Crazy Ex-Girlfriend starts its fourth and final season this week on The CW, picking up where the third season ended. Rebecca Bunch, played by Rachel Bloom, is in court pleading “responsibility” (i.e. she’s guilty) for her actions in saving beau Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster) by pushing her crazy ex, creepy Trent Maddock (Paul Welsh), off a rooftop before he could commit murder. Facing a life of orange being her new black in a correctional facility, Rebecca is ready to face the consequences of her past actions head on. For Bloom, entering the show’s final season was bittersweet, and while the takeaway from a four-year network run is something she will cherish, it’s not something she wants to jump straight back into. “I could do another show that I was involved in the writing and acting of, but I could never do another network show,” she revealed during a recent chat with MediaVillage. “The hard part for me is doing it all at once, reading outlines and giving notes in the hair and makeup trailer in the morning, acting and in between editing ... I have to have a cable schedule next where I do one and one and one.
“I could maybe act on another network show,” she continued. “But doing it all at once for a network show… there are only a handful of people that I've met that have [done that]. I have talked to Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling about it, and yes, it's very hard.”
Judging by the season opener, season four of Crazy Ex is one of self-discovery. Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) is on a mission to discover why he’s maybe not so bright. Nathaniel seems to just want to punish himself for all his successes, while Rebecca decides penance must take precedence -- which of course provides the obligatory musical homage, courtesy of the musical Chicago, which cleverly encapsulates her entire previous three-season story arc into 20 seconds. The result? Rebecca Bunch just wants to become a better person. As for Bloom, the Crazy Ex experience taught her a lot.
“TV taught me a great structure,” she admitted. “I was a musical theater kid and I learned sketch comedy. The way I learned sketch, it was a very rigid structure, and not in a bad way. It was very writing-focused. The show has been a real mix of the sketch structure I learned, with sitcom writing structure and zigging where we should zag. I've learned a lot of that from [executive producer] Aline (Brosh McKenna) because she's been having a lot of fun skewering the tropes she often wrote or was tasked to write. So, it's been fun to continue to use structure, but then also break it in strategic ways.”
One of those ways included the weekly challenge of pushing the envelope lyrically when it came to the signature songs featured on the show. “[Recently] I was trying to get a song lyric through about a guy’s penis going soft during sex,” Bloom shared. “I was like, ‘It could be emotionally soft.’ So, it's always a debate. Patricia Dennis, our standards and practices lady, is just doing her job. You're trying to avoid an FCC violation and that’s always a challenge, but it also pushes us in nice directions. Sex can always be an easy go-to for comedians, especially myself, so I think it often makes us not go with the first idea and get a little more creative.”
There are a few lyrics Bloom feels particularly accomplished about getting past the censors; however, picking one is just not going to happen. “It would be a tie between, ‘Let me be your pupil, let me choke on your cocksuredness’ [in the song Strip Away My Conscience] and in the song Tap That Ass when the guy says, ‘Where should we finish?’ and the response is ‘Please don't finish on my chest,’ only she's talking about a chest of drawers,” she recalled. “I'm amazed we got that in. Amazed!”
Before fans of the show begin mourning the loss of their weekly dirty Ex ditty, Bloom did have some good news. “The second Crazy Ex wraps, one the first things I'd like to do is release a new album full of probably the dirtiest songs that I couldn't do on the show,” she teased. “We can do dirty versions of the songs, but at the end of the day, we only have so much time. It’ll probably be an album called Smut or something because I definitely feel shackled by not being able to say words like f*ck.”
Crazy Ex-Girlfriendis telecast Fridays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
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