Friday, April 5, 2019

I Have a Date Tonight: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E16 Episode Review

Ahhhhh! Can you believe the penultimate episode of Crazy Ex Girlfriend has arrived. I am writing this on the day of the finale and it's just hitting me that my favorite show is almost over! I have had such a nice time blogging about this series over the last 2 years.

This episode was beautiful!! The three dates were gorgeous. I felt like the Crazy Ex Girlfriend writers were trying to write a love letter to all three of our leading men. They aren't trying to vilify any man. In less evolved shows, there is the jerk and the guy our lead ends up with. Here, we have seen all three men grow. We have fallen in love with all three, and now we get to see each one shine one last time.

Josh/Rebecca: I almost cried during their date. This show - the show that I love, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, started because of this ship. Josh recreated them being at summer camp. Throughout season one, summer camp was Rebecca's symbol of bliss. It's nice to see her live it one last time.

Nathaniel/Rebecca: I had high expectations for this date because I did become a Nathaniel/Rebecca shipper during season three. Nathaniel did meet those expectations because the scenery of the picnic was beautiful. The fact that he found a concert that she would love AND find a place where she could hear it for free showed that he did a lot of research. Also, their dancing was so cute! It was a freeing kind of dance. Nathaniel was very tightly wound in season 2, and Rebecca also takes her love like very seriously. Those two dancing felt airy, nice, and free.

Greg/Rebecca: When Greg bought the air balloon ride, I was fuming because I didn't want to see Greg do something so against his character. Both Josh and Nathaniel kept pieces of who they were during their dates. I wanted Greg to do the same. I'm glad Greg's car died before he could get to the hot air balloon ride. This gave Greg and Rebecca a chance to be real with each other. There was no gimmicky date between them. It was just two people talking and laughing and eating and doing errands together. It was so cute!!

We ended this episode widening out from a shot of Rebecca and Greg laughing and talking to each other. Then Greg says, abruptly, "You are the love of my life." Amazing. That really got me. One thing to keep in mind is that Nathaniel and Josh said some version of, "We belong together," or "We are meant to be." Nathaniel and Josh are still forcing their feelings on Rebecca. They are still relying on fantasy and fate. Greg, on the other had, is just stating his feelings. He doesn't need Rebecca or the universe to be on board. He know that he loves her. This is why Greg is end game.

Love's Not A Game: White Josh gets to embody one of the most beloved theater characters of our time - Enjolras from Les Miserables! I don't know THAT much about musicals so Enjolras is the first thing that came to mind when I saw this song. "How dare you play with love? Have you no decency?" The dramatics of this monologue reminded me of "Red and Black" from Les Miserables.

"Love's Not A Game" is a hilarious, group number. I loved it when White Josh calls Paula, "lady sir," and she responds with, "I think the work is 'ma'am'." There was a call-back to "Pre-school? No, Priest school," which I loved!

Listen to Valencia folks! It's Greg
I thought Valencia looking into the camera and saying, "It's Greg," was a little too on the nose. LMAO. It was subtle, but I caught it.

Love's Not A Game (Reprise): A touching and reflective moment.

Other Favorite Details:

Rebecca: "I retired from stalking, but you never loose the skills." The opening of this episode was hilarious. You see Dr. Akopian order coffee and all of a sudden, Rebecca's head pops out! HILARIOUS!

The Other Rebecca moment was one of my favorites this time!! Rebecca popping in to say, "Perfection is an illusion!"

The show ends on Valentine's Day. "It's apt. Very apt." LOVE THIS SHOW.

Valencia: "Greg's a different actor now and by actor, I mean in the political legal sense."

Greg's Advantage: Little remarks and comments.

A wonderful show! I am sad to see it go. Can't wait for the season finale which I get to watch in 1.5 hours from now!

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

I Need to Find My Frenemy: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E15 Episode Review

The beautiful, touching #GirlGroup4eva episode that these final episodes needed!

Darryl's method of "Columns," is not unique but it is simple. The episode starts off with Rebecca making a hilarious list of the positive attributes of her three choices. Hilariously all three got, "Amazing in the sack."

The Math of Love Quadrangles: Another reprise of a great song! Greg, Josh, and Nathaniel looked so handsome in their nerdy glasses and suits! I like how it is quadrangles because there are four people this time!

Rebecca can't make a decision between her three guys so when Audra Levine's husband calls her and tells her that Audra has abandoned her family, Rebecca welcomes the distraction. Rachel Bloom's acting is hilarious here! Rebecca smiles so devilishly. Rebecca's joy at seeing her arch nemesis's downfall is so great! She doesn't even hide it. "I can see you smiling," says Audra's husband.

Our ladies all decide to take a trip to Las Vegas because they are running away from their problems. Valencia wants to avoid her pain at Beth not proposing to her. Heather wants to avoid her childish husband. Paula realizes that the Fett Regoso suits for her new office are ridiculously expensive. Rebecca, of course, doesn't want to think about choosing between her three men.

Slow Motion: I thought our four ladies looked so cool and sexy during this number! Perfect for a girls trip! I liked how the show explored the cinematography of slow motion and showed the funny aspects to it.

There were a lot of call-backs during this episode - especially to the season one song, "Women Gotta Stick Together." Some examples: "Females helping females," and "Denise Martinez - that bitch I cannot stand." Denise helps Valencia learns that it's a bad look to bully your lover into proposing. One interesting call back was to The CW. "We're heroes - Dare to Defy!" That's one of The CW's slogans! Audra Levine says, "You can't call me crazy, because when you call me "crazy," you're just calling me in love!" That's a call back to the Season 2 theme song!

Audra's boyfriend is VERY gross. It's amazing how everyone can see it and calls him out.

Paula is so confident and fierce in this episode! She saves Audra's boyfriend from a beating and wins herself A LOT of money through the poker game! I love how much she is flexing on everyone by being that good at poker. During the, "Slow Motion," poker game song, the lyrics, "I don't understand poker," really got to me. I also do not understand even a little bit of poker!

JAP Battle (Reprise): JAP Battle, the original, is in my top five favorite Crazy Ex Girlfriend songs!! This nice reprise had a lot of witty lyricism as well. I loved the love both women had for each other. I thought the ending where Audra says, "Wanna make out?" was also hilarious! 

"I care about you in my own way. You're like an annoying family member," says Rebecca to Audra showing them mending their relationship. It was a really sweet episode!

I liked how Paula stood up for herself and said she isn't going to wear those expensive suits all the time. I was relieved when her employer agreed with her. It was great when Valencia said, "wait, I can propose?" in surprise! She now has power to make her marriage dreams happen! Maybe she will propose to Beth in the series finale? Heather goes back to Hector and said, "You are not my daddy, and I am not your mommy, I learned that in Vegas," which was a funny and unexpected call-back to Audra's gross boyfriend.

RIP Darryl/White Josh: Wild. Absolutely wild. THE GROUP MIND HAS DECIDED THAT YOU ARE IN LOVE. This episode completely destroyed the Darryl/White Josh ship! I guess I should have known the second Darryl had his baby that they were lost forever. White Josh doesn't want a child so it is truly over for them. It's cool that Darryl is ending up with a woman, because it gives good representation to bisexuality!

STAND DOWN: Josh telling everyone to "stand down," was a highlight! It is very Rebecca of him to pretend he is in an old-timey movie telling his competitors to "stand down!" He also used a lot of funny, formal language like, "shant."

At the end of the day, all three men are a little hurt by the whiteboard. However, they all agree to offer Rebecca, "three dates with three guys." "So nine dates?" says Rebecca. I loved that little bit.

I was really excited by the end of this episode! I was so excited to see the three dates in action! It is just like The Bachelor (which is where White Josh got the idea....). Excited to see the creative and romantic dates Rebecca goes on in the next episode!

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I'm Finding My Bliss: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E14 Episode Review

I have been behind on my Crazy Ex Girlfriend episodes and yesterday I watched episodes 14, 15, 16 right after each other and let me just say - what a beautiful group of episodes. They all put a huge smile on my face and increased my serotonin levels teen-fold.

But I digress. Let's talk about "I'm Finding My Bliss."

I loved how this episode began with a recap that showed all the times Rebecca's passion was hinted throughout the series. I have actually forgotten how many hints there were that alluded to Rebecca starting a career in theater. There is a great call back to season one when Dr. Akopian helps Rebecca realize theater was her passion during the "Dream Ghost" episode. THIS WAS IN SEASON ONE! We always knew that Rebecca would have to come back to theater! 

I love musical theater just like Rebecca so this episode was so fun for me! We had a Pitch Perfect style of audition where everyone sang, "Let Me Be In Your Show," at the same time with different, and sometimes bad, voices. I loved how Rachel Bloom and Gabrielle Ruiz both succeeded in making their gorgeous voices sound much worse than they are. "Singing: Zero. Commitment: A Million," is correct! Cheri Oteri was amazing in her role! I loved how dramatic and enthusiastic she was! (until...of course...she yelled at Rebecca).

Josh joins the production as a tech crew member so that he can get close to her. Nathaniel gets cast as the prince solely on his looks which was hilarious. Can you believe Nathaniel has been in musicals before? (mostly...because of his looks). That's another point for Rebecca/Nathaniel shippers! They have something huge in common!

Valencia Wants A Proposal: Valencia joins the theater company because she wants to avoid her feelings about not getting a proposal from Beth. WHICH REMINDS ME!! They made a shutout to Jersey City!!! Ahhh, I live near there and I love that my West Covina friends mentioned Jersey City!!! Anyway, Valencia acts like true season one Valencia in this episode which is nice!! I like seeing the un-evolved Valencia make a small appearance before she learns from her mistakes. By the end of the episode, Valencia makes an ultimatum to Beth. She won't return to New York unless Beth proposes. Ultimatums are pretty manipulative and Valencia does have some growing to do!

Greg Opens Up A Restaurant: It's nice to see Greg follow his passion for business and open up a restaurant! We get to see Chris one more time before the series ends! Weird choice to have Heather and Greg bonding during this episode, but I'll allow it. The, "What'll It Be?" (reprise) was a great call-back. Greg is accepting West Covina and has found his path in life. It was also cool seeing SkylarAstin!Greg reprising this song because it gives it a nice, new flavor. Greg says, "I see that the problem was me." It wasn't West Covina holding him back - it was himself.

Darryl and Paula & Job Offers: You can tell from the very beginning of this sub-plot that Paula knows she is worth way more than what Darryl could possibly pay her. The Darryl-Paula moment at the end of the episode where "You're My Best Friend (And I Know I'm Not Yours)," played in the background was touching. I wish there was a sweet reprise of this song sung by Paula!

Etta Mae's Lament: Hilarious song!! "Can you lasso me a husband?" is just such a funny lyric. Rachel Bloom's acting is perfect as she cringes to some of the more harmful lines in the song.  This song is pretty incredible in it's sexism. It manages to drop different forms of sexism with every line. It even manages to subtly imply that women belong in the kitchen!

I'm the Bride of the Pirate King: Wow this song was more offensive than, "Etta Mae's Lament," in my humble opinion. Maybe because Valencia sang it straight. The pirate is abusive and there was a lot of...I want to say scary...language used in the song. This song isn't just about harmful stereotypes/opinions of women like Etta Mae's Lament. This song is about a woman in an abusive relationship which hits harder.

The Tick Tock Clock and Apple Man: Whoever this fictional Elliot Ellison is - he is not a good song writer! I loved all of Paula's negative reactions to "Apple Man," because we know she does not like theater and she can TELL that this song is the worst of the worst.

The episode ends with Nathaniel doing such a sweet thing for Rebecca! He sings her words. Because Nathaniel is a man, and those harmful stereotypes are not associated with men, his rendition is much less problematic.

“I’m not a writer-performer! I’m not Ike Barinholtz!” says Rebecca. This is funny because this is such niche reference. Only few people would get it and I'm one of those people! I've followed Ike on Twitter since my Mindy Project days. Hilarious for him to get such a random shout out! (Someone on the writing staff MUST be a Mindy Project stan. It was referenced earlier in the season when Hector said he stans Mindy Kaling!).

In last episode's review, I mentioned my worries of Rebecca getting into theater when she is unable to sing well. This episode took care of those worries for me! I think Rebecca's passion is going to be a song-writer or composer for musicals! I can't believe I didn't think of this before. Rebecca makes up beautiful musical numbers in her head all the time!

And of course, this episode ends with Nathaniel and Rebecca kissing. I believe Nathaniel is in second place with this scene. I think the writers know that the viewers got attached to Nathaniel when Greg left. They know that people still ship them so they gave us this sweet moment. However, Greg is still end game.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

I Have to Get Out: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E13 Episode Review

I loved this episode because it wasn't about boys, it was about her dreams!

Anti-Depressants Are So Not A Big Deal: This was a fun musical number inspired by La La Land. I loved the wardrobe colors. Dr. Akopian tries to make Rebecca feel better about her meds by telling her that everyone is taking them. She shouldn't feel like she didn't succeed on her own. I like this idea but the title of this song is misleading. Side effects of Anti-Depressants ARE a big deal. They mention side-effects during the song and it sounds like a pain. That one man mentions his libido went down on his first meds, so he switched to new ones and now he is gaining weight. It sounds exhausting and takes a LOT OF TIME. Also, even in this very episode, Rebecca gets into a compromising situation because her meds caused sleepiness. Rebecca wakes up in a morgue!!!

Real Life Fighting Is Awkward: What a funny, comedy song! I loved all of it. Greg and Josh did a great job at making their fight look awkward. Those scenes juxtaposed with snippets of how it would look in a movie or TV show were hilarious. I died of laughing when they showed theater fighting and Josh and Greg were doing ballet!! 😂😂😂 "A weapon makes things too real," also a personal favorite.

End of the Movie Reprise: If you remember from my ___, the original song was so moving and powerful. The reprise pales in comparison. But I understand what it was trying to say, Rebecca needs to make a change and follow her dreams before death catches up to her.

Josh and Greg and Nathaniel: It was interesting to see our three leading men interact with each other. In the beginning of the episode, Josh is fixing Rebecca's sink!! This is a call back from Season 1 when Rebecca broke her sink just to spend time with Josh. Nathaniel acts as a mediator during Josh and Greg's fight, so this is mostly a Josh and Greg learning moment. They are learning how to be cool with each other.

Darryl and April: It was so cute seeing these two vibe. Their children were cute too and I love how they put aside their differences just so their parents would be happy. I wonder what this means for White Josh!! They are the original ship! It would be a shame, although realistic, if they didn't end up together. I'm not sure which direction Crazy Ex Girlfriend will take for its final episodes.

The episode ends with Rebecca telling Greg she hit on Nathaniel and Josh after their argument. He takes the news surprisingly well. Rebecca does deliver the news with grace, but I feel like in real life the person receiving the news would get emotional and angry. They both decide to take a break and be friends. Both Josh and Nathaniel hear this news and are excited that they have a chance. Rebecca has 3 guys chasing after her - the dream!!

Most importantly, this episode ends with Rebecca being brave enough to pursue theater. She is chasing her dreams! It will be interesting to see how they will approach this - previous episodes have hinted that Rebecca is not good at singing. What do you do when you are not good at the craft you love? I'm excited to find out how this show will tackle that.

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Friday, March 15, 2019

I Need a Break: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E12 Episode Review


Kudos to the actual Raging Waters in SoCal for letting Crazy Ex Girlfriend film on their premises.

Overall, it was a great episode. We see Rebecca slip on her mental health treatment which is understandable. If she didn't slip, it wouldn't be realistic. The joy of a new relationship makes her think she doesn't need to continue working on herself. When an argument with Greg bursts her love bubble, she goes back to sabotaging herself.

During Rebecca's trip to Raging Waters, you can see her putting her own fantasy onto Greg. Greg tells her multiple times that he doesn't like theme parks or fun, but Rebecca just wants to pretend that he does. There was this scene when she wanted to take a picture with her arms up. Greg makes his own pose, and Rebecca forces him to change it to the pose that she had pictured for them. She is a little annoyed that Greg isn't playing the role in her fantasy well.

Greg and Rebecca are different people. To be honest, if I had a buzzkill boyfriend like Greg, I would be annoyed too. Who doesn't like fun? But that's Greg for ya. And Rebecca has to accept him for who he is.

When Rebecca realizes that Greg isn't acting the way she wanted him to, she assumes it is because he hates her. This is her borderline personality disorder affecting her. She then drinks THREE drinks, and tries to party her sadness away. She hits on both Nathaniel and Josh. It was nice that they both saw Rebecca was in a bad place and refused. Maybe it is because they both have grown or because they know about Rebecca's diagnosis and they don't want to hurt her. It was funny when Rebecca said, "Strip away my conscience," in slurred speech which was a good call-back.

I Hate Everything But You: AHHHHHH, as New Jerseyian - I LOVE BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. I recognized who they were parodying right away! I think it's the perfect style of music to use for this song. This song sounds sad and somber but the lyrics are actually funny. Greg names the most random-est things that he hates and they were all amusing.

Also, this is the first solo performance from Skylar Astin and he does an impressive job.
I hate the phrase "Love conquers all," and I hate that it's true
'Cause I want to not hate things when I'm with you
You love so many things and you have so much fun
It makes me wish my hating days were done
These lyrics are so sweet and touching. Greg gives Rebecca a beautiful compliment that explains what makes her shine. She loves things and has fun. Greg wishes he could be like that. Rebecca is a ray of sunshine to him and us, the audience.

I'm Not Sad You're Sad: My guess is this is a parody of M.I.A's song, "Bad Girls" because Rebecca talks in a slight British accent. It's clear throughout the song that Rebecca is, indeed, the sad one. Something that's never discussed on the show, but I saw, was that Rebecca shoplifted!! I guess it's another way she sabotages herself. However, it was so cute when she talks to the girl at the taco stand! "Were you sad about 9/11? I was sad too but Lilo and Stitch got me through it." Excellent comedy writing.

The Darkness: Rebecca's darkness is named Tyler! That actually remind me of Tyler Joseph from Twenty One Pilots who also deals with darkness a lot. Rebecca personifies her darkness because she needs to breakup with him and live a healthy life.

Paula Has A Heart Attack: This was such a shocking reveal to me the first time I watched it! Paula doesn't have menopause - she has a heart attack! I actually re-watched this episode to write this blog post. AND WOW, knowing she was having a heart attack the entire time and watching her sweat and trudge on made me so scared for her well-being.

The Paula Heart Attack sub-plot does 2 things. 1) It gives awareness to women's cardiovascular health. You always see men dying of heart attacks on TV. Sadly, heart disease is the number one killer for women as well. 2) It shows that so many women sacrifice their health to do it all. Women are strong and they should be respected. They should also be allowed to breathe and relax.

A Rebecca/Nathaniel moment happened when both characters said "Bad case of the Mondays!" Rebecca says this to Greg and Nathaniel says this to Paula. Maybe they aren't so different after-all!(Or Rebecca had a huge affect on Nathaniel).

Nathaniel asks Paula if she wants to take a "woman nap." At first, I was wondering if this was a joke on how companies like to market products to women by making them pink and female. Instead, it was a call back to Nathaniel's "man nap," which he did need when he was sick! Nathaniel also needed to take a break like Paula. Looks like they have something in common too.

This episode ends with Rebecca deciding to take anti-depressants. Since I have watched the episode after this already - I will tell you my thoughts about this in my next post.

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