×

Listen: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ EP Aline Brosh McKenna on Filming ‘Intimate’ Finale

Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety senior features editor, TV Danielle Turchiano talks with Aline Brosh McKenna, executive producer of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which ends its four-season run on April 5.

With the finale looming, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) is left to choose between three guys: one jerk, one “friend-zoned” guy, and one “dreamy high school quarterback.” McKenna says that in setting up such a clichéd final trope of a woman “choosing between romantic suitors,” the show was able to unpack it.

“It gave us a chance to get inside all of those tropes as we were engaging with this idea of a romantic choice being a culminative event in a woman’s life,” McKenna says. “What does that actually mean and what do they represent for her and what choice is actually in front of her?”

One of the trickiest parts of ending the show, she says, was making sure Rebecca’s character was given enough time to find closure among all the other storylines that had to be resolved.

“We consciously started and landed everybody’s journeys in slightly different places so that it wouldn’t feel overly convenient, that everybody’s landing their roundoff back handsprings on the same day,” she says.

Originally, the show’s fourth and final season was going to comprise of only 13 episodes, but when The CW ended up giving them 18, McKenna says that opened up the possibility of taking their time and being “a little more more ruminative.”

For instance, one episode of Season 4 was entirely dedicated to a road trip where everyone sings a Beach Boys song, while in another, Rebecca’s vaginal infections come to life as singing cats.

“That’s gonna sound so weird for people who have never seen the show,” McKenna jokes.

McKenna discusses filming the final episode of the show, which she directed, and figuring out whether to finish on a bombastic note, as in previous seasons, or whether to make it more “intimate.”

“If you’ve watched the show, Season 1 had a big wedding, Season 2 also had a big wedding…and Season 3 had a big fight stunt on the roof,” McKenna says. “But for this I knew the finale was going to be a more internal…it’s Rebeca’s personal journey, it’s a first-person show, so there’s a lot of internal exploration…we really go inside Rebecca’s brain.”

McKenna reveals that they also made a documentary, which is streaming on CW Seed, to give the audience a “detailed look” at their final 14 days on set.

“We wanted to show the day-to-day that goes into making something like this and the hundreds of people whose hard work and love and attention comes together to make something, and how Rachel and I collaborate, and what a female-led environment looks like,” McKenna says.

Later in the show, critics Daniel D’Addario and Caroline Framke preview BBC America’s “Killing Eve” Season 2 and FX’s “Fosse/Verdon.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Hugh Laurie

    Hugh Laurie to Star in New BBC Thriller 'Roadkill' by David Hare

    Hugh Laurie, the Golden Globe-winning star of “House” and “The Night Manager,” will play a beleaguered politician in a new four-part thriller for the BBC, “Roadkill,” from acclaimed playwright and screenwriter David Hare. The series is being produced by The Forge (“Collateral”). Laurie stars as Peter Laurence, a charismatic Conservative Party government minister who remains [...]

  • Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth WarrenSecond 2020

    ABC News Sets Moderators, Rules for Third Democratic Debate

    ABC News has announced the moderators for the third Democratic debate, as well as the qualification rules. The debate will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, and will spill over to Friday, Sept. 13 if more than 10 candidates qualify. The moderating team will consist of chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” anchor and [...]

  • James Corden Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke

    James Corden Got a Little Help From Paul McCartney on His Drive to the Emmys

    Saying “Baby, I could drive your car” has proven to be a very good strategy for James Corden — never more so than when he put Paul McCartney into the highly sought passenger seat. The primetime special “Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney, Live From Liverpool” is a contender in five Emmy categories this year, [...]

  • Starz Logo

    Starz Orders Horror Comedy Pilot 'Shining Vale'

    Starz has put out a pilot order for “Shining Vale,” a horror comedy which hails from “Divorce” creator Sharon Horgan and “Trial & Error” co-creator Jeff Astrof. The prospective series is about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one [...]

  • Bethenny Frankel at the showtime Emmy

    Bethenny Frankel to Exit 'Real Housewives of New York' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bethenny Frankel is stepping away from the “Real Housewives” franchise. Variety has learned exclusively that Frankel is poised to exit Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York” ahead of its upcoming twelfth season. Frankel first joined the acclaimed reality series back when it premiered back in 2008 before exiting the series in 2010 during the [...]

  • Dolly Parton

    BBC Commissions Dolly Parton Feature Documentary

    The BBC has commissioned a feature length documentary about country music legend Dolly Parton, it announced Wednesday. The documentary, tentatively titled “Dolly’s Country” will air on BBC Two this fall as part of a season of programs dedicated to country music. The broadcaster announced earlier in the day that it had acquired Ken Burns’ upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content