I started watching it for the humor and the silly musical numbers. No, wait…I started watching it because of her. Rachel Bloom. I’d become aware of her last summer watching an episode of Lip Sync Battles, and felt drawn to her persona.
It’s not often I look at someone and think I see a physical resemblance, so when I do, I start to wonder if I’m imagining it, and then I maybe start semi-obsessively trying to find out more about them.
Which, if you’ve watched the TV show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” you’ll recognize as a patently “Rebecca Bunch” move.
So I started watching it for her, but then I realized it was a silly comedy/musical romance story and I started watching it for that. Because I love silly comedy/musical romances.
I mean, I was absolutely hooked the moment I heard the “Sexy Getting Ready Song.”
But something else was going on, and I didn’t realize it at first. I don’t think I realized it until I was well into season 1, and I didn’t REALLY REALLY get it until I started following the lead/writer/producer Rachel Bloom on twitter.
I think her brain works like mine, but she does with music and comedy what I try to do with essays.
Because, yeah, it was some time during season 1 that I kinda realized the series actually featured a fairly diverse cast of characters in terms of race, sexuality, and size.
And I also realized that none of those characteristics actually defined the characters.
Then the crazy stuff she says – the tangents she goes off on with regards to feminism and the patriarchy and consent and slut shaming and …
…she’s my HERO.
Except she’s also a deeply troubled person with severe, untreated mental disorders. Only, she’s likable and kind of the heroine in her own story. Which makes her a bit of a narcissist. But a cute one, who sings and dances. And c’mon, I mean, it’s just a comedy…
…only it’s covering very serious topics more deeply, thoroughly, and honestly than most depictions I’ve seen in storytelling of any kind.
I knew I wanted to put into words how I felt about this show all day (I started binge watching season 2 on Netflix last night when my plans were rained out by the storm).
But there was so much. I wanted to use words like “rogue” and “subversive” to describe how this sneaky little comedy grabs hold of the heart of some very uncomfortable topics and sort of forces you to sit with them a while. The comedy and musical interludes serve to disarm you, but then..there those feelings are.
I keep confronting my own predispositions and preconceptions about people through these very silly, almost superficial characters that obfuscate the depth of their interactions with one another, as well as the show’s interaction with the viewer.
I swear I’m not high as I type this. I almost wish I were. I bet I’d get even more out of it.
Anyway, as I was saying – I wanted to write about how this show was making me feel because I thought that most people who watch it would stay on the surface and not get that deeper meaning, but then I read a few other blogs out there about the show and realized I am definitely not alone.
Also, the other bloggers were way more clear about the point I wanted to make.
When I was in elementary school I used to walk around the baseball diamond by myself singing songs I’d make up on the fly about things going on in my life. I wish I could tell you that habit ended as I got older, but I still do it. I’m often led by my emotions and my idealistic outlook on life in general. I don’t want to say I’m a big “schemer” but I definitely see and pursue opportunities that benefit my wants, just not to the point of sabotaging others around me. Oh, and a season 2 episode where Rebecca goes to visit her family at a bar-mitzvah? Yeah, that WHOLE episode hit really close to home.
Over these past few years, I’ve learned to confront my privilege and recognize some deep-seated tendencies toward codependent relationship and external validation. I’ve done a lot of introspection and I’ve learned to harness my empathy as a tool to help me help others, and not manipulate them. And, with the family thing, I learned how to cope with my semi-narcissistic family who value appearances over character.
The difference between myself and Rebecca Bunch is that I did the work to confront those issues and overcome them. That’s it.
That’s all that separates me from that crazy character.
Well, also she dresses better than I do…
…but I may start Single White Femaling the shit out of her outfits.