The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is shaping up to be Emmy’s Little Show That Could
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the most unlikely success of the 2015 freshman television season. Clearly, the stakes were against it from the start. First, it was initially pitched to Showtime, but they turned it down. Then, it landed on the CW, a rare place for the series as it did not originate in the DC universe. Next, it was openly pitched to the world as a musical – the kind of musical American television hasn’t seen since Glee or Cop Rock before it. Finally, it didn’t have any major names in the cast aside from the voice of Hans from Frozen.
But people are still talking about it some six months later as it wraps its season. Granted, it’s not blowing out the ratings, but that’s OK. It’s doing just fine for an eccentric, looney musical on the CW. And, most importantly, it’s been cleared for a second season. Ironically, I think you can thank the musical numbers for its pervasive buzz. Critical acclaim also helped, undoubtedly. The series boasts a 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic of 78 despite the controversy around the title (she’s not really all that crazy).
Tonight’s season finale will serve it well thanks to a note perfect ending that ***SPOILER ALERT*** sees Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) win the heart of Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez) only to nearly lose it again by admitting her full-on neurosis – she did move to West Covina, California, to be with Josh after all. It’s not something that, initially, settles well with Josh. It’s also perfectly undercut with Greg (Santino Fontana) retching on the floor after drinking heavily at a wedding. It’s the kind of ending that really deserved another round of “You Stupid Bitch,” the best song of the series for my money.
So, what will Emmy think of all this. Well, your initial reaction may be, “If Jane the Virgin couldn’t do it last year, then how will Crazy Ex-Girlfriend top it?” That’s a great question. The answer is it’s a MUCH bigger risk than Jane the Virgin. Did I mention it’s a musical? Did I mention people actually have to act in a comedy as well as sing and dance believably? Did I mention all the songs are original? Are you seeing the creative hurdles here? Now, I’ll be first in line to say that the show isn’t perfect. Honestly, I love and hate it equally when star Bloom isn’t on screen. I’ve had issues with the supporting cast, although breakouts started to emerge as the series matured. And the tone is far crazier than the title character is reported to be.
All of that aside, I think you’re looking at a nomination for Comedy Actress for Rachel Bloom. She’s the driving force – a force of nature – behind the series. She’s won a Golden Globe. She’s won a Critics Choice Award. She’s been incredibly funny and charming during acceptance speeches. It’s the kind of rags-to-riches backstory that could spin itself into a legitimate awards narrative. The hardest fight will be for the nomination. If she can get beyond that stage, then I believe Bloom could be a dark horse to beat perennial winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Other nominations will most certainly come in the form of Original Song and perhaps Main Title Theme Music. Hey, it’s a catchy tune. Also, could Crazy Ex-Girlfriend break So You Think You Can Dance‘s hold on the Choreography category? People do dance on the show… Farther down the line are perhaps nominations for Santino Fontana and Donna Lynne Champlin as Rebecca’s gal-pal. Champlin, in particular, has two powerhouse musical numbers, and she ably carries the more sitcomy-aspects of the role. Remember when nobody saw Niecy Nash coming?
Perhaps Emmy could fall in love with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Crazier things have happened…
Nothing’s a guarantee unless you’re produced by Ryan Murphy
Rachel Bloom, Lead Actress
Main Title Theme Music
Donna Lynne Champlin, Supporting Actress
Santino Fontana, Supporting Actor