Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star and executive producer Rachel Bloom is not taking the CW series’ provocative title lightly.
The musical comedy’s name, coupled with its premise — Bloom plays a successful but anxiety-ridden New Yorker who follows an ex-boyfriend to West Covina, Calif. — raised some alarm bells Tuesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills.
“When we thought of the title Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, we immediately thought of it from the perspective of the crazy person, not the other [people],” Bloom said. “Everyone feels crazy when they’re in love at some point. What does this term mean? How does one come to embody the stereotype? When you’re truly obsessed and in love with someone in a way that you’re stalking them… chances are there is some level of depression and anxiety.”
As such, Bloom’s Rebecca “is in a bad place and looks at [her ex] Josh Chan as an escape, instead of looking to herself for the solution,” the actress/EP continued. “This is not an SNL character. This is someone who is struggling with issues.” (Those issues will be realized in song, with two to three musical numbers from Rebecca’s POV in each episode.)
Originally developed as a half-hour comedy for Showtime, Girlfriend will make some edits as it heads to The CW (as an hour-long), including more broadcast-friendly language.
“People assume it’s going to be radically different,” EP Aline Brosh McKenna said. “It really isn’t.” One of the key changes is the shift to the one-hour format, which has provided “a great opportunity for us to expand the show” and “enrich” the supporting characters, the EP added.