Written by Joyelle Ronan
One of the things I love most in the world are musicals. I don’t live in New York or D.C. so live musical theatre can be hard to come by. So, I really love musical television shows like Glee for bringing a bit of Broadway to my TV screen. The show had a great impact on my formative years, but it ended years ago and I wanted something new to watch. I have since searched for a show that could offer me humor, important social issues and diverse perspectives as well giving me what I really crave: big musical numbers.
Finally, I found it! Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a gift to my Netflix queue. The show was created by and stars comedian Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch who works as a stressed out New York lawyer who struggles with depression and anxiety. In the middle of a panic attack, she happens to randomly encounter her high school summer camp ex-boyfriend, Josh. Rebecca then decides to leave her job at a high paying firm to move to West Covina, California (but definitely NOT because Josh lives there.)
On her quest to reunite with her ex and find happiness, Rebecca befriends many of the eccentric characters living in West Covina, including her new over-eager boss Darryl Whitefeather, perpetual-student Heather, and Josh’s friend “White Josh.” While the show starts off as a light-hearted comedy about a “crazy” girl in love, the plot grows much deeper and darker in later seasons as a greater focus is placed on Rebecca’s mental illnesses. Additionally, the series covers important topics like sex, growing up, coming out and suicide in a way that is respectful but doesn’t let the viewers forget that it is a comedy.
What really sold Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to me were the hilarious, weird, big musical numbers. Rebecca Bunch lives her life as if she is the star of her own Broadway musical. Her friends may not be aware that they’ve been cast in said musical, but each episode contains two to three full-on music videos which feature original songs. Some of my personal favorites, that are just as strange as the titles imply, include Sexy French Depression Song, I Have Friends, Buttload of Cats and Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal.
The show is now coming to an end, and I will really miss all the characters in West Covina that I have come to love. The show has been special in both its self-awareness and the way it addresses the stigma surrounding mental illness. If you’re looking for something good to binge, check out Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The fourth and final season is currently showing on The CW while the previous three seasons are on Netflix.