Musical comedy ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ brings an appealing mix

YouTube star Rachel Bloom co-created and stars in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Three and a half stars

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Mondays, 8 p.m., the CW.

There’s a delicate balancing act in the mostly delightful CW comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, starting with the title. What could be read as demeaning and sexist (those emotional women!) becomes a sort of rallying cry for main character Rebecca Bunch (ridiculously charming YouTube star Rachel Bloom, who also co-created the show) in her haphazard pursuit of happiness. She’s also pursuing Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III), the boyfriend she had for two months at summer camp as a teenager, but that pursuit is as much about her need to upend her entire life as it is about actually winning the affections of the oblivious Josh.

Bloom and co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna successfully walk the line between depicting Rebecca as legitimately crazy and completely excusing her obviously reckless behavior. She’s self-aware enough to know that moving across the country—from New York City to anonymous LA suburb West Covina, the target of many of the show’s jokes—and abandoning a high-paying corporate legal job for the sake of an old crush is questionable, but she also knows that a life of 80-hour work weeks was slowly killing her soul.

Oh, and she sings about it, with each episode featuring multiple original songs. The songs in the first episode are catchy and funny and actually contribute to character development, and they help prevent the tone from getting too serious or intense. All of that balancing might collapse over the course of an entire season, but in its first episode, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is clever, winning and unique, making it the most promising new show of a fairly dismal fall TV season.

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