I've wanted to write about this show for a while. I've wanted to write about how it feels like 'Scrubs' meets 'Pushing Daisies'. I've wanted to talk about the show's co-creator/main star Rachel Bloom moved from making some of the best content on YouTube, to making some of the best content on TV. But instead, in the interests of something a little more concise, and because the human race loves listicles, I thought I'd put together my list of Rachel and her team's best songs from the excellent first season of this crazy show.
5. 'Put Yourself First' sung by the camp teenagers from S01E10 - 'I'm Back at Camp With Josh!'
Favourite Lyric: "It's a Wormhole", "It's a Mobius Strip", "It's Snake-Eats-Tail" "It's the Infinity Sign!" "Get a tattoo of the Infinity Sign! On Your lower back! Just for yourself!"
'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' is a show that somehow both has a lot to say in support of feminism, while simultaneously spitting in the face of what a lot of people now days would define as feminist (the self-admittedly sexist title of the show itself is a great example of this). I think 'Put Yourself First', a catchy parody of the average LMFAO or Jason Derulo pop songs of the last 5 years, puts forward the show's stance on feminism better than anything else.
The themes of the song and its music video are relatively separated from the themes of the episode itself, but the message still rings loud and clear through Rachel/Rebecca's various interruptions ("If it's just for myself, shouldn't I be comfortable?" etc.), the hilarious cameo of the 'Male Gaze' as the photographer, and the insistence by the singing teenage girls that putting yourself first should still be sexy, so that maybe you can still find a hot boy who'll make out with you and buy a house in Portland.
'Put Yourself First' is the show's preachiest number, but this is exactly the right kind of preachiness: a kick-ass hilarious comedy song.
4. 'Feeling Kinda Naughty' sung by Rebecca from S01E02 - 'Josh's Girlfriend is Really Cool!'
Favourite Lyric: "[I want to] Cook your spit into a chowder, dry your sweat into a powder and do lines of you all through the night (niiight!)"
Turning up towards the end of the second episode, I love 'Feeling Kinda Naughty' because it is one of the earliest indications of not only the atmosphere of the series, but also of Rachel Bloom's twisted sense of humour which you can see more of in her YouTube hits like 'I Steal Pets' or 'You Can Touch My Boobies'.
This is song is just so damn creepy that it's hilarious; the sexy slumber party trope being mixed with the horrifying serial killer/stalker trope is not something I've ever seen before, but it fits here perfectly. Plus Rachel/Rebecca's wacky dance moves interspersed with her cold, dead staring at an ignorant Valencia make me laugh every time I watch the clip.
3. 'Oh My God I Think I Like You' sung by Rebecca from S01E17 - 'Why is Josh in a Bad Mood?'
Favourite Lyric: "Is there an I-U-D that can stop the image of YOU-AND-ME...?"
While this song is definitely the show's most deceptively filthy entry, it is also one of it's most sweetest and delicate pieces, as Rebecca realizes her feelings for Greg.
What's great about 'Oh My God I Think I Like You' is that it takes a very true and very real element of the human condition and makes a joke out of it, which is kind of a microcosm for 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' as a whole.
In any other show, a scene like this would probably done through awkward expositional dialogue or over-dramatic conversations, but with the power of a song, and a very catchy and cute song at that, we're given this information as if we're existing only inside Rebecca's mind. She's not screaming this to the world, she's not even telling Greg himself, she's just telling herself, and by extension, us.
The song reminds me of 'I Won't Say (I'm in Love)' from 'Hercules', which is also a great song.
2. 'What'll it Be (Hey, West Covina)' sung by Greg from S01E06 - 'My First Thanksgiving With Josh!'
Favourite Lyric: "Hey, West Covina! Why won't you let me break free? Am I doomed to stay here, pouring my High School friends beers, for the rest of eternity?"
Damn man. This song is so good. 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend', despite being a comedy, never shies away from tackling real issues, and this beautiful ballad about a crushed human spirit is probably the only song in the series that feels more serious and heartfelt than it does comedic or silly.
It was also an important milestone in the series for Greg, who without this soul sharing moment, could otherwise come across as an obnoxious ass. But after hearing 'What'll it Be', and sympathising with Greg's struggle to move his life forward, past the rut he's stuck in and out of his dead-end job and his tiny claustrophobic town, I actually ended up identifying with him more than any other character in the show.
'What'll it Be' perfectly captures what it feels like to be trapped by society and life, and makes the show worth watching if only for this song alone.
1. 'I'm the Villain in My Own Story' sung by Rebecca from S01E14 - 'Josh is Going to Hawaii!'
Favourite Lyric: "Though I insist I'm the protagonist, it's clear that my soul is up for sale!"
Maybe I have a soft spot for classic Disney songs, or maybe I just really like the witch make-up and her dungeon set-piece, but I'll be damned if this isn't the best song of the season.
I think I feel this way because it combines the comedy of the first 3 songs on this list, with the heavy self-reflective issues of 'What'll it Be'. The song exhibits both of 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend''s best qualities: It's comedy and it's drama.
In the song, Rebecca finally sees herself as the villain in the love triangle of Josh and Valencia. It's a point of view that many fail to see themselves in, and lives can be ruined because of this ignorance. But Rebecca sees this, and I think this is important because as the first season passed the turning point which starts with this song and this realization, Rebecca sets out in the next four episodes towards self-improvement. This message of getting over heartbreak and resisting self-sabotage very much goes against what the audience (represented in the show by Paula) have been expecting and wanting.
I feel like this list would be incomplete without me mentioning a few of my other favourites which didn't make the list for whatever reason, which include, in no particular order, 'Heavy Boobs', 'I Have Friends', 'Sex With a Stranger', 'Group Hang', 'I Give Good Parent' and of course 'The Sexy Getting Ready Song'.
Are you sick of laugh tracks in sitcoms? Surely there has to be a better way! Watch our latest comedy sketch, which explores these issues and their solutions.
About the Author:
Alexander Jones (AJ) really likes movies and TV. He really likes you too. You can find more of his stuff all over Cult Popture, in the blogs, vlogs and podcasts.