One of the most interesting things about Crazy Ex Girlfriend is that Rachel Bloom, aside from starring in the show, is also it’s co creator and co head writer along with Aline Brosh McKenna. I cannot even imagine the hours Rachel Bloom must log writing lines, memorizing those lines, and then performing take after take. Rachel Bloom, interestingly enough, does not have a background in script writing. Before Crazy Ex Girlfriend, her main output in regards to writing were her comedy music albums (If you’re Jewish, and you haven’t yet listened to Chanukah Honey, do yourself a favor and google it. Seriously, it has the line “Chanukah Honey, at the JCC you play basketball! So tall. You must be 5’8″”) of which she wrote two. However, her creation of Crazy Ex Girlfriend does make logistical sense because of Rebecca’s (the main character) tendency to burst into song in fully choreographed musical fantasy sequences. Bloom’s particular brand of off kilter, brutally honest humor displayed in her earlier albums is easily found in Crazy Ex Girlfriend, particularly in the Sexy Getting Ready Song, where Rebecca ironically demonstrates how unsexy the typical woman’s preparations for a date night are.
Aline Brosh McKenna’s writing background, however, is a little harder to detect in Crazy Ex Girlfriend. She is most notable for her movie adaptation of the book The Devil Wears Prada, a story which does deconstruct some of the “perfect woman” myths we see surrounding models and businesswomen, but still features an effortless makeover and consistently stunning women. In one horrifyingly memorable moment, Emily Blunt’s character announces that her new diet is to eat nothing, except for a cube of cheese whenever she feels like she is about to faint. McKenna’s second most notable writing credit, the 2014 musical movie Annie, is even more difficult to detect amongst the adult themes of Crazy Ex Girlfriend. Where Annie is overwhelmingly sweet with a central father-daughter relationship, Rebecca’s most impactful relationship is with her neglectful, spiteful, and emotionally/verbally abusive mother. Where Annie focuses on a brave, morally pure girl, Rebecca in cowardice takes advantage of her friends and hurts many characters around her (read: leaving her date with Greg to sleep with a guy she met while on the date with Greg). True, Annie and Crazy Ex Girlfriend were made for vastly different audiences, but there is almost zero overlap in the writing styles of the two. As I watch the rest of the show, I will be keeping my eye out for any similarities to The Devil Wears Prada and Annie.
Overall, I do love the writing style. The dialogue is fumbling in a natural way, with enough ums, uhs, and likes to make me feel like those conversations could be happening in real life. This realism injects a much needed dose of the mundane into a show that has a sometimes larger than life plot (not to mention the musical numbers).
“Aline Brosh McKenna.” IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/name/nm0112459/.
“Rachel Bloom.” IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/name/nm3417385/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1.