex-duet.
The pilot was designed for cable, dropped by cable, then picked up by The CW and re-worked for network television. I can only imagine what we would’ve gotten had it made it to Showtime, but I don’t think we’re missing much. Maybe some nipples during the Sexy Getting Ready Song and probably the word “dick” not bleeped out when it aired. But it still definitely feels up to snuff. I think pairing it with Jane The Virgin was pretty genius on the part of The CW since they’re both very similar stylistically. You wouldn’t think that a series about a virgin accidentally getting pregnant and a series about a voluntarily unmedicated stalker would go together, but they do. So, if you like one, you’ll probably like the other.
Also, apparently, the star of the show (the O.G. Crazy Ex-G. herself) has been a YouTuber for a while. So, check out her channel if that’s your thing, you kooky kids. I’ve never really jumped on the YouTube bandwagon, but I do follow Superfruit. And Willam. And Kingsley. And Miranda. Well, damn, have I jumped on that bandwagon?