Chances are you've heard chatter around the internet (or maybe among your musical-loving friends) about the CW show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Created by Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, it's one of the best shows on television these days. Of course, you might be skeptical about an hourlong musical comedy on the small screen, but let me assure you that this show not only will please the musical fans out there, but it is so genuinely hilarious that even people who normally don't engage with musicals will dig it. There are so many reasons to dig into the show, but here are the top five:
This show is full of amazing original songs. The theme song itself (which changes every season) is golden, but each episode has at least one new song, which is always catchy, imaginative, and hilarious (like "Let's Generalize About Men" from the season three premiere). Sometimes the songs are winks to past pop eras, other famous bands, or popular musicals, but they're always fantastic additions to each episode that you'll be singing for days after you watch the episode. Some other fun songs to check out if you still need convincing are "Greg's Drinking Song," "The Sexy Getting Ready Song," and "The Buzzing from the Bathroom."
An Incredibly Diverse Cast
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has one of the most diverse casts and characters on TV today. The lead character, Rebecca Bunch (Bloom) is a Jewish woman, and the male lead and her longstanding romantic interest is a Filipino man. One of the two canonically bisexual characters from the show realizes he's bisexual onscreen, comes out in a delightful song called "Gettin' Bi," and has a relationship with a younger gay man that is one of the healthiest on the show.
Two of Rebecca's best friends are played by women of color—Vella Lovell, who plays Rebecca's neighbor Heather, is biracial of black and white descent, and Gabrielle Ruiz, who plays her rival-turned-friend Valencia, is Mexican-American—and plus-sized women are portrayed as vibrant, healthy, beautiful, capable characters where fighting their weight isn't a part of their storyline or a punch line. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does a great job of naturally portraying a world as diverse as the real world, and it's nothing short of fantastic.
A Realistic Portrayal of Mental Illness
It's often hard to find a good portrayal of mental illness on television and movies, which means it can be even harder for sufferers thereof to explain how they're feeling to friends and loved ones. But Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does an excellent job showing what mental illness can feel like. Rebecca Bunch deals with anxiety, depression, OCD, and much more throughout the three seasons of the show, and we see signs of undiagnosed depression in other characters, as well as alcoholism in Santino Fontana's character Greg. Additionally, show deals with therapy, medication, and suicide, managing to tackle all of that heavy stuff with empathy, authenticity, and a healthy dose of humor... which really is what makes it so great.
So Many Badass, Funny Women
In addition to having a diverse cast, the show also highlights a lot of different kinds of women. The female characters on the show are complex, flawed, strong, likable, unlikeable, funny, and never reduced to simple stereotypes. Even tertiary characters on the show are given moments to highlight the surprising depth to their characters. For the most part, the female characters support each other rather than try to fight each other for men and power. Even two characters who are initially set at odds over a joint love interest end up putting aside the conflict to become close friends. It's awesome to see women portrayed as more than stereotypes, and even cooler to see women interacting with one another in a realistic, supportive way.
It Is Irreverent, Weird, and So Hilarious
While it's awesome to see a show with a diverse cast that raises responsible awareness of mental illness and portrays women in ways that transcends stereotypes, all of that would mean nothing if the show were a snoozefest to watch. This show is irreverent and weird (in some of the best ways), and will always make you laugh.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend airs on Friday nights on the CW, and returns from its winter hiatus on January 5. And if you've never seen an episode, the first two seasons are available on Netflix. So what are you waiting for? Check out the show now!
Do you watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? What is your favorite song from the show? Tell us in the comments!
Feature Image: The CW