Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Paula Needs to Get Over Josh!
April 19, 2016 6:26 PM - Season 1, Episode 18 - Subscribe

Rebecca wants to get a romantic declaration of love from Greg and attempts to engineer that as one would do. Josh is having doubts about Valencia. Greg can't get over his fears.

Everyone is trying to get over things. Rebecca can't seem to get over the idea of that storybook moment and falls back in to old patterns of creating crazy plans including getting back into Josh's sister's wedding.

Paula refuses to get over her version of the good love story. She gives Rebecca the silent treatment until Daryl talks some sense into her. Who would have thought Daryl would be the one to come through?

Josh also has his own problems getting over Rebecca, but tries making promises of commitment to Valencia that its clear he has trouble actually committing to. Valencia and Josh both have reasonable grievances at the wedding and end things.

Rebecca's plan almost works when she asks Greg about his feelings, but Greg is unable to get over his own fears, thereby crushing Rebecca. And then Josh does all those actually romantic things Rebecca wants and it works.


* The theme of seeking out that "good love story" was evident from the opening, and Heather pretty much spells out the problems with society's conception of that. It unfortunate how quickly Rebecca jumps back into that once it's available to her. What Rebecca's jumping into seems to not be real life, but a story here. You can't make a life out of romantic moments and highlights.

* I mean Greg blew it, but isn't "I love you" after like a week and a half of dating a little fast? I would be scared to say that too, but maybe more time has passed than I realized. But I do give it to the writers for this: "can't open up about feelings" is a major roadblock to relationships that probably doesn't get enough play in movies/shows and it absolutely bit Greg here in more ways than one.

* Well, thus ends the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It's been awhile since a comedy has come out throwing punches right out of the gate, and the writers seemed to have an overarching and interesting plan. One of the strongest debuting shows of the year in my opinion.

* Vulture covered the backstories of the eight of the songs here. Favorite songs of the year? Mine, in no particular order, would probably be: "Sex with a Stranger," "Put Yourself First," "You Stupid Bitch," "JAP Battle," and "I Give Good Parent."
posted by john-a-dreams (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
So. Much. Cringing. Every major and most of the minor characters did something incredibly stupid, yet totally in line with their established persona. Except Daryl. And maybe White Josh. Straight people, amirite.
posted by Etrigan at 8:06 PM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Except Daryl. And maybe White Josh.

They're classy. Deal with it.

But yeah, that was 42 minutes of cascading character flaws. Rebecca's fixation on a Disney-princess love story, Paula's aggressive enabling, Greg's self-sabotage, Josh's oblivious coasting, Valencia's frustration with her dumbass boyfriend (okay, maybe that's less of a flaw than the others). I love that the season ended with Josh finally, finally getting it. Not sure how they'll build on that in the second season but I trust Bloom and Brosh McKenna a lot by this point.

Also, holy shit, Donna Lynn Champlin. I'll think about a best-of-the-season list later, but "Paula's Turn" is definitely on that list.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:45 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Valencia's frustration with her dumbass boyfriend (okay, maybe that's less of a flaw than the others)

Valencia's frustration isn't her flaw -- her flaw is that she goes ahead with her script regardless of whether anyone else is on the same page. Everyone else has the exact same thing with their flaws: Valencia should be frustrated at Josh, but she shouldn't forge ahead anyway; Rebecca should want the fairy tale, but she shouldn't insist on it and then stab it in the dick; Paula should support her friend, but... etc.

Really, it's only Greg who has no excuse, other than he hates getting what he thinks he wants.
posted by Etrigan at 5:46 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

"the writers seemed to have an overarching and interesting plan. "

I read in an interview the other day that they plotted out FOUR YEARS when they were pie-in-the-sky dreaming about it. At least like outlined arcs.

No mention of the big romantic Becca/Paula reconciliation scene? Maybe my fave of the season.

Poor Greg. I want to both hug him and punch him repeatedly.

"So. Much. Cringing. "

While this became probably my most-looked-forward-to show this year, I do sometimes find it hard to watch because they drive for the cringe hardcore and really lean into it. My husband won't watch it with me solely because he can't stand vicarious cringing in his entertainment. I show him the song highlights. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:59 PM on April 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

PS, are you Team Josh or Team Greg?

(I think I'm Team Greg.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:01 PM on April 20, 2016 [5 favorites]

Team Nobody In This Show Except Daryl And White Josh Should Be In a Relationship Until They Get A Ton Of Therapy.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:43 PM on April 20, 2016 [20 favorites]

And Paula, I guess, but they need couples counseling.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:44 PM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Team Heather. She seems like she's got her head on straight. And I grew up in Connecticut so I totally dig the lack of outward displays of emotion.
posted by Justinian at 2:03 AM on April 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

Also, she's Indian!
posted by zutalors! at 8:41 AM on April 21, 2016

No mention of the big romantic Becca/Paula reconciliation scene? Maybe my fave of the season.

If I summarize absolutely everything that happens in an episode these summaries become too unwieldy and large I think. They get a little long as they are. I may also have lingering resentment for Paula ruining the potential Valencia/Rebecca reconciliation two episodes ago.

PS, are you Team Josh or Team Greg?

If those are my only two options I would pick Greg. That's not because Josh is a bad guy or Greg is necessarily a good guy, I just think Greg is the healthier pick for Rebecca for where she's at emotionally.
posted by john-a-dreams at 4:36 PM on April 21, 2016

What a strong first season! Though the hour-long episodes occasionally felt long and I needed to take a break to get through them, I'm so glad I did. So many gems packed into this show. I was thrilled and relieved and excited that the beginning of this episode tackled Paula's unhealthy enabling head-on. (Paula's Turn! Yes!)

When you think about it, the episode began and ended with "scales falling from eyes" moments—Rebecca realizing the depths of Paula's enabling, and then ending with Josh realizing the depths of Rebecca's problems/scheming/lying/weirdness.

Greg was so frustrating but also sympathetic in this episode (until he wasn't). I've never seen it so clearly articulated before: a guy thinking, "Oh, she wants a bad boy who doesn't care, so I'll just do that" and then by the time he realizes that wasn't the best idea, he's totally self-sabotaged. Without that explanation, he would've just seemed like a jerk out of nowhere... instead it was plenty of shouting at the TV from my end.

Team White Josh and Daryl forever. It was very sweet that Daryl was the one to roust Paula from her depression.
posted by Zephyrial at 8:26 PM on April 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

Season One free on iTunes. Tell your friends who were unlucky enough to miss it the first time around!
posted by Etrigan at 10:58 AM on May 6, 2016

So I can have all of Season 1 digitally forever, legally and DRM-free....if I install iTunes?

posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:04 AM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Josh's face at the end was .. going to make waiting for Season 2 very difficult.
posted by dotgirl at 12:34 PM on May 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

* I mean Greg blew it, but isn't "I love you" after like a week and a half of dating a little fast? I would be scared to say that too, but maybe more time has passed than I realized.

They've known each other a decently long time even if they only started dating, and he wouldn't have had to say "I love you", right? Had he said that he cares about her—a lot—as she'd said to him, that would have been streets ahead of "you're cool".
posted by kenko at 10:07 PM on July 3, 2016

I actually appreciated that Greg was allowed to be his own person on his own timeline and didn't magically get his shit together just because it would have synced up conveniently for the lead.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:04 AM on July 13, 2016

Greg is Xander from Buffy done right. Insecure and flawed and probably bad boyfriend material, but the show understands that. It gets that he has to work on himself, that he doesn’t get to be the good guy by default. That it’s his toxic attitudes holding him back. That there is a decent guy inside, but he has to ACTUALLY ACT decent and not just snark.
posted by rikschell at 7:11 AM on January 13, 2018

The character of Heather may be Indian, but the actress is not - she is multiracial but none of her heritage is South Asian, as far as I can gather.

There's a moment in this episode where Rebecca, at Greg's home, is acting faux-casual, and does a little self-conscious hair-and-face-touch that turns hilariously rushed, and I laughed so hard that it tired me out and I took a nap. What a great performer.
posted by brainwane at 8:04 PM on August 12, 2018

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