Performer of the Week: Rachel Bloom

THE PERFORMER | Rachel Bloom

THE SHOW | Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

THE EPISODE | “Where Is Josh’s Friend?” (Oct. 21, 2016)

THE PERFORMANCE | She already took home the Golden Globe back in January, but as Friday’s Season 2 premiere of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend proved, Bloom is just getting warmed up.

Now we’ll admit that Bloom’s character, love-crazed lawyer Rebecca Bunch, is not exactly admirable. This week alone, she lied to her boyfriend Josh, stalked her ex Greg, and talks her BFF Paula into committing morally questionable acts. (As Greg’s dad grumbled, “you mess up people’s lives and then pass it off as quirky”… to which Rebecca responded with an over-the-top pratfall.) But it’s a credit to Bloom’s goofily endearing performance that we know Rebecca’s a deeply flawed person, and yet we still find a way to root for her.

Plus, she can sing! This week’s musical centerpiece, “Love Kernels,” showed off Bloom’s range — both vocally and comedically — as Rebecca insisted in song that she only needs tiny bits of reassurance from Josh to maintain her devotion. She dressed up as a “sexy fashion cactus,” she writhed around in the desert, she served popcorn as a movie usher… basically, she did it all. (And Bloom co-wrote this week’s episode, along with all of the show’s songs, so she definitely gets bonus points there.)

Any worries about a sophomore slump for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend were firmly put to rest this week by Bloom’s hilariously inspired performance. Now we just need to get her an Emmy to go with that Golden Globe.

The Good PlaceHONORABLE MENTION | The Good Place‘s D’Arcy Carden is usually relegated to the background as perky digital assistant Janet, rattling off useless statistics with a plastered-on smile and then vanishing. But this week, in “The Eternal Shriek,” Carden took center stage as Eleanor conspired to “kill” Janet to keep Michael in town. Janet even showed some emotion as she frantically begged for her life before Eleanor shut her down… although, as she explained, it was just a fail-safe measure and she doesn’t actually feel pain. And Carden’s cheerful declaration of Janet’s demise — “Attention! I have been murdered!” — was the episode’s biggest laugh. (Janet still needs to work on her human crying, though.)

unnamed-5HONORABLE MENTION | Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show remake may have received mixed reviews from critics, but there was nothing even remotely uneven about Ryan McCartan’s breakthrough performance as bespectacled baritone Brad Majors. In a musical filled with “transvestite” scientists and genetically engineered sex machines, the oh-so-square character is rarely a memorable persona, but McCartan’s brilliant comedic timing, infectious energy and pitch-perfect vocals made him impossible to forget. Not even a pair of high heels and fishnet stockings could break McCartan’s stride. (In fact, we dare say he rocked both with as much ease as any of his female co-stars.) He may be best known to TV audiences from his work on Disney Channel, but after watching him hold his own against the likes of Laverne Cox and Reeve Carney, we see big, adult things in McCartan’s future.

Which performances knocked your socks off this week? Hit the comments!

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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  1. liame says:

    So ridiculous.

  2. SassyAF28 says:

    what about liza weil, viola davis, charlie weber for htgawm!?
    or even daniel sunjata or even piper pierbo for notorious!?

  3. Shaun says:

    Hmm…no Evan Rachel Wood for Westworld makes me sad.

  4. AJ says:

    3 great choices! I liked RHPS more than most – Reeve Carney and Annaleigh Ashford were great as expected b/c they always are but Ryan who I never heard of before made a lasting impression as Brad (and for all the complaining when Victoria Justice was cast she did a fine job too as Janet).

  5. Sophia says:

    Why does Gina Rodriguez not even get a mention? She was tremendous in the season 3 premiere.

  6. Ian says:

    *scratches head* Huh??

  7. Papandreou says:

    3 bad choices.

  8. Beth says:

    Confirming that more people need to watch Crazy Ex Girlfriend…

    • Totally agree. Having said that, I was disappointed with the season premiere.The songs were not up to par, except the new opening number. Hoping for better in the future, but I will continue to watch, because even a mediocre CXGF is better than most other light fare on tv.

  9. ndixit says:

    That’s two weeks in a row great performances from Westworld have been completely ignored. ERW this week and Thandie Newton last week are both deserving performers of the week.

  10. Lala says:

    Ridiculous!…absolutely ridiculous

  11. Wes says:

    Literally everyone on HTGAWM this week

  12. Katie says:

    So glad to see some love for Rachel Bloom. She’s absolutely incredible and I’m always worrying that this delightful show will be canceled. So thanks for appreciating it and her.

  13. HTGAWMFan says:

    Viola Davis (!!!!), Liza Weil, Charlie Webber, and Aja Naomi King from HTGAWM all at least deserve a mention AT LEAST!

  14. Paul says:

    Any member of the This Is Us Cast

  15. D’Arcy Carden is awesome as Janet. Fave new TV character this year.

  16. Scott says:

    Ryan McCartan was truly trancendant in Rose Tint. In the first half he was stodgy in a bad way, like overplayed. But once in the fishnets he really came to life and became someone to watch.

  17. GB says:

    Rachel Bloom and D’Arcy Carden are phenomenal choices. Rachel’s delivery of an awful human into a palatable and deeply flawed person is absolutely inspired, as is that entire show. As for D’Arcy, she’s consistently gotten the most laughs out of me week to week so giving her an episode to shine was perfection.

    As for Westworld, ERW is killing the game, but I have a gut feeling that TVLine knows what they’re doing in not picking her this week. Don’t want to give it to her too early in the season because I expect even more great things for her in this show.

  18. Carlos Alvarez says:

    Gina Rodriguez for Jane The Virgin should be on here. Charlie Weber for HTGAWM and Neil Flynn for The Middle as Mike Heck were awesome. Neil was hilarious when he was trying to get an extension for Sue’s financial aid and the part where he told Sue he didn’t know what to do to help her and he feels like he has failed her was so dramatic and a powerful scene.