Contains spoilers from seasons 1-2
Just before Christmas, my boyfriend went back to his parents’ house for a few days and I started a love affair – with Rachel Bloom and her musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The show, which is currently on Netflix, tells the story of hotshot lawyer Rebecca Bunch who leaves her stressful life in New York to move to West Covina, California. It happens to be where her ex-boyfriend Josh lives…but to be honest, that’s not even the most interesting part of the show. The first noticeable thing about the show is that the cast of characters is fairly diverse in terms of gender, race and sexuality, and none of these things is an issue – the characters just exist and just happen to be bisexual or white or a woman as well as the rest of their traits. Also, the show deals with serious events, such as an abortion, a nervous breakdown and alcoholism in a sensitive, ‘real-life’ way – impressive when you consider the characters burst into song at least three times an episode!
Which brings me to the songs – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s unique selling point is that it is a very clever musical as well as being an engaging comedy. The cast members are all excellent singers, and the songs are super catchy. I’ve decided to countdown my favourite 10 songs from the first two seasons so that you can enjoy them too. It was a hard choice, and I’ve snuck in a few honourable mentions at the end if you want to listen further!
10. JAP Battle
The ‘Jewish-American Princess’ rap battle is one of the highlights from the first season. Rebecca faces off against childhood nemesis Audra Levine (Rachel Grate), a rival lawyer. Their childish and insulting rap battle is both impressive and very funny.
Best Lyric: Speaking of which, are you A.P grade? Cause these days you look a bit heavily weighted.
9. Settle for Me
One of many songs in this list sung by Greg (Santino Fontana), Rebecca’s on-again-off-again boyfriend from season 1. Greg knows he’ll always be second place in Rebecca’s heart to Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) but encourages her to pick him anyway. It’s a delightful song in the style of a Fred and Ginger movie, but with some crushing lyrics.
Best Lyric: Yes, Josh is a dream, but I’m right here in flesh and blood and self-hate
8. Women Gotta Stick Together
When Rebecca moves to West Covina, she finds that her ex-boyfriend Josh has a girlfriend, the impossibly beautiful Valencia (Gabrielle Ruiz). She’s ruthless and shallow (to start with – by the end of season 2 she just about deserves her own spin-off!) and this leads her to sing this back-handed compliment of a song. It’s so catchy and we all know someone who likes to be ‘honest’ in the same way as Valencia!
Best Lyric: Together we can clear these hurdles, except Marissa ’cause she’s four-foot-eight. We can climb every mountain if the rope can support Haley’s weight
7. It was a Sh*t Show
The fact that this song is not higher up shows how high the quality of songs in this list is! This is the ‘My Way’ of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Greg realises Rebecca is bad for him and moves away to pursue his education. The lyrics sting, particularly if you’ve ever had a disastrous relationship you couldn’t let go of. I’m absolutely not over Fontana’s departure, but this was a perfect finale for him.
Best Lyric: I won’t forget, I won’t regret, This beautiful, heart-stopping, breathtaking, life-changing…
6. You’re My Best Friend (And I Know I’m Not Yours)
One of the sweetest relationships in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is that of her ineffective boss Daryl (Pete Gardner) and her best friend Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin). Daryl is desperate for Paula’s friendship, and after several rejections, he sings this sweet ukelele song that wins her over. Gardner always gives 110% in his songs which makes them even more enjoyable.
Best Lyric: A little from you is like a lot from someone else, six of yours beats anyone’s dozen
5. Ping Pong Girl
I really enjoy this song because I’m still 16 at heart, and 16-year-old me loved pop-punk tracks. In a particularly crazy move, Rebecca tries to impress Josh by telling him she was a table tennis champ in her youth and she imagines how he’ll respond to her sporty persona. Really catchy song to rock out to.
Best Lyric: She’s like Serena or Venus! Just watching her swing affects my penis! You know us dudes we love to talk about our penises!
4. We Tapped That Ass
Following Greg’s departure, Rebecca becomes depressed and imagines her two main squeezes (Josh and Greg) visiting her at home. They perform this lively tap routine that is incredibly cheeky. It’s reminiscent of old-school musicals and is one of the early high points of season 2. This song and ‘Sh*t Show’ made the episode ‘When Will Josh and His Friend Leave Me Alone?’ the best one to date (in my opinion!)
Best Lyric: And then we hit the back patio. That’s where we hit your back pati.. ohh!!
3. You Go First
Rebecca goes through a bit of a learning curve when she falls out with Paula, mostly because of her self-obsession. Both women are desperate to make up, but neither one wants to make the first move – leading to this awesome 80’s hair rock ballad. Will strike a raw nerve with anyone who’s ever had a petty row with a pal.
Best Lyric: So go ahead and say you’re kind of sorry so I can say ‘oh no no no please!’ just like I rehearsed
2. Oh My God, I Think I Like You
Team Greg fans were over the moon when Rebecca came round to the idea that he might be the man of choice, and this song shows her inner turmoil. She thought it was just about sex, but nope! She was falling for the handsome-yet-damaged other guy. I frequently wake up with this song stuck in my head, as it’s so catchy!
Best Lyric: Is there an IUD that can stop the image of you and me getting married on a hillside surrounded by ducks, and then we get into a rowboat? Oh my god! I think I like you
1. I Gave You A UTI
It had to be Greg at number one, and this is my favourite! A super catchy, fun, high energy song about… getting a urinary tract infection. Well, if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry. Poor Rebecca is suffering following lots of sex, and Greg is supportive, in a weird way. My other half was laughing for days when he heard me singing along to this one, but once you’ve heard it, it’s in your head!
Best Lyric: I’m so good at sex your maidenship got wrecked. My penis is the reason you may die, die, die! I gave you a UTI
Those are my top ten, but there were a couple of other tracks that definitely deserve a mention and are worth a listen to:
- What a Rush to be a Bride – death metal style track about weddings
- You Stupid Bitch – anthem for all girls with low self-esteem
- What’ll It Be? – sad song about wasting your life
- I Give Good Parent – Rebecca explains how she impresses parents
- Sexy Getting Ready Song – hilarious expose of women’s dressing up habits
If you’re a fan of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, let me know your favourite tracks from the series. Are they the same as mine, or are there any I’ve overlooked?