Our Monday Reviews

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – A

0329crazyboxOne of the troubles with crazy — even when you get semi-sane, the crazy still follows you around. Some twisted act of weeks ago might bear fruit, or, as is the case with Rebecca Bunch, you’ve infected friends and associates with your nutsiness. After her in-flight dream therapy session of last week, Becca has clarity — if slightly warped and still guy-oriented…but we’ll get to that.

When asked to be Josh’s sister’s bridesmaid (“oh, it’s all of Josh’s family”) minutes after washing her hands of Josh, she genuinely desires to help Valencia earn merit points with Josh’s family. And it works for awhile as her self-deprecative straight act plays into Valencia’s better angels. The family is charmed. Becca and Valencia bond. The story would end there, if not for Paula’s snooping and her one-track mission as Becca’s Josh-craving id. Paula hacks Valencia’s social media, posts a pic in the bride’s dress — #HotterThanTheBride — and while Becca could have played it off with the adoring Chan clan, she falls on the kindness sword and exits the wedding, stage left, in shame.

Hints of how far Paula had been outpacing Becca in the sprint towards crazyland were planted last week when Paula literally stepped into Becca’s shoes, but Paula crosses the line into coo-coo bananas here. It’s hard to see how she could come back from this until her genuine breakdown and the realization that she fears losing the bond that connects her to her only friend. Meanwhile, speaking of last week’s foreshadowing — just before Becca snapped out of her dream, you could see how Dr. DreamGhostAkopian (or her conscience) was practically telegraphing the notion she needs to find her true love not within a guy, but in herself, in her true passions. However, as she comes to, Becca, being who she is, lingers on angry nice guy Greg. So, there you have it, she’s graduated from the out-of-control loco “Crazy Ex” of the title to a plain old human making bad choices. But it’s a step, I suppose, and that’s something.

It’s not that there’s anything fatally wrong about Greg, who’s on his own journey of self-discovery — hashed out in his hilarious ’90s alt-rock music and video parody “I Could If I Wanted To.” It’s just that Becca needs time for herself. It doesn’t help that Greg’s epiphany also entailed moving on from unrewarding love interests — until he hoists himself up on his own “Settle For Me” petard (notes not lost on the background music cues). It’s inevitable; this show would kind of cease to exist if its characters made rational decisions, but it’s a testament to the power of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend just how compelling and heartbreaking the characters’ decisions can be. That’s not even getting into Josh’s clearly smitten march to Rebecca’s to scold her over the social mishap, and how visibly stung Josh is when she doesn’t bother to come up with some wild explanations to cover up her love — because her affections no longer that way lie.
– Jason Thurston

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