I’ve been following a trend lately of female-led comedies on Netflix. Of course, I’ve found some great stuff, but if anything stands out as truly fantastic, it’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Now, before I give you the synopsis of this show, be aware that when I first read it, I thought it would be pretty cringy too. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a show about a bigshot lawyer, Rebecca Bunch, living in New York about to get a promotion who suddenly decides to quit her job and move halfway across the country to follow her ex-boyfriend from when she was 16, Josh Chan, to his hometown. Yeah, it sounds insane. What kind of weirdo drops their entire life to reconnect with someone they haven’t seen in 15 years. This woman is certifiable at times, and you wouldn’t think you’d ever root for someone like that, but you do!
There are a lot of reasons our heroine makes the transition from crazy to endearing. A lot of it is her character. Despite hanging on a man’s attention she actually comes off as quite strong, competent and surprisingly feminist. I mean this show isn’t passing the Bechdel test anytime soon, but you very rarely find her playing a damsel in distress. She’s more than capable of solving (and causing) her own problems.
Another factor is, of course, her supporting cast. I mean really, I spent a lot of the first episode saying “Oh god, no! Why! Stop!” until Rebecca finally made her first friend, Paula. When Paula realizes that Rebecca moved across the country to be with Josh Chan, she isn’t weirded out. In her eyes, this is a love story! This is the story you tell your kids one day! This is true love, meant to be and eternal! The addition of Paula turns the show from a big ball of cringe into an epic quest for true love.
Every week, Rebecca and Paula come up with a new scheme to get Josh’s attention and steal him away from his current girlfriend, Valencia. Of course, the plans don’t always work out for the best. But there’s always something to take from it. As the show progresses, despite Rebecca failing to make Josh fall in love with her we do see snippets of what could be. Their relationship, whether romantic or otherwise, comes off as quite sweet and genuine. There are subplots involving Rebecca’s new boss, and Josh’s best friend having a crush on Rebecca, and just enough to make you think “You know what, I like these characters, and their voices are amazing!”
Oh… didn’t I mention this is also a musical? Yep, one of the plot points is how Rebecca see’s the world in this grandiose musical form. No matter what the situation, whether it’s going through the painful process of a woman’s pre-date grooming or gloating about how good at yoga you are, there’s a song for it. Not to mention they’re sung by some incredibly talented people including Santino Fontana who you might know as Prince Hans from Frozen. What’s more, they’re hilarious while still adding to the story. For example, take one of my favourites. It’s a song I not only love, but I think a lot of people, myself very much included, can identify with:
Honestly, if you’re even a little intrigued by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, go fire up Netflix and give this one a try. It’s one of those gems that just surprises you. Plus, they just got renewed for a third season, so there’s no sign of them running out of catchy, cringy songs to make you laugh every week.