Why ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ could be making a big mistake

Opening statement: I have loved Crazy Ex-Girlfriend from the very first episode. I have converted several people into the show and I try to live tweet as I watch every Monday as well as creepily tweet the cast how much I love the show. And I still do, believe me. To this day Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is still my favorite show on television at the moment, which makes it harder for me to criticize it even a little. But I do think Crazy Ex-Girlfriend might be about to make a big mistake, and here is why:

When the show first started we were presented with teenage Josh Chan, a bit of a jerk who wanted to get rid of Rebecca at the end of camp for being “too dramatic”. Even though he had a point (Rebecca is dramatic and that’s one of the reasons we love her) we all as women have heard that before: men get scared of us reacting the way they don’t expect us to and then suddenly we are dramatic. It’s a scene that immediately makes you side with Rebecca and her heartbreak and think “he didn’t deserve her anyway!”. But then in present-time we see a very different Josh Chan, one that when he sees Rebecca tells her she was kind of the one that got away and sparks all kinds of feelings into a woman who was literally in the middle of a nervous breakdown over a miserable life in New York she never wanted for herself.

So she follows Josh into West Covina, California, because she projects her dreams and hopes of happiness into him. He represents a time when things were easy for once and she was truly happy. We are not supposed to see Josh as any other thing than that: an object of desire that catalyzes this big change in Rebecca. He is merely there to be chased, followed and stalked until Rebecca ultimately realizes that it’s not healthy for her to do it and moves on.

Then we meet Greg. They meet as she looks for Josh, he asks her out, beautiful and charming Greg and they end up making out only for him to realize she clearly has some feelings for Josh, who happens to be his friend. He is clearly heartbroken over this, but he still offers Rebecca his friendship. Immediately as the audience, we know: Josh is the dream. Greg is the reality. Greg is real and flawed and obviously she is gonna end up with him. Josh will be nothing but a stepping stone in her way to recovery!

But then something happened: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend made of both Josh and Greg two well-rounded, realistic characters with their own development, their own stories and their own issues. And the thing is… Greg kind of sucks.

After months of development, Rebecca is finally in the right path: she realizes Josh doesn’t love her after they kiss and she overhears him telling Valencia about it. She gets on a plane ready to go back to her old miserable life in New York when has an epiphany that she’s actually made the people in her life in West Covina care about her. She also finally realizes that Greg has always been there, caring for her, secretly.

gregbecca

But has he, though?

Here is the thing I don’t like about Greg– he is kind of an asshole. And not in a “lovable asshole” kind of way. Putting aside what a gigantic jerk he was to Heather, he has been kind of a dick to Rebecca. This doesn’t mean she hasn’t done horrible stuff to him (she did sleep with someone else on their second first official date) but he seemed to re-kindle their friendship and forgive her by being constantly rude, demeaning, and just plain suspicious about her. His little stint with Valencia after she made up Trent? Not cute. (Yes, making Trent up is also not cute, but it wasn’t his business anyway). That is not how you forgive a person. He seems to blame her for making him care about her, which he clearly cannot deal with and then he shows absolutely no signs of it, not even in a room full of other people who are clearly also worried about her well-being.

Meanwhile Josh, even while still with Valencia, constantly tells Rebecca how happy he is she is in his life, how much she’s changed him and what a positive influence she is in the person he is becoming.

I am not saying that someone with a mental illness like Rebecca’s should recover by being coddled and told how amazing they are. I’m also not saying having someone in your life that tells you things to your face is bad. I am saying, however, that at this very moment I see no reason why Josh isn’t the better choice for Rebecca to end up with (if she has to end up with someone! maybe Rebecca can just be single and happy!) given the circumstances.

Maybe it is too early to tell, maybe there is a lot of character development to come for Greg before “Gregbecca” happens, but Rebecca realizing he oh so cares and writing off Josh as an illusion might have completely shifted the way the show is going after this week and onto the second season.

Josh is not the smartest bulb in the room, but he is kind, he is generous, he is sweet and he ultimately cares about Rebecca. He cares about Valencia, too, and that is possibly the biggest issue here, that he has a girlfriend. But the show has also made it quite obvious that while Valencia and love Josh each other, Josh isn’t happy in that relationship. She wants better for him, but the way she shows it is by pressuring him and passive-aggressively disregarding everything he wants to do with his life. That’s not a good relationship, even if there is love involved.

Much like Jane The Virgin has subverted its own premise by having Jane choose her long-time boyfriend over the fake fairytale romance Rafael was selling her,  Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has a chance to change the path it set itself right on its Pilot by having Rebecca slowly recover and realize that Josh Chan, the real Josh Chan we have grown to know and love is actually a legitimate great guy that cares about her and that she doesn’t have to idealize him, stalk him or follow him to have him because she’s won him over by being a positive presence in his life, the same way he can become a positive presence in hers.

Are you “Team Tacos” or “Team Boba”. Team “Screw men let Rebecca find herself first and be happy and single*”? Write it down in the comments below!

* An earlier version of this post did not include Team “Screw Men and let Rebecca find herself first.” Let it be known I am primarily a member of this team, as well as Team Boba. 
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11 thoughts on “Why ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ could be making a big mistake”

  1. I’m totally team “Screw men and let Rebecca find herself first”. I prefer Josh over Greg, but he doesn’t love her, and I feel like it would undermine the premise of the show if they ended up together.

    1. I most definitely agree that Rebecca first needs to recover before throwing herself into any relationship though it is worth noting this is a romantic comedy at heart. But I don’t see how it would undermine the premise of the show in any way. As long as she gets the guy by just being Rebecca and finds happiness in West Covina first, her ending up with Josh wouldn’t be a problem. She just needs to learn that her happiness is not linked directly to Josh, but he can be a part of it.

      1. Agree to disagree. It just wouldn’t feel right to me if she ended up with the guy she’s been stalking and manipulating since the first episode.

  2. I think the way they deepened Josh’s character has been SO impressive. I never thought I would see how they’re compatible and supportive of each other in many ways. But to me, they just don’t really have chemistry? Josh is nice but he’s not the most intelligent, and I don’t think they’d actually work. I’m biased though because I think her chemistry with Greg has been clear since day 1, and I was like FINALLY when they hooked up at the end of the ep. In the end, she shouldn’t be with either of these guys. But as Bloom has said, the day Rebecca learns from her mistakes and totally evolves as a person, the show’s over. So while we make steps towards that day, I think it’s kinda fun to see how her and Greg will play out?
    Insightful review btw!

    1. I don’t think Josh not being that smart is a reason for them not to work. I think they get make each other better on a personal level which is something I feel the show completely disregarded this week in favor of implying that every good thing Josh has done regarding Rebecca instead made her make more macaroni portraits of him. I did like Rebecca and Greg at first, but I didn’t quite grow to love Greg. Yes, he is his own, broken person, but god he is exhausting to watch for me (a note is I absolutely love Santino Fontana, so it hurts to dislike Greg). Of course I do feel this week’s development is gonna backfire at some point, because there is a chance that upon finding out she and Greg are together Josh might come to terms with his own feelings for Rebecca and throw her into a loop again.

      Thank you so much for your comment!

  3. I mostly agree with this review, except I don’t see Greg as worse than any of the other characters. What I love about this show is that they’re all assholes in such different ways. Josh is vain and selfish and a cheater. He wants to have two women devoted to him in different ways. Rebecca is a mess, she can be very mean and scheming, and has disregarded the feelings of Valencia, Greg, and Josh for her own gain.
    It’s that level of humanity though that makes me love the show. And I think it is very in character for Rebecca to run into Greg’s arms the second she decides she needs to get over Josh. It’s not good or healthy for either of them… but it’s what people do. Greg just bows over after Rebecca “promises” he’s not second choice, after blowing Josh off for the first time…. ever.
    Rachel Bloom said this show is about how love makes people do insane things. I think it was always going to be in someways a romance. I have my own reasons for believing and wanting Greg to be the ultimate endgame (including that I am hella invested in Valencia getting what she deserves, ie, Josh.)
    So yes. Greg sucks. Rebecca is acting stupidly. But that’s just where they are now as people… and I appreciate the insane levels of emotional honestly this show has.

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