Saturday, June 18, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.02: "Josh's Girlfriend is Really Cool!"

“Yeah, yeah, we’re friends. Yeah, we’re friends. Yeah, we’re friends. Yeah, because I mean, like, what other agenda could I possibly have?”

I’ve never come close to doing some of the things Rebecca does in this episode of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” but I can so completely relate to her general feelings of awkwardness and not measuring up. In this episode, Rebecca is starting to try and settle into West Covina life, and she’s also naturally obsessing over when the heck Josh is going to schedule their dinner already. Egged on by Paula, Rebecca tries to befriend Josh’s girlfriend, Valencia, and naturally, horribly embarrassing, ridiculous hijinks ensue. This episode really gives a good introduction to what “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is going to be week to week. There’s the crazy plan to get to Josh hatched by Paula, there’s Rebecca taking things too far, embarrassing herself, and feeling horrible at the end, and there are two great musical numbers. I couldn’t really ask for more!

As I already mentioned, Rebecca is really perseverating on the fact that Josh hasn’t followed up to say when or where they will be having dinner together. This really interferes with her work, but somehow Rebecca keeps being awesome at her job. There’s a big arbitration coming up, but Rebecca keeps leaning work to tend to Josh-related things. Paula enables this by working extra hours, of course, because she’s Paula, and she’s obsessed with getting Rebecca and Josh together. The two even fight over how far Rebecca should take things in front of their clients, which is extremely unprofessional. If Rebecca didn’t deliver to the client exactly what he had been trying and failing to get for about ten years, her career would have been over. I’ve got to believe at some point, even though Rebecca is usually personal life messy/professional life on point, her issues are going to bleed into work. She can’t keep operating this way forever.

Anyway, Paula shows Rebecca how to set up push notifications for Josh’s status updates on her phone, and the two discover that he’s going to be at a club called Spider’s (or maybe Spiders, Spiders’, or Spiders’s…the world may never know). They decide to hit up the club, but the bouncer won’t let them in. Rebecca tries to grease the wheels by offering the bouncer $500, but that’s New York clubbing money, not West Covina money, and the bouncer starts to worry that she’s a drug dealer or a cop. Paula wants to keep hanging out, but Rebecca is feeling defeated and wants to just go home. We see her in true pity party sweats, sitting on the couch and watching nature documentaries. She ventures out to the store, still in the pity party sweats, and of all the times, that is when she runs into Josh and his very hot yoga instructor girlfriend. Greg and the rest of their crew (Hector and White Josh, who provide welcome comic relief throughout the season), are there too. Valencia notices Rebecca talking to Greg and asks Josh why Greg is talking to a “homeless.” Rebecca suddenly decides it’s her mission to befriend Valencia, even though Josh asks her very clearly not to.

Rebecca’s next mission is to skip out of work to attend one of Valencia’s yoga classes. Valencia is, of course, skinny and fabulous at yoga, while Rebecca is not skinny and very awkward at yoga. Plus it makes her really sweaty, even though Valencia describes it as “beginner’s yoga” and has to go do some cardio afterwards to actually break a sweat. I"m pretty sure I'd be exactly like Rebecca if I tried yoga. These dynamics are captured beautifully in the musical number “I’m So Good at Yoga.” In the song, Valencia sings in rather explicit terms about how great she is at yoga, and Rebecca falls all over the place. Rebecca does, however, ask Valencia if she wants to go to lunch later in the week. She even offers to buy Valencia one of her favorite boxed waters. Josh freaks out a bit when he hears about this and stops by Rebecca’s office to warn her off, but Rebecca charges forward anyway. Rebecca and Valencia have a great time. Rebecca successfully negotiations a lease for Valencia’s new yoga studio, and they drink wine and giggle a lot. Valencia is shocked that she’s actually becoming friends with Rebecca. Usually she doesn’t get along well with women. It helps that she doesn’t yet know Rebecca and Josh were a thing back at summer camp.

Josh, Valencia, Rebecca, and Greg all end up going to Spider’s together, and this is when things get messy. Rebecca and Valencia are having a great time hanging out, although Greg is mocking Rebecca a little bit for doing whatever Valencia tells her to do. He figures out that Josh and Rebecca dated at summer camp, although Rebecca makes him promise not to tell anyone. Rebecca and Valencia end up dancing together, and they’re still having fun, until Rebecca starts trying to make out with Valencia. This whole sequence is set to another musical number, “Feelin’ Kind of Naughty,” where Rebecca details how she pretty much wants to be Valencia. Wear her skin, make dentures out of her teeth, you know, normal stuff like that. Anyway, during the argument that follows, Rebecca starts talking about how it’s all like one big circle of love, and this leads to her being the one to admit to Valencia that she and Josh were once an item. Josh ends up coming clean, admitting he actually met Rebecca in between junior and senior years of high school, not when they were eight years old like he originally said.

Even though Rebecca royally screwed things up by being creepy and trying to make out with his girlfriend, Josh ends up forgiving Rebecca for some reason I still don’t fully understand. I guess he feels partially responsible for the situation because he lied to Valencia about his history with Rebecca. Regardless, he decides to make it up to Rebecca by scheduling that dinner after all. They end up having dinner at a nice place that just happens to be forty minutes away so there’s no chance Valencia will know this dinner ever happened. Rebecca is cool with this, although she is bound and determined that this will not be the last dinner she and Josh eat together, regardless of the fact that Valencia now hates her.

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