Yay, CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND! This week, Rebecca wonders “When Will Josh See How Cool I Am?”, Greg tells his friends about his alcoholism, and Rebecca manages to have a fantasy about ping pong making her seem sexy and empowered. Oh, Rebecca.
Here’s what’s cool about this: so far this season Josh and Rebecca are sort of together but since it’s after the end of the fairy tale they both are being horrible people. Rebecca is using and abusing Paula and Josh spends the entire episode making Greg’s alcoholism entirely about himself. Really, the Paula situation is just a carryover from their terrible relationship last season. They related almost exclusively through Rebecca’s Josh obsession and now Rebecca actually has Josh. That’s like obsession overload, so Rebecca still needs to find a healthier way to communicate with Paula. She’ll get it together. Also, I adore Paula now. She recognized when she was being entitled and controlling and she backed off. She backed off. Never in my life have I experienced or even seen that happen. She decided to go for her own dreams instead of smothering her friend. Bless you, Paula! For his part, Josh is just ditzy and self-absorbed. He always has been, so there’s nothing really new in him only paying attention to Greg’s problems as they relate to him. It’s just that with Josh off of the pedestal and into the limelight his flaws are beginning to show. I really loved that White Josh in particular is the lone voice of reason. He always seemed like such an airhead but in truth he’s the most grounded, level-headed character on the show.
Let me talk about Greg for a minute because he made me cry with the sappiest most clichéd romance trope lines possible and before that moment I would have guaranteed you I was completely immune to them. I love how he’s getting himself together, owning his mistakes, and being an all-around great human being. Now that Rebecca actually has Josh and he’s not a fairy tale prince she’s realizing what a great guy Greg is. Of course she is. She’ll always want the better fantasy that she doesn’t presently have. It’s classic ridiculous love triangle nonsense and yet it’s well aware of the fact and I’m completely on board. Curse you, show. Curse you.
I also always love when I recognize myself much too clearly in Rebecca. This time she went off on an ideological tangent about why football is terrible and I laughed inappropriately loudly about it. Because she’s right about football, but who says that out loud? But then I say stuff like that out loud all the time. She is my favorite desperate approval-seeking neurotic and she’s so well done in that regard. I mean, how many people who write for this show actually have (or know someone who has) personality disorders? Because, man, they understand them. It was only like a year ago that I figured out what personality disorders even are (basically clusters of behaviors that usually occur together that psychologists use to diagnose people who are messed up in the head.) What I’ve slowly started to notice is that a lot of writers don’t know about them and just use the traits like they’re a normal part of life you have to deal with. They’re not. Don’t let anyone treat you that poorly and think you have to take it. But with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend they absolutely know what they’re doing and they make sure to present all the bad behaviors as absolutely not okay, even as the characters remain sympathetic and funny. I love it. It’s enjoyable to watch a show that gets it even if that also makes it hard sometimes.
If there was one thing I wanted last week that I didn’t get it was for Greg to sing because he always gets the best songs. If there was another thing I wanted last week it was for Paula to sing because her songs are always perfect and absurd. In both cases, this episode did not disappoint. Just from a logistical standpoint, if the songs are solo and Rebecca’s not around are they in her head or in the head of the character in question? It doesn’t really matter. (Or does it?) Anyway, Donna Lynn Champlin slayed her 1950s Disney peasant princess song and Santino Fontana could please just sing constantly. An Irish drinking song about alcoholism? Help me, lawd. Rebecca’s grunge-alt Josh fantasy about ping pong was also great both for the song and for her sexy golden outfit. Rebecca helps me, though. She goes off on such intense fantasies and they’re so absurd and funny that it helps me stop myself from doing the same thing. I also love how this show manages to nail whatever song style they’re going for. They’re not even parodies—they’re perfectly original songs that ape their target musical conventions so that the audience understands the context without missing a beat. This show is so delightful to watch. I’m really picky about my shows because they have to give my brain like six layers of crazy to play with or I get bored and annoyed. This show is smart but also goofy and fun. It’s lighthearted but can be earnest as well. It’s like the perfect balance.
Additionally, this episode did really well calling back to like three different songs from last season. Paula’s massive finale freakout of “After Everything I’ve Done For You (That You Didn’t Ask For)” cropped up in a discussion with her husband (who, by the way, is now super sweet.) Greg’s “I Could If I Wanted To” made a perfect reappearance in that he tried to mask his feelings but failed. There was even a little line in Rebecca’s ping pong empowerment fantasy that she’s “doing it for herself.” Presumably in a sexy way. I do miss last season’s theme song, though. That thing was horrifically catchy. I sing it all the time for no reason. The little MGM opener is cute but not nearly as much of an earworm. Or at least, not yet. It hasn’t had time to grow on me.
What else is there to say? Do you really expect this show to be anything less than stellar? Come back next week for my further raptures over Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Looking forward to it, friends!
Season 2, Episode 2 (S02E02)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend airs Fridays at 9PM on The CW
Dana is a digitization archivist by day and a masked pop culture avenger by night. She spreads the gospel of science fiction and fantasy wherever she goes.
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Dana Leigh Brand | Contributor