Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Head Over Feels We Just Have A Lot Of Feelings Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:48:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 47147277 “These people are not your friends.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Josh Is A Liar & Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Is Crazy Mon, 06 Nov 2017 01:11:28 +0000
Source: crazyexedits

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3, Episode 3 & 4
“To Josh, With Love” & “Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Is Crazy”
Posted by Sage

It’s only going to get worse before it gets better. If it ever DOES get better.

In “Josh Is A Liar,” young Rebecca manifests in Rebecca’s psyche as a representation of her anxiety over the information that she just let fly to Josh Chan (and a church full of parishioners.) Rebecca talks to the version of herself that’s exactly the age where she was left by her dad as she expects her friends to all jump ship and leave her as soon as word trickles down to them about these events. (And she doesn’t even know about the Trent file yet!) At best, Rebecca’s zaniness helps the people around her discover things about themselves and lean more fully into their own uniqueness. At worst, she’s a toxic friend who’ll throw you over as soon as the other shoe starts to drop. And that shoe hit the ground with a resounding sonic boom in this first episode. There are going to be a lot of casualties in the wake of this one shoe.

First up, Paula’s dignity. Little Rebecca spells out for adult Rebecca that if she and Paula REALLY take Josh Chan to court, he’ll certainly air the details about everything she did for him that he didn’t ask for. And she knows that the fastest way to get Paula to drop the topic is to make her doubt herself. After everything these two went through last year to get over their first major fight, this betrayal really stings. Rebecca condescendingly tells Paula that she doesn’t think they’re ready – and puts that blame mostly on Paula’s relative inexperience. To an objective person, that criticism is ridiculous. It’s universally accepted that Paula is THE most capable person at this branch of Plimpton x 3. But her insecurities are being poked and prodded – insecurities that Rebecca has the privilege of knowing about, as Paula’s bestie. It’s nasty and desperate, and we’re relatively used to Rebecca just being the latter. But the worst thing that she can imagine, next to never being loved, is being considered crazy. And she’ll do literally anything to stop this spread of information, even purposely and remorselessly hurt her best friend.

Heather deals with a different kind of friendship crime: neglect. Rebecca is concerned with people only as they apply to her and whatever her objective is at the time. Heather’s whole thing right now – only the consideration of her very future, the trajectory of her life – is so far out of the realm of Rebecca-land that she can’t even bothered to pay any attention to it. Heather tries. She even tries to get Rebecca interested in their “third roommate” Estrella. But there’s no piercing that bubble, and Heather is forced to contend with the unthinkable idea that she won’t be a student forever. I feel like Pasek and Paul are in the crosshairs of this one, what say you?

Rebecca’s other scheme involves discrediting Josh before he can start telling people what she told him. So instead of talking to a feminist blogger about their lawsuit as planned, Rebecca spreads a bunch of lies about Josh stealing from the church, being a racist in other ways besides calling Hector “amigo,” and doing other unforgivable things. And while it may be a stopgap, unsubstantiated rumors (even if they do find a foothold) can’t hold a candle to a criminal record. This is far from over.

Oblivious to all of this is Nathaniel, who’s having an oh-my-god-I-think-I-like-her moment. And that’s a moment he’s tried to avoid with every fiber of his being. He’s so desperately in like with Rebecca that he takes advice from GEORGE (who’s living his best life with this). He gets a slow-jam club track that owes more than a little to the Chainsmokers to tell us all about the place where he can just reflect and be himself. Nathaniel loves the zoo (except for the zebras), and it’s such a perfectly wholesome, weird thing for a stunted adult who wasn’t permitted to have a childhood to find comforting. But neither the zoo or aquarium can help him get over Rebecca; instead they bring him a little clarity.

And while it should be cause for celebration that Nathaniel is finally admitting to himself that he cares – yes, cares – about another person more than he cares about his image, his timing could not be worse. (“The sex-making.”) Rebecca is in no position to process his feelings, let along reciprocate them. But she will use him as a white-ish horse out of this mess. (“Obviously, there’s something going on between you two. I mean, you’re doing an Officer and a Gentleman type of thing.”) Her insecurities have literally been talking in her ear all episode about how no one in her life really wants anything to do with her – how they’ve all just fallen for this picture that she’s painted for them and if they ever knew what she was REALLY about, they’d laugh in her face and abandon her. That’s all in her mind when Paula, fresh from her meeting with Josh and Father Brah, shows up at Rebecca’s place to confront her with the truth and offer her help. Rebecca would rather go start over with MORE brand new pals and ANOTHER new career in Rome, with Nathaniel (if she can get him out the door before he hears her dark secret). It’s one of the show’s most insane cliffhangers so far and the reason why I didn’t feel so bad doubling up these recaps.

I’ve talked before about what rock bottom means to Rebecca. And I think rock bottom is only rock bottom if you face it. It’s the process of looking at yourself and saying “how have I become this?” that creates that moment. Otherwise, you’ll just shrug your shoulders, move on, then do something worse/more degrading. So the arson wasn’t that for Rebecca, because she never fully dealt with what she did. She tried to run from it; that’s what was creeping up behind her as the New York City promotion loomed. And even with Paula holding the proof in her hands, Rebecca can’t acknowledge it. As the rest of her friends show up to support this makeshift intervention convention of loved ones, Rebecca deflects in a truly heinous and heartbreaking way.

Part of having true friends is knowing what they’re ashamed of and what scares them. That’s powerful ammunition to have. Rebecca knows now that they’ve all got it on her, and she just can’t hear it. She can’t. So she gets them before they can get her. Everything she says rings of truth – Rebecca has never been dumb. But it’s all presented without context and without humanity. She strips these judgments of anything that might soften them and it was so hard to watch that I couldn’t do it again, even to take notes. Not everyone with a mental illness lashes out like this, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend looks at the toll that Rebecca’s untreated condition takes on the people who love her and, yes, have enabled her.

But bless their hearts, none of these people washes their hands of Rebecca. When she escapes out into the night, they go looking, in spite of her verbal attacks. Those revelations provoke some awkward conversations, particularly the one between Valencia and Paula. I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t eventually made friends with a person they thought was nasty and shallow based on who she was with or how she looked. And Valencia has to swallow that her girl group – really, the first group she ever had – first came together, in part, through dutifully hating her. But I love that Paula doesn’t try to wriggle out of it. She says they were wrong, and that what she feels for Valencia now is real. It’s the first time we’ve seen a heart to heart like this with the two of them, and it’s a good reminder that Rebecca’s arrival in West Covina brought some people together who may not have found each other otherwise.

Meanwhile, Heather, who’s bad at making decisions and taking risks, throws caution to the wind and does a little flirting with Hector and his smooth arms. (“Just naturally silky. Good for surfing.”) And White Josh and Darryl wait until the search party is over, but eventually face the fact that their lives are moving in different directions. I’m all for hard truths, except in this case. If even WhiJo and Darryl can’t make it work, then what hope is there for anyone? I expected this episode to be dark, but threatening this pair in such an immediate and inescapable way is a bridge too far, Bunch.

By successfully pushing her friends away, Rebecca has freed herself to go out and get the revenge she feels like she needs. And she’s encouraged in this endeavor by a backpacker named Jarl and his obsession with the actress Erika Christensen. You know we love us some trashy thrillers, so the extended Swimfan reference went over like gangbusters. (How appropriate to this show’s audience too. No one outside of that older millennial age group has probably ever seen it.) If she’s the crazy ex-girlfriend, then Rebecca is going to be good enough for the big screen. She changes her own narrative to horror this time, and just leans right in to what she thinks the world expects of her. (“That’s what I’ve been needing to do this whole time. Go full Christensen!”) While Josh, who spent two more weeks pursuing the priesthood than I expected, tries to get his job at Aloha back, Rebecca uses his rapport with Lourdes (she gives good parent, remember) to drag her to one of the creepiest locations in suburban USA: a traveling carnival.

Since Rebecca already sabotaged him professionally, Josh doesn’t think it’s outside of the realm of possibility that she would really hurt his mom too. But taking Lourdes out was just bait; Rebecca’s calls and texts and facetimes were all going unanswered, and all she’s ever wanted from Josh really is his undivided attention. Like Jarl says (and her rabbi and Dr. Akopian and many others), he isn’t the source of or the solution to her problems. Josh represents something that Rebecca feels is missing from her life. It’s something she’s not good or loved enough to have. That ease, that almost generic normalcy. And I know I’m hard on Josh a lot, but there’s really nothing that he can do to save her, except by grasping her hand before she falls into that hole. (Such a good moment, because neither of them are monsters. Just profoundly fucked up people.)

There’s no where else to turn at that point but to a symbol of her safety net. Rebecca goes to the bar where Greg used to do his binge drinking. And maybe it’s because she knows her friends would be looking for her in Home Base, but I think it’s for other reasons too. I held my breath when she saw his name on her caller ID, even though I knew that the show wouldn’t give Rebecca a convenient out like that. But he’s the last person she can think of who’s left to validate her. And the set-up for her ACTUAL rock bottom moment is when Marco Serrano tells her that Greg has fully moved on. Out of options and in a metaphorical hole, Rebecca does something WILDLY inappropriate with the next person who’s kind to her. Imma try to keep the Team Greg hope alive, but damn, my girl fucked his DAD. It’s as if Rebecca needed there to be another reason why she and Greg were completely done other than him just loving someone else more. He killed it, she had to set it on fire and stomp on the ashes.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend moves through plot at a clip. Here we are after episode 4 with Rebecca’s secrets exposed, friendships in the crapper, and two relationships past the point of no return. There’s a weird sense of hope to all of this, however. Because Rebecca finally has to stop lying to herself. All of her carefully crafted delusions are gone, save one. As she walks home, she fantasizes about one of our greatest living vocalists serenading her about this revelatory moment. Nothing’s better than an inspired use of Josh Groban, and “The End of the Movie” is certainly that. Rebecca’s mistakes can be tracked back to her obsession with writing and selling her own story. But she’s applying screenwriting conventions to her existence and that of others, and that’s only going to lead to more disappointment. She has to let go of the idea that everything will make sense or mean something; that no one she loves will ever hurt her, either accidentally or on purpose; and that she herself has to always be one thing or another, as opposed to a real human being with complicated emotions that will sometimes change without warning.

She also has to realize that she doesn’t deserve Paula. Then again, how many of us are always 100% deserving of the kindness and concern of our friends? Sometimes people just do stuff for you because they want to, whether you’re fulfilling your ideal of yourself or not. Regardless, it’s Paula, who Rebecca saved her worst accusations for, who cares enough to set her up for some tough love. She may be a pill, but besides Rebecca, Naomi is the only other person who knows what her daughter went through. And when Rebecca returns from Scarsdale, we’ll probably be watching an entirely different show.

The Situation’s A Lot More Nuanced Than That

  • “And I thought maybe you threw your back out, and I have a massager. Actually, I have two: one, two.”
  • Corset is my favorite Crazy Ex-Girlfriend analog to anything.
  • I don’t know what Home Base Bacon Boppers are, but I want.
  • “Are you sitting down? It’s about Crichton.”
  • “Ah, the smells of a man’s boyhood. I am that man. And that boy. And I have a hood. God, I love it when sentences work out.”
  • Chris is like a MAN.
  • “I re-read The Art of War last night George, we’re way past all that.”
  • “Let sleeping Chans lie.”
  • “Wearing high heels, and a short skirt made of murder.”
  • “Wow. I have crazy relatives, but all we do is talk about them when they leave, like a normal family.”
  • Susie Reynolds reference, drink!
  • “Truth? You’re not the most attentive parent. Brendan’s my weed guy.”
  • “Hey, can you guys keep it down? Penny and George are asleep. They’re so beat.”
  • “What’s, um, what’s her first and last name, and just in case it’s common, what’s her middle name?”

Are you SHOOK or what? How are you feeling after Rebecca’s rock bottom faceplant? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image source: CW

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“You have the heart of a weak, dying kitten.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – To Josh, With Love Wed, 25 Oct 2017 13:00:02 +0000
Source: bunchofbloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3, Episode 2
“To Josh, With Love”
Posted by Sage

In The Office, Pam has a method for cutting down on the number of times per day that Michael embarrasses himself. She gives him a trial run at a phone greeting before she really patches through his call. Once Michael gets his attempt at folksy comedy out of his system, he’s less mortifying. “He usually does better on the second attempt,” Pam explains to the camera.

The analogy isn’t perfect, but that’s Rebecca Bunch and her schemes. The first attempt usually involves Rebecca trying to be anybody but herself. And she doesn’t realize until it’s too late that role-playing her way through life is probably only satisfying when she’s in bed with Nathaniel. (Ayyyye.) The rest of the time, it has way less than a 39% success rate. If only the world could set up trial runs for Rebecca. The second try is the first time we see the real her.

When last we left them, Paula was invigorated by the idea of suing Josh Chan, and Rebecca was listlessly going through the motions. Neither of their positions have changed. Paula loves the part of her job that doesn’t involve her other coworkers, and she’s super psyched to be using her powers for rational business for once. But especially after she hears the unimpressive dollar amount of the fee Paula thinks they can get a judge to hand down to Josh (“That’s a pair of shoes.” “Maybe to you, bitch!”), Rebecca is determined to do something more. Something “savage.”

Paula is still indulgent to the point of lunacy, but she really has stuck to her pledge to stop enabling Rebecca’s self-destruction. But when Paula shuts down her request to plan something way more sinister than a 20-minute visit to municipal court, who’s Rebecca to turn to? Fortunately for the side of her who wants so much to be bad, Nathaniel is making a promise to himself too. He’s disappointed the water polo gladiator inside by getting all moony over Rebecca, and the only way he thinks he can get a grip on himself is to recommit to being the unscrupulous WASP his father raised him to be. This is bad news for the local Korean market, whose destruction will be Nathaniel’s avenue to getting his groove back, but catnip to Rebecca, who needs a scheme partner who will let her indulge her worst reveeenge fantasies. Suddenly Nathaniel is interesting to her again, just as he’s decided to quash his attraction to her completely, or at least ignore it until it dies. But then Rebecca shows up at his door in her best Velma Kelly lewk, and he goes from irritated to intrigued REAL quick. And that’s why God invented Bob Fosse.

I continue to be amazed at what Crazy Ex-Girlfriend can get away with on the CW. We all know the show was first developed at Showtime, but I have to admit that I get a kick out of watching it duck and dodge the network censors. Last season, during “We Tapped That Ass,” Rebecca answers Ghost Josh and Greg’s question about where they “should finish” by pleading, “Please, not on my chest.” (A strategically placed dresser was all it took to get that one through.) “Strip Away My Conscience,” is all innuendo, but I had to clutch my pearls when Rebecca asks to “choke on [Nathaniel’s] cocksuredness.” (I have no idea how they swung that.)

As is the usual with CXG, the lyrics in this song are more than just funny. They reveal that Rebecca thinks of her goodness as weakness, and that she feels like she has to borrow Nathaniel’s personality to be strong enough to get what she wants. He calls her out on it. “You have a heart like a weak, dying kitten,” Nathaniel tells her, because he’s known her for long enough to know that she doesn’t try to hurt people on purpose. (In song, she blames her “Jew guilt” for this.) But she makes him an indecent proposal, and LBR, he’s not about to turn that down. She’s been doing tricep dips. And she’ll even do that thing that just crossed his mind. Yes, that.

Once their sexy alliance is forged, the show embarks on a send-up of generic paperback romance, particularly the Fifty Shades trilogy. Rebecca squeals with delight when she opens the package Nathaniel has messengered to her (even though they work in the same office?), but has to donate the dress to a middle school drama apartment because his sensual gifts are nowhere near her size. She meets him on the noof, as instructed, and he’s waiting with a chilled bottle of champagne. (And the tux and the stance are A LOT. This fantasy is not all bad.) Rebecca keeps slipping out of character; she can’t wait to tell her date that the panties he gave her “sliced [her] muffin top into hamburger bun.” And the helicopter landing isn’t quite as pristine and classy as it is in that terrible movie that I couldn’t even get through with an entire bottle of wine. None of this would be working on either of them if there weren’t real feelings underneath it. Nathaniel can barely sell his perormance when he tells Rebecca that he’s orchestrated all of this for the “simple transaction” of the sex she promised him. By helping her “destroy Josh Chan,” he gets to be with Rebecca but also be the heartless power player he still imagines himself to be. (GOOEY CENTER, NATHANIEL. YOU HAVE ONE.)

At the masquerade at the spin-lates gym with only the most powerful people from South Pasadena (and Craig) in attendance, Nathaniel is in his element. Meanwhile, Rebecca can’t stay in character, either regarding her aloof sexiness (“I get to be the tiiiger.”) or her support of public education. Still, Nathaniel tells her she performed “flawlessly” and asks her to dance. It’s not a part of the plan, he just felt like it.

When the deeds are done, it’s time for the deed to be done. Even though he told her that the only reason he’d assembled these local luminaries is because he wanted the sex, Nathaniel tells Rebecca before they go through with it that she doesn’t have to do anything. (EXPOSED.) But she’s not doing anything she doesn’t want to. And I must point out that they’re making out in the same position that they were in Nathaniel’s sex dream from Season 2. This show’s continuity is unparalleled.

It’s so confusing in the morning, because Nathaniel is all cuddly and pushing Rebecca’s hair out of her face. But when she asks, he’s also shockingly nonchalant when he lists off the punishments he and his friends are doling out to Josh. The color drains from Rebecca’s face as soon as he says “family.” And one has to wonder exactly what she meant by “destroying Josh’s life” if she’s so (understandably) squeamish about Nathaniel’s contact murdering Josh’s Lolo in cold blood because Rebecca wanted it.

Josh is supposed to pay Rebecca’s price, not his Lolo, his sister, or his dad. And the other half of the episode tells me that he still has it coming. The show circles back to the moment that Josh lands on Father Rodrigo’s doorstep and clues us into what’s been going on with him over the last three weeks. As we all probably guessed, Josh’s rebirth comes with a rude awakening. But first, while Door Father fetches Father Rodrigo, Josh has a few moments to celebrate his chill, simpler life. It is some Gene Kelly realness.

Anyway, you can’t just sign up for the priesthood and start immediately handing out the wafers and looking cool. Josh has an academic course of study ahead of him, plus a mission and some silent prayer. He’s bored by the curriculum and so far out of his depth that his reasons for not quitting become obvious to everyone around him. “Are you really going to become a priest just because you don’t want to have an awkward conversation?” Hector asks when he and White Josh visit, and yeah, that’s pretty much the deal. To their credit, the boys are horrified to learn that Josh hasn’t spoken to Rebecca at all, aside from that email that’s still sitting in his drafts. “You father, son, and holy ghosted your entire life,” White Josh accuses. (And a moment to remember that Josh pictures the holy ghost like a guy wearing a sheet.)

Josh needs to man up and reach out to the woman he jilted, as much as neither of the other boys believed that their marriage was a good idea in the first place. But one of Josh’s defining characteristics is how much he hates responsibility, negativity, and any less-than-carefree moment that gets his thought bubbles popping. So he defiantly announces his plans to stick it out. But since he’s contributing nothing but a few unauthorized “my sons,” he’s really just wasting everyone’s time. (“This friggin’ guy.” – Father Rodrigo.)

The two exes finally come face-to-face when Nathaniel’s machinations force Rebecca to voice what she actually wants from Josh. She knows him, for as little as she’s let him know her. (Or as ignorant he forced himself to be about her.) And she knows that he couldn’t ghost his life without feeling guilt, nor would he be able to stand in front of her without feeling the shame and embarrassment of what he did. Punishing Josh from afar isn’t going to give her the closure she seeks, so she ditches tactile, sleepy Nathaniel (*cries*) to get her head right. Staring down her wedding dress at her kitchen table, Rebecca gets an idea. She puts it on to go get her righteous justice. She throws open the doors of the church and finally gets to see Josh’s face when his choices catch up to him. It’s been bothering Rebecca since camp that Josh has never tried as hard or done as much for her as she’s done for him, whether he was aware of those indignities or not. So she decides to spell them out for him in song, in front of the congregation, with a little number she borrows from Season 1 Paula. You know what? Let’s just watch it again.

It’s a lot to take in (especially all the traumatic toilet sex moments), but Josh’s prevailing reaction is the same one he had when Greg told his friends about his drinking problem: “I didn’t do anything wrong! Yes!” For as sweet as he can be, Josh is a complete coward with a perfect life. There’s nothing wrong with being an optimist, and not everyone had to start coping with the unfairness of reality as a child, when their callous father let them alone with their self-centered, overbearing mother. But Josh shows zero compassion in these moments. All he cares about is whether or not he’ll have to deal with something unpleasant or if his concept of himself will have to change. Hating Rebecca after her tirade would be a better reaction than this. Or, as Kim chatted to me during the episode: “Josh is such a piece of shit, honestly.”

He could take a little cue from Tim, actually. In one of the show’s best-ever C-stories, Rebecca’s coworker gets schooled on the orgasm gap from the women of Plimpton Plimpton & Plimpton. Despite his initial confusion about both percentages and where female orgasms actually COME from, Tim eventually faces up to his humiliation. Because you’ve got to assume, though he’s completely oblivious to how she’s making out in the “marital relations” department, that he loves his wife. But before he can change his technique from “in, in in in, up up up, and then back back back,” Tim has to work that falsetto via an “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”-style song about his inability to satisfy, even in “their” favorite position. (“Me on top, goin’ a mile a minute.”)

It’s super-real that his first inclination is to mansplain female anatomy to actual women (I mean), but Tim eventually comes around, and the reaction he gets is so positive that he has to go and thank Paula for savagely opening his eyes to reality to begin with. (“Tim, you have never given your wife an orgasm. Ever. Not even once.”) Paula doesn’t have the time to remember every time she’s changes someone’s life with a mean comment, but she does let Tim know something else, for better or for worse: the orgasm thing wasn’t all his fault. His wife should have taken some responsibility for her own experience and told him. And now Tim has to contend with why his wife thought it was easier to just hit that vibe in the bathroom every night than to tell her husband the truth. Marriage!

For Rebecca, the truth is that thing she THINKS she wants, until she finally lets it fly. Her euphoria over spilling ever gross, invasive, embarrassing thing she’s done in pursuit of a happy life with Josh to the man’s face is shortlived. What she wants even more than Josh’s discomfort is to never be called “crazy” ever again. But she’s left her ex-fiancee with a whole lot of ammo, and it’s too late to put the genie back into the bottle.

The Situation’s A Lot More Nuanced Than That

  • It’s always guac-a-clock, Tim.
  • “Oh come on, this guy grows a hobo a salad and you think he’s exempt from capitalism.”
  • The Professor Snape reference in “Strip Away My Conscience” is a direct callback to their elevator bonding and Nathaniel being an unapologetic Slytherin, it’s fiiiiiine.
  • “I watched Cruel Intentions on the way over here.”
    *turned on* “That is SUCH a good movie.”
  • Rebecca’s dress is hotter, honestly.
  • David Hull’s delivery of “Wooooowwwww, you HATE this.” He’s such a gem.
  • “Four people in this room have the ability to ruin Josh Chan’s life forever. And one can just make it super annoying, so we’ll skip him.”
  • “So picky, sounds like you don’t like anyone’s porridge, Goldilocks.”
  • Maya with the SEX ED, go girl.
  • Love kernels don’t make people crazy, but they certainly don’t help the situation.

Featured image source: The CW

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“Cupcakes from Jesus.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Wants Revenge Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:30:58 +0000
Source: itsbriankinney

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3, Episode 1
“Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Wants Revenge”
Posted by Sage

The Season 2 finale promised us a woman scorned with nothing left to lose, and I, for one, was ready to watch her go off. But when Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returns from its hiatus, Rebecca Bunch isn’t yet the raven-haired vixen whose change in status is making Nathaniel do “weird, girly” things for her. After Josh left her at the altar, our flawed hero talked a big game, but according to Paula’s helpful sign, she bailed soon after and has been missing ever since. It’s true to what we know about her: Rebecca’s mood ebbs and flows. Her depressive episodes are just as intense as her manic periods. And because she lives her life so openly – seeking approval and attention at every turn – her disappearance has the entire town talking. Where’s Rebecca Bunch? At the bottom of a hotel mini fridge, unsure about what happens next.

She should be hunkered down in Dr. Akopian’s office instead, but nothing about this episode indicates that Rebecca is interested in dealing with the the abandonment issues that made themselves heard – loudly – at her failed wedding attempt. Paula still doesn’t know who Robert is, and neither does Josh, if he still hasn’t opened that envelope from Trent. When Rebecca decides to “fight back, fight back, fight back,” she’s merely talking about reclaiming her narrative, getting her reveeenge against Josh, and answering the question she’s imagining all of her friends and coworkers are singing in the streets of Ye Old Village of West Covina: “Where’s a woman’s pride without her man?”

As ever, Rebecca’s scheme involves her playing a role. She imagines herself as a person who does a thing, rather than doing that thing as her authentic self. Her performative comeback is inspired by Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct, but how can she tell that she’s going about this in a tragically unhealthy way when everyone thinks she looks so good as a brunette? (“I have emerged from the cocoon of female submission as a scorned butterfly, dagger in hand.”)

Only her #girlgroup4evah will tell Rebecca the truth. Valencia, Paula, and Heather each have their own reasons for living vicariously through Rebecca’s extremes. And the shared one is that scheming a way to get back at Josh brings a little excitement to their lives. Whatever else Rebecca is, she’s something of an evil genius, and the first and only plan she presents to the group after her grand reemergence at Plimpton, Plimpton & Plimpton is met with even more disappointment than disgust. The girls were expecting something elaborate – a Double Indemnity kind of scheme. (Valencia is cool with murdering someone.) Something worthy of Rebecca’s execution. They weren’t expecting the Minny Jackson.

In the Season 1 song, “You Ruined Everything,” Rebecca encourages her imaginary audience to call her a “stupid bitch” to her face, egging them on with a “Yes, I deserve this!” And there’s a lot of self-immolation happening in this episode too. Rebecca wants to debase herself. She thinks she deserves this, too. And if she poops into a plastic container to send it to her ex-fiancee, then setting Robert’s house on fire isn’t rock bottom anymore. Paula treats her like a child who’s testing boundaries, but Rebecca is an adult on a mission to self-destruct. The girls soon work out that she’s not going to pull herself back on her own.

Either one of the Drs. Akopian would have a lot to say about the Plan B that Rebecca reluctantly works up after her poop cupcakes idea is shouted down. (She does it anyway, of course. Don’t tell this girl who low she WON’T sink.) Josh is missing for the episode, but CXG brilliantly casts Vincent Rodriguez III as a British actor with an uncanny resemblance to Josh who responds to Rebecca’s casting call. And how is Paula supposed to keep her cookie in check when the universe is playing games like this?

I can tell you right now that the odds of Josh making it all the way through the process of becoming a priest are slim to none, but Rebecca takes aim directly at the calling that pulled him away from her. Her “fake” sex tape will feature her Josh lookalike yelling “I hate Jesus” in a moment of carnal ecstasy, and then, what? She’ll send it to the Vatican? To Father Brah? It makes no sense, especially the part where Rebecca has to have fake sex with the guy. And the moment she gets a look at Colin Crawley, master of a million accents, the “fake” goes out the window. Paula has to pull the plug when Rebecca saunters onto set naked and declares to her friends that she’s going to fuck this stranger on film without a condom.

The only person who seems to believe that Rebecca is this new person she’s trying on is Nathaniel. His feelings have evidently progressed from “super quickly” getting their tension out of their systems to sending her artisanal pears and bath products and being genuinely hurt when his gift isn’t acknowledged. Considering what she’s gone through, I can’t blame Rebecca for relishing having power over a man, especially one with a habit for cutting her down. And while I know intellectually that they are a very, very bad idea and both of them have shit they need to personally wade through, I cannot help but ship it. The role reversal is just too delicious, with Nathaniel showing up to Rebecca’s door all sweaty, asking to “juice” his phone. (Sure, buddy, your “phone.”) But it takes one to know one and Rebecca is the “queen of, ‘I just happened to be here!'” Her taunting just makes it worse for the poor guy, who desperately tries to reassert his dominance by parading his Casting Call Magazine date around in front of Rebecca, failing miserably. Cue the “Let’s Have Intercourse” reprise!

Speaking of weird power dynamics, Scott and Paula. Since Scott slept with his coworker last season and Paula agreed to try and work it out, she’s been putting her husband through a very strict routine. Paula is nothing if not pragmatic and process-oriented. It helps her feel in control of the world. And Scott is willing to do anything to get off the couch, including signing in every night like he’s a guest in someone’s dorm room, and submitting to regular lie detector tests. (I hope Paula hangs on to that polygraph, because it could definitely come in handy in the future. Though, if she hooks Rebecca up to it, it’ll probably explode like that time Dana Scully used it on Homer Simpson and asked him if he understood how it worked.) This is already weird, but Scott is remorseful and enthusiastic.

Where it really gets weird is when Paula does allow him back in the bedroom. She’s very much not in the mood, but gets herself there by asking Scott to call her Tanya. Only an academic like Heather (she’s thinking of becoming a life coach) could work out why the hell Paula wanted to roleplay her own humiliation. She doesn’t get her groove back until she…let’s say “workshops” Valencia’s idea to sue Josh for leaving Rebecca at their wedding. When Paula feels smart and powerful, she also feels sexy. And Scott isn’t about to question why so much of her self-worth is wrapped up in whatever’s currently going on with Rebecca, so for now, these two are back to their regular post-Wheel sex sessions. (“All the big hitters were there.”)

If only every couple on this show could be as open and healthy and respectful as the gold standard of TV couples (apologies to Barry and Iris, who are BROTHER AND SISTER), White Josh and Darryl. When last we left the pair, Darryl countered WhiJo’s anti-marriage stance by suggesting they have a baby together. He’s still fixated on the idea, which is successfully driving WhiJo crazy. He wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea when it was first brought up, nor has he seemed to particularly warm to it since. But Darryl is such a pure, eager being; he cannot stop himself from inserting baby puns into every conversation, even when the topic is WhiJo’s ant protein bars. WhiJo wants to take it slow; he hasn’t wrapped his mind about this idea, and saying that he wants to concentrate on this new venture is just an easy way to buy some kind of time. Darryl, because that’s who he is, takes WhiJo’s reasoning literally and decides to get his business booming for him so that they concentrate on being some lucky kid’s “two cool dads.”

The anteater costume is a bridge too far (“honk honk”), so WhiJo books a therapy session with the other Dr. Akopian. And THEN. THEN, you guys, they actually talk through their problems, give each other credit and validation, and work out a compromise. Darryl will ease up on the baby talk to let WhiJo catch up with him. And WhiJo will stop being patronizing to his boyfriend because Darryl is not as cool and collected as he is. Darryl’s speech about knowing his worth is SO important, considering how they got together (Darryl being the baby gay in this scenario – unless baby bi is a term we use now?) and their age difference. WhiJo’s friends call him “judgey” all the time (and god, do I love him for it where they’re concerned), but only Darryl doing it can make him stop and think about the way his black-or-white philosophy makes other people – again, mainly Darryl – feel. I don’t want WhiJo to be guilted into taking a life step he doesn’t want to take, but wouldn’t these guys be the best co-parents ever? I volunteer as tribute for their trial run.

So that about wraps up the episode, except for one small detail. After Rebecca’s fake porn idea crashes and burns, the ladies pop open the rose and embark on a primal ritual that women have been participating in throughout time. It’s called “Men Suck” and it’s reductive and stupid but also healing and cathartic. They go full Pointer Sisters in the ensuing number, the already iconic “Let’s Generalize About Men.” It’s the theme song of so many female friendship groups because we KNOW not all straight men are the same (except that they are) and we KNOW that they don’t all have the same irritating characteristics (except that they do) and yeah, in our hearts we know that not ALL gay men are perfect (okay, Milo alone disproves that one.) But when we’re hurting or in need of some bonding, it’s low-hanging fruit to do some commiserating. And there ARE some truths to be found in there. (“That’s one of the things that I am really mad at Josh about: he turned the smartest person I know into a sad wannabe porn star.” “Brutal but true. Trutal.”)

This is already one of my Top 5 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songs ever, and I’ve listened to it at least 20 times since the episode. Let’s enjoy it again, shall we? This time please take special note of how Gabrielle Ruiz is SLAYING THIS:

The sad reality is that Rebecca is past the point of just wine and girl talk. She still needs serious help, but as long as she keeps lying about Robert and her breakdown, she’s going to avoid getting it. Of course, Trent’s envelope of evidence is still floating around somewhere in West Covina like Checkov’s background check. So she may be spared the burden of telling the truth herself.

The Situation’s A Lot More Nuanced Than That

  • She brought her own chair.
  • “Tell that to my reiki practitioner who figured out I have a ghost in my foot.”
  • “This is what you meant when you texted ‘surprise time.’”
  • “Sir, I’m going to call it for today. My best to Princess Kate, the new People’s Princess.”
  • “My friends all say I’m judgey, but I never listen to them or care what they say because they’re stupid idiots.”
  • “I don’t want Tanya.” “That’s good though, cause I killed her.”
  • The styling in “Let’s Generalize…” though.

Listen, I don’t know why this show doesn’t have a million Emmys. Let’s talk about the Season 3 premiere and, if you like, generalize about men in the comments.

Featured Image Source: The CW



The Winners of the Fourth Annual Feelies! Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:15:59 +0000

Posted by Kim and Sage

My favorite thing about the Feelies every year is watching how every race plays out over the course of voting. Sometimes a favorite emerges right away and the race is pretty much over from the moment it started. (See this year’s Best Actress in a Comedy race; she never was not in first place.) Sometimes it’s a category where the lead see-saws between two or three people the whole time with the winner just barely claiming victory. (That would be both the Supporting Actress races.) SOMETIMES a category is so close that the percentages among all the nominees are so even that any one of them has a shot at victory. (Best Actor in a Comedy was LIT this year.) The best compliment that Sage and I can hear from you guys is that it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to choose a winner. That’s how we know we’ve done a good job.

But choose you did. And we’re so proud of the choices. Let’s get to it shall we?

(Note to the winners: We don’t have a budget for trophies, but we DO have a budget for boozy brunch if you ever want to collect on that the next time you’re in New York.) — Kim

Best Comedy: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

It’s like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was designed in a lab, just for us. A bizarro-romantic comedy with enough heart to balance its wicked and dark humor. Show-stopping musical numbers that had us humming for days. A cast of stone-cold weirdos, each and every one a find. And the vision of Rachel Bloom and co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna driving the whole thing with zany, feminist energy. I can’t think of a comedy on the air right now that packs as much into each individual episode, and Patti LuPone was right (because she’s PATTI LUPONE): no one understands incorporating original music into a narrative like Bloom. If you’re not watching it – WHY? Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a one-stop shop for Spice Girls homages, “too much” women who are trying to deal with their shit, TV’s best depiction of male bisexuality, and sooooo much bubble tea. It’s also brave as hell, just like Rebecca Bunch. –Sage

Best Actress in a Comedy: Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Any list of nominations that doesn’t include this woman is, sorry Emmys, immediately invalidated. And obviously, you guys agree. Rebecca Bunch is one of the most fascinating characters in comedy right now, period. Scared, selfish, vulnerable, and unstoppable Rebecca wrestled with even darker demons this year, burying her deep fear that she was born unlovable in her relationship with Josh. Then Greg. Then Josh again. Then maybe Nathaniel? (Next year? LADY VENGEANCE.) It takes so much talent and discipline to play someone this off the rails, let alone run the whole show while you’re doing it. Bloom has courage and commitment to spare; she isn’t afraid of the audience seeing which parts of Rebecca are her, making all of us the stronger for it. –Sage

Best Actor in a Comedy: Ted Danson, The Good Place AND Marc Maron, GLOW

For 95% of season one of The Good Place, Ted Danson’s Michael was a bit of a lovable buffoon. Nothing could ever quite go right for Michael as he tried to maintain the integrity of the very first neighborhood he’s ever been in charge of. Danson brought his signature charm and impeccable timing to the role and the whole season my main reaction to him fell along the lines of “Aw, isn’t it great to have him back on TV again?” AND THEN. AND THENNNNNNNN with a single smirk, Ted Danson proved why he’s a comedy legend/icon/superstar/every superlative on the planet. Honestly, I would give him an Emmy JUST for the moment that Michael let the whole adorable doofus act drop so he could reveal his true self. The twist of The Good Place would have knocked anyone on their asses ANYWAY but to go back and look at Ted Danson through the lens of him being evil the whole time? The performance is fucking GENIUS. — Kim

Marc Maron has made a career of making his own baggage a part of the act, but GLOW ought to school anyone who assumed he could only play himself. Sam Sylvia walks the line between desperate mercenary and reluctant high school counselor – a rumpled svengali who makes empty promises about how these women will be fulfilled by doing this back-alley job and then actually helps them get there. From Gordon Bombay to Morris Buttermaker (and as Kim pointed out in the voting post, Jimmy Dugan), the shoddy and indifferent coach is an American archetype. In his aviators and dusty leather jacket, Maron plays Sam to perfection, with weary sarcasm and unexpected wisdom. Even when he accidentally tries to make out with his daughter, you can’t help but give him a pass. –Sage

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Donna Lynne Champlin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Ladies and Gents, Donna Lynne Champlin is now a two-time Feelies Champion for Best Supporting Actress in a comedy and based on her work in season two of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, it’s easy to see why. Paula was mainly Rebecca’s partner in crime throughout the first season, but the second season saw the writers handing meatier material. Her unplanned pregnancy and subsequent abortion. Her decision to pursue her dreams of going to law school. The problems in her marriage. The PAINFUL way she and Rebecca fell out of step for a while, showing that this female friendship is the TRUE OTP of the show. (Seriously, when they were broken up, I yelled at the TV almost every episode for them to just WORK IT OUT.) Donna Lynne took that material and RAN with it, giving us one of the most heartfelt and complex and FUNNIEST performances of the year. Plus, the woman can sing the shit out of every single musical genre they give her, from Disney Princess ballad to a Heart-esque banger. We’re so lucky to have her. — Kim

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Tituss Burgess takes Titus Andromendon more seriously than you do. And that’s why he works. The expertise in his performance is that, while Titus’s emotions may be more extreme than most people you know IRL, every comedic choice is 100% character-driven. And in Titus’s mind, a heartbreak isn’t mourned with a pint of ice cream. No, it deserves nothing less than an almost shot-for-shot remake of Beyonce’s groundbreaking visual album, Lemonade.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt may not have generated as much conversation this season as it has in the past, but clearly you guys were still feeling the show’s resident drama queen and truth teller. And the diva would expect nothing less. –Sage

Best Drama: Big Little Lies

Listen. We were in the moment we found out that Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, and Zoe Kravitz would be sharing a screen. Big Little Lies is HBO at its HBOiest. A buzzy novel. A cast of Oscar winning and nominated MOVIE STARS in their primes playing suburban mothers. A picturesque setting and an overarching mystery. The only thing it had to do was deliver. And boy, did it ever. What amazes me the most about Big Little Lies is how it seamlessly blends so many genres. It’s a murder mystery. It’s a wickedly dark comedy where Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern try to out Alpha Mom each other. It’s women being deliciously bitchy over an afternoon glass of wine. It’s a feminist exploration of how women can often lose their sense of self in this whole motherhood thing. It’s about women grappling with the trauma of rape and abuse. It’s about the power of female friendship and women supporting each other. It’s everything…and the fact that this ensemble of powerhouses worked TOGETHER to help each other shine makes it even better. No one tries to pull focus. Every single woman gets her moment in the sun. It’s a beautiful thing to watch…and it’s WHY we all are clamoring for a season two. (And it’s exactly why we shouldn’t have it.) — Kim

Best Actress in a Drama: Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies

I’m all for Nicole Kidman appreciation, but DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK, my friends. She’s always been superb. As the Monterrey housewife in the most precarious situation (and that’s saying something), Kidman brought her signature luminosity plus a long-suffering resignation and an inextinguishable cunning to the HBO miniseries. Abuse stories are rarely presented with the psychological complexity that Celeste’s marriage was granted in Big Little Lies. And though she was being gaslit and brutalized by the father of her children, Kidman’s character – due to her compassionate and steely work – could never be called a victim. –Sage

Best Actor in a Drama: Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

There’s very little I can say about Sterling K. Brown that I haven’t said before. He is the heart and the soul and the grounding force of This Is Us. It’s my favorite male performance on all of television in the past year. I’m excited to see what he does every time I tune in. Because the thing with Sterling is that it NEVER feels like he’s acting, you know? I never see the seams or the obvious character work that Sterling has put into his portrayal of Randall Pearson. I just see Randall. I see his sly sense of humor and his delightful dad jokes and his penchant for snuggly sweaters. I see the passionate love and steady partnership with his wife. I see his devotion to his girls. I see the man struggling with his identity as he forges a relationship with his biological father and I see the way that relationship changes him. I see the deep well of pain he struggles with when it comes to the betrayal of his mother. I see the complicated sibling relationships. I see the crippling anxiety and I see the weight of the world come off his shoulders when he finally decides to just LET GO. I just see Randall and I’m in awe of him. And honestly, I think that’s the best compliment I can give.  — Kim

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama: Michelle Gomez, Doctor Who

This one came down to the wire, but in true Missy-like fashion, Michelle Gomez stole this category from Laura Dern by ONE VOTE. (Poll: In a cage match, who would win? Missy or Renata Klein? I DON’T KNOW.) We have loved Michelle’s maniacal Master for three series of Doctor Who. Hell, she scored a spot in our Best Performances of 2015 post JUST for her appearance in two episodes. So why now? Why did we nominate her for Supporting Actress THIS year? The answer is simple: Michelle’s expanded screen time in Series 10 allowed her to explore new layers to Missy. Sure, she was still the same wise cracking rapid fire Queen of One Liners that we’ve always loved. But we also saw Missy be vulnerable with the Doctor. We saw her exploring concepts like remorse and empathy. We saw her struggle in the face of her former self. And we ultimately saw her choose the Doctor. Without hope, without reward, without witness. I’ll never be over it. — Kim

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama: Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us

Between Mr. RobotLuke Cage, and This Is Us, it was some kinda year for Ron Cephas Jones. And you know we love it when a character actor gets to shine. Cephas Jones didn’t have an easy job in This Is Us, playing the biological father who Randall never knew. There was always a chance – especially with the show’s air-on-the-side-of-schmaltzy writing – that William could have been TOO magic, TOO perfect – a blessing that blew into Randall’s life carrying nary a flaw. But William was so much more than a kind, sick old man. He was actively in the process of letting go of resentment, and Cephas Jones granted us the privilege of seeing that strain. He was literary and FUNNY and secret loves hidden in his back pocket. And he had a gorgeous chemistry with our Lead Actor winning, as Randall and William took turns being the paternal one. God bless the art of the flashback for keeping him with us. –Sage

Best Shipper Moment: “Time for us to be friends again.” – Doctor Who

YOU BEAUTIFUL BASTARDS, YOU DID IT. You voted Missy and the Doctor your favorite shipper moment of the year and I’m so, so proud of you.

Look. They’re in love. The Master and the Doctor have been in love for as long as they’ve both been around, hence the 1000+ year long hair-pulling competition. There’s always been an element of the Time Lords’ relationship that’s been sexually charged, but Series 10 brought out a new element: regret, and a little bit of romance. We spent half of the series waiting for the other shoe to drop – for Missy to expose her REAL, evil intentions. But she never did. Here, in this moment, where she steps towards the Doctor and reaches out for him with tears in her eyes, she was speaking from her hearts. She wanted to be good, finally, for him. And he was SO AFRAID to let himself believe her, but he gave her the chance anyway. Because all they’ve ever wanted – over centuries, through regenerations, and across galaxies – is to finally be in synch with one another. So. Close. –Sage

Best Warm Fuzzy: “Still pretty.” – Stranger Things

Like Cher Horowitz, my greatest thrill in life is a makeover. The boys giving Eleven her blonde hair and pink dress and a smattering of make-up was heartwarming ALREADY, especially in the way they are all clearly bowled over when she walks out. (Also Millie Bobby Brown says more with her face and the quietly uttered “Pretty” than many adults do with a Shakespearean soliloquies.)

The payoff for the makeover moment comes at the start of episode seven. Mike takes Eleven home after she saved Mike and the boys from Troy. She looks at her close cropped brown hair in the mirror, tears in her giant eyes. (THIS CHILD Y’ALL.) You can tell in that moment that Eleven is judging herself, that she’s longing for the comfort of her wig. “You don’t need it,” Mike says softly. “Still pretty?” She asks softly. “Yeah,” Mike says eagerly. “Really pretty.” AND THEN OUR HEARTS (And yours, judging by the wide margin this one won by) EXPLODED WITH THE WARM FUZZIES. — Kim

Best Right in the Feels Moment: William’s death, This Is Us

I knew it was coming, but I still wasn’t ready. The entire “Memphis” episode of This Is Us was an exquisite play anchored by two soulful actors. On the verge of his death, William wanted to show Randall his life (and thank Jack for giving Randall his). We should all be so lucky to have a second chance to let that one person in and to make ourselves understood. William and Randall both made the most of it. Their father/son relationship may not have had the years in it that either would have liked, but they found a more profound connection than most parents and children could ever hope for. –Sage

YAS QUEEN! Moment: Jodie Whittaker is the Doctor, Doctor Who

This is one for the history books. And not trolls nor The Sun nor the painful scrutiny 13 is going to be subjected to throughout her tenure can dull that shine. That’s my Doctor, right there. And like it or not, she’s yours too. –Sage

Best WHAT THE FUCK?! Moment: It’s the Bad Place, The Good Place

I DON’T KNOW HOW THE FUCK WE DIDN’T SEE THIS COMING. (Seriously, give Danson an Emmy for this moment.) — Kim

Thanks as always for your votes and campaigns! Discuss your feelings on the winners in the comments!

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Vote for the Fourth Annual Feelies! Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:00:57 +0000

Posted by Kim and Sage

It’s that time of year, you guys! The Emmy Nominations were announced earlier this month, and while there were many things we were happy about, inevitably we were left screaming into the void about how so many brilliant performances were ignored. Never fear, dear readers, the Fourth Annual Feelies are here to right the wrongs of the Emmys. Sure, many of our nominees are on the Emmy list because some performances are indisputable in their merit. But we also want to shine a light on the unsung heroes of the television season and give those performances the recognition they deserve.

We may pick the nominees, but the winners are in YOUR hands. Vote with your hearts, people. Campaign for your favorites and rally your respective fandoms. You can vote once an hour and the polls will close at 10 AM on Saturday, August 5th. Go forth and crown your champions!

Best Comedy

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
The Good Place
Jane the Virgin

Sage: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend blew up its entire premise at the end of an excellent Season 2, meaning that the entire madcap series has been operating on more levels than Rebecca Bunch has neuroses the ENTIRE TIME. As CXG inched towards that literal and metaphorical cliff, it hit us with bravely human and feminist storytelling (Paula’s abortion), transcendent musical parody (the dinosaur drug ballet, plus everything else), and a healthy dose of “Period Sex.” Things were not what they seemed in The Good Placeanother Mike Schur triumph, though any locale that’s home to as many philosophy jokes as fart jokes is so fine by me. And the showrunner kept things motoring smoothly on Brooklyn Nine-Ninereliably funny and good-hearted. The more we get to know the characters, the more organic that comedy feels, and the harder those signature cliffhangers hit.

Kim: There was clearly something in the water over at the CW this season because two-time Feelies champ Jane the Virgin completely blew its premise up in Season 3; first with Jane FINALLY giving her flower to Michael, and second when Michael DIED in the middle of the season and they fast-forwarded three years. It was a BOLD move and one that not many shows would be able to pull off, but JTV kept its heart and humor intact, even when it took our heroine to the darkest of places. GLOW was everything we wanted it to be and more: a fabulous and diverse ensemble of ladies, Marc Maron rocking a fabulous ‘stache, and complicated female friendships being worked out through kicking each other’s asses in the wrestling ring. The kick-ass 80’s setting is just a bonus. *Bangs pots and pans* SPEECHLESS IS A GIFT. The family sitcom can often straddle the line of being too saccharine and feel-good; the fact that Speechless centers around a family with a special needs child ups the potential of every episode feeling like an after-school special. But Speechless never goes there; it unflinchingly pokes fun at but never MAKES FUN of or coddles JJ. The ensemble is seamless, proving all season that any combination of characters works. Why aren’t you all watching?


Best Drama

American Gods
Big Little Lies
The Crown
Doctor Who
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This Is Us

Kim: We’re suckers for lavish British period dramas, but what makes The Crown so good is that it takes stories we know the endings to and makes them feel real and immediate. The Royal Family IS a living soap opera but The Crown humanizes them while also shining a light on JUST how fierce a woman Queen Elizabeth II is as she navigates a world where The Men are used to running things and not taking orders from a woman. Big Little Lies could have easily presented the moms of Monterrey as Stepford-y one-dimensional caricatures where friendships turn on a dime and everyone bitches about each other behind their backs. Instead, it presented fully-rounded women who were ferocious in their devotion to each other and never judged each other, no matter what horrible situations they found themselves in. It’s a thrilling ensemble of some of our best actresses, and what makes it so magical is that they worked together as opposed to trying to outshine each other. This Is Us fills the family drama void that was left when Parenthood went off the air. It’s shamelessly sentimental and often emotionally manipulative but it works because of its stellar ensemble and the way they ground their characters in the reality of their world.

Sage: If anyone but Bryan Fuller had been at the helm, I would have had a lot to fear about the TV adaptation of one of my favorite novels of all time. But American Gods has all the reverence and panache of Hannibal, plus another gorgeously talented cast of actors. Sometimes it’s a dream, sometimes it’s a nightmare — but the uncensored tribute to Neil Gaiman’s work is always a poetic, visual feast. Peter Capaldi’s last series of Doctor Who introduced a self-aware and winning queer companion of color, pointedly showed Trumpers and Bexiters who really runs the galaxy, and gave Michelle Gomez’s tour-de-force Missy the send-off she deserved. Life imitated art which imitated life again in Hulu’s unflinching adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The terror and exhaustion are real, but Offred’s defiance communicates to the resistance that we too can survive this Gilead of our own making. And Stranger Things hit all the right buttons with its nostalgic af monster-mania. Kids of all ages raised by King and Spielberg ate up the upside down and welcomed Winona back to their screens with open arms.


Best Actress in a Comedy

Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, The Good Place
Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Alison Brie as Ruth Wilder, GLOW

Minnie Driver as Maya DiMeo, Speechless
Ellie Kemper as Kimmy Schmidt, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Gina Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva, Jane the Virgin

Sage: Alison Brie is the girl you call when you need someone to play an overachiever with a healthy dose of imposter syndrome. (See: Annie Edison.) GLOW‘s Ruth comes to accept her villainous alter-ego when she realizes that being liked isn’t as good as being fucking awesome, and Alison’s portrayal (plus a Russian accent that KILLED ME EVERY TIME) sets the tone for the rest of the ensemble. On Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtEllie Kemper has the difficult duty of communicating Kimmy’s growth while keeping her recognizably innocent, quirky, and weird. It’s not easy to show forward motion in such an absurd sitcom, but Ellie manages beautifully. And what can I say about Gina Rodriguez that I haven’t said already? Jane The Virgin faced her toughest year yet, but Gina’s sunshine-y self helped fans see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Kim: We say it all the time but Rachel Bloom is giving the most ferocious and BOLDEST comic performance on television and it’s CRIMINAL this woman isn’t being showered with all the awards. Rebecca Bunch is a piece of work; she’s neurotic, she’s selfish, she’s needy, and she’s incredibly insecure. Bloom never shies away from the “bad” facets of Rebecca’s personality, in fact, they are the very foundation of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and they are why we root for Rebecca in the first place…because she is us. Kristen Bell brings the perfect amount of acerbic wit to The Good Place‘s resident anti-heroine Eleanor Shellstrop. She’s such a contradiction with her sunny disposition and her wicked tongue. I don’t think there is any other actress on TV who could deliver “That’s bullshirt” with the same conviction. Minnie Driver‘s Maya DiMeo is the kind of role that should be awards bait. Maya is an unapologetic Mama Bear and Alpha Woman who is unflinching in her devotion to her family. Minnie perfectly balances Maya’s overbearing nature with her giant heart, making Maya someone you would always want in your corner. We’re so lucky to have her.


Best Actress in a Drama

Carrie Coon as Gloria Burgle, Fargo
Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown
Nicole Kidman as Celeste Wright, Big Little Lies
Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, Doctor Who
Elisabeth Moss as Offred, The Handmaid’s Tale
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Scandal
Reese Witherspoon as Madeline MacKenzie, Big Little Lies

Kim: Kerry Washington has always delivered as Olivia Pope on Scandal but took her to new heights this season as Olivia got that much closer to her dream of running the White House. I can only compare her journey this season to that of Walter White. She is Icarus…and she’s flying really close to the sun. Elisabeth Moss‘s Offred is a woman of few words but she says so much. It’s such a complex and layered performance and she does more with just her eyes and her sly smiles than many actresses do with pages and pages of dialogue. She is defiant and she is full of despair at the same time; she is beaten down but never broken. It’s such a subtle performance but it is also one that shouts from the rooftops. Claire Foy is the embodiment of the British Stiff Upper Lip. Her Elizabeth carries the weight of her kingdom on her shoulders and Claire is so good at portraying how Elizabeth is often torn between the duty of her crown and her personal desires. There’s been so much conversation about how Big Little Lies heralds the return of Nicole Kidman, to which I reply “BITCH WHERE DID SHE GO?” Nicole’s Celeste is such a contradiction of fragility and strength as she comes to terms with the abuse in her marriage and finding the strength to take her life back. It’s such a delicate balance because while Celeste is a victim, Nicole never makes us feel like she’s one.

Sage: Fargo continues to nail it in finding the perfect performer to play its everyperson hero. In Season 3, Carrie Coon is the cop capable of pulling the threads of the Stussy brothers’ epic falling out together, doing deceptively deep work surrounded by outsized, Coen-y performances. (Consider this a vote for The Leftovers too, if you like.) Pearl Mackie deserved better material — we all know it. But she had the unenviable task of succeeding a long-term Doctor Who companion whilst breaking some thick sci-fi barriers. Her curious Bill Potts is too good for the cards life dealt her, but never lets herself be victimized. And Reese Witherspoon continued to prove that she’s one of her generation’s finest actresses in her grown-up-Tracey-Flick role on HBO’s soapy feminist miniseries, Big Little Lies. Madeline is a bundle of contradictions, bound tight and ready to burst, but in Reese’s hands, you can’t help sympathize and root for her.

Best Actor in a Comedy

Gael Garcia Bernal as Rodrigo De Souza, Mozart in the Jungle
John Ross Bowie as Jimmy DiMeo, Speechless
Ted Danson as Michael, The Good Place
Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, A Series of Unfortunate Events
Marc Maron as Sam Sylvia, GLOW
Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Sage: I devoured three seasons of Mozart In The Jungle over about two weeks and was charmed at every single turn by Gael Garcia Bernal‘s eccentric but loving maestro, Rodrigo. In Season 3, Rodrigo goes toe-to-toe with a fiery opera diva coming out of retirement, reunites his beloved orchestra, and gives Hai-Lai new purpose by encouraging her own interest in conducting. He’s so disarming and charismatic, it’s easy to see why everyone he meets is either infuriated or infatuated. THAT moment in The Good Place would not have been as shocking if not for Ted Danson finally loosening the straps of his too-nice nice guy act. The man is sitcom royalty, and I thought he was giving one of the best comedic performances on TV BEFORE I knew he was pulling double duty. And Andy Samberg is another perpetual name on this list, because he leads Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s a-dorable and intensely funny ensemble with a delicious goofiness that never gets old.

Kim: On so many sitcoms where the wife is the one depicted as the one in charge of the marriage, the husband often comes off as a schlub who is completely emasculated by his powerful wife. It’s a testament to both the writers of Speechless and John Ross Bowie’s performance that the opposite happens with Jimmy DiMeo. Jimmy never feels threatened by Maya; in fact, he basks her in power, but at the same time, he never slacks off and just lets her run the show. We need more men like Jimmy on television. Neil Patrick Harris is living his best life as Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events. He’s deliciously wicked, wonderfully campy, and manages to make every one of Olaf’s disguises a distinct character. Barney Stinson may be Neil’s signature role, but Olaf is the kind of role he was always meant to play. Marc Maron brings the perfect amount of sleaze to Sam Sylvia on GLOW. I can really only compare him to A League of Their Own‘s Jimmy Dugan…which anyone who knows me will know that is the highest compliment I can give.


Best Actor in a Drama

Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson, This Is Us
Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, Doctor Who
Ewan McGregor as Ray and Emmit Stussey, Fargo
Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, Mr. Robot
Matt Smith as Prince Philip, The Crown
Dan Stevens as Legion, Legion
Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon, American Gods

Kim: Rami Malek is something special, y’all. After the Fight Club-esque reveal of season one, it would have been easy for Rami to go the crazy route as Elliot became more and more unhinged. Instead, Elliot became more and more detached and withdrawn. It’s not an easy thing to convey emotion when you have a character that’s intentionally numbing himself, but Rami does it with ease. After three years watching Matt Smith flounce around as the Eleventh Doctor, it was so amazing to see him go the opposite route as Prince Philip in The Crown. His performance is an exercise in barely contained toxic masculine rage at having to be subservient to his more powerful wife. It’s so hard to watch but thrilling all at the same time. And then we have Peter Capaldi. I may have had issues with how Series 10 was written, but I have never had an issue with Peter’s Doctor. He brings such a wonderful gravitas to the role, and the way he portrayed the Doctor’s pure weariness in this Series was amazing to watch. Plus, he always delivers one HELL of a monologue.

Sage: Real talk: This Is Us enrages me almost weekly, but I stick around for Randall and his family. Sterling K. Brown immediately established himself as the heart of this show and of the Big Three. He’s so at ease, so natural – it feels like he’s been living in this character for years. Ewan McGregor disappeared twice over on Fargo, playing a pair of feuding twin brothers. The physical transformation had nothing on the quintessentially Fargo-ian doomed quality that hung over both of them until the bitter and bloody end. If the Emmys paid attention to genre shows, Dan Stevens would have been on the top of that Leading Actor list. There’s SO MUCH going on inside his Legion character, a man who’s lived so much of his life believing the people who tell him he’s insane that he can’t differentiate between reality and his trippy, drugged-out nightmares anymore. Finally, American Gods hit the jackpot with Ricky Whittle. Shadow Moon is a stoic audience surrogate surrounded by literal gods doing the absolute MOST with their performances. By digging into that character instead of desperately trying to compete with what’s happening around him, Ricky fully embodies a fantasy lit icon.


Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
D’Arcy Carden as Janet, The Good Place
Donna Lynne Champlin as Paula Proctor, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Betty Gilpin as Debbie Eagan, GLOW
Jameela Jamil as Tahani Al-Jamil, The Good Place
Kate McKinnon as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live

Sage: Stephanie Beatriz doesn’t get enough credit for Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s toughest broad/secret Nancy Meyers fan softie. I don’t know what I love more, her brOTP status with Jake or her lethal eyebrow raise. Betty Gilpin is the revelation of GLOW (and how ’bout that American Gods scene, eh?) — a woman who thought her glory days were behind her; a scorned wife and friend; a mom who loves her kid but doesn’t want her life to end there. Her frustration and suffocation are palpable and so is her eventual rebirth. The Good Place‘s “mean girl” Tahani, like the rest of its characters, announced herself with a single characteristic and then bloomed out to reveal so much more. Jameela Jamil‘s sing-song delivery of Tahani’s casually-cutting “I’m always going to be better than you” lines is great, but so is her exploration of that character as a woman who spent her whole life feeling inadequate, racking up accomplishments while unable to enjoy any of them.

Kim: Last year’s champ Donna Lynne Champlin continued to deliver the goods in season two. Paula went to a lot of tough places this season, from facing an unexpected pregnancy to going back to school to (temporarily) falling out with Rebecca. The reason they could do that is because Donna Lynne always grounds her character in reality, even when she’s working out her feelings in a Disney Princess ballad or a Heart-esque 80s power ballad. Kate McKinnon continues to be THE reason to watch Saturday Night Live. Things were thrown off for her this year, because we were all expecting her to be playing President Hillary Clinton for the next four years…until all of the sudden she wouldn’t be. Her opening as Hillary at the piano, singing “Hallelujah” the week after the election will probably go down as one of the most powerful moments in SNL‘s history. D’Arcy Carden doesn’t have it easy on The Good Place, since Janet is basically a living version of Siri and she has to play it with limited emotion. That’s HARD, y’all. She was always good at it, but when she really came alive is when we were introduced to “Bad Janet” and then when Good Janet fell in love with Jason Mendoza. It’s the definition of a sly performance.


Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Stranger Things
Emily Browning as Laura Moon, American Gods
Laura Dern as Renata Klein, Big Little Lies
Michelle Gomez as Missy, Doctor Who
Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, The Crown
Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy, The Handmaid’s Tale
Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant, Scandal

Kim: We’ve been shouting about Bellamy Young‘s Mellie Grant for years, and we will continue to do so as long as she continues to deliver performances like she did in this past season of Scandal. Mellie is a fighter. She is a woman who won’t be cowed in the face of adversity and Bellamy imbues her with a conviction that makes me shout “YAS GIRRRRL” at my television screen on a regular basis. Millie Bobby Brown displays the maturity of actresses twice her age in Stranger Things. Eleven may not say much verbally, but she says so much with her face and her reactions. She takes the standard “creepy child” role and gives her both vulnerability and terrifying strength. We are so lucky to live in a world where we get to see Michelle Gomez as Missy. She’s always been good but Missy’s journey during this season of Doctor Who was a joy to watch. She still had the wickedness and sharp tongue that we’ve loved for the past two years but she also added a tenderness and inner turmoil to her that took it to a whole new level. She will be SORELY missed. Could anyone have played Renata Klein better than Laura Dern did? I think not. Renata is the villain for most of the series; she’s tough, she’s unforgiving, she’s that mom at the playground that we are all terrified of. Laura brings that brittleness to the role but she also lets you see those moments where she questions herself. It’s a hard role but Laura makes you cheer for her, even when you hate her.

Sage: Laura Moon’s role was pumped up considerably for the show – a great call. As Shadow’s no-good wife, Emily Browning brought dark humor and a #relatable angry-dead-girl aesthetic to the proceedings. And her nasty chemistry with Pablo Schreiber’s Mad Sweeney is to die (again) for. Princess Margaret gets the rawest deal of The Crown, and the elegant Vanessa Kirby plays her anger and betrayal without inviting a “poor little rich girl” designation. And Yvonne Strahovski probably has the most thankless role in The Handmaid’s Tale. Audiences waited a whole season for her to show a single shred of compassion – because we assume we’ll get that from a female character – but nope. Serena is as evil as any of the men in power, and Yvonne’s chilling work deserves to be recognized.


Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Andre Braugher as Ray Holt, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Tituss Burgess as Titus Andromedon, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Jaime Camil as Rogelio de la Vega, Jane the Virgin
Micah Fowler as JJ DiMeo, Speechless
William Jackson Harper as Chidi Anagonye, The Good Place
Cedric Yarbrough as Kenneth, Speechless

Sage: Andre Braugher is the Nick Offerman of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, i.e. the most egregious Emmys snub. A lesser actor would have exhausted Capt. Holt’s comedic and emotional potential by now, but Andre seems to be having way too much fun to ever let that happen. As always, Tituss Burgess had the best lines, moments, and outfits on this season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. And while that Lemonade homage slayed all day, it was that actually devastating break-up with Mikey that defined his year. Speechless gets better with every episode, as does Cedric Yarbrough‘s Kenneth, aid, big brother, and adopted DiMeo. He and Micah Fowler’s JJ are one of my favorite TV teams; see: the episode where Kenneth sets up a fight club for JJ and his friends with disabilities, because he believes (to a fault) that everything can and should be made accessible for his friend.

Kim: WHY is Jaime Camil not winning all the awards? Seriously. He’s not even being NOMINATED, for Christ’s sake. Rogelio de le Vega has been one of my favorite characters over the past three years, and Jaime Camil keeps adding layers to him while still maintaining Rogelio’s blissful lack of self-awareness. Rogelio never crosses into caricature or one-dimensional fool, and that’s a testament to the man playing him. As Chidi, William Jackson Harper often has to play the straight man/Jiminy Cricket to Kristin Bell’s Eleanor, which is not an easy task. It’s a less showy but no less masterful performance and Harper truly shines whenever Chidi is forced into an ethical dilemma. Micah Fowler, you guys. He blew me away on Speechless every week…without ever saying a word. The performance purely relies on Fowler’s physicality; it’s all in his face and body. His comic timing is impeccable and the amount of emotion he’s able to convey in a single eyebrow raise or roll of his eye is astounding.


Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

David Harbour as Chief Hopper, Stranger Things
Ron Cephas Jones as William Hill, This Is Us
Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday, American Gods
Joe Morton as Eli Pope, Scandal
Adam Scott as Ed MacKenzie, Big Little Lies
Christian Slater as Mr. Robot, Mr. Robot
Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Riverdale

Kim: Shonda Rhimes has employed a LOT of fantastic actors of the course of her network domination but there are few actors that can deliver her magnificently wordy and bombastic arias like Joe Morton can. It’s putting it lightly to say that Eli/Rowan Pope is a complicated man…but the magic of Joe’s performance is that even when you KNOW he’s a right bastard, you still buy into him. (Me during the scene with Sandra and the Dinosaur: I REALLY BELIEVE HIM. 5 Seconds later: Oh, he just threatened to kill her. Welp.) Adam Scott is a far cry from Ben Wyatt as Ed MacKenzie in Big Little Lies. On the surface, Ed is a bit of a thankless part, the Beta male behind Reese Witherspoon’s Madeline; the guy who always feels like he’s going to be second best to the ex. But Adam Scott brought a wonderful sense of both humor and vulnerability to the role. ALSO THE BEARD. And finally, part of the reason that Sterling K. Brown is the heart of This Is Us is due to the wonderful Ron Cephas Jones and his performance as William Hill. It’s a testament to the show NOT always doing what I expected it to, because I kept waiting for William to let Randall down and he never did. What made William so wonderful was how layered he was: he was a man burdened with regret for giving up his son and he was a man desperate to soak up as much time as he could once he got his son back. He’s wonderfully funny, especially in his scenes with Beth, and yet he will have you in tears delivering a beautiful speech in the very next scene.

Sage: I feel like what David Harbour is doing on Stranger Things LOOKS easy. But that’s because he and Chief Hopper are a match made in casting heaven. Mornings are for coffee and contemplation, faces are for punching, and Hopper is the perfect grumpy hero to back up a group of rag-tag kids. Speaking of casting heaven: Ian McShane. Could American Gods have done better for its duplicitous, ego-maniacal anti-hero, Mr. Wednesday? Fans figured out this season’s Mr. Robot twist pretty early, but the shock of season 1’s still persists, in the form of Christian Slater‘s devil on Elliot’s shoulder. Its sophomore year saw Elliot fighting against Mr. Robot’s influence harder than ever before; Slater’s answering fanatical frenzy raised the stakes even higher, leading to a nail-biting climax. If we believed in guilty pleasures, Riverdale would surely be one. The breakout of this post-emo take on the Archie story was (surprise!) Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, the town’s resident outcast, budding Salinger, and lowkey heartthrob. Riverdale embraces the camp of it all, and Cole seems to be enjoying adding a little James Dean flair to this murder mystery.


Best Shipper Moment

Greg and Rebecca at the Bridge, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
“It’s time for us to be friends again.” – Doctor Who
Julian comes for Christmas – The Flash
Eleanor may be into Tahani – The Good Place
Rodrigo and Halley finally do it – Mozart in the Jungle
Betty and Jughead’s first kiss – Riverdale
“It was all me.” – Wynonna Earp

Sage: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend could run for 15 more seasons sans Santino Fontana, and I would STILL be banging the drum for Team Greg. But before they closed the door on their “shitshow” romance, Greg and Rebecca had a “great, fate-less, coincidental meeting on a scenic bridge” that ended in a pretty swoon-y grab-and-kiss. Take that, Josh Chan. Tom Felton has joked at conventions that he tried to pitch The Flash writers on a Barry/Julian romance, and would that they listened, because the classic rom-com elements are all there: Barry and Julian can’t stand each other at first but slowly learn to respect each other’s integrity; and then all of a sudden Julian is family, arriving on Joe’s doorstep on Christmas and handing his former enemy a gift while they smile shyly at each other. What more do you want? And after two seasons of quirky co-dependency and prophetic tea readings, Mozart In The Jungle FINALLY let Rodrigo and Hailey get it on, much to Lizzie’s open-mouthed surprise. (“Did you and Hailey sleep together last night?” “Oh, yeah. Yeah, we did. We did, Lizzie, yeah. But you know, we spent more time awake. We did more things when we were awake. It’s more fun.”)

Kim: I was coasting along just fine in my love for Riverdale before episode six happened. I was watching it for the ladies and then all the sudden Betty and Jughead decided to team up to investigate all the shit that was going down in Riverdale and a new ship was born. I’m Dawson’s Creek trash to the core, so I cheered at the DEFINITE homage when Bughead’s first kiss came after our resident Pacey character climbed into Betty’s bedroom via a ladder. Similarly, I was totally into my Eleanor and Chidi ship on The Good Place right up until the season finale when after extolling her frenemy’s virtues (both emotional and physical), Eleanor dropped a “I genuinely might be into Tahani” truth bomb. Listen, there is a reason why enemies to friends to lovers is one of the most dominant genres in fan fic and these two could be a shining example. Speaking of dominant fan fic genres, let’s talk about Doctor Who and the Master/Doctor relationship. These two idiots have been in love with each other all over space and time and Peter Capaldi and Michelle Gomez took it to a whole new level in Series 10. The sexual tension in their scene at the end of “Eaters of Light” was unbearable. Their HANDS. Their hushed voices as they talked about being friends again. The hope in Missy’s eyes. The total lack of personal space. The way the Doctor stopped himself and took a step back. SET ME ON FIRE. Our final shipper moment comes courtesy of Patreon Sponsor Will, who suggests a moment for Wynonna Earp‘s WayHaught ship. “Waverly and Nicole have their first moments back together after Waverly is freed from possession by the GOO, and Nicole is unsure if the loving moments they shared during the possession were real or not. Waverly’s reply to her? “No, it was all me. It was all real.” “How can you be sure?” “Because… I don’t remember much about when… IT…was in control…BUT… I remember EVERY SECOND I was with you…every touch…every kiss.” Okaaaaaaay I don’t watch yet but that is ALSO some Pacey Witter realness.


Best Right in the Feels Moment

“That’s who you are.” – Bones
Elizabeth tells Margaret she can’t marry – The Crown
Offred and the letters – The Handmaid’s Tale
Michael’s Death – Jane the Virgin
Elliot and Tyrell – Mr. Robot
William’s Death – This is Us

Kim: 90% of The Handmaid’s Tale could qualify for a “Right in the Feels” moment to be honest. The season finale is BRUTAL from the devastating scene where Serena Joy took Offred to see her daughter to the way Offred and the other handmaids refuse to stone one of their own. So what moment to pick? We chose a moment that offered us (and Offred) a glimpse of hope: the scene where Offred finally opened the mysterious package, discovering that they were all letters from Handmaids telling their personal stories. Offred cries as the letters remind her that she is not alone and so do we. We knew in the first few episodes of This Is Us that our time with William was going to be limited but that didn’t lessen the impact of the moment where we lost him. “Memphis” is a gorgeous episode from start to finish but the final scene in the hospital just kicks you in the stomach as Randall gently cups his father’s face and whispers the advice that his adoptive father always gave him when he was having a panic attack. “Just breathe.” YOU MEAN JUST CRY. The relationship between Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend was doomed from the start, thanks to antiquated rules about divorce. Still, we held out hope for The Crown to give them a happy ending. (WE KNOW IT’S HISTORY BUT COME ON.) Despite her promises to not stand in the way, Elizabeth didn’t give permission for her sister to break with tradition and marry the man she loves and our hearts collectively broke for her.

Sage: Bones scared the shit out of all of us in its series finale, saddling Brennan with a brain injury that threatened her career and sent her into an identity crisis. But Booth was there to remind her that, though her intellect is indeed one of the things he loves about her – and that she loves about herself – it’s not the only thing. No one was prepared for Jane The Virgin‘s mid-season shake-up, and the sight of Michael motionless on the floor with lunch Jane packed for him lying right beside him is going to hang over it forever. Jane and Michael were so in tune – lovers and best friends at the very beginning of their lives. Neither of them deserved this, which is what made this choice so powerful. (Pour one out for Feelies winner Brett Dier.) Tyrell was a ghost for almost the entire season of Mr. Robot, a rogue operative who could have been waiting around every corner. That breathless finale standoff showed how devoted Tyrell had become to Mr. Robot’s vision – so devoted that he knew he had to ignore Elliot’s pleas for his life and shoot his own messiah.



Gillian Anderson’s introduction – American Gods
Bonnie joins the sisterhood – Big Little Lies
Rebecca and her Girls on the cliff – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jodie Whittaker is the Doctor – Doctor Who
“I feel like a goddamn superhero!” – GLOW
“It feels right.” – Scandal

Sage: “Hey, you ever wanted to see Lucy’s tits?” Gillian Anderson’s Media asks Shadow from his TV in her first appearance on American Gods. Our forever queen was an inspired choice for the goddess of screens and fantasy, transforming over this first season into what I hope are only the first few in a long list of icons. Big Little Lies, they told us at the beginning, was about a death. But it was really about women – what they go through, how they cope, and the systems they set in place with each other to ensure their survival. At that fateful Audrey and Elvis school event, the explosive, abusive marriage of Celeste and Perry reaches a critical point, and with the rest of our heroines present, it’s satellite granola mom Bonnie who steps up to show where her loyalties lie. I’m sure I’m not the only one who cried during Betty Gilpin’s season finale monologue in GLOWa specific but SO universal speech that could only have been written by a woman. Ridiculed for her new job by her sad, philandering husband, Debbie reclaims her body and herself and tells him where to stick it.

Kim: Even after all the hints Steven Moffat dropped about the future of Doctor Who being female, we still didn’t believe that it would ACTUALLY happen. We all sat with bated breath on July 16th as the teaser introducing the new Doctor was revealed. Lo and behold, we got a glimpse of a female hand and then the camera panned up to reveal Broadchurch‘s Jodie Whittaker. The TARDIS appeared and she gave a mischievous grin. She’s the Doctor already, y’all. As much as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has been about Rebecca’s quest, it’s ALSO been about Rebecca finding her tribe of misfit girlfriends. For me the most enduring image of season 2 will be Rebecca and her girl-gang on the cliff after Josh Chan jilts her. “It’s my fault,” Rebecca confesses. “It’s my fault they don’t love me.” And then Paula, the most loyal, is like “Fuck that noise.” “Stop it. You hear me? This is not your fault. You have done nothing wrong. Josh is the one to blame. All these men…they are the ones to blame.” It’s such a moment of rage and a moment of collective strength. “Josh Chan must be destroyed.” “What did you have in mind?” YAS QUEEN YAS. Dark!Olivia Pope is my favorite Olivia Pope. Season Six of Scandal blissfully focused on Olivia’s quest for power and GOD was it satisfying to see her scheme and manipulate her way into The White House. “How does it feel to be the most powerful person in the world?” Cyrus asks her on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. “Right,” Olivia says decisively. “It feels right.” FUCK YEAH IT DOES. 


Best Warm Fuzzy Moment

Brennan’s Birthday – Bones
Doug Judy does good – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Eleanor thanks Chidi – The Good Place
Xo and Ro’s Wedding – Jane the Virgin
Maya comes to camp – Speechless
“Still Pretty” – Stranger Things

Kim: If your heart didn’t explode with the warm fuzzies when Xiomara and Rogelio FINALLY tied the knot on Jane the Virgin, you may want to have your heart checked out. It may not have been the perfect wedding that Xiomara dreamed of, but yet it was the perfect wedding for THEM. One of the signatures of Speechless‘ first season was the way they could always knock you on your ass with an emotional moment. (Seriously…for a comedy, I sure did cry a lot over it this year.) There were tons of good moments, but Maya helicoptering to camp so she could wish JJ a good summer took the cake. There were a lot of warm fuzzies in the farewell season of Bones, but the winner here was when Brennan revealed ON HER BIRTHDAY that she was the one who had put Angela forward for a genius grant and that she had written a dazzling recommendation for Daisy’s dream job. The art of Temperance Brennan is that while she may come off blunt and unemotional, the truth is that she has the biggest heart out of all of them.

Sage: It’s a truth universally acknowledged that whenever Jake Peralta puts his trust in small-time crook Doug Judy, Doug Judy will take that trust and whatever money’s on the table and disappear. But in this season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Doug actually came through for his trusting puppy of an opponent, proving that Jake’s goodness can wear down anyone over time. Eleanor and Chidi may be soulmates after all. After the myth of The Good Place came crashing down, Eleanor still thanked her hell-roommate for everything he did to help her be a better person. (“I was dropped into a cave, and you were my flashlight.”) And since Chidi was sentenced to The Bad Place, in part, for being a bad friend, this must have meant a lot. The real evil of Stranger Things isn’t the demogorgon. It’s the men and women who steal childhoods to advance their science. So to see Eleven connect with kids her own age and try to recapture some of that was completely heartbreaking. Now please, can she make it back in time for the Snow Ball??


Best “What the FUCK?!” Moment

Emmit kills Ray – Fargo
It’s the Bad Place – The Good Place
Wes is under the sheet – How to Get Away With Murder
The Lenny reveal – Legion
Cyrus is pulling the strings – Scandal
The Big Three reveal – This Is Us

Sage: Death is a given in any season of Fargo, but the Emmit’s accidental stabbing of his slimey but lovable brother JUST as the two were working towards a reconciliation is a great example of the cosmic punishments this series loves to dole out. The Good Place, man. I should have seen it coming. The first time I thought, “Huh, Tahani seems like kind of a pill,” I should have KNOWN. The show’s dirty secret was expertly weaved in from the very first moment. But I didn’t catch it, and neither did you, and this twist will go down in HISTORY. Just try to take your eye off of Aubrey Plaza’s Legion character when she’s on-screen. One of the funniest women we know transformed herself into a twitchy seductress who turned out to be the very manifestation of malevolence and evil. No big.

Kim: Of the Keating Five, Wes has always been the protagonist. He was our entry into the twisted world of Annalise Keating and he has always been the one that the stories have come back to. So IMAGINE our shock and awe when they pulled the sheet back on How to Get Away with Murder to reveal that he was the one who had died in the fire. Most of the pilot of This Is Us plays out as a standard drama with four interconnected storylines. Our jaws hit the floor in the final moments when the camera pulled back on Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack Pearson to reveal that he was in a hospital in the 80’s and that those three other characters we had gotten to know over the course of the hour were his KIDS. Cyrus Beene has always been an evil mastermind on Scandal but all season it seemed like he had been the victim of the power struggle for the next White House. The reveal that HE had been the one that had planted the assassination idea in Luna Vargas’ mind? That’s the Scandal we all know and love.

Who will be your champions? Get to voting so we can find out!

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“She’s just a girl in love.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith? Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:46:07 +0000
Source: msjessicaday

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 13
“Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith?”
Posted by Sage

Ah, the season finale wedding. A classic move. (This is actually Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s second consecutive season-ending nuptials, though last year’s couple were both minor characters.) There are only so many surprises to be pulled with a rom-com plot point like this. I thought I’d seen them all. But, in its unlimited, deconstructive genius, CXG leaned into its ruthlessness and blew up the whole damn thing. Josh and Rebecca’s dream wedding nearly ends with Rebecca hurling herself off the scenic cliff where she and the “man of her dreams” are supposed to take their photos. And that’s not even the most shocking thing that occurs.

Source: bunchofbloom

Rachel Bloom apparently has a five-year plan for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. And since it’s taken two full seasons to even unpack the title of the show, we’re really in for it. “Can Josh Take a Leap of Faith” reveals that Rebecca isn’t JOSH’S crazy ex, she’s Robert’s. “Who the Dickens is Robert?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Robert is a spineless piece of shit straight outta the daddy issues playbook. A professor at Harvard Law, Robert slept with Rebecca, promised to leave his wife for her, and then unceremoniously dumped her, because hello, he was never planning on uprooting his life for the silly kid. (“You’re right, you’re right, I know you’re right.”) Rebecca’s attachment to Robert is one of the many instances in which the abandonment issues she got from her “garbage father” have reared their ugly head. And with Silas Bunch in town for the wedding, all of it comes screaming back.

It’s so painful to watch someone exert the majority of the effort while hoping against hope that their one-sided relationship won’t always be that way. Rebecca is reduced to frantic self-loathing in the presence of her dad who obviously has no qualms about being so casually cruel with her. In the opening of the episode, she sends the “Westchester Sperm Machine” a text to test the waters that mirrors the one that she oh-so-breezily sent Josh in the pilot. (“Well….buzz! *Bee emoticon.*”) She’s never stopped chasing either of them, not really – not in her beautiful, imbalanced brain. And sure, her dad still seems distant. But when he gets a load of Rebecca in the supremely normal context of a heterosexual wedding, well, that might be “the version of [her] he’ll stick around for.” All her hopes for the future are right there in “Rebecca’s Reprise,” a song that foreshadows so much tragedy I yelled at her through the TV to run. Run while she still could.

Silas isn’t worth what Rebecca’s putting herself through on his behalf, and someone has to get through to her on this. But Naomi’s advice to Rebecca isn’t about Rebecca. It’s about how Silas wronged HER and her annoyance that Rebecca still favors him. (“What about my mother daughter dance? You know how fast I pick up choreo.”) Trusty Paula comes through with a reality check that’s at least a little unbiased. She cautions Rebecca not to raise her expectations too high for this single interaction with her historically deadbeat dad, who’s not “a completely different person” than the guy from a few days ago who only decided to come to his only daughter’s wedding because a private plane pulled up outside his door. But Rebecca is too caught up in fantasies of father-daughter dances and many holiday visits with “the two most important men” in her life to float back down.

Source: bunchofbloom

If there’s a villain in Rebecca’s own story, it’s Silas Bunch. He should be groveling at her feet for walking away from her when he did; instead, he feeds into her insecurities by never moving beyond politeness and continuing to withhold the approval she craves so badly that the lack of it has dominated her entire life. Dr. Akopian can once again see the light at the end of the tunnel when Rebecca tells her the ghastly truth of why Silas even bothered to show up: he needs money for his other kid’s braces, and Rebecca is a big-time lawyer. Her shrink begs Rebecca to let go of the loving father fantasy completely; her dad has shown his true colors and will never, ever change. Instead, Rebecca shows up to his hotel room with 14 Father’s Day cards, apologies for being the “needy kid” who caused him to run away, and a check. He’ll stay for the wedding. But then he’ll disappear, and the cycle will continue. Rebecca will keep believing that it was up to her – a child – to make her dad want to be around her. And that the responsibility still lies with her.

Everyone listen to White Josh. Source: crazyexedits

While Rebecca battles her childhood demons, Josh is trying to warm his cold feet. And the way his story plays out here is so unexpected yet SO in character. He’s spooked by the Robert talk, because Josh is afraid that he doesn’t REALLY know Rebecca. And of course, he doesn’t. She’s never shown him her real self for more than a few hours at a time. Josh drops the loaded name around the family, but can’t make out the whole story. Silas tells Josh Robert had something to do with Harvard Law, and that he only knows that because it was supposed to be a secret from him, not because he actually cares about Rebecca’s welfare. (Fuck OFF, Silas, you son of a bitch.) Naomi lies directly to Josh’s face and tells him that Robert was the name of Rebecca’s beloved dog who “got those lumps dogs get.”

Adrift, Josh turns to his bro and spiritual leader, Father Brah. He’s a good, smart guy and he really cares about Josh’s happiness. It’s good advice that Brah gives him when Josh asks if he should swallow his concerns. If he’s really going through something, Josh should go straight to Rebecca with his problems. “She’s the one you wanna face them with, right?” Brah asks. He then gently informs Josh about a pattern that’s obvious to everyone who’s been playing along at home: his usual strategy is to pin his hopes on the nearest cute girl, envisioning her (in this case, Sarah the basketball coach) as some problem-solving angel. Rebecca and Josh are more alike than either of them know.

Source: bunchofbloom

Josh is grateful for Brah’s sound counsel. TOO grateful even. And the hints of what’s coming have been planted throughout the season, not just this episode. He’s overwhelmed by the emotional complexities of other people. He’s felt purposeless. His anxiety plagues him. And there’s this offer on the table that’s meant to take all of that away and streamline his life. Josh listens to Brah talk about how easy it was to decide to “marry Jesus.” He wants to be that sure of ANYTHING. And the free t-shirt? Well, that’s a plus too.

Source: bunchofbloom


Rebecca worries constantly that the way that she is – the inner truth of her – will drive people away, just like she thinks it did her dad. And in the end, that’s not what happens with Josh. It’s his own issues that send him driving far from that wedding and to Father Rodrigo to sign up with the church. And he has actual legal proof of Rebecca’s crazy in his hand, thanks to her stalker. (Trent is one man that love her unconditionally, I’ll give him that.)

Source: bunchofbloom
Though he’s tempted, Josh just throws the envelope away. Don’t get me wrong: leaving a girl at the altar is a trash move, no matter what your reasons. But in this case, Josh isn’t only jilting Rebecca. He’s making a snap decision to change his entire life, much like Rebecca did when she moved across the country to escape a high-pressure existence she hated.

Source: bunchofbloom

Good intentions or no, Josh’s abandonment combined with her dad’s continued fuckboy-ness send Rebecca back to the night when Robert broke her heart. Her original West Covina house isn’t the first building she’s burned down in a cleansing ex-boyfriend blaze. Rebecca didn’t go to Harvard because she got drunk and sort-of-accidentally set Robert’s home on fire. “She’s just a girl in love, you honor,” her mom says in Rebecca’s defense in a blue-tinted flashback. “She can’t be held responsible for her actions.” All season long, without us knowing it, Rebecca has been dressing up in bubblegum pink to coo and squeal about the time she was committed to a mental hospital for arson. And AT that hospital, she was known as the girl who sings to herself. It’s been apparent that Rebecca’s musical interludes are her way of processing what’s happening to her, but with this new information, the production numbers she imagines seem less Chicago the movie and more proof of psychosis.

Source: crazyexedits

The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend finale went darker than I ever expected, but Rebecca has one advantage now that she didn’t have in the aftermath of any of those past traumas. While her parents and the other guests gawk at her from a few feet away, Valencia, Heather, and Paula are right on that ledge with her. (She has friends, she DEFINITELY has friends.)  Because even though they all may have at one time or another judged the behavior of Rebecca or another woman like her, they also know how hard she tries to be a person who this stuff doesn’t happen to. They’re listening now as she censures herself for being unlovable. But Mama Paula is not having it. “All these men, they are the ones to blame,” she says. Rebecca isn’t perfect, but these guys (even Greg, though it pains me to say it) are all cowards in their own way. And if they want to blame their lousiness on Rebecca being “too much,” then “too much” is what she’ll be. And that’s it: the breakdown that forces Rebecca to FINALLY stop hanging her hopes on her shifty dad. She sends him packing with Nathaniel’s help. (“Have fun flying coach, DICK.”) And she owns her flaws in a way her father never could.

Source: bunchofbloom

Because everybody’s got their issues, man. Everybody. Hector and his mom have a really creepy relationship, but hey, it makes them happy. (“Burgundy. A-line. Very tasteful. She’s a winter. My little snowflake.”) Everyone thinks Valencia is nuts for planning her ex’s wedding, but she’s KILLING IT and having a great time. Darryl finds out that the love of his life is anti-marriage, but he’d rather re-envision their life together than live it without him. Paula lives vicariously through Rebecca and indulges her to the point of lunacy, but she loves her like crazy. Nathaniel can’t get out from under his father’s shadow, but he CAN kick Rebecca’s dad’s ass to coach. Heather is the face of a douche, but she’s paying off her student loans. Sanity and insanity, normal and weird – they aren’t the black and white areas Rebecca believes that they are.

All this just leaves just one loose end: however will Father Josh pay for this treachery? Season 3 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is all set up to be the “don’t get mad, get even” season, and I am HERE for it. It’s her wedding day, and Rebecca ends it as she should: by holding the hands of the person who loves her the most and planning their future together. And yes, the target of their plotting is still a man. But the mission is most definitely NOT love. Baby steps.

Source: peteharry

The Situation’s A Lot More Nuanced Than That

  • Look at the stroppy baby. I love him:

Source: sancriss

  • Not super necessary but really fun:

  • “I feel like I’m the marshmallow that’s holding together this rice krispie treat.”
  • “Hero. I like saying that word. I wear it well, and it fits me like a cape.”
  • V IS rocking that all-black, HBIC wedding planner look. As I knew she would.
  • “Sorry, I don’t know what people know what words.”
  • “I can’t actually talk to you while your chest is twerking.”
  • “I will take his husky limbs into my hands and I will RIP THEM APART.”
  • Digging that A Series Of Unfortunate Events pullback.

This hiatus is going to be MURDER. How’d you like the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend finale? Let us know in the comments!

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“how to plan a normal wedding please help” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Is Josh Free in Two Weeks? Fri, 03 Feb 2017 21:14:49 +0000
Source: bunchofbloom
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 12
“Is Josh Free in Two Weeks?”
Posted by Sage

There’s an episode of Friends where Joey and Phoebe argue over whether there is any charitable deed that can be done without the doer gaining something for themselves, even if it’s just a sense of satisfaction. (“I WILL find a selfless good deed. Because I just gave birth to three children and I will not let them be raised in a world where Joey is right.”) In this week’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, various friends and one stranger pitch in to save Rebecca’s whirlwind wedding. And even if their actions are tinged with a little selfishness, they still make Rebecca feel like what she’s always wanted to be: a normal girl. Like you see on Pinterest.

Let’s talk about the four patron saints of the #bunchofchans nuptials, starting with a protective best friend:


Source: bunchofbloom
Rebecca’s wedding couldn’t have come at a worse time for Paula. She and her classmates are consumed with prep for finals, and Sunil is not pleased that Rebecca dare show her vulnerable face at Paula’s house. The resentment over someone else thinking that your best friend is THEIR best friend is so real. Sunil and Rebecca are never going to get along. But Rebecca has grown enough to know what would happen if she showed Paula how desperate she is: Paula would spring into action, like she always does, and possibly sabotage her own chances for success in the process. Rebecca puts on a brave face and keeps her mouth shut. For Paula’s sake.

Source: crazyexedits
It’s not until later when Paula drops by to check in on Rebecca’s progress that she sees what her friend has been keeping from her. Dustin and Sasha’s DIY wedding page only shows the final product of the Nova Scotian couple’s labors: the twinkle lights, the expensive pussy willows, and every possible size of mason jar. I look at a site like that and think, “I wonder how many times Dustin cried from stress” and “I bet Sasha wish she’d never heard of Etsy. Rebecca sees only what’s in front of her: another test on the subject of being a functional adult. Even though she does’t actually know what a DIY wedding entails or even is (“Do I why wedding? Because I love Josh!”), she gets in over her head by trying to prove something to herself. And the insecurity train has gained too much speed for Paula to put a stop to it now. She does her best, asking a near-hysterical Rebecca to make eye contact with her, then pleading for her to postpone the wedding. Rebecca can’t, not with her elevator transgression hanging over her and not when rescheduling would mean admitting to her guests that she couldn’t pull it off. So, Paula changes tactics and tries to take one item off of Rebecca’s plate. But her Canadian wedding gods didn’t have a sheet cake from Costco; they had whimsical bride and groom cake pops. And Rebecca is going to have them too, even if it kills her.

Source: bunchofbloom
Paula’s real contribution to the wedding happens outside of Rebecca’s notice. Because Paula is a protective Mama Bear, she can’t comprehend the idea that a mom who’s perfectly able wouldn’t drop everything to come help her only daughter get married in some semblance of style. Why is Paula’s act of charity not entirely selfless? Because I think Rebecca’s bestie has been waiting to unload on Naomi for A LONG time. I think Naomi prides herself on being intimidating. But Paula isn’t afraid of her, and by god, reading her the riot act works. Rebecca gets the normal wedding dress of her dreams, and we get another reminder that Donna Lynne Champlin is in a comedic class by herself.


Source: bunchofbloom
Seth Green’s guest spot is an exercise in restraint. And some of the episode’s sweetest moments came when Patrick’s quiet bewilderment at being on the receiving end of Rebecca’s nervous breakdown would melt into fondness. He’s on the front lines of the disaster, delivering wedding dress after wedding dress and serving as the bride’s sounding board in the absence of her friends and family. (“I don’t know, I wear the same outfit every single day.”)

Rebecca is piling her planning stress onto the unassuming delivery guy, but she’s also using him to air out some guilt. The only three people who know about Rebecca and Nathaniel’s elevator kiss are Rebecca, her “foine” boss, and now, Patrick. She can’t tell anyone else lest they try to make her see reason and cancel this misguided attempt to love Josh more than she does. Patrick can be objective. Patrick can tell her she’s going to be fine. “Tell Me I’m Okay, Patrick” is a song that wouldn’t sound out of place in the score of Promises, Promises and speaks to any of us who have looked for validation in strange places because we don’t dare asking the people we should.

*I don’t know why men in shorts are so funny, but they are.

We find out later that Patrick also delivers to the law office, so he knows right where to go when Rebecca’s problems become too much for him. He’s the messenger who tells Paula that her friend is afraid to tell her how overwhelmed she is. He needs relief, but also it’s an act of kindness. And Paula’s reaction tells Patrick he did the right thing. Mama Paula always makes it better.

Source: bunchofbloom


Source: bunchofbloom
When you have female writers on a show, you get relationships like Rebecca and Valencia’s — right now, in a cooling off period that’s more about Valencia’s un-tetheredness than it is about a boy. She’s not jumping for joy that Rebecca finally got her man; their history is too complex for that. But Rebecca is now in a place that Valencia always thought she’d reach. Rebecca is marrying the guy who was too commitment-phobic to propose to Valencia after years of being together. It’s something different than jealousy, because I believe V completely when she tells Heather that she’s over Josh. Valencia defined herself by her life with Josh for so long, and now she’s just not sure who she wants to be. She’s jealous of anyone who has a purpose, even if that purpose is something as silly and simple as finally winning Josh Chan. Rebecca achieved her goal, and Valencia doesn’t have a goal to pursue.

Source: bunchofbloom

Meanwhile, the lead-up to this wedding is beginning to resemble the last throes of Valencia and Josh’s relationship. The church basketball league has become an unexpected source of temptation. Josh is hitting it off with a fellow coach, who eats up his stories about how he’s being mistreated by his fiance. Josh likes to curry sympathy by eliminating the parts of the narrative where he screwed up. So Josh tells Sara that Rebecca is boxing him out of the wedding (hey, basketball metaphors!) and leaves out the part where he fell asleep when they were supposed to be making the paper crane decorations that HE requested. Sara pats him on the head and tells him what he wants to hear: that he needs to assert himself and demand to be a part of the planning. Josh dubs her “chill.” It’s the same distinction he made between Valencia and Rebecca right before he left the former for the latter. Ruh roh.

Source: bunchofbloom

Joke’s on Sara, because Josh is wearing that forest green tux over Valencia’s dead body. (“What are you wearing, by the way? You look like the guest of honor at a park ranger gala.”) Heather inadvertently alerts Valencia to the tragic situation over at their house when she comes over seeking “wines.” A visit to check on Rebecca’s progress calls to Valencia’s organized soul. (“Did you murder a wedding?”) As a Monica, she cannot let this happen. And thus Rebecca’s predicament becomes the purpose that pulls Valencia out of her rut. Unlike those wussy wedding planners who told Rebecca that two weeks wasn’t enough, Valencia calmly takes the reins of Rebecca and Josh’s special day and fairy godmothers the shit out of it, under a very tight schedule. She looks like a woman who’s found her element. I don’t know how many weddings there are to plan in West Covina, but V made have found her new career. And she would ABSOLUTELY crush that J. Lo black pantsuit look.


Source: bunchofbloom

Again I ask, can we keep him? Scott Michael Foster fits so perfectly into this ensemble, it feels like he’s been with us forever.

Nathaniel learned another lesson about tolerating personal weakness in this episode. And we’re in a time in American history where most of us couldn’t be less interested in the problems of privileged straight white men, so my boundless sympathy for Nathaniel is a credit to the writing and the performance.

He calls them weirdos, but Nathaniel has as many quirks as his employees do. They’ve been exposed to a lot of them by now, so Maya is the only person there who’s still a little scared of him. Nathaniel finds out for certain that he’s one of the freaks when a homemade broccoli/cauliflower/Thai mung bean smoothie does something nasty to his bowels. But he doesn’t believe in sick days, even for the most serious maladies. (“In fact, most cancers are half-day.”) From the show that brought you “Period Sex” comes hot guy in a suit shitting his pants in front of two female coworkers. Nathaniel’s determination to be the paragon of manliness and discipline that his father is leads to utter humiliation. But now he’s in a place where humiliation is kind of the standard. Nathaniel pooping at his desk may not even be the most insane thing to happen at the office this WEEK. And though Paula, Darryl, and the rest of them have every right to hold a grudge against this guy, they do what they can do help him out. Paula even offers to roll him to the bathroom. That’s a friend.

“Your dad has a saying about naps?” Source: crazyexedits
Darryl comes through with the best possible idea though. If Nathaniel won’t go home like he should, he can take a little rest on his office couch. Nathaniel tells him about his father’s decree against naps, and Darryl is like, “Offense! That’s rude.” The boss is all about health, but he’s running his body into the ground to fit this masculine workaholic mold. (“If you’re not missing a leg, you walk it off. And if you are missing a leg, you limp it off. And if you’re missing two legs, thank you for your service, here’s a quarter.”) That’s ridiculous, Darryl tell him. “Your dad’s not here, and we are.” Naps are for men. At least when they come in the darker packaging, with “Nitro” or “High Octane” on the label. This song is pretty pointless in comparison to the rest of the Season 2 soundtrack. I’ve watched it half a dozen times.

The elder Plimpton picks the worst possible day to drop in on his protege. He’s hardass and mocks them, but Nathaniel is THEIRS, so Paula intercepts Mr. Plimpton and tries like hell to warn her boss of his arrival. It’s too late. His father catches Nathaniel napping and is disgusted by what he sees.

That’s what in Nathaniel’s heart when he hears that Rebecca’s dad isn’t making the trip to see her get married. When someone so close to you is that withholding, it can be a never-ending struggle to let go of your need for their approval. (“I only invited him to feel bad about myself.”) Nathaniel hears the way Rebecca talks about her dad: with high hopes and low expectations. She makes excuses for him when other people judge. This is all very familiar, so Nathaniel goes and does a wonderful, wonderful thing. He sends a private plane for Rebecca’s dad and stands silently behind her while she greets her deadbeat father like he’s the best guy she’s ever known. She’s stunned by the gesture. (“I know what it’s like to care about your dad and what he thinks. Even if you wish you didn’t.”) Talk about taking your own pain and making something beautiful out of it.

Source: misomeru

Friendly reminder that Nathaniel and Rebecca still haven’t gotten each other out of their systems and this little stunt just makes it worse. If Greg doesn’t show up tonight, I hereby give Nathaniel full permission to pull a Ben Braddock in the middle of this wedding instead.

The Situation’s Actually A Lot More Nuanced Than That

  • “So open source. Thanks Dust and Sash.”
  • “I mean, that’s a good-ass hashtag.”
  • Nathaniel’s reaction to Maya’s psoriasis was inspired.
  • I thought the green tux was pretty cute, but what do I know?
  • A Sugar Ray cover band called Splenda Ray.
  • My heart grew half a size when Patrick covered a sleeping Rebecca with a stray wedding gown.
  • “Don’t forget: I know what gluten does to your face.”
  • “You’re the Labrador. And he’s the owner.”
  • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Source: crazyexedits
IT’S FINALE TIME, YA’LL. What do you think is going to happen? Will Josh and Rebecca go through with it? Who will Trent murder? Can Darryl and White Josh please make it official? Please, let’s talk about it all in the comments.

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“Have fun with the muggle.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Josh Is the Man of My Dreams, Right? Fri, 27 Jan 2017 22:10:08 +0000
Source: bunchofbloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 11
“Josh Is the Man of My Dreams, Right?”
Posted by Sage

As if Rebecca Bunch needed further rationale for her misbehavior, the Santa Ana winds came to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend this week. The native Californians warn Rebecca that the weather phenomenon makes everyone act a little strange. Meanwhile, nothing that any of them do in the course of the hour is one step out of character. (Except perhaps for George, but that’s what happens when you push a man to the brink.) The winds don’t blow Rebecca into Nathaniel’s rather nice arms; her insecurity about her en-gaaahge-ment does the job just fine on its own.

Source: bunchofbloom

“Josh Is the Man of My Dreams, Right?” is a subversive take on that engagement honeymoon period and the imagery that’s associated with it. Rebecca shoves, sticks, and plants her ringed hand on the faces of her coworkers to shut them up about the speed with which she and Josh are moving. And finding the perfect wedding venue becomes synonymous with having the perfect marriage. Josh and Rebecca haven’t had one conversation about how their relationship will change or what their long-term plans are. Though Josh – bless his simple heart – does believe that they’ll be married “forever.” Of course some engaged couples go right into planning mode. But a coffee break conversation with Paula tells Rebecca that she’s missing the other half of this experience. She doesn’t feel any differently towards Josh knowing that they’re going to spend their lives together. He doesn’t give her goosebumps anymore.

As ever, Rebecca is more concerned with how their engagement will change how people perceive her. (Hopefully: together, sane, desirable.) She’s especially eager to clock Nathaniel’s response. He’s taken SUCH pleasure in putting Josh down to her face. If an engagement doesn’t convince him that this is real, then what will? But – shocker – Nathaniel isn’t one to get all moony over an engagement ring. As far as he’s concerned, an engaged person is just giving up on the fun stuff and taking themselves out of the game. (Guys think “the chase” is a lot more fun than girls do, wonder why.) He pushes Rebecca about it – how she’ll never be satisfied, how she’s only tying herself down – because he’s decided that he wants to see her break. It’s not a HEALTHY chemistry they have, but Nathaniel and Rebecca are both very determined to pull the other over to their way of thinking. One might say they’re a little obsessed.

Source: crazyexedits

The switch flicks for Nathaniel when the winds blow upon Rebecca’s top and he gets a load of her sacks of yellow fat. (They ARE glorious.) In another stroke of brilliance, the show anthropomorphizes the Santa Ana winds as a Frankie Valli-esque crooner. Rebecca imagines the West Covina weatherman (who WAS in Jersey Boys – I checked) creating opportunities for mischief and meddling in her love life. Really, Rebecca’s mistake happens because of her and Nathaniel’s combative sexual chemistry. It IS weird that they both had a sex dream about the other on the same night. (“Oh, girl who works for me.”) But really, they’ve been building towards a bad decision since Nathaniel got there.

Source: crazyexedits

Paula’s advice is cribbed straight from eight Reese Witherspoon movies and is thus incredibly sound. The sexual tension will blow over. Eventually Nathaniel will do something that repels Rebecca, and she and Josh will get their groove back. (“I’m im-bump-potent with him!”) All she has to do is avoid being stuck with him alone in a small space. (Was this always a thing or did rom-coms foretell a self-fulfilling prophecy?) Rebecca spends the whole day avoiding her boss, but the wind is a prankster (“tee hee heeeee”) and they end up alone in the elevator together at night. The running George joke finally pays off when the power goes, and he’s the only person left in the building to rescue him. But Nathaniel and Rebecca are too wrapped up in their own egos and problems to remember this poor guy’s name. Their forced intimacy is George’s revenge.

Source: bunchofbloom

“This guy is the embodiment of all my problems,” Kim said to me when we talked about the episode. And he really is the perfect expression of “the guy she tells you not to worry about” meme. What should be repulsing Rebecca – and all of us, when we’re treated this way – is instead issued as a challenge, an enticing opportunity to act out.

Source: crazyexedits

Nathaniel is so unashamedly arrogant that one personal detail or kind word from him is more meaningful than a monologue of your virtues given by someone who’s always nice to you. He’s so straightforward about his intentions that you’re meant to consider them a dare. He insults Rebecca MULTIPLE times during his Ed Sheeran come-on ballad, but it just fuels her fire more. He dares question her Hogwarts house alignment, and all Rebecca can think about is how cute it is that this Ivy League nightmare appreciated the wonder and witty English prose of J.K. Rowling’s series. Why are we LIKE this? (Because the patriarchy has convinced us that we require approval from standoffish men and must do anything to get it.) After this number, Scott Michael Foster can feel free to stay forever. Also, I’m calling this for the show’s choreography Emmy for next year.

Rebecca and Nathaniel survive the elevator breakdown, barely. (“Well you can’t be with Cedric if you’re already with Ron.” “Stop talking dirty.”) But Rebecca is too keyed up and thrown off balance by her boss to let it go. She pulls him in for one kiss that doesn’t do ANYTHING to get them out of each other’s systems. When Rebecca gets home, she wakes up Josh in the middle of the night. She doesn’t tell him that she strayed so they can talk about it. What show do you think you’re watching? No, she’s overcorrected again, paying off a bride to move her wedding so that she and Josh can tie the knot in two weeks. Josh thinks it’s a little fast, but he’s all in when Rebecca promises him he won’t have to do anything. (Typical. Are we sure he’s NOT 17?) But if her feelings about being tied down didn’t magically change when she got that ring on her finger, those vows aren’t going to alter anything either. And now that Nathaniel knows he’s under her skin, he’s not going to let up.

It’s almost admirable how Rebecca can continue to be so obtuse about her relationship when an excellent example of an actual marriage in actual trouble is her best friend and future matron of honor. Scott and Paula are still living apart, though she’s beginning to soften towards him and becoming sick of this impersonal arrangement. (“We just exchange the children like political prisoners at a militarized border.”) Getting cheated on is a chain reaction, presenting one indignity after another. Even though Paula’s heart is telling her to give Scott another chance, she’s hindered by everything she’s internalized about “a strong woman.” Even though Rebecca and Darryl tell her that no one will think less of her for attempting to forgive him, Paula is stuck on how it will look and what it will mean about her if she does. (If she forgives his cheating, does that make her the kind of person who gets cheated on?)

Darryl is so desperate to be of use to Paula that he uses the information she confides in him in an unintentionally manipulative way. He calls Scott to the restaurant where they’re meeting so that he and Paula can talk it out. It’s a violation, certainly. Darryl wants the best for his best friend, but he has to respect that she’ll know when she’s ready. Paula doesn’t let him off the hook for it, but she does take into account that Darryl’s only goal was to help her out. Anyway, his interference has its intended effect. Her marriage is her own business. And Paula taking the chance to try and save it IS a way of being strong.

Source: crazyexedits

He’s not Rebecca, but Darryl is firmly on Paula’s team. He doesn’t care if they have each other sitting on different friendship rungs. (“Every day, when I come to work, you have the perfect sarcastic remark or a great insight into a case. And you always tell me the truth, no matter what. And I like those things so much that I don’t care where I rank with you.”) Then he pulls out a ukulele to prove it. This week, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend gave us a song about a real social arrangement that lots of us are in but no one has ever thought to sing about before. Like everything Darryl does, it’s nakedly sensitive and pure. Preserve this mustached man and his heart, I beg you.

It’s A Lot More Nuanced Than That

  • Little Crazy Ex-Girlfriend things: when reprises go to different characters. (Karen’s snake/convict love triangle song!)
  • “Don’t condescend to me, little girl.” NEW MRS. HERNANDEZ IS A BEAST.
  • “Are you guys trying to decide if a dead spider is a black widow again? That was a productive Wednesday afternoon.”
  • “Thank you. I loved Miss Patty and her squishy tummy.”
  • If Rebecca and Josh don’t go through with it, the season finale wedding should go to Karen and Long John Slither. (“That prop isn’t even on the ballot yet.”)
  • “I’m here, stop talking about dumb stuff.”
  • The jizzing creamer was a stroke of genius. Pun always intended.

Just two more episodes to go! And we’re building to one shitshow of a season finale. Leave your comments about this episode and the winds of El Diablo below!




“It’s not love, my dear. It’s fantasy.” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim? Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:49:26 +0000
Source: bunchofbloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 10
“Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?”
Posted by Sage

Rebecca and Josh are that couple you hate. They’re the ones who make out during museum tours, text meaningless endearments all day, and won’t stop asking you if they’ve already told you about “that cute thing” the other did last week. They’re certainly the couple that HEATHER hates. But Rebecca has been clawing her way up this mountain for over a season and a half, so I’m inclined to let her enjoy the view from the top for a little while.

Their first two attempts to be together long forgotten by no one but themselves, Josh and Rebecca are insufferably optimistic about their future. Outwardly. Like on their Facebook, Waze, and Open Table feeds. But this precarious couple can’t escape the academic interpretation of the psych student/Vox reader they share an apartment with. And one way to throw the metaphorical cold water on some PDA-loving roommates is to force them to think about where they really stand. “You know, studies have shown that couples who post a lot on social media are often insecure about their attachment,” Heather explains to unconvincing dismissive scoffs. Josh and Rebecca are putting their happy couple face out into the world so that they’ll have no choice but to live up to it. Anyway: “Love fixes everything!”

Source: bunchofbloom

The lovebirds sing about their deliberate choice to ignore the differences that’ll probably screw them later in the genre that sounds most like happiness crying on the inside: disco. It’s the first real Josh/Rebecca duet we’ve gotten all season, and though it’s a song about love, it is definitively NOT a love song. (“Do you remember back when we had problems?” “Oh yeah! That was annoying.”) ’70s Heather can’t get through to their matching jumpsuit AU selves either, but she does get to look fabulous in some high-waisted bell bottoms. LET VELLA LOVELL DANCE MORE.

“Fine. I guess I’ll just Soul Train out of here.” Source: bunchofbloom

There’s no singing when Rebecca has a contrite coffee with Valencia, just an overdue talk between two friends who once swore not to fall back in the orbit of the same guy. Valencia doesn’t revert to her season 1 bitchiness; she doesn’t cast Rebecca off. But she doesn’t let her off the hook either, grading the current state of their relationship to “eh.” And because girl groups are forever (zigazow!), Valencia even tries to give Rebecca some advice about wanting too much too soon out of this relationship. “Don’t you see that Josh is like, all over the place and lost?” she asks. But Rebecca is willing herself to NOT see how ill-equipped her boyfriend is to be in a serious relationship. She’s blinded by having a date to take back to Scarsdale with her for her cousin’s bar mitzvah. Normally, she’d be dreading a weekend back in her mother’s house, but “love protects you!” Valencia laughs, bitterly.

Source: crazyexedits

Once of Josh’s more mature qualities is that he (unlike Rebecca) seeks out advice from people he trusts and actively tries to take it. Father Brah can’t reassure Josh that none of Rebecca’s older relatives will call him an “Oriental,” but he can make Josh admit the truth to himself. Josh is feeling the pressure of Scarsdale and reuniting with the woman who once asked him point-blank about the state of Rebecca’s hymen because his life is pretty empty except for this relationship. Father Brah doesn’t explain Josh’s problem to him; maybe because it’s more priest-like to let him figure it out for himself. Or maybe because he’s too busy scanning the trees for his weed stash.

Source: bunchofbloom

Of course, Josh and Rebecca fail to talk to each other about their trepidation, so they show up to Rebecca’s family home in New York equally paralyzed by the prospect of the weekend. And when you’re under Naomi Bunch’s roof, you’re better off if you present a united front. Boyfriend or no, the mortification starts right away for Rebecca. Naomi answers the door in her Spanx and bra, criticisms at the ready and halfway through the process of slathering La Mer over her entire body. (“I know it’s for my face, but for once I’m splurging on myself!”) It’s true, you DO have to let it sink in. And can I just say? Mazel tov, Tovah. Keepin’ it right, keepin’ it tight.

The bra twirling kills me. Source: bunchofbloom

Look, if you don’t regress back to your teen years the second you step into the house you grew up in, you are made of steel. Rebecca’s voice is two full octaves higher in Scarsdale. Her palm is permanently stuck to her face. But Josh doesn’t have the same complicated emotional history with Naomi as his girlfriend does. He finds Rebecca’s mom harmless and quirky, like a traveling show that he doesn’t really need to engage with. Rebecca is less than thrilled that Naomi and Josh are getting along so well. It’s a personal affront to her that they’re collaborating on challah French toast and learning about the problematic connotations of certain words. (“I knew it was racist, I just didn’t know why!”) Rebecca’s definition of the weekend “going well” was for her to have someone to commiserate about her family with, not someone who will challenge her unforgiving view of them. Naomi Bunch is a difficult woman, but she passed many of her traits down to her daughter, including her passion for, YOU GUESSED IT:

Source: bunchofbloom

Look at Josh’s face. Get on board or be left behind, buddy.

As always, Rebecca is completely transparent in her intentions. She arrives at the reception for Skyler’s bar mitzvah (after he reads the part about the whores and lepers) with her arrogance as protection. She got out of this toxic environment and absolutely considers herself better than the people she left behind because of it. But it’s only really toxic to her. Rebecca tries to get Josh to see how pathetic and oppressive her people are, but all he can see is a community having a celebration. Rebecca sees every interaction from the angle of her own animosity, even a polite conversation with her mother’s rabbi. (“She’s not nice. She’s a programmed robot who’s trying to incept God into me all the time.” “Whoa. I didn’t know that, and I know a TON about robots.”)

Source: crazyexedits

Even the congregation’s dancing carries a negative connotation for Rebecca. All she can hear are reminders that she shouldn’t be happy, that happiness is contrary to her upbringing, and the none of these people WANT her to be happy. All of this, of course, is projection. Rebecca is always looking to blame her problems on someone else. In this case, the target is the entire Jewish faith, particularly as it’s practiced in upstate New York. And to those who say this show is “too niche,” I ask: what is it about theater goddesses Patti LuPone and Tovah Feldshuh singing a hora about the shortcomings of the Beastie Boys that’s “too niche”?

Golden retriever Josh Chan is always up for a party and for making new friends, even if those friends are dating his girlfriend’s SWORN ENEMY. (“Turns out we both love Dave Matthew Band!”) He’s baffled by Rebecca’s bad mood, and in this case, I forgive him for it. She’s got some much stuff in this place that she hasn’t yet worked out. Josh’s presence alone can’t magically reconcile all her childhood issues with her adult self. She can’t expect a relationship to do that for her – especially a new one. And Rebecca prevented her own good time by coming home without unloading the gigantic chip on her shoulder. “They’re you and if you hate that stuff you hate yourself. And if you hate yourself, it doesn’t matter how great your boyfriend is, you’ll always be unhappy,” Rabbi Shari tells her. Rebecca confesses her rather unrealistic expectations for the man she loves (“He’s not a human being, he’s Josh Chan.”), and the rabbi gives her the kindly reality check she needs: “That’s not love, dear. That’s fantasy.” And one always takes the advice of Diva LuPone. It’s just good sense.

Meanwhile, back at Plimpton, Plimpton & Plimpton plus Whitefeather in a teeny-tiny font, the new boss is also trying to neutralize his many deep-seated issues in imprudent ways. Nathaniel is ruling the roost with an iron and sugar-free fist. He’s usurped all of Darryl’s power, even boxing him out of important cases. D has nothing to do but mope around the office, whine to Paula, regret his decision to sell, and stress eat jelly beans. (Whatever, Paula. The buttered popcorn are my favorite.) It’s the last straw when Nathaniel purges the kitchen of Darryl’s one remaining comfort. (“Que es pepitas?”) This is his Norma Rae moment, and Darryl will be an “emasculated sock puppet” no more.

Nathaniel catches Darryl contaminating his paleo office cabinets and it leads to a rather weak Spartacus moment. (“You can take our candy but you can never take our candy.”) There are no deficiencies allowed. No indulgences. This is what his father wants. But Nathaniel’s entire facade comes crumbling down when his dad calls to tell him that he won’t be handing him the major account Nathaniel has had everyone but Darryl preparing for. Empty, he repeats the platitudes his dad has been feeding him his whole life back into the phone. (“I know. You got to earn it. Nothing gets handed to you. I love that. That’s how we do. ‘Once you stop improving, you start losing.'”) Darryl decides to confront his bully at the worst (or maybe best?) time. Nathaniel has gorged himself on contraband candy and is pounding away on the treadmill trying to make up for his lapse in discipline. It does not end well.

Source: bunchofbloom

Listen, if ANYONE is qualified to begin counteracting the effects of the toxic masculine values that have so far ruined Nathaniel’s entire life, it’s Darryl “Shirley Temples and karaoke” Whitefeather. (“You know…it’s okay to be upset.”) Nathaniel has pushed Darryl out of the inner circle because he’s the second highest ranking member of the team, but also because he sees in him these qualities that his father has taught him to avoid: compassion, silliness, and the possession of a rather soft heart. To his IMMENSE credit, Darryl drops his beef with this boy immediately because it’s obscenely obvious that he needs a friend. More than that, he needs an authority figure – perhaps one with a very dad-like mustache – to give him the approval that his father insists on withholding. If Nathaniel comes to terms with the fact that he’ll never be able to please his dad, no matter what he does, he can be his own man and the new Whitefeather & Associates may run a little differently from now on.

Source: bunchofbloom

Maybe Darryl should have given Nathaniel the number of Dr. Akopian. Because this woman needs a win and, let’s face it, even this broken man-child is an easier case than Rebecca Bunch. She ALMOST gets it though. Rabbi Shari loosened the lid and Dr. Akopian is THIS CLOSE to opening the jar. Rebecca now has a concrete example of a problem that was not solved by being on the arm of Joshua Felix Chan. And if there’s one of those, there are probably many. And if HE’S not the magical key, then she’ll have to take another approach. The epiphany is just HANGING there. Poor Dr. Akopian. She can taste that breakthrough. But Josh takes Naomi’s terrible advice as the most inopportune time. He bursts into Rebecca’s session with the Garfinkel ring (What kind of disrespect for the mental health profession…), determined to be a success in at least one part of his life. And we are all Rebecca’s therapist in this moment.

Source: crazyexedits

Josh’s proposal has probably left Dr. Akopian a broken woman, but this beautiful disaster is going to be comic gold for the rest of us. It’s so spectacularly premature and selfishly motivated on both their parts. It will horrify all their friends, and I’m guessing blow up in the season finale. And from the promo for this week, it looks as if Rebecca will begin self-sabotaging almost as soon as the ring passes her knuckles, leaning into the sexual tension she has with her new boss. Note that Nathaniel was VERY interested in where she was going on her vacation days. And he’s still getting his kicks from undermining Josh. (“I’ve never heard anyone else use the term ‘man of my dreams’ before you. Sounds like something a super secure person says.”) And yes, I am ACTIVELY rooting for Rebecca to make a bad decision. Because maybe if she falls on her face again, she can gain back some of that ground that she just lost. But I wouldn’t put money on it.

It’s a Lot More Nuanced Than That:

  • It’s your friendly Grebecca-for-lyfe shipper asking you to think about Greg in Atlanta reading all those “in a relationship” Facebook updates.
  • “Wow, you have the most intense look on your face. I’m excited for your other looks, whenever those get going.”
  • Don’t tell me Nathaniel doesn’t have a gooey center. He hired back George!
  • It’s GIFS. Not JIFS.
  • I’ve been chuckling over “Skittle me this” for almost a week.
  • “As he finished, he called me ‘mom.’ Have fun unpacking that.”
  • Say what you will about her obsession with Rebecca’s relationship status, but Naomi Bunch knows how to pack a plane snack. (“Joshua. I am your Jewish mother now.”)
  • Rachel Bloom should drop that full-length “Period Sex” video on Inauguration Day because we’re gonna need it.

Just three more eps to go! Did you enjoy Josh and Rebecca’s awkward trip back east? Let’s talk about how their engagement makes us all suffer in the comments.

“It’s like, could he be more of a white?” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Recap – Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy? & When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh? Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:46:08 +0000
Source: bunchofbloom

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episodes 8 & 9
“Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy?” and “When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?”
Posted by Sage

How’s this for a meaningful coincidence? The sort-of hardworking employees of Whitefeather & Associates got their reprieve the very same week that the CW announced that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will be back for season 3. Here in 2017, that feels like a political statement. That heat map that’s going around says that CXG is the Netflix show most popular in the liberal hotbeds of New York, California, and Oregon. Its ratings are minuscule in comparison to CBS’s block of comedies designed to bring out the very worst in your parents’ friends. But the CW doesn’t care that middle America isn’t tuning in to watch a size 8 Jewish woman sleep with a Filipino man and sing about her clinical depression. That’s one vote in favor of quality over quantity. Congratulations, you crazy weirdos. You deserve this.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend came back from its brief winter hiatus with a double-dose of episodes that did feel like two halves of a whole. “Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy?” and “When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?” resolved the argument that’s been keeping Paula and Rebecca apart for weeks. It had to, because that storyline hit its highest point with their epic ’80s love ballad, “You Go First.” But what I wasn’t expecting quite so soon was another reconciliation between Rebecca and Josh, this time with Josh as the pursuer.

But first: the ladies. What really destroyed me about Scott’s confession is that it happened in a moment of imperfect domestic happiness. The Proctors don’t know how to send their delinquent children out into the world with a normal bagged lunch, but they’re up every morning doing their best. And Paula seems content with this life, as madcap as it is. And then it blows up, right in her face. It hurts too because Scott DOES love his wife, and more than that, we’ve seen this season how much he respects her. He stood by her decision to go to law school. He stood by her decision to terminate her pregnancy. But Scott is evidently feeling the strain more than she is and makes a really thoughtless, awful mistake. Paula kicks him out because she can’t see any other option. And then she brings all that baggage with her to work and has a meltdown over her daily iced mocha. I don’t think I’ve ever identified with Paula more than when she’s shaking empty ice trays at her coworkers and bellowing, “What MAN did this?”

Source: thecopyleftist

When Rebecca spies a weakness in another person, she performs some quick mental calculus on how to use it to her best advantage. The standoff doesn’t stand if Paula’s in crisis; Rebecca can only apologize while under the impression that she has the proverbial upper hand. As her best friend cries, Rebecca simultaneously sees her chance to finally make things right AND misjudges the situation completely. Her dramatic display of being the bigger person doesn’t go over well, but it DOES pull a lecture out of Mrs. Hernandez, who evidently talks “all the time.” Never forget that Rebecca Bunch is one hell of an unreliable narrator.

Source: bunchofbloom

The shaming doesn’t put her off though. Rebecca shows up to Paula’s house offering her unsolicited nannying services so that Paula can go on her “weird adult field trip” with her law school classmates without her house spiraling into the final act of a Hunger Games book. (“Just a dystopian nightmare. Children fighting for food, trying to kill each other…”) It’s a show of solidarity, and Rebecca legitimately wants to help Paula out. But it’s also a chance for her to try on motherhood for a weekend and prove that she’d be better than all the other moms. (“I could be a good mom if I wanted to be a good mom.” I MISS GREG.) She’s a philanthropist in the way that Cher Horowitz is a philanthropist: being nice to prove a point about how good she is at being nice. (“You know, if I ever saw you do anything that wasn’t 90% selfish, I’d die of shock.”) Paula tries to warn her that she’s volunteering for a suicide mission. (“Parenting turns you into well, me.”) But Rebecca has listened to half an episode of a child-rearing podcast and she won’t hear it. She sends Paula out the door to some New Jack Swing.

Rebecca’s plans for a quiet Netflix Saturday with Tommy are shot when they run into Josh “ohmigod it’s my ex” Chan, getting some supplies for his incoming cold. He wants to be in tip-top shape for a mysterious gig at a sponsored party at Spider’s, even though his lady won’t be able to make it. (“Let’s just say I’m ‘in-volved.'”) Another imperfection? It’s Rebecca’s kryptonite. The story of Josh’s sniffles prompts the most poetic chicken soup delivery of all time. (I love her Jewish rage at the lack of matzoh balls in West Covina.) In doing something nice for Josh, she sees her chance to give something to him that Anna isn’t. Rebecca’s professional ability to hide her own intentions from herself are on full display. But hey, a sick guy got his soup.

He’s so happy, too. Josh wants to be mothered. (Not like Hector wants to be mothered, but still.) He’s not wild about commitment, but I think that’s because he’s always had the power in the relationship. He’s very aware that Anna is cooler, richer, and more cosmopolitan that he is, so despite how freaked out he was playing house with Rebecca, here he’s grasping for some proof that Anna really is into him. So when the note gets ruined by some leakage, he assumes that Anna is his benefactor. Rebecca cannot deal with the idea that Josh be ignorant of who really gifted him that warm, broth-y goodness, so she drags her young charge to the club to take the credit.

Source: bunchofbloom

Rebecca is the kind of person who would get a child a fake ID so she can take him to a bar. But this town is the kind of place that would let that kid into the bar even though he’s clearly not an adult named Manuel. It’s a bonkers plan that’s obviously going to end in disaster, but Rebecca can’t stand being an anonymous donor. Unfortunately, when she and Heather are looking all over Spider’s for Tommy, they miss Josh’s big “career move.” This scene is a triumph in the telegraphing of secondhand embarrassment. Erick Lopez and especially David Hull are magnificent here as two friends looking on in horror as their bro takes his male mall modeling debut with stone-faced seriousness. (“I’ve left my body. I’m floating above this room looking down.”) What I would give to have seen Greg’s reaction to this.

Source: bunchofbloom

The display bursts Anna and Josh’s sex bubble. In the break-up, he realizes that she wasn’t his generous “soup fairy.” Hector (A PAL) calls the diner to see who the sender really was and everyone but Josh figures it out easily when they hear that the note quoted Shakespeare. He’s just been rejected by someone with more social capital; Anna’s not cruel, but she comes right up to the line of laughing in his face. (“It might have been when the sleeves came off? Oh my god, this is bad.”) So Josh ping-pongs BACK over to the one person who thinks he can do no wrong – that everything he does or says is worthy of worship: Rebecca. Is it healthy? Fuck, no. But his realization leads to another inspired Josh number: the Bieber-like “Duh.” (“It’s like, HELLO?”)

Rebecca arrives back at Paula’s defeated and less one preteen. Paula came home early, and Rebecca is prepared for her to sever all ties between them when she finds out she lost Tommy. But Tommy is home and he ain’t no snitch. Why would he rat out a babysitter who hands out hundos like they’re Monopoly currency? (Wow, Rebecca REALLY has a money problem.) Then Josh shows up and Rebecca has a way out. It’s finally happening. She can stop chasing him. And Paula gives her full permission to go. But Rebecca can’t walk out knowing that she very nearly lost Paula completely. She sends Josh packing for the time being and ‘fesses up to Paula. Paula’s like, bitch, I TOLD you being a mom was hard. (“Honey I lost him for an entire weekend at the mall once.”) No one knows better than Paula how Rebecca can turn off her huge brain and small amount of decency whenever Josh wants her. But she postponed their reconciliation to be with Paula, and that means everything.

“When Do I Get to Spend Time with Josh?” picks up a week later. Scott is still living somewhere else. And I would have loved a full episode with Rebecca being Paula’s wife. But Paula points Rebecca in the direction of her pile of gifts from Josh (“It looks like a children’s cancer ward in here.”) and tells her that it’s fine. It’s really fine, she’s figured out how to manage everything. And it helps that Brendan is still on the lamb somewhere. Paula opens the door to reveal Josh, waiting on her doorstep like a retriever. “Go be in love.” WEST COVINA REPRISE.

Source: crazyexedits

The frantic sex period of their first go-round has been replaced by matching PJs cuddle-time. Rebecca is in HEAVEN. She doesn’t have to trick Josh into wanting to be around her. On the morning that Darryl finally finds Rebecca via Heather (“He’s stalking my whole life”), Josh is calling off from Aloha Tech so that they can spend the day together at the water park. On their way, Rebecca stops by the office to see what’s so important. (“Karen did you try to cook a chicken in the microwave again?” “Not today! But it can be done.”) Instead of the usual shenanigans, she finds that the peaceful suburban happiness made possible by her low-stress job is about to be stolen away by your enemy AND mine: a straight, white, disgustingly handsome man in an expensive suit.

Source: misomeru

Darryl sold half of the company over the weekend, against the advice of WhiJo. (Everyone should ALWAYS LISTEN to WhiJo.) His new partner is Nathaniel Plimpton, the son of a big-time Los Angeles attorney. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has not given us an honest-to-god villain until now, and he’s the PERFECT choice. Nathaniel is basically a ghost from Rebecca’s past. He’s everything she hated about her old life and career: cynical, cold, and motivated only by money and productivity. He also has the chops of a great litigator. It doesn’t take him long to identify Rebecca’s weak point. While he gives her the old “things are going to look a lot different around here” speech, he sprinkles in insults against Josh in all his West Coast townie glory. Rebecca makes a grand show of quitting, but does a 180 when Nathaniel tells her that he’s been instructed to clear up $250k in the budget and he plans on doing that by firing four people.

Source: misomeru

How convenient for Josh that he’s allowed himself to forget all those times he left Rebecca at home alone when they were living together. She cancels their water park date and he sulks. But she has jobs to save – the jobs of “Screechy Blonde Oversharer, Dumb Canadian Joke Guy, Mousy Glasses Girl, and Red-haired Sarcastic Mom Lady,” to be exact. And Nathaniel can throw them all out if he wants; he scammed Darryl, buying his ex-wife’s share in the firm so that he can be majority owner. He’s everybody’s boss. (Darryl: “I am but the jester in this house of feathers!”) Undefeated, Rebecca calls around to book new business, not above talking up her “ample bosom” to dirty, old mortgage brokers. Nathaniel admires the hustle but still doesn’t believe she can do it by the deadline. It’s a deadline that Rebecca isn’t sharing with her coworkers for fear they’ll sabotage themselves, but they’re already suspicious. So suspicious in fact, that they sing about it in one of the show’s rare non-parody songs. This one’s just meta, with the Whitefeather employees asking why this character has been introduced into their lives “this far into the season.” (Me: Because he and Rebecca are totally gonna bone, obviously.)

Source: crazyexedits

Rebecca puts her morals on the backburner to woo a potential client: a country club that wants to purchase a new tract of land in order to expand their stuffy, racially intolerant empire. She’s got them on the hook, but they won’t commit right away. And Nathaniel is taking near sexual pleasure in watching her squirm. (See above.) That is, he’s having a great time wielding his power until Rebecca hits on HIS weak point: Nathanial – like so many other rich boys – is desperate to impress a withholding father. Uncomfortable that his armor has been dinged, Nathaniel fires the first person he sees: Glenn. I mean, George. At least he goes out singing his truth.

Source: bunchofbloom

Nathaniel won’t extend the deadline for the rest of he firings, and he even crashes Rebecca’s dinner with Josh’s parents and their matching argyle cardigans. While he waits for the only cheese-less steak in West Covina, he sprawls in his chair, distracting Rebecca with his pompous gaze. (“Why are you spying on me, you inglorious bastard?”) With him staring at them, everything Nathaniel’s said about Josh the “human flip-flop” feels true for the moment. “Blah blah blah puka shells,” Josh is droning in her head. When Rebecca can’t handle Nathaniel’s old money scrutiny anymore, she runs, offending Josh’s mom and dad. (They still like her better than Valencia.)

Source: bunchofbloom

When all seems lost, that’s the one and only time you should go grave-robbing. Paula and Rebecca have only been back together for one episode and already Paula is six feet under wearing a head lamp and digging up skulls. They find the proof that the cemetery that’s suing the country club for the land is using illegal burial practices. When the cops show up, Rebecca runs for it. Paula is left to negotiate with the security guard, promising to accompany him to the aquarium the next weekend to touch some fish. (“I don’t wanna talk about it.”)

Source: bunchofbloom

They race back to the office, covered in dirt and human remains. Rebecca’s plan failed. It’s 8am and she hasn’t been able to deliver that $250k in new business. But she can’t let him win. Not this fucking guy with his water polo and his liquid diet and his stupid symmetrical face. This is her sanctuary and he’s not allowed to have it. So, as any strong woman would, Rebecca grabs one of his expensive pens and chases Nathaniel around his office, trying to stab him. The country club guys arrive just as she’s pinned him with “The Flying Squirrel.” They fall easily for Paula’s Epi-Pen lie and announce that the cemetery did drop the suit. They can see from her appearance that Rebecca did go above and beyond as she promised. That’s the new business Whitefeather needed, and her friends are safe “for today.”

Source: bunchofbloom

They’re safer than Josh and Rebecca’s bubble, which has already been infiltrated by her latent hate-crush on Nathaniel. Enemies-to-lovers is a popular fic trope for a reason. And the show hasn’t gone there yet. Rebecca and Greg had that playfully antagonistic dynamic. And the “shit show” of their relationship was that Greg was forever at Rebecca’s mercy and always ready for more abuse. Meanwhile Rebecca and Nathaniel are mentally compatible but emotional opposites. Rebecca didn’t want to be attracted to Greg because she knew it was right. Rebecca is helplessly attracted to Nathaniel because she knows it’s SO WRONG. And it’s going to be REALLY fun to watch them navigate their hostile chemistry.

The Situation’s a Lot More Nuanced Than That:

  • If Paula’s father isn’t already dead, I’m going to kill him.
  • “I know you’re older than 8 and younger than me…Vamanos, Boots!”
  • Tommy’s adolescent obsession with breasts prompts a “Heavy Boobs” callback!
  • I want to hear the rest of Rebecca’s douche lecture.
  • “It’s a picture with my selfie so it’s a selfie.”
  • “Don’t douche and drive.”
  • “Okay that is not the proper usage of ‘woke'” “Whatever, white man.”
  • I laughed way too hard at “Dr. Spiders.”
  • “None of his dream catchers work in here.”
  • “I just heard someone say ‘penis.’ What’s wrong, Karen?
  • Hi, Patton Oswalt.
  • “Speak from the heart and don’t lie or I’ll know.”

Are you also into Nathaniel against your better judgement? Let’s talk about these episodes in the comments!

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