“Hi my name is Rebecca B. and I am a Sex and Love Addict, Romantic compulsive, a liar, a cheat and a thief.” And no, that self-revelation hasn’t happened yet by Rebecca, the main character in a TV show that I have been binge-watching. In the past two weeks I have seen 18 episodes [all] of season one] and 9 so far from season two. The show that I love/hate to watch is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is an American television series which premiered on October 12, 2015, on The CW. I like to think of it as a cringe comedy that blends All My Children, Fatal Attraction and La La Land into one.
The series was created by Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, and stars Bloom in the lead role. On March 11, 2016, The CW renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on October 21, 2016. On January 8, 2017, The CW renewed the series for a third season, which premiered on October 13, 2017.
If I could get Rebecca to ever sit down and take the Sex and Love Addiction Anonymous (SLAA) 40 Question self-assessment test she would get an “A”. In fact she might even be the poster child for what a SLAA addict looks like. Yet after watching 22 episodes, no one not even Dr. Phil, has come close to pinning the tail on this donkey.
The basic plot of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend goes like this. Rebecca Bunch is a Yale- and Harvard-educated real-estate lawyer who works for a top New York City firm. She panics when offered partner, and magically bumps into her first love from summer camp, Josh Chan, on the street. Josh tells her he could not make it in New York City and is moving back to his hometown of West Covina, California (“Just two hours from the beach, four hours in traffic”). While watching a butter spread commercial, Rebecca decides to follow Josh in search of happiness. She lost her virginity to him at 15 thinking that they would have a long distant relationship for a while and then somehow live happily ever after. He ended the summer fling in the parking lot the last day of camp leaving her devastated. He moved on and she never did. Now 15 years later after a chance meeting she hops on a plane to L.A., drives to West Covina, gets a job at Darryl Whitefeather’s West Covina law firm, rents an apartment, and flushes all her depression and anxiety meds down the sink. She becomes friends with the firm’s paralegal, Paula, and her neighbor Heather and begins an on-again-off-again relationship with Josh’s friend Greg after discovering that Josh in fact has a long-time girlfriend. As her fantasy of happily ever after with Josh seems over she uses every addict maneuver known to womankind to effect different outcome and get what she thinks she wants and deserves. She is the purest form of self will run riot.
The talent in this ensemble cast is amazing. In each show the cast breaks into song at least two to four times. The music is original yet taken from different recognizable places. The lyrics are often raunchy, brimming with sexuality, sarcasm and comedy. It is so La La Land, all done straight faced with a return to character as if it was a straight drama. Rebecca is less overt than Sharon Stone’s character in Fatal Attraction but just as manipulative and she uses sex as a currency to get what she wants. Most of the time she is unsuccessful. Like Susan Lucci’s character Erica Kane in All My Children, we all want to see where this goes. Overall, Erica Kane is the embodiment of “the bitch goddess,” a soap opera archetype that “transformed and defined” the soap opera genre. Erica evolved into a “heroine-vixen” who still did bad things, but was also a character the audience rooted for. Rebecca does bad things so well that few in her world connect the dots. She’s like the heroin addict who steals his best friend’s wallet and then helps his best friend unsuccessfully look for it, leaving with what he has stolen while his BF thinks he’s a great guy. Get my point. She is totally in her addiction most of the time.
So far in the second season the show does touch on mental illness. Dr. Phil appears to her in one of her dreams and she does go to see a Psychiatrist but only for meds. The shrink does get her to talk about her father who left when she was 11 and her helicopter mom but she sadly never probes about addiction.
Truth be told I know too much to really love Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, yet I can’t seem to pull myself away. I can hardly wait to see the next installment of sick. It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion. And I, as the eternal optimist keep hoping that somewhere, somehow she will get the real help she needs and get well, but I have a funny feeling that doesn’t play well in TV land. I can hope, can’t I?
All I really want to yell at Rebecca is that misery is optional.
Call if you relate!