English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: Anxiety

It’s a text-mergency!!

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend uses several strategies in the cinematography and direction of the show in order to convey the emotions of the characters in the show. In season 1 episode 11 Rebecca Bunch accidentally sends a text to Josh Chan expressing her love for him, and has to figure out a way to delete the text before he sees it. Bunch goes through a rollercoaster of emotions during this episode due to the gravity of the situation and her severe anxiety. She has to find ways to deal with the problems happening in the episode along with this recurring anxiety.

Most of the show is shot with medium shots. You can see the character from the waist up and the background. It is very effective within the show because it shows the characters’ facial expressions and emotions up close, but also what’s going on in the background. There are some close-up shots which truly convey the characters’ emotions and the anxiety experienced by Bunch specifically. There are some long takes, such as the scene where Bunch is in a meeting at work and accidentally sends the text to Chan, but most are quick cuts. It matters because emotions are a significant theme in the show and using certain shots when filming is an effective way to convey them.

The lighting in the show is usually bright. When Bunch is at work, the colors are mute and serious. The colors became dark when Bunch got back to her apartment and Chan figured out that Bunch had fabricated her story as to why her apartment had gotten broken into. However, in general, the color scheme of the show is bright and cheery due to the light-hearted nature of the show. The episode stands out visually from many other episodes because it has more dark colors. The color scheme leans more to the dark side in this episode.

Let’s Go to the Beach, Beach!! (while simultaneously denying our problems and elevating our anxiety)

Rebecca and Valencia feud on the party bus on the way to the beach.


In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Rebecca Bunch is prone to getting herself into, wait for it, crazy situations. In season 1 episode 9, “I’m Going to the Beach with Josh and His Friends!”, Bunch gets herself into one of those situations when Valencia invites her to go to the beach with the “crew” that consists of Josh, Greg, White Josh, Hector and Valencia. The writing in the episode is quite unique, as it usually is in the series. This episode was written by Dan Gregor, known for How I Met Your Mother (2011-2014), and Doug Mand, known for How I Met Your Mother (2011-2014).

The dialogue begins after Rebecca goes and sees a movie by herself. She walks out of the movie theater and sings about how she “totally has friends”. This dialogue shows how lonely Rebecca is because she’s dealing with the fact that she actually has no friends and can only talk to herself about the situation. Throughout the episode there is also a lot of dialogue attempting to directly address the issues that Rebecca are facing. Much of the current conflict is that Rebecca won’t admit that she’s in love with Josh Chan and hiding that truth is affecting her social life and her mental health. Paula calls Rebecca out in the episode and states that Rebecca is in love with Josh Chan and that by going to the beach she is going to be humiliated by Valencia and it’s going to be “another one of her disasters”. This dialogue is significant because it’s saying what we’re all thinking and the direct format presents reality right in front of Rebecca, which, probably, along with the fact that Paula gets mad at Rebecca for being in denial, heightens her anxiety about the situation. There isn’t a voice over which doesn’t really matter because most of the situations in the show are presented by the characters directly.

There isn’t much intentional silence in the episode, but there is a little bit at the beginning. When Rebecca is walking out of the movie theater alone there is muffled chatter between the friend groups outside of the theater. This muffled speaking accentuates how alone Rebecca feels. There are several external references about Seinfeld, Magnum P.I., and The Butterfly Effect. Most of these references are for comedic purposes within the small jokes and jabs and don’t have a huge bearing on the plot. Despite this, the use of these references in creative and makes references to some niche humor.

The writing in this episode was very direct, as it is a lot of the time during the show. However, the episode dives deeper into Rebecca’s insecurities and anxieties and shows how the move to West Covina has affected her. Josh Chan’s cluelessness about Rebecca’s feelings for him and the reasons why she moved to West Covina is a recurring detail that stands out to me in the writing, especially instances where the characters indirectly reference it and it goes over Josh’s head.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén