FYC: Rachel Bloom in ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’

Rachel Bloom

Emmy attention must be paid to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Rachel Bloom.

Even if Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s star Rachel Bloom hadn’t won a Golden Globe or a Critics’ Choice award, she would have simply won all of our hearts by dropping these fantastically true and funny lyrics into the canon of self-loathing, parodic songs. Wait… is there a canon of self-loathing, parodic songs?

There should be.

Writes note to self, “Create canon of self-loathing parodic songs. Call it ‘Bloomology.’ “

You ruined everything
You stupid bitch
You ruined everything
You stupid, stupid bitch
You’re just a lying little bitch who ruins things
And wants the world to burn
Bitch
You’re a stupid bitch
And lose some weight…

Those are the lyrics from Rachel Bloom’s “You Stupid Bitch” which closes the musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s, in my opinion, season-high episode “That Text Was Not Meant for Josh!” It’s a perfect song when taken into context of the perfect episode (previously dissected here). It’s also perfectly performed by star Rachel Bloom, an amazingly talented comic actress with enough dramatic and musical chops to pull off one of the trickiest roles – male or female – on television today. It’s a role that has already won Bloom the Golden Globe for Comedy/Musical Actress and the Critics’ Choice for Comedy Actress.

So, you may ask, how can we consider Rachel Bloom an underdog for an Emmy nomination?

Allow me to redirect you to the line where I mentioned Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a musical comedy. One that airs on The CW. One that, to the detriment of Americans (both middle and coastal) everywhere, reached a series high one million viewers with said episode.

Now you’re with me, right?

Rachel Bloom’s comedic performance reminds me of the age-old adage about women doing everything men do but backwards and in heels. Well, Bloom does everything more famous and higher rated comediennes do but singing and wearing spanx. Take that, OfficialJLD.

Through the arc of the series, Bloom runs through literally all of the emotions and perhaps invents a few new ones that, in fifty-eight years, we will all experience once we’ve raptured.

While Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s pathologically likable cast deserves attention for their robust and carefully constructed roles (particularly sidekick Donna Lynne Champlin and part-time lover Santino Fontana), the series awards attention has largely focused on Rachel Bloom. It’s hard to argue with that. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is fashioned in a highly collaborative creative environment, but the driving passion behind it seems to be Bloom who carries an air of classic Hollywood song-and-dance talent. Even while singing her “Sexy Getting Ready Song.”

To say Bloom’s comedic performance is kind of great is like saying puppies are kind of awesome. It’s a massive, colossal, mind-blowing understatement. Bloom is flat-out brilliant in the role. She tinges each line with a hopeful self-delusion that demands the viewer look twice at nearly everything she says. Not only is she pratfall funny, but she also manages to find the bittersweet moments and nurture those as much as she does her hilariously inventive songs. Through the arc of the series, Bloom runs through literally all of the emotions and perhaps invents a few new ones that, in fifty-eight years, we will all experience once we’ve raptured. It’s the kind of heart-on-your-sleeve performance that recalls the self-effacing work of the great Lisa Kudrow in The Comeback (twice Emmy nominated). You don’t know whether to laugh or look away. Maybe you’re doing both. I suspect that would make Rachel Bloom smile intensively.

Bloom’s early-year awards attention is by no means a guarantee for an Emmy nomination. Emmy watchers remember last year’s Gina Rodriguez issue right? The Television Academy needs to overcome its hesitancy around new talent and openly embrace Rachel Bloom as a comedic actress with intense dramatic chops. She’s created a fully real, three-dimensional woman with deep-seeded insecurities and an overwhelming need to be liked and loved.

An Emmy nomination for Rachel Bloom would be a great and most welcome achievement. It would be a shot of adrenaline to a show that deserves ten times the audience it pulls in now. It would be a celebration of the underdog. It would be something of a Rocky story – that is, if Rocky had boobs and wore Louboutins. It would recognize a series that tries very hard to entertain in an unique and thoughtful way. It would reward a show that dances and sings all on its own.

Even as I write this, the echoes of “West Covinaaaaaaa, Californiaaaaaaa” ring in my ears. Let Rachel Bloom’s name ring on Emmy nomination morning.

Because, if not, then she may slash all your tires, Emmy voters.*

*Rachel Bloom will not be slashing any Emmy voters’ tires, although she may look askew at you at next year’s Golden Globes.

Rachel Bloom

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4 comments

  1. Avatar
    Robin Write 4 years ago

    I gotta say this is a really weird show. Definitely captivating and funny in parts, but I can’t really get on board with the music numbers. My wife hates them. Plus, it’s rather long for a comedy wouldn’t you say? Rachel Bloom though is smashing, she appears to have free reign of her own frenetic energy. I adore loveable nutjobs. She’s extremely easy on the eye too – just don’t let her fall for you!

  2. Avatar
    Mike D 4 years ago

    After watching Bloom’s performance you start noticing other TV actors on other series mostly seem to just stand there ‘looking earnest’ waiting to speak their lines. Even actors you like. Bloom/Bunch, by contrast, you can see her brain processing everything around her. Apparently its not just an act, I read up to 40% of the dialog can be off-script improv. If they do one take speaking the written dialog they’ll maybe do three more takes another three ways. Actors working opposite Bloom do not know what might come out of her mouth during a scene. You gotta be ‘in the moment’ to keep up with the boss.

    1. Avatar
      Clarence Moye 4 years ago

      That is a good way to put it. I would argue, though, that Donna Lynne Champlin has the ability to play with Bloom more than the other cast members. Did you read my review with her?

      1. Avatar
        Mike D 4 years ago

        Yes, I did. Very good interview. I understand Ruiz improv-ing during that couch scene with Bloom back in episode 2 may have been what saved her from merely being a 3 episode ‘guest star’.

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