Well, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is back for it’s fourth and final season and well, these characters have quite a lot of growth to do this season (contains spoilers). We also had a chance to chat with show co-creator and star Rachel Bloom and star Gabrielle Ruiz over the summer between seasons at Entertainment Weekly’s Comic-Con 2018 Party!
If I’m being honest I’d forgotten the majority of what happened in the previous season (thankfully there was a brief catch up at the beginning of the show to remind us what we may have forgotten in the gap between seasons.
The most immediate plot point is that Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) stands accused of second-degree attempted murder and decided to plead guilty – in spite of for once not being guilty of the crime. This episode lands her in jail for a few weeks where she’s decided she belongs.
I love Rebecca Bunch because she is a selfish and flawed character – which makes her about one of the most real characters on television these days (aside from her proclivity to get into shenanigans). The way the show has handled everything from mental health and illness, women’s anatomy, and sexuality – all while usually done to a catchy and winsome tune – has kept me looking forward to episodes week after week.
That being said this was a rough one. Rebecca has hit an all time low, but in an unsympathetic way. A lot of the episode deals with her privilege, much of which is called out by her new jail-mates (including a guest spot from Glow’s Britney Young) and her stalwart friend (and former enemy) Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz).
This is all compounded by having to follow a mopey Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster) who is already the epitome of privilege. While I’ve always enjoyed the chemistry between the two characters, this episode felt like two selfish people’s orbits colliding with each other and with nothing for the audience to grasp onto.
A side plot that also got lost in the mix was Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) going on a online self diagnosis spree. There are actually some great zingers and points in that sub plot but it gets overshadowed by the perpetual whining of Nathaniel and Rebecca.
The musical numbers in the episode also did not rank amongst the best of the series, or even close to the best of the series. There was a “Cell Block Tango” esque piece from jail, and a ensemble piece which effectively summed up the episode called “No One Else Is Singing My Song” in which all the characters are singing the same song, just unable to acknowledge that hey maybe they aren’t alone in suffering.
My hope is that these characters are at their vilest right now so we have somewhere to go with them this season, after all this show isn’t a fairy tale and that’s the great appeal of it. The episode featured micro-moments that reminded me of peak Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and I’m hopeful for the rest of the season in spite of the rocky start.
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