A Revue of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 2
In case you haven’t jumped on this crazy train, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the CW’s Emmy-Award winning show all about mental health, relationships, and girl power, all wrapped up in a musical bow. So for this review, I’m to break the entire second season down, song by song. Warm up your voices and call your therapist!
1: We Should Definitely Not Have Sex Right Now
So where did we leave off last season? Oh, yes, Rebecca confesses her love to Josh, who has also just broken up with his long-term girlfriend Valencia. Oh, it also starts off with Rebecca gaslighting Josh about her confession. It’s brilliant writing, and you should show it all your friends who don’t know what gaslighting is.
We Should Definitely Not Have Sex Right Now ties in directly with the theme of this episode: boundaries. When can you be an adult and say “hey, we know better than to cross this line?” Whether it’s Rebecca’s relationship with Paula, her sex fling with Josh, her desperate search of Greg (who’s been attending AA. Talk about boundaries).
2: Ping Pong Girl
Ping Pong Girl is an homage to 90’s skate punk. Remember Sk8ter Boi, Sum 41, and Good Charlotte? Sure you do. In Rebecca’s fantasy about becoming Josh’s fantasy, she shows us that she’s still delusional about where she’s at. The guys screaming out hilarious bits like, “Let’s share a Costco card,” making Rebecca their fantasy, in what is actually Rebecca’s fantasy. That’s how that works, right?
This also the point when the show starts addressing the trope that sitcom characters never actually work. I mean, seriously, Rebecca never actually works.
3: The Math of Love Triangles
Math of Love Triangles, an obvious nod to Marilyn Monroe’s Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend, is one of the highlights of this season. Especially since the lead in to this song is Dr. Akopian trying to convince her that she is in fact not trapped in a Love Triangle. The men in the song continue her therapy session by telling her how triangles (and math) work.
Not only is Rebecca’s ego on full display, it also is a great breakdown of the trope that women in romantic comedies are stupid. (“Thanks for the Man Math.”) This is part of what makes this women-run team so wonderful. (Rachel Bloom not only stars, she’s also an executive producer, and writer.) They get it! They get what is frustrating about female tropes, and they get how to turn it on it’s head. No Jurassic World Fake Feminism here! It’s all women, all the time, and it’s marvelous.
4: It was a Sh*t Show
Not the show itself, but Rebecca and Greg’s relationship. As sad as I was to see Greg go (and he’ll probably be back since Santino Fontana left for scheduling reasons), we watchedGreg fully understand the consequences of his actions. But Rebecca, ever in denial, doesn’t get it. She’s too busy burying her insecurities into the men in her life.
A breakdown of a toxic relationship, this song is the perfect swan song for Greg. And he’s right, I have no idea what the plot would had been had Greg stayed. Santino leaving left the opportunity for some great examinations of Rebecca’s psyche.
5: Triceratops Ballet
This is the part of the season I really started to love. Like a lot. Because this is when Rebecca starts to reach out to other women. Paula has been busy with grad school (and a possible pregnancy). And Rebecca, who is still obsessed with Josh, kidnaps Valencia to go to Electric Mesa.
Triceratops Love Ballet, inspired by old timey ballets like the Dream Ballet in Oklahoma, shows Valencia that she’s over Josh, and shows Rebecca that she’s still got a lot of underlying issues to address. (Which of course she doesn’t. Not yet.)
Friendtopia is my favorite song of this season. Is it because I’m a 90s baby who can still quote Spiceworld? Yes, yes it is. And female friends anthems are always a hit with me! It also develops the characters of Valencia and Heather. From this point on, the show has a strong theme of what is female friendship. What are girl codes, what are girl relationships, and what will women do for each other.
Note that Paula is not featured. Because Paula is busy loving law school and deciding whether or not to get an abortion. Coz Lady Problems!!!
7: Research Me Obsessively
We all have done it. Facebook stalked our ex’s new significant other. And Rebecca being “crazy” means that she’s going to go overboard. The homage to overzealously Googling your old boyfriend’s new girlfriend is wonderfully sung by Brittany Snow. Seriously, it’s kind of a tragedy that she didn’t get more songs. But what can you do?
A positive to Santino Fontana having to leave the show is that Vincent Rodriguez III getting more songs. And ‘Duh!’ is the perfect example of how Josh’s psyche works. (Ok, so Thought Bubbles is actually a better song about how Josh’s thought process works, but I digress).
Rebecca finally gets her man. He finally realizes that it’s always been Rebecca. Coz Duh!
9: Who’s The New Guy?
The super-meta song about the introduction of a new character, Nathaniel. This ensemble piece is a bit taken from the musical theatre cannon. And it jokes about the ratings, Nathaniel’s abnormally good-looks, and Karen being a weirdo. It’s easy to forget that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is in many ways an ensemble show. Songs like this make the ensemble aspect one of it’s strongest suits.
10: We’ll Never Have Problems Again
Everything is perfect now, right? Because Josh and Rebecca are living in their honeymoon phase. Living, I say! This cutesy, danceable disco song covers up what’s really going on. Obviously, things are going to be terrible. Not only because this is a TV show, but also because their love can’t fix everything. That’s what this season is about. This song also delves into the fact that Josh is just as delusional as Rebecca. He might soften her rough edges, but he also feeds her crazy. He can’t help her. But they clearly don’t know that.
Also, do yourself a favor and watch Remember That We Suffered. Patti Lupone and Tovah Feldshuh singing about the plight of the Jews is a klezmer gift that you need to give yourself.
11: Santa Ana Winds
Santa Ana Winds, while maybe not the best song of the season, does perfectly wrap up the emotional squeeze of this season. This episode is when Nathaniel’s mid-season entrance pays off, and when Rebecca realizes that her dream guy won’t fix her. But surely she’s not to blame. She’ll just blame it on the winds!
12: Tell Me I’m Ok (Patrick)
The eleven o’clock number, featuring cutie Seth Green. This song, another Broadway Ballad a la You Stupid Bitch, covers how Rebecca knows she’s crazy. She knows it. She almost acknowledged it in Dr. Akopian’s office. More and more this season, she comes close to rational thought, and then breaks away. ‘Tell Me I’m Ok’ is no different.
She understands that she’s no entirely ok. She’s like 40% sure she’s okay. But that other 60% leads her to make crazy decisions. Ones that involve lots of money, huge commitments, her girlfriends, dreams of her long-lost father, and none of which involve therapy. Patrick, please help her!
13: The Season 2 Theme Song
This song was an Easter Egg all along! The brilliance of Rachel Bloom comes out! In an almost deus ex machina reveal, Rebecca’s underlying issues reveal themselves. Of course, nothing works out for our heroine.
But in a moment of revelation, she begins to address her problems. She finally turns on her father, she’s got her girls behind her, and she recognizes that she turns to men to validate herself. While next season is going to get dark, I’m excited to see Rebecca face herself and really start to deal with her problems. That is of course, after she deals with Josh.