Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Series Premiere Recap

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Is the New Musical Comedy Something to Sing About?

When the Manhattan rat race wears you down to the point that a butter-ad slogan is all it takes to make you uproot your entire life, what better place to land than West Covina, Calif. (“Two hours from the beach, four if there’s traffic”)?

That’s the premise of The CW’s new comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which follows young lawyer Rebecca Bunch (played by Rachel Bloom, Robot Chicken) as she follows her heart — and the seriously flimsy hope of reuniting with a camp boyfriend — all the way to the West Coast.

We meet our screwball heroine in 2005, as she and Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) are parting ways at the end of summer camp. She assumes they’ll maintain the relationship throughout the school year; he calls her “weird,” tells her he needs space and responds to her declaration of love with “Thanks for that!” as he scampers to his parents’ car.

A decade later, Rebecca is a very successful lawyer in New York City, but her life is colored in shades of gray and an omnipresent ad for butter — which asks, “When was the last time you were truly happy?” — makes her seriously doubt her life choices. So when her firm offers her a junior partnership, she has a panic attack and goes outside to pop pills/pray for guidance. The next thing she knows, Josh just happens to walk down the street in front of her.

He seems happy to see her, and as angelic choruses sing in Rebecca’s head, he tells her he’s moving home to West Covina to get away from the craziness of the city. He offers her a bunch of compliments and his phone number, which is all the impetus Rebecca needs to turn down the promotion and relocate to West Covina —  or, as she calls it, “where dreams live.”

The move ushers in the series’ first big musical number, a huge song-and-dance sequence that makes fun of West Covina’s utter blandness/slight seediness and ends with Rebecca hoisted high on a giant fake pretzel. Soon, she’s set up with a job at a small firm populated by co-workers like Paula the paralegal (Donna Lynn Champlin, The Good Wife), who is very suspicious of the new girl, and Darryl (character actor Pete Gardner), Rebecca’s dorky-but-good-intentioned boss.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Series Premiere RecapWhen a text to Josh goes unanswered, Rebecca stalks him to a sports bar, where she meets Greg (Santino Fontana, Mozart in the Jungle), one of his friends who asks her to a house party the next night. She spends an inordinate amount of time getting ready — to the ridiculously catchy strains of “Sexy Getting Ready Song,” complete with Spanx dancing and a featured rapper so taken aback by the unfairness of “nasty-ass patriarchal bulls—t” that he’s “gotta go apologize to some bitches” (ha!) — and then spends the evening kissing Greg but looking for Josh — who never shows up, thanks to plans with his… girlfriend.

Yep, the entire reason Rebecca transplanted her entire life is taken. So why does his Facebook status say he’s single? And when Paula tracks the heartbroken lawyer down at the party to say she’s figured out what’s really going on, she pledges to help her new co-worker/friend get her man, no matter what. And when Josh texts back to say he’d love to get dinner with her, it’s on.

Though Rebecca’s plight is ridiculous — and nothing Felicity didn’t cover in less ludicrous fashion years ago — Bloom is incredibly watchable. The comedy does well in an hour format (as opposed to the half-hour it was originally conceived as), giving us a chance to get to know the supporting players a bit better. And the musical numbers are fun; c’mon, you know you’re gonna be humming “Sexy Getting Ready Song” tomorrow morning as you prep for work!

Now it’s your turn. Grade the premiere via the poll below, then hit the comments to expound upon your pick!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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24 Comments
  1. Lisa says:

    Very, very good. Nothing cookie cutter about this show. I will definitely tune in next week.

  2. GeoDiva says:

    Tuned in by accident and loved it! It was funny! Already set my season pass.

  3. Matthew says:

    It was unique and funny. Hope
    They can keep it up. I’ve been whistling they “west Covina” melody for the last half hour.

  4. Jules says:

    Wonderful!

  5. Sheila says:

    I really enjoyed it! Love the silly musical numbers!

  6. Steven says:

    I really enjoyed it. It’s really a perfect fit with Jane.

  7. karakk says:

    I went into this with no expectations (having seen none of the promos), and was pleasantly surprised. It’s one of the weirdest pilots I’ve seen, but that’s not a bad thing. It stands out amidst a lot of the standard fare this season. I already love the lead actress (although having the voice of Hans as her potential love interest is really throwing me for a loop!).

  8. Simon Jester says:

    Loved it — especially the darker edge. This one’s a keeper.

  9. lj says:

    to call it lame would be a compliment to this waste of space.

    put that in a song n sing it

  10. Mr. Tran K says:

    I give it a C. For the first 45 minutes it was boring and in the last five or six minutes it was complete musical boredom. Won’t be back for the next episode because I never really enjoy watching a musical comedy series like this one.

  11. Duke of Omnium says:

    It’s difficult coming up with a genuinely original concept for TV, but I think Rachel Bloom has done it. I hardly ever watch current TV shows, but I loved it, and I loved her self-deprecating style.

  12. Ray says:

    Rachel Bloom is a revelation. I can’t believe how much this quirky comedy made me smile.

  13. Win says:

    It’s one of those times where I didn’t realize I was looking for something on TV, yet it found me (free on iTunes, as is my common refrain). The concept didn’t bring me in, but it’s unique and it kept me! I didn’t like the ad I saw, so I expected to finish the show with a “meh.” However, I smiled and shook my head in “wow, they really just did that” disbelief (and pleasure) enough times to realize I was wrong – I loved it! I enjoyed the way she spun West Covina (Destiny!) and the fact that she let her boss know his comments were to be discussed at another time. I love that the show followed up with the rapper calling the ladies to apologize. Congrats to Rebecca Bloom for having so much to put in this show – in front of and behind the camera.

  14. Keith says:

    I enjoyed the show and I will watch it again, but I have a hard time believing she would drop everything and move to West Covina for this guy. Maybe it’s just one of those shows where you have to buy in to the premise.

  15. LT says:

    Talk about original. WOW, this does stand out from other programs and I’m in!!!!

  16. robandco says:

    Rachel Bloom is funny. She reminds me of Cristin Milioti. I kept imagining she would have been better in the role though.
    Anyway, the show is fun, the songs are good but I feel they should’ve made Rachel way crazier.

  17. BrianR says:

    I turned it off after 12 minutes.

  18. ninergrl6 says:

    I’m biased because I LOVE musicals in general, but I really enjoyed this show. The musical aspect might turn off a lot of potential viewers, but it was absolutely the reason why I tuned in. Good, silly fun. I saw Santino Fontana on Broadway a few years ago, so it was fun to see him turn up here. Hope he gets to sing!

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