Season three of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend premieres on Oct. 13. That means if you haven't seen a single episode of the show, you have about nine days to binge all of seasons one and two. Say goodbye to passing your classes and seeing your friends, this is your life now.
Created by Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a musical comedy-drama following the life of Rebecca Bunch, played by Bloom. Rebecca is an ivy-league-educated lawyer who decides on a whim to leave her high-paying but mentally taxing job in New York City in order to find true happiness across the country in West Covina, California. It also just so happens that Josh Chan, whom she believes to be the love of her life even though he dumped her at a teen summer camp years ago, lives in West Covina.
I know what you may be thinking:
"Aren't there enough shows following the played-out story of a girl driving herself crazy over a guy?" "A musical TV show with original songs? Sounds like Glee, but worse," "If I want to watch a musical, I'll just watch a real one on stage," "I can't watch because I'm boycotting The CW Network until they agree to play strictly old episodes of Gossip Girl on a loop all day."
Those are all reasonable hesitations and misgivings. Well, aside from that last one.
I'm here to tell you not to let any superficial doubts get in the way of seeing this show, because it is a work of art. Though it could easily have gotten by as a silly musical comedy centering on a crazy gal trying to find love, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend defies every expectation.
Blindly labeling a woman going through an emotional situation as "crazy" is sexist, lazy comedy. Yet this trope continues to be thrown into television narratives time and time again. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend works to flip this trope on its head, and starts with its self-aware title. This isn't to say that the show justifies any of Rebecca's decisions, which are often absurd, uncalled for and done out of blind lust. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend allows its main character to continue making these "crazy" decisions, but at the same time allows her a real sense of self, humanizing the character while not falsely glamorizing her mistakes.
The show successfully tackles themes relating to sexuality, marriage, mental illness, self-sufficiency, and destructive relationships, and often does so in song, which is no small feat.
The songs themselves are tiny masterpieces, often providing an extra layer of comedy that a regular scripted show couldn't afford or adding poignant elements that wouldn't come across the same way if spoken.
Though its title suggests a focus on romantic relationships, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's real strength lies in its ability to depict some of the most realistic female friendships on television. As Rebecca spends her time navigating the stormy waters of her love for Josh, the real love story in the show is quietly being played out between Rebecca and Paula, an older co-worker who quickly becomes Rebecca's best friend. Paula is always the one there for Rebecca, providing her the happiness she moved so far away to find.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a television show that plays out more like a movie, with a plotline that gets thicker the longer you watch and characters with story arcs that feel true to life. Upon its return this fall, find a cozy sweater, cuddle up and watch the story of Rebecca Bunch unfold through script and song; you'd be crazy not to.