Welcome to ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ in which our hero has just given up the dream job in New York City to move to a suburb of California where her ex-boyfriend just happens to live. She’s not crazy, though. Seriously, she is not crazy.
On the series premiere of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which debuted on The CW on Oct. 12, we meet Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), a successful young lawyer, who is far from happy. When she runs into her camp boyfriend, Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III), on the street one day, though, she decides it’s time to make a change– actually, she performs a Broadway-style song and dance number, and then decides to make a change. That’s right, musical television is back with a vengeance (RIP Smash). Here’s what went down in episode one!
When we first get to meet our in-love-with-love protagonist, she is in the midst of getting broken up with by her summer camp boyfriend, Josh, back in the day. “You’re like really dramatic and, like, weird,” he tells her before suggesting they take the proverbial “break.”
“I’m not dramatic!” she screams at him as he walks away, causing a most dramatic scene. And thus, we get to know, Rebecca.
Now to the present, we see Rebecca’s gorgeous but goose-bump inducingly messy apartment, and we learn that Rebecca’s mother (who is heard but not seen) has been laying on the pressure thicker than whole milk since she was just a kid.
It may have paid off, though, because we go with Rebecca to her fancy lawyer job, and learn she is about to get promoted to partner. However, Rebecca isn’t overjoyed by the career milestone. In fact, via a butter advertisement– which becomes an important metaphor– it’s clear that she is profoundly miserable.
“This is what happy feels like,” she tells herself as she steps outside and pours some emergency pills into her palm. As she’s about to swallow the little buggers, she once again sees the advertisement before serendipitously running into Camp Boyfriend Josh! You know, the one who brutally dumped her!
She approaches him, and they have a grand ol’ time catching up. They agree they should hang out, except Josh informs her he’s on the brink of leaving NYC and heading back home to West Covina, California where people are, in his words, “happy.” He hands her his card and urges her to give him a call if she’s ever out west.
Back in the office, Rebecca does in fact get offered that partner position because, as her boss puts it, her job is her entire life. Can you guess where this is going? “Another opportunity has knocked on my door, so I respectfully decline,” she says. Of course, what Rebecca neglects to reveal is that the other opportunity is unrelated to employment.
And now, we get our first musical number of the episode! Look, I will be transparent. I know an old-school musical diddy in the middle of an episode isn’t everyone’s cup of throat-coat tea, but man oh man I am into it. This particular “I Want” song follows Rebecca through her move to California, which she assures us is not because Josh lives there. He just happens to live there and West Covina is a fabulous metropolis and just leave her alone!
Rebecca really does decide to take the leap, and we next see her freshly transplanted in California, pouring out her pills and hanging up on her mother who saw the news of Rebecca’s move from “The Facebook.” Now, getting down to business: Rebecca sends Josh her best casual girl text, suggesting they get a meal “or whatevs.” Unfortunately, Josh doesn’t respond.
Alas, life must go on– in West Covina. So Rebecca heads to the local law firm to try and find employment. To put it lightly, Rebecca is, uh, overqualified– and out of place. Her coworker, Paula (Great White Way veteran Donna Lynn Champlin), is immediately suspicious. We also learn her boss, Darryl (Pete Gardner), is going through a divorce, and is perhaps mildly anti semitic. That uncomfortable conversations is cut short by a social media check in from Josh saying he’s nearby! Let the stalking commence!
Rebecca heads to the bar where Josh had checked in, and begins chatting with a precious bartender, Greg (Santino Fontana). Turns out, bartender knows Josh. Obviously, Rebecca’s crazy begins to show a tad when she reveals that she, too, knows Josh. Bartender (perhaps mistakingly) divulges that there’s a party tomorrow night, and he’s going and Josh is going and, hey, come with me to the party. This is her in! Also, Rebecca, cute bartender!
The next day, at work, Paula wants to cut the BS: why are you here, Rebecca? You should know better than to try and pull one over on Donna Lynn Champlin, Bex! That will have to wait, though, because it’s time for another song! This one takes us into the sensual. “Sexy Getting Ready Song,” is a mix of Boyz II Men and Amy Schumer spoof and it’s equal parts sexy and hilarious. Take that, patriarchy.
Greg the cute bartender picks her up, and the two head to the party. The two are kinda hitting it off, but of course, Rebecca can’t stop bringing Josh up. She stops for one second though, long enough to totally make out with him. Turns out, it’s just a ploy for her to explore the party, looking for Josh.
They head to the bedroom, where Greg gets a text– not from Josh, but Josh’s girlfriend. Josh’s girlfriend. Josh has a girlfriend. And the reason he moved back to California was actually to be with her. Oy.
As cute bartender convinces Rebecca it’s time to leave the party, who should she see while walking out other than Paula? After a quick bout of computer snooping, Paula reveals that she’s figured Rebecca out: Josh is the word! Er, the reason for her move. “I did not move here because of Josh because that would be crazy and I am not crazy,” she says. As soon as she hears the words out of her mouth, though, she has the epiphany.
“Oh my God, I’m crazy,” Rebecca realizes. One good thing comes out of this horrifying moment, though. Paula tells her she’s brave, and that they are now friends, and Paula is down to help Rebecca’s cause, also known as getting Josh to be into her.
At that exact moment, Josh finally texts back. “Wanna grab dinner? :)” It is so on.
And we have our Crazy Ex-Girlfriend premise, y’all. What did you think of the premiere? Are you hooked or did musical television sing its final notes with Glee?
— Casey Mink