Thursday, April 20, 2017

Top 10 Songs From Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Season 2)

Back in February I wrote a blog post about my top 10 songs from the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Originally I was going to combine both seasons into one blog post, but I hadn't listened to season two enough for it to really wow me yet, so I decided to hold off on that one until I got a few more plays in. Well, it totally worked, because the 10 songs I have here are now some of my all-time favorites now that I've really gotten to know them. A few wouldn't even have been in my top half of songs from the show two months ago. So let's dive right in, shall we?

(Note, first of all, that this is chock full of season two spoilers, and, secondly, that two of these songs have curse words in the title. One is uncensored. One is censored in the official song name but it's obvious what it is.)

10. Friendtopia

Not only is this a fun song to listen to, but I like the unexpected path it takes. It's a Spice Girls-style song about friendship, but then there's this weird second half of it which is that it's about using female friendship to literally take over the world. So we get this weirdly dark song that's half about being besties and half about world domination, and I love that bizarre combination. (One of the YouTube comments on the video is, "What a... weirdly specific concept for a satire song.") I think it's probably all summed up in what I'd choose for the best line:

"We're gonna braid each other's hair, then cut each other's braids, connect the braids to build a rope to hang all of Congress."

9. Let's Have Intercourse

This song would've been higher up a few months ago, and even though it's slid down a bit I still really enjoy it. The context is a very cold, unpleasant, arrogant character who has, much to his dismay, suddenly become interested in Rebecca and decides they should sleep together so he can get her out of his system and move on. So he sings this song. The music is romantic and sensual, while the words are anything but, as he clearly sees this as sort of an embarrassing chore. But the music is so pretty! I'm such a sucker for songs where the music and lyrics are an amusing mismatch, and this totally hits that. (One of the YouTube comments points out this is an Ed Sheeran style parody, which may very well be right. I don't listen to enough Ed Sheeran to know for sure.)

Best line: "Let's get this over with so I can focus on other tasks."

8. What a Rush to Be a Bride

Some songs have an extra bit of humor that come out of being just... really, really unexpected. This is one of those. Rebecca's in the midst of planning her wedding and gushing with her best friend Paula over all the little pretty details, and then, abruptly... there's a screaming heavy metal song. It was completely unlike anything the show had done up until this point, it was completely unlike the tone of the episode up until that moment, and it was brilliant. It started and Jacob and I pretty much just both stared at it laughing because we couldn't believe that was the direction they'd go. I'm not into screaming metal much, so it's here almost solely on the strength of that first appearance, but I love that they did this.

Best line: "EVIL! EVIL! EVIL! If you rearrange the letters it spells 'veil.'"

7. So Maternal

Let me say right now that I don't have kids, never plan to have kids, and react strongly to those who think I will never know what true love is until I have kids... but I am in total sympathy with my mom friends who get all kinds of outside advice from people who don't know what they're talking about, and this song is a prime example of that. Rebecca offers to babysit Paula's elementary school child for a weekend and, in a burst of confidence, this song happens, contrasted with amazing clips of her cheerfully and obliviously failing at childcare. (The weekend ends with Rebecca taking the child to a nightclub and losing him there, so... yeah, she comes down to earth on this eventually.)

Best line: "You know, I think I just instinctively 'get' how to be a mom, and that sets me apart from other 'mothers.'"

6. We'll Never Have Problems Again

This, right here, encompasses a lot of Rebecca's problems. She is just stuck on the idea that a relationship is going to fix everything that's wrong with her, and while most of the people around her realize that, nope, that's not true, she just ignores them and sings a cheery disco song. This song is insanely catchy and the first one on the list where it was really difficult to choose a single favorite line because so many of them are great. It's such a cleverly written song of naivete, and I love it.

Best line: "Do you remember back when we had problems? Oh, man, that was annoying."

5. (Tell Me I'm Okay) Patrick

The YouTube comments are on point with these songs as I read through them. One user says, "How can something be so completely over the top and also so incredibly true to life? I guess that's what makes it so funny.  The tears are in the margins." Oh my gosh, so true. In this song, Rebecca has struck up a casual acquaintanceship with package delivery man Patrick, who has brought wedding item after wedding item to Rebecca's door and listened as she vented about the stress of wedding planning. Here she falls apart, begging someone she doesn't know for validation that she's not as completely broken as she feels like it is. The song is funny (Seth Green plays Patrick with a stoic calm that really sells it) but on that final, "Am I okay?" you really see the desperation in Rebecca's eyes, that she feels like she is losing her mind and can't quite find her way back. I relate. Hard.

Best line: "I think I'm fine, Patrick, but I'm only like ... 43% sure."

4. Rebecca's Reprise


OK, so this one is high on my list for contextual reasons. By itself, it doesn't mean much to anyone. But let me try to explain why this hits so hard. It's a reprise medley of four previously sung songs, sung here by Rebecca on the morning of her wedding (which we know, know, know cannot possibly end well). The first two songs were originally incredibly dark moments in her life, moments when she saw herself at her worst. The third is a song not even sung by her originally, it was sung by another character about his love for his daughter, but here she co-opts it because for the first time she feels like maybe her parents will love her because she will finally be a successful married woman. And then she ends with one of the songs from earlier in the list: "I'll never have problems again." It hurts seeing how she is so hopeful that she will climb out of her self-loathing and her deep-seated issues through this relationship, and when it all falls apart at the end (as we know deep down it must because neither she nor Josh are ready for this), a second listen to this song is even more heartbreaking. One of the most beautifully tragic moments in the whole show.

3. It Was a S*** Show

I MISS YOU, SANTINO FONTANA! My favorite character is gone from the show, but of course his last couple songs are in my top 10. This one is his official goodbye song to Rebecca, acknowledging that they were really, really bad together, that they would always bring out the worst in each other. And he pulls zero punches, as you can see just from the title of the song. He nearly gives in at the end, since they really do love each other, but that's not enough when they both have serious issues to work through and can't do that together. It hits that funny-but-sad note that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is great at, and it's a fitting goodbye to Greg.

Best line: "And when you say that I should stay that's exactly when I should split."

2. We Tapped That Ass

This song quickly became one of my guilty pleasure favorites. In this song, the "memory spirits" of Rebecca's past lovers are haunting her house and reminding her (with dozens of classless euphemisms) of all the sex they had. Every place in her home is haunted. The song is crude, but it's crude purposefully -- it matches the unhappiness with herself she feels for having lost not one, but two guys she thought she had a future with, and demonstrates how everything is now just a gross reminder of how willingly she gave herself to them when they then left her. The cheerfulness of the two men singing is what sells it, though it's important to note that thy are both much kinder to her than this in real life -- this is, after all, Rebecca's mind painting them as gleefully comparing sexual experiences. The glibness of the song is a hint at how Rebecca sees her past mistakes, rather than a genuine endorsement of sex as a series of conquests. And it's also super catchy and fun.

1. The Math of Love Triangles

I knew back when I started compiling this list that this would have to be at the top of it. Since I first saw it, it's been one of my favorites, a brilliant send-up of Marilyn Monroe (especially in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and the general trope of dumb women being sexy. Here, Rebecca's dream sequence features a group of men earnestly trying to teach her about triangles, but as she responds with baby talk and misunderstanding of what they're saying, they get increasingly frustrated. This was another one where it was really difficult to choose a favorite line, as there were so many... but in the end, I think I have to go with this amazing exchange:

"Is this a triangle?"
"No, that's a shoe."
"Is this a triangle?"
"No, that's you."
"So I'm a triangle?"
"What? No."
"1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 3, go!"

Honorable Mentions: You're My Best Friend (And I Know I'm Not Yours), Thought Bubbles, Santa Ana Winds, Ping Pong Girl, Greg's Drinking Song, You Go First

Other friends watching the show... What's your favorite performance of season two? 

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