It’s not often that a television show hits all of the checkmarks of a great program. These include clever but not offensive comedy; well-rounded and diverse characters; important topics handled with sensitivity; a comforting aura that makes me want to rewatch; and, most importantly, have a great plot that keeps people begging for more seasons.
There are a few shows I’ve come across in my life that so brilliantly meet these criteria, but the best, and most underrated, example is Rachel Bloom’s masterpiece, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
The show follows Rebecca Bunch, played by Bloom, a New York City lawyer who is completely unhappy, until one day she sees her high school boyfriend, Josh, who was always “the one that got away,” and he tells her he’s moving back to his hometown West Covina, Calif. to be happier. Rebecca then follows suit, chasing happiness – but more importantly, a chance with Josh.
Along the way she meets new people, has a lot of wild experiences, and tries to find herself while focusing on Josh.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is already an incredibly unique concept. The story is so original and well told by Bloom and her fellow creators Dan Gregor and Adam Schlesinger. But it also has a fantastic cast, talks about mental health at length and has hilarious musical parody numbers to liven up the plot.
First, let’s praise the cast. It’s incredibly diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexuality and more. An article by Samantha Rollins for Bustle says it best: “It might not seem like much, but it's a bunch of small decisions like these (plus a couple larger ones, like making Rebecca's love interest Josh Chan Filipino and treating his background as sensitively matter-of-fact, and filling out the cast with fully formed characters like Josh's ex Valencia, a Hispanic yoga instructor with control issues) that have helped Crazy Ex-Girlfriend become known as a champion of diversity on TV.”
Next is the treatment of mental health. There are many conversations about well-known mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, alcoholism and more. But Rebecca struggles throughout the show to find a clear diagnosis for her mental illness, which she eventually gets in season three when she finds out she has borderline personality disorder. The show takes stigmatized disorders and explains them in a way that the audience can easily understand. This is another huge part of the diversity, but it’s extremely well-written.
But most of all, on top of all of the diverse casting and serious conversations about mental health, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a hilarious musical parody. Because the show follows Rebecca’s active imagination, there are a lot of musical numbers that mimic popular artists and songs too showcase feelings and other situations. It’s not overpowering in the way Glee and other musical shows can be – they’re funny songs that further the plot.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has all the makings of a fantastic television show and is without a doubt one to immediately watch. For those wanting to watch, it’s streaming on Netflix.
Riley Runnells is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Let Riley know by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.