"I'm just a girl in love. I can't be held responsible for my actions. I have no underlying issues to address, I'm certifiably cute and adorable obsessed." - Rebecca Bunch
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a musical comedy with a ton of unexpected layers that began airing on the CW in 2015. Initially, the title alone turned me off of the show, but once I finally watched it, I found that it is actually one of the most nuanced portrayals of mental illness I've ever seen. At its core, the show is not about Rebecca Bunch's love life, but rather her deep underlying psychological issues and how she does or does not deal with them. Add in one of the best female friendships I've ever seen, a ton of other well written characters, amazing songs, and the most adorable and healthy relationship between a bisexual man and a gay man that everyone else on the show aspires towards, and the show deserves every bit of the critical praise it has received over the years.
The best thing about the show is how it continuously throws the viewers curveballs with regards to the storytelling. While I was sad to see my favorite character Greg Serrano leave the show in the second season, I thought it was such a bold choice. Which guy Rebecca ends up with in a perfect fairytale ending is not the story that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is telling, contradictory to what the title would lead you to believe. It subverts the traditional narrative that we have been conditioned towards and is telling its own story without cliches holding it back. Time and time again, we are shown how bad Josh's attention is for Rebecca's mental health and life decisions, so I am pretty confident that the writers will continue to handle that relationship truthfully. Also, the original songs written for the show are amazing and work so well to drive the storylines further without feeling shoe-horned in to meet a quota for each episode. All of the main characters (as well as several minor characters) have been given their moment to shine in a natural way, and the songs offer a much deeper look into their motivations than a normal scene ever could.
All of the characters are handled with care by both the writers and the actors portraying them. The series may focus on Rebecca, but all of the other characters are just as developed and have grown immensely over the course of the series. Another great thing is how even amongst all of the fantastical big production musical numbers, the characters actually act like real people in the majority of the situations they find themselves in. The characters talk to each other about their issues, and everything isn't magically solved when two characters finally get together. In a generic romantic comedy, once Rebecca and Josh got together, the story would be over. In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it was a short honeymoon phase followed by an implosion because neither one of them was equipped yet to handle a real relationship. "We'll Never Have Problems Again" is the perfect self aware song to demonstrate to the viewers that the writers know what they're doing, and while it may not be a normal Hollywood romantic comedy in the slightest, it will be truthful.
||Rebecca Bunch, Nathaniel Plimpton, Greg Serrano, Paula Proctor, White Josh
||That Text Was Not Meant For Josh, Josh and I Go to Los Angeles, Who Needs Josh When You Have a Girl Group?
||Rebecca/Nathaniel, Rebecca and Paula, Rebecca/Greg, Darryl/White Josh
||What'll It Be?, I Could If I Wanted To, Greg's Drinking Song, It Was a S*** Show, I Go to the Zoo, Oh My God I Think I Like You, (Tell Me I'm Okay) Patrick, Let's Generalize About Men