×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’

With:
Rachel Bloom, Santino Fontana, Donna Lynne Champlin, Vincent Rodriguez III, Pete Gardner, Vella Lovell

Originally developed for Showtime, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s” premium-TV origins are apparent in its approach to a lead character whose behavior certainly fits the adjective. Yet as played by Rachel Bloom, she’s a surprisingly endearing figure — wildly impulsive, unhappy and, thankfully, prone to bursting out into musical spectacular-type song. Once again, CW, with its targeted approach to introducing new shows, has delivered one of the fall’s most promising hours, with a series that might not be worth schlepping all the way to West Covina over (unless you’re Crazy), but which does warrant happily plopping your fanny down on the couch.

Bloom’s Rebecca Bunch is introduced at age 16, as her boyfriend from summer camp, Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III), says goodbye and rather unceremoniously breaks up with her. Flash forward a decade, and Rebecca is on the verge of being named partner at a big New York law firm, seemingly at the top of her game, when during one of her many sleepless nights she sees a commercial that asks, “When was the last time you were truly happy?”

A chance encounter with Josh on the streets of Manhattan drives home when that moment was. Yet as luck would have it, he’s moving back to West Covina, Calif., a sleepy little berg described by pretty much everyone as being “two hours from the beach, four in traffic.”

The next thing you know, Rebecca has chucked it all, leaving the Big Apple and heading West — a move that nobody seems to understand. Certainly not her co-workers at the new firm she joins, who, initially led by Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin), are suspicious why she would land there given her resume; or the helpful bartender (Santino Fontana, the voice of Hans in “Frozen”) she meets, who, as an acquaintance of Josh’s, might be of use.

There are all kinds of ways “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” could go off the rails, especially if Rebecca’s “I am not crazy” protestations begin to sound more hollow than amusing. After all, her obsession with and social-media stalking of Josh is being played for laughs, when it could just as easily be flipped into “Fatal Attraction.”

As presented in the pilot, though — written by Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, and directed by Marc Webb – the series is infused with a kind of infectious energy, starting with the production numbers, that makes it an ideal companion for “Jane the Virgin.” The main difference would be that while Jane is the level-headed presence surrounded by lunacy, here Rebecca’s the driver of the crazy train.

Perhaps foremost, the series almost immediately establishes a distinctive voice, and sets up Bloom as a talent to be reckoned with. And while that might not spell happily ever after for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” if the premiere’s charms can be sustained, this could be one of those shows that a hardy core of viewers will want to keep seeing for a very long time.

TV Review: 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

(Series; CW, Mon. Oct. 12, 8 p.m.)

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Sunnyside Entertainment and Webbterfuge in association with Warner Bros Television and CBS Television Studios.

Crew: Executive producers, Rachel Bloom, Aline Brosh McKenna, Marc Webb; producer, Sarah Caplan; director, Webb; writers, Bloom, Brosh McKenna; camera, Jonathan Sela; production designers, Laura Fox, Stephen McCabe; editor, Kabir Akhtar; original songs written by Bloom, Jack Dolgen, Jerome Kurtenbach; casting, Felicia Fasano, Bernard Telsey. 60 MIN.

Cast: Rachel Bloom, Santino Fontana, Donna Lynne Champlin, Vincent Rodriguez III, Pete Gardner, Vella Lovell

More TV

  • Apple Reveals New TV Streaming Service

    Apple Reveals New TV Streaming Service

    Apple on Monday unveiled plans for its long-anticipated streaming TV service. Sharing a stage with top talent including Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jason Momoa, Viola Davis, and Kumail Nanjiani, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Apple TV+, the company’s new platform for original television programming, slated to launch this fall in more than 100 [...]

  • La Liga Launches LaLigaSportTV OTT Streaming

    Spain’s La Liga Launches Pioneering OTT Service to Promote Spanish Sports Federations

    Spain’s top Soccer league, La Liga, has unveiled a new OTT service, LaLigaSportsTV. The service provides audiences with free coverage of major and minor Spanish sports content streamed directly to their personal devices. It looks set to be the first such service offered by a major European league, and of singular scope and objectives. LaLigaSportsTV [...]

  • Veep Season 6

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of March 25, 2019: 'Veep' Final Season, 'Barry' Season 2

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Veep” launches into its final season, and “Barry” season 2 debuts, both on [...]

  • Mandy Moore Walk of Fame Honor

    'This Is Us' Star Mandy Moore on Why She Is 'Operating at My Best Now'

    “This Is Us” star Mandy Moore successfully transitioned from a teenage pop star to an adult who juggles singing, acting and, soon enough, producing professionally. On March 25 she is being celebrated for her achievements with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an honor she calls “tremendously humbling.” “I feel like I’m operating [...]

  • Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Jon Huertas,

    ‘This Is Us’ Creator Teases Final Moments of Season 3 Finale

    The final moments of the “This Is Us” Season 3 finale were so secretive, that series stars Sterling K. Brown and Susan Kelechi Watson received redacted scripts. Justin Hartley said when he found out the last moments, he told himself, “Oh f—, they did it to me again.” Brown, Watson and Hartley joined other cast [...]

  • Apple Event: How to Watch Live-Stream

    How to Live-Stream Today's Apple Event

    Monday is the coming-out party for Apple’s Hollywood ambitions: After years of trademark secrecy about its plans to stream into video entertainment, the tech giant is set to pull back the curtain at a media event. The live program kicks off at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, on Monday, March 25, from the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content