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Rant: I Can’t Believe Y’all Are Sleeping on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

Year after year, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is at the bottom of the ratings chart, and year after year the internet is filled with articles trying to answer why this great show is being ignored by you all. And honestly, I find myself scratching my head on this one, too. Because as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is on the show chopping block year after year, Big Bang Theory (which has been renewed 11 times too many in my opinion) continues to be a rating darling.

In my eyes, the problem is not the show. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the show’s three seasons have received higher than a 95% Fresh rating, with critics calling the show “energetic” and “lively”. Not only that but Rachel Bloom, the show’s co-creator and star, has won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of the show’s flawed main character. But as I binged every season and read articles wondering about the show’s fate, I came to the realization that the critics alone cannot save the show.

So why should you all watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? If you’re like me then you got stuck on the title, imagining a misogynistic show that vilifies the ex-girlfriend (much like the 2006 film My Super Ex-Girlfriend), but as the show’s opening credits state:

Written and created by women, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend follows a female protagonist whose life has not turned out the way she wanted. Despite living what most would label a very successful career as a lawyer, Rebecca Bunch (played by writer and co-creator Rachel Bloom) is bucking under the weight of a life she hates. Seconds after suffering a panic attack that was sparked by a promotion she does not take, she runs into Josh Chan, an old flame from her high-school-summer-camp years, and she sees it as a sign. She impulsively quits her job and moves across the country to West Covina, California. Now, the audience knows this is crazy, and as Rebecca denies multiple times that Josh is her reason for moving multiple times, there’s a part of her that knows her move is a little crazy as well. While the conflict of this show will be Rebecca’s love life, it prides itself on being an “anti rom-com”. Meaning that as we see Rebecca try to hijinks her way into a relationship with Josh, the audience doesn’t support the match. We actually shouldn’t support any love match because of the distractions the relationship can cause to her road to recovery.    

From the events in the first episode, the audience knows we are not watching the “normal” protagonist. When I first started the show,  I knew this character isn’t Jess from New Girl or Jane from Jane the Virgin, instead, I saw Rebecca can be impulsive and mentally troubled, even at times unlikeable. While that can be a bit off-putting to the viewer, there is also a refreshing aspect to it in the fact that we get to see this character grow. With Rebecca we see her fall a lot; we see as she makes mistake after mistake, there are even times I find myself yelling at my laptop telling her to stop as if she can hear me. But with every mistake, I felt myself becoming more connected with her, hoping she would get better and getting quite sad when she relapses.

So far you’re all probably thinking that this show is a complete drama, but it’s weirdly not: it’s actually a musical comedy. Yep, the show writers successfully combine the dark seriousness of mental illness with hilarious songs that will take over your Spotify and your head for weeks to come. Each episode promises a new catchy song that will make you laugh out loud every single time, not only that but for every song there is a full music video with amazing choreography which showcases the talented diverse cast the show boasts of. The main cast is racially diverse and later in the season the writers add characters of different sexual orientations. While these aspects of the show can seem small, they mean a lot to people like me that are used to being so underrepresented in the media.     What I love most about this show is that it is a female lead show filled with engaging complicated female characters. While there are men in the show, the women are the ones that push the show forward. Each of the female characters is a different person instead of the cookie cutter female characters that other shows (cough-Big Bang Theory-cough) portray on-screen. These characters don’t rely on the men they act with to give their character meaning. We want these characters to find their happiness and as they struggle and fall, we feel for them. We laugh with them and (if I’m being honest) cry with them. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend manages to do something that so many shows want to do yet can’t: it connects with its audience while effectively mixing the drama of emotions, the lightness of comedy, and the liveliness of a musical. So go load up your Netflix and binge the show up before your classes kick into high gear. I promise you’ll thank me.

All images via Giphy    


When SoCal native Lucely Chavez isn't up to her ears in words, she's continuing her mission to find the best coffee ice cream in the world (McConnell's Ice Cream is the current #1). She's currently in her 4th year at UC Santa Barbara where she is majoring in English and minoring in Professional Writing. 
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