Jul 21, 2018

[TV] Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Season 3 Review

In the transition between season 1 and season 2 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, we fell in love with the show's zany approach to initially celebrating a stalker. The show's protagonist is crazy, but still in a fairly funny way even though there were certainly questionable moments.

The second season of the show ended by flipping things around and confirming what we had long-suspected - that maybe she maybe actually "crazy" in the sense of having deeper mental health concerns that have remained unaddressed for years. And that sort of makes things more serious than before.

In its third season, the format of the show does not change drastically - it's just the narrative that has progressed forward in an interesting way. Yes we still have the zany interludes and the musical numbers and all that fun stuff. But the stories they're able to tell continue to deepen because the characters have grown so far. Everyone has a story to follow and the show continues to find ways to celebrate everyone.

Synopsis: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a romantic musical comedy-drama television series created by Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna. All three seasons are available on Netflix, at least outside the US. A fourth and final season has been confirmed to debut October 2018.

The show begins a few weeks after the season 2 finale and Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) has been largely missing ever since Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) left her at the altar. But as she emerges from her depression, she ends up finally confronting Josh at the seminary he has run off to and ends up confessing a lot of the crazy things she had done because of him in a fit of anger. And that shifts her focus to finding a way to discredit him before he gets to tell all their friends of what she had done.

At the same time Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster) is coming to terms with the fact that he has more serious for Rebecca even though she has mainly indulged only in sex with him and not much else. And as she turns to him to help her deal with Josh before he reveals her secrets, there's that struggle between him wanting to be there for her but also not just being used by her.

What I Liked: The music of the show remains to be some of the best and the season kicks off with some instant classics like "Let's Generalize About Men" and even the rather odd "The Moment Is Me". The songs are always something to look forward to but also remain to be an interesting narrative device to give us deeper insight into the various characters.

But really the brilliance of the season is the journey they had crafted for Rebecca and the complex ups and downs as she first struggles to deal with Josh leaving her then eventually recognizing and fully accepting that she needs help. Her journey into therapy is not an instant cure for things and the rest of the season is a great depiction of her mixed efforts of being a better person and atoning for all the bad things she had done before.

What Could Be Better: The cast is pretty big now and the efforts to give everyone a story are still pretty good but not always. I think this is most noticeable for characters like Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz), Josh's former girlfriend and now just supporting friend for Rebecca. She has an odd side plot in  this season where she gets into a relationship with another woman, but this is mostly left in the background and so feels not as important or only handled to a very shallow degree.

Surprisingly Josh is also a character that really gets pushed into the background this season as the likes of Darryl (Pete Gardener) and Josh Wilson (David Hull) continuing their great arc from the second season and even Heather (Vella Lovell) getting a lot of attention in this season. The ebb and flow of characters is expected but it can still make you feel a little sad to see them shunted back.

TL;DR: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a brilliant television journey and one that I'm happy to continue. Things are really reaching a new level and you can feel things enter endgame most certainly. Thus this season gets a full 5 crazier things that Rachel still does out of a possible 5.

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