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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Premiere Recap: What It Means To Be Utterly Un-Chill

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Image courtesy of CW.
(Warning: This post contains spoilers from the series premiere of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.)

Off the bat, there is something you should know about the main character in CW’s latest comedy series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Rebecca Bunch (played by series creator Rebecca Bloom) is the polar opposite of chill. Not for a mere moment does the premiere episode dangle the idea that she is secretly a calculating "cool girl," à la Amy Dunne's description, capable of receiving a text message without analyzing hidden emoticon messages. No, from the very beginning, she’s earnest and wide-eyed in a way that’s designed to make you feel distinctly squirmy.

Take, for example, the opening moments of the premiere, when we are introduced to a teenage Rebecca bidding goodbye to her summer drama-camp boyfriend, Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III). Lisping slightly through her retainer, she's trying to nail down a holiday visitation schedule; the object of her starry-eyed affections awkwardly demurs. "I just think we're really different," he tells her, before leaving. "I think you're, like, you're really dramatic and weird." And — it goes without saying — seriously, unforgivably un-chill, a major crime among teenagers and twentysomething Tinder users alike.

When next we meet Rebecca, she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown — or, perhaps more accurately, already slipping over the edge. In the intervening decade, she has become a Harvard- and Yale-educated lawyer. But, instead of taking a coveted partner role at her impressive real estate law firm, she flees Manhattan for the small, Inland Empire city of West Covina, CA, to begin another, breezier, closer-to-the-beach kind of life.

To fully understand the motivations behind her move, I would suggest watching the trailer (below), which covers it in far more delightful, candy-colored detail than mere words could ever express. But, the basic idea is that she's deeply unhappy, and she seeks to resolve that by reuniting with Josh, though she can't admit to anyone — least of all, herself — that the motivation behind her move was some guy who dumped her in high school. Because that would be, well, crazy, right? (And now we're all on the same page about the title of the show.)

After a brilliantly funny musical number, Rebecca is settling into her new West Covina digs when she works up the courage to text Josh. ("'Member you said if I was ever in SoCal I should give you a buzz?" she writes. "Well, buzz!" In case you're wondering, yes, there is a bee emoji involved.) Not hearing back from him drives her slowly insane, so she stakes Josh out via Facebook and Instagram, leaving work to show up at places he's recently checked in — and, by accident, picking up a date with a friend of Josh's in the meantime, someone who might actually, you know, like her.

Despite the very obvious eligibility of her gentleman caller, though, Rebecca only has eyes for Josh, who she hopes to run into "accidentally" on her upcoming house-party date. And, while he never appears, ultimately she receives the text message she's been waiting for, setting us up for the second episode of the series — which, by the way, already has us hooked. Not just because Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is full of smart writing and hilarious, visually dazzling musical numbers like the satirical "Sexy Getting Ready Song." (Ever watched another human wiggle their way into a pair of Spanx? If not, this is the perfect introductory experience.) It is witty and wonderfully self-aware, of both itself and what an audience might be projecting onto its leading lady.

But what's so special about this series, from the opening scene onward, is that we've been bequeathed a flawed heroine who truly is dramatic and weird — and lovable for those very reasons. After all: Who needs a chill girl when you can have a real one?

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