Continuing my time-honoured tradition of being totally late to the party on things, let me tell you about this not-at-all-new TV show I’ve been watching lately: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
I’d heard about the show in passing, but it’s not available on any of the streaming services I use, so I hadn’t had the chance to watch it (nor the urge to actually purchase it without knowing whether I’d like it or not). Then I heard Rachel Bloom (the show’s star, writer, and creator) on an episode of my other recent obsession, discovered the show is actually a musical, and knew immediately that I needed to binge every episode asap. I was so dedicated that I even dropped the cash to buy the first two seasons on iTunes. (PS: iTunes, please make Season 3 available in Canada like, yesterday.)
They were well worth the money. Basically, I guess you could say they made me feel like there was glitter exploding inside me.
In case you’re as woefully uninformed as I was, the premise of the show is that an unhappy New York lawyer runs into the guy she dated as a teenager at summer camp, quits her job, and finds a new one across the country… in the same city where he lives. I was worried that the whole “don’t let him know I moved here for him” thing would get old fast, but fortunately there’s a heck of a lot more going on, including examinations of friendships, sexuality, gender roles, and mental illness.
In the past couple weeks, I’ve made it through two entire seasons–which is especially impressive because I’ve been working 12-hour days and am finishing up a big assignment for school. (Although it did help that I had nearly 9 hours of train travel to fill last weekend… and I filled them entirely with the show.)
I particularly enjoy how the show treats sexuality. Partway through the first season, one of the characters starts questioning his sexuality and eventually comes out as bisexual. It’s (unfortunately) rare to see bisexuality portrayed positively on TV, rather than being played for laughs or as an explanation for a character’s promiscuity. (I have nothing against promiscuity, by the way; I just hate the assumption that everyone who’s bisexual is also promiscuous.) And, it’s a male character! I can’t remember the last time I saw a bisexual male character on TV.
The writing is sharp and funny, and the musical numbers are fantastic. My favourites are Having a Few People Over and Jap Rap Battle… but they’re honestly all so great. (When I looked those up on Youtube, I saw that Season 3 has one called “Fuckton of Cats” that I’m pretty pumped for. Again, iTunes GET YOUR S–T TOGETHER AND GET ME SEASON 3!!!) In season 2, the musical numbers started to become more obvious homages to existing songs (maybe they were in season 1, though, and I just didn’t get the references), like this awesome Lemonade-inspired number called Love Kernels.
I don’t want to say too much more about the show for fear of giving away plot points, but just trust me that it’s worth the watch.
Are you a fan? Are there any other TV shows that I really need to get on? I have some free time now SINCE ITUNES WON’T LET ME HAVE SEASON 3 YET. Ahem.