It’s a common lament that, on TV in general and on network TV in particular, there is nothing new
under the sun in the queue: Pretty much everything, it seems, is hackneyed and derivative, almost every new show presented to us is merely some version of what has come before. How to Get Away With Murder is Scandal Redux; Quantico is 24 Redux; every new sitcom is, in its way, a remake of every other sitcom. It’s Turtle, basically, all the way down.
So it’s a wonderful and rare thing to be presented with a show—a network show!—that is truly original. Allow me to spend a few moments singing the praises of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
First, sure, a caveat: In its story and its characters, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend would seem to be yet another victim of the endless churn of reboots. It treads a well-worn path, and not just in its tired repetition of “crazy” as a gendered epithet. (The show’s creators have insisted that “crazy” is a universal burn—that we’ve all, whether man or woman, girl or boy, had our minds addled by love.)
Anyhow, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is about a woman, Rebecca Bunch—a successful, single lawyer, as convention pretty much dictates—who has perhaps, the show suggests, leaned in just a tad too far. She’s unhappy; she’s overworked; she’s lonely. In an early scene in the show’s pilot, we see Rebecca being offered a promotion to junior partner—“I’ve never seen anyone work that hard,” her boss explains, marveling—and then (inspired by a butter ad whose slogan is “When Was the Last Time You Were Truly Happy?”) abruptly declining it. And then, even more abruptly, she quits.