|Opening theme||"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" performed by Rachel Bloom (season 1)|
"I'm Just a Girl in Love" performed by Rachel Bloom (season 2)
"You Do/You Don't Wanna Be Crazy" performed by Rachel Bloom (season 3)
"Meet Rebecca" performed by the cast (season 4)
|Ending theme||"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" (instrumental, season 1)|
"I'm Just a Girl in Love" (instrumental, season 2)
"You Do/You Don't Wanna Be Crazy" (instrumental, season 3)
"Meet Rebecca" (instrumental, season 4)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||62 (list of episodes)|
|Production location||West Covina, California|
|Running time||39–43 minutes|
|Original network||The CW|
|Original release||October 12, 2015 –|
April 5, 2019
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is an American romantic musical comedy-drama television series that premiered on October 12, 2015, on The CW and ran for four seasons, ending on April 5, 2019. The series was created, written, and directed by Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna and stars Bloom in the lead role as Rebecca Bunch, a lawyer who moves from New York City to West Covina, California, to pursue her ex-boyfriend from high-school summer camp.
Despite drawing consistently low ratings throughout its four-season run, the show received widespread critical acclaim and won several awards, including multiple Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a Critics Choice Award. It is one of the lowest-rated shows in television history to be renewed through four seasons by its parent network.
Rebecca Bunch is a Yale- and Harvard-educated lawyer who works for a top New York City law firm. When offered a promotion, she panics, flees the building, and happens to encounter Josh Chan, whom she dated briefly as a teenager. Josh tells her that he is moving back to his hometown of West Covina, California. She decides to follow Josh to West Covina in search of happiness, while telling herself that Josh was not the reason she decided to move. She gets a job at Darryl Whitefeather's law firm, becomes friends with the firm's paralegal Paula and her neighbor Heather, and begins an on-again-off-again relationship with Josh's friend Greg, all while trying to reconnect with Josh, much to the displeasure of his girlfriend Valencia.
In the second season, Rebecca begins a tumultuous romantic relationship with Josh after Valencia dumps him. Greg leaves town to attend university, and Rebecca and Valencia begin to become friends. Meanwhile, the wealthy, amoral Nathaniel Plimpton becomes a partner at Darryl's firm. Hoping to cement their troubled relationship, Rebecca and Josh plan to be married, but he leaves her at the altar.
In the third season, Rebecca's emotional state hits rock bottom, and she attempts suicide. She receives a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and begins attempting to take better care of her mental health and take responsibility for her actions. After she begins an on-again-off-again relationship with Nathaniel, a series of events leads to Rebecca pushing her stalker Trent off a roof. Determined to take responsibility for her actions, Rebecca pleads guilty to the crime and goes to jail.
In the fourth season, Rebecca is released from jail and quits her job at the law firm. Greg returns to town, while Heather and Valencia move away for work and life commitments. With all the main cast members becoming more mature and emotionally healthy, Rebecca feels pressured to choose between romance with Josh, Nathaniel, and Greg. She eventually realizes that she does not yet know who she is and therefore cannot be truly happy with any of them. She instead spends a year focusing on figuring out her own emotional needs and pursuing her interest in songwriting. The series ends with Rebecca about to perform one of her own songs publicly for the first time.
Main article: List of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend characters
Main article: List of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episodes
The series was originally developed for Showtime, and a pilot was produced, but Showtime opted not to proceed with it on February 9, 2015. The CW picked up the series on May 7, 2015, for the Fall 2015–2016 season. The series has been extensively reworked for The CW, expanding the show format from a half-hour to a full hour and adjusting the content for broadcast television, as the original pilot was produced for premium cable. On October 5, 2015, shortly before the series premiere, The CW placed an order of five additional scripts. On November 23, 2015, The CW ordered another five episodes, raising the total for season 1 to 18. On March 11, 2016, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was renewed for a second season, along with eleven other CW series. The second season commenced on October 21, 2016. The second season is shown in the UK on Netflix with episodes available the Saturday after the U.S. airdate. On January 8, 2017, The CW renewed the series for a third season, which premiered on October 13, 2017. The CW renewed the series for the fourth and final season, which premiered on October 12, 2018.
On September 30, 2014, Santino Fontana, Donna Lynne Champlin, Vincent Rodriguez III and Michael McDonald joined Rachel Bloom in the series regular cast. With the move to The CW, the series went through casting changes and McDonald departed the cast. Shortly afterwards, Vella Lovell and Pete Gardner were added as regulars; with Lovell in the role of Heather, Rebecca's underachieving neighbor; and Gardner replacing McDonald in the role of Darryl, Rebecca's new boss.
In 2016, Gabrielle Ruiz, who portrays Valencia, was promoted to series regular for season two. In November 2016, Santino Fontana departed the series; episode four of the second season was his last as a series regular.
In 2017, David Hull and Scott Michael Foster, who portray White Josh and Nathaniel respectively, were promoted to series regulars for season three.
Each episode contains two to four original songs. These are usually sung by Rebecca or a character with whom she is having a direct interaction, parodying the musical theater conceit of characters bursting into song at significant moments in the plot. In "Josh Has No Idea Where I Am", it is revealed that Rebecca has these musical fantasies out of passion for her love of musical theater. In later episodes, several other characters sing while Rebecca is not present.
A few of the songs on the show are shot twice, one clean version and an explicit version. The explicit versions are posted on Bloom's YouTube channel.
"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Original Television Soundtrack (Season 1 – Volume 1)" was released on February 19, 2016 in both explicit and clean versions. It includes all the songs from the first eight episodes of season one, alongside Bloom's a cappella rough demos of "Feeling Kinda Naughty", "I Have Friends", "Settle for Me," and "Sex with a Stranger" as well as Adam Schlesinger's demo version of "What'll It Be".
"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Original Television Soundtrack (Season 1 – Vol. 2)" was released on May 20, 2016. It includes all the songs from the last 10 episodes of season one, as well as demos of "JAP Battle", "I Could If I Wanted To", "Women Gotta Stick Together", "Group Hang", and "You Stupid Bitch".
For season two, the songs were released as singles the day of their original airing. The full season two soundtrack came out on March 3, 2017. It featured every major song from season 2, as well as two deleted songs: "It's Not Difficult to Define Miss Douche" and "Sex Toys," a solo for the recurring character Karen. It also included demos for "Santa Ana Winds", the theme song "I'm Just a Girl in Love", and "Rebecca's Reprise".
All songs in season 3 were released as singles following their airing, with the exception of "The End of the Movie" by Josh Groban, which was featured in the episode, "Josh's Ex-Girlfriend Is Crazy". The full album was released July 20, 2018 and includes a demo of "The End of the Movie" by Adam Schlesinger as well as a cut song, "Settle For Her (Reprise)" by Scott Michael Foster.
Arguably the most important recurring theme of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is the show's portrayal of mental illness and treatment. This aspect of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has garnered wide praise both throughout the film and television industry and within the show's own fandom. Psychology Today has also acknowledged and praised this aspect of the show.
In addition to the psychological evaluation and development of Rebecca, other major characters are similarly depicted as suffering from psychological traumas that influence their personalities and relationships. Such characters include Valencia, Paula, Darryl, Greg, Nathaniel, Scott, and Heather.
This has also inspired the show's fandom to engage in discussions of mental illness, specifically regarding social stigmas and treatment of said illnesses.
Another defining feature of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is its frank portrayal of female sexuality and the reproductive system, both of which serve as sources of the show's cringe humor. In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, both topics are largely normalized in conversation. In particular, female characters are portrayed as being sexually liberated and unashamed of their sexuality. In the episode "To Josh, with Love", characters have frank and honest discussions regarding female sexuality and clitoral stimulation.
The reproductive system is given the same treatment in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Menstruation and diseases associated with female anatomy are often discussed without judgment. The show's open and frank approach to women's health topics is evidenced best by when Paula had an abortion in the second season and her friends and family focused on the emotional impact of her decision, rather than questioning or shaming it.
Parenting is a major theme depicted in the show, as the personalities of several major characters are shaped by their parents' inattentive or cold, distant demeanors. In particular, Rebecca, Paula, Nathaniel, Darryl, and Greg are all affected by parents who exhibit these behaviors. Rebecca's overly critical and overbearing mother and negligent father has greatly impacted her sense of self and self esteem. In contrast, both Paula's and Nathaniel's fathers were revealed to have been emotionally abusive, resulting in both Nathaniel's inferiority complex and Paula's lack of self confidence. Greg's absentee mother after his parents' divorce resulted in him resenting her and helped Greg develop his cynical personality.
On the opposite end of this spectrum is the way Heather's parents raised her. Heather's parents were very attentive, loving and supportive to the point they coddled her and never encouraged her to make anything of herself. This resulted in Heather developing a lazy, aimless, unenthusiastic and somewhat apathetic personality, demonstrating the complexity of parenting.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has received critical acclaim, with critics praising the show's writing, musical numbers and Bloom's performance. At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the first season received an average score of 78 based on 23 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season a 97% positive rating, with an average rating of 7.67 out of 10 based on reviews from 58 critics, with the site's consensus stating: "Lively musical numbers and a refreshing, energetic lead, Rachel Bloom, make Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a charming, eccentric commentary on human relationships."
The second season continued to receive acclaim, with Bloom, Fontana and Champlin earning particular praise. The season holds a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 9.0 out of 10 based on 15 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend remains delightfully weird, engaging, and even more courageous and confident in its sophomore outing." On Metacritic, it has a score of 86 out of 100 based on 8 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
The acclaim continued with season 3; this season in particular was widely praised for its portrayal of mental illness. The performances of Bloom, Champlin and Foster were particularly praised. The chemistry between Gardner's and Hull's characters was widely praised as well. The season holds a rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 9.0 out of 10 based on 22 reviews.
Margaret Lyons from The New York Times chose Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as one of her picks for the best TV shows of 2017. The show was also listed as one of the top shows of 2017 by numerous critics.
The critical acclaim that the show enjoyed was a factor in its renewal through four seasons, in spite of consistently low Nielsen ratings. In three of its four seasons, it finished in last place for the season in total viewers among all regularly scheduled broadcast programs. In the lone exception, the 2017–2018 season, it was next to last, behind another CW show, Life Sentence. It was last or tied for last among adults 18–49 in all four seasons. It was ultimately one of the lowest-rated shows in television history to last four seasons.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||First aired||Last aired||TV season||Viewership
|1||Monday 8:00 pm||18||October 12, 2015||0.90||April 18, 2016||0.82||2015–16||195||1.03||TBD||0.4|
|2||Friday 9:00 pm||13||October 21, 2016||0.53||February 3, 2017||0.58||2016–17||164||0.75||TBD||0.3|
|3||Friday 8:00 pm||13||October 13, 2017||0.62||February 16, 2018||0.60||2017–18||206||0.80||TBD||0.3|
|4||Friday 9:00 pm||18||October 12, 2018||0.40||April 5, 2019||0.38||2018–19||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|2016||68th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Choreography||Kathryn Burns ("I'm So Good at Yoga", "A Boy Band Made Up of Four Joshes" and "Settle for Me")||Won|||
|Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics||Adam Schlesinger, Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen ("Settle for Me")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music||Rachel Bloom and Adam Schlesinger||Nominated|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series||Kabir Akhtar ("Josh Just Happens to Live Here")||Won|
|Critics' Choice Award||Best Actress in a Comedy Series||Rachel Bloom||Won|||
|Dorian Awards||Unsung TV Show of the Year||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Nominated|||
|Gold Derby Awards||Best Comedy Actress||Rachel Bloom||Nominated|||
|Best Breakthrough Performer of the Year||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Won|||
|Gotham Awards||Breakthrough Series – Long Form||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Won|||
|HMMA Awards||Outstanding Music Supervision – Television||Jack Dolgen||Nominated|||
|OFTA Awards||Best Actress in a Comedy Series||Rachel Bloom||Nominated|||
|Best New Theme Song in a Series||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite New TV Comedy||Nominated|||
|Poppy Awards||Best Comedy Series||Nominated|||
|Best Actress in a Comedy||Rachel Bloom||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy||Santino Fontana||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy||Donna Lynne Champlin||Nominated|
|TCA Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Comedy||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Nominated|||
|Outstanding New Program||Nominated|
|Individual Achievement in Comedy||Rachel Bloom||Won|
|Young Artist Award||Recurring Young Actor (13 and Under)||Steele Stebbins||Nominated|||
|2017||69th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics||Adam Schlesinger, Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen ("We Tapped That Ass")||Nominated|||
|Artios Awards||Best Casting in a Television Pilot and First Season Comedy||Felicia Fasano, Bernard Telsey, Tim Payne and Tara Nostramo||Won|||
|Dorian Awards||TV Comedy of the Year||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Nominated|||
|GLAAD Media Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||Nominated|||
|Gold Derby Awards||Best Comedy Series||Nominated|||
|Best Comedy Actress||Rachel Bloom||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Nominated|||
|Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing – TV Short Form Musical||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ("When Will Josh See How Cool I Am?")||Nominated|||
|Gracie Awards||Comedy – TV National||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Won|||
|Actress in a Supporting Role – Comedy or Musical||Donna Lynne Champlin||Won|
|Hollywood Music in Media Awards||Original Song – TV Show/Limited Series||Adam Schlesinger, Rachel Bloom, and Jack Dolgen ("We Tapped That Ass")||Nominated|||
|Women's Image Network Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Won|||
|2018||Eddie Awards||Best Edited Comedy Series (Commercial)||Kabir Akhtar and Kyla Plewes ("Josh's Ex-Girlfriend Wants Revenge")||Nominated|||
|GLAAD Media Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Nominated|||
|OFTA Awards||Best New Titles Sequence||Nominated|||
|TCA Awards||Individual Achievement in Comedy||Rachel Bloom||Nominated|||
|2019||71st Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming||Kathryn Burns ("Don't Be a Lawyer" and "Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal")||Won|||
|Outstanding Music and Lyrics||Adam Schlesinger, Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen ("Anti-Depressants are So Not a Big Deal")||Won|
|Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music||Rachel Bloom, Jack Dolgen, and Adam Schlesinger||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Award||Best Actress in a Comedy Series||Rachel Bloom||Nominated|||
|GLAAD Media Award||Outstanding Comedy Series||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Nominated|||
|Gracie Awards||Actress in a Leading Role – Comedy or Musical||Rachel Bloom||Won|||