Saturday, February 23, 2019

I'm Almost Over You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E11 Episode Review


This episode was a real treat. It was an experimental, fun, exploration of romantic comedies. It was also unlike any episode before it because the main character was not Rebecca - it was Nathaniel! It was interesting to see how the show could look if Nathaniel was the main character going through his love woes. Scott Michael Foster did some excellent acting here - especially how he was tearing up during his revelation that he needed to let Rebecca go.

As I was watching this episode, I was always a little confused. The main romantic comedy trope in Nathaniel's movie was, "Fake Dating," to make someone jealous. "To All The Boys I Love Before," is the most popular movie right now with this trope (and one that I have watched THREE times). I was confused because the trope always ends the same way - with the two fake dating characters falling in love. When Nathaniel left to go see Maya during Greg's proposal to Rebecca - I was worried! Are Nathaniel and Maya going to be a thing now!? But no, this show turned it around. That moment when Nathaniel was talking to Maya and she suddenly turned into Rebecca was surprising and bittersweet. Rebecca is both the girl Nathaniel wanted to make jealous AND the girl he "fake dated," and fell in love with. Nathaniel wanted Rebecca so bad, he imagined her as two characters.

Lots of tropes were made fun of in this episode. For example, the bro-y best friend obsessed with their friend's love life (reminded me of Pete Davidson in Netflix's Set It Up), the mean boss, and the fumbling assistant. There was also a funny, meta moment when they showed stock video of the location just like they do in movies.

In one scene, Maya says, "my dead mom who told my single dad," which is also a trope in romantic comedies. A lot of our leading ladies have dead parents. In "To All The Boys I Love Before," Lara Jean's mom is dead and her single dad is raising her. In, "Edge of Seventeen," which just arrived on Netflix, the main character's dad's death really affected her and her mom.

This episode included many scenes that were just making fun of a specific trope. For example, there was the make-over scene where the characters got hot, the working-together-montage scene, the glossing over presentation scene, and, of course, the gratuitous karaoke moment. By the way, how hard was it to make Nathaniel look ugly? They just made him wear glasses and khaki pants. As a glasses wearer, I am offended!! (just kidding). In the beginning of Maya's presentation, she seemed really bad at speaking about real-estate law so it was hilarious that once they started skipping over her presentation, everyone thought she did such a good job.

Gratuitous Karaoke Moment: Entertaining song! I am worried it was a parody of one of my FAVORITE songs from one of my FAVORITE movies. You can guess what it's, "The Start Of Something New," from High School Musical!

I loved seeing Nathaniel come to terms with his heartbreak. He explained his relationship with Rebecca really well. "We're that mismatched couple from different worlds. You're short, I'm tall. You're quirky. I'm really not." As a viewer, I shipped Rebecca and Nathaniel. They made a good couple. Within the rules of romantic comedies, they should be together because Rebecca was always supposed to be with Greg, but since he got cut from the show, Nathaniel was supposed to be his replacement, but now Greg is back so it's like Nathaniel was just a red herring to the audience.

Nathaniel crying to the pizza man also tugged at my heart strings. It called-back to Rebecca crying to Patrick, the delivery guy in Season 2. 

Another meta moment was when Nathaniel says, "I was trying out a persona to figure out something in my life. I saw myself in a recognizable pop culture genre." Those sentences basically summarize this beautiful show. Crazy Ex Girlfriend is all about Rebecca using music and movies and pop culture to understand herself.

I think Rebecca and Greg are endgame. So not only was Nathaniel feeling some heartbreak over the loss of his relationship with Rebecca, so was I.

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