Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.06: "My First Thanksgiving With Josh!"

“I can only stay for a second. I’m making pies for people I hate. Which is mixed emotions for me, because I like pie.”

Before I decided to summer blog “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” this was going to be my Thanksgiving classic post this year. It’s a rare episode of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” where Rebecca doesn’t do something completely cringe-worthy and hurtful to people she cares about. Of course the cringe-worthy is what makes Rebecca so relatable, but it’s nice to get a small reprieve from the residual anxiety I sometimes get from the worst of her misadventures. We also learn a little more about several characters’ family situations, given that it’s Thanksgiving and all. I especially think this episode added more depth to Greg. We learn more about why he’s tending bar instead of following his dreams. We also get to meet the Chan family. We’ve heard a lot about them, but now we get to see them in person. We also briefly visit Paula’s family, too, although they aren’t as interesting. Which is probably why Paula is so invested in Rachel’s love life.

Rebecca is at the Boba stand asking the proprietors why they think Josh goes long stretches without talking to her when all of a sudden, Josh appears. He goes on and on about how awesome his family Thanksgiving is and how extended family travels from across Southern California to his mother’s house for the event. Rebecca’s typical Thanksgiving is a much more somber affair. She and her mother go to Scarsdale and watch the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on television together. Back at the office, Paula thinks that Rebecca should try and get herself invited to the Chan family Thanksgiving, but Rebecca thinks that would be silly. Next thing we know, Rebecca and Paula are shopping in an Asian grocery, and who should they run into but Josh’s mother (who is played by the same person who plays Dr. Wagerstein on “UnREAL,” yet another interesting connection between the two shows). After Paula makes a point of telling Josh’s mother how pathetic Rachel’s Thanksgiving is going to be, Rachel scores her invite.

Rebecca, as she says in a song that follows, “Gives Good Parent,” and she takes to preparing to impress the Chan fam bam with gusto. She cooks a traditional (kind of gross sounding, and I’m pretty adventurous with food, so I don’t say that lightly) Filipino dish called dinuguan (offal in a sauce of pig’s blood). Before she goes back home to spend the day with her own horrible family, Paula gives Rebecca an owl brooch with a camera in it so Paula can watch all the action. Paula’s Thanksgiving, is of course pretty dire. Her sons both have headphones in (and so does she, since she’s watching Rebecca), and there’s a racist uncle, because doesn’t everybody have a racist older relative? I’m not going to even repeat what my racist older relative said at our last family Thanksgiving.

We also get to see Thanksgiving with Greg and his dad, who used to run a local favorite Italian restaurant before he was diagnosed with COPD and Greg had to start taking care of him instead of going to business school. Before Thanksgiving dinner, though, Greg quits his job at Home Base. He has decided it’s finally time to move back out of his dad’s house and go to business school. Greg tries to do a big dramatic “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore” type quit, but his boss has seen it all and genuinely seems happy that Greg is about to move on to bigger and better things. This disappoints Greg greatly. Greg plans to tell his father he’s moving out over dinner, but the plans get delayed when his father has a bad COPD flare-up and winds up in the hospital. At the hospital, Greg is told that his father now has stage 2 COPD, and the treatment is going to be expensive, even with insurance. He decides to use his savings to pay for his dad’s treatment instead of going back to school. Greg’s dad is sad when he hears about this, but he is very grateful to have a son that loves him enough to make that kind of sacrifice.

Meanwhile, Rebecca is rocking Thanksgiving with the Cham fam bam exactly as she predicted she would. The Chans love her because she went to Harvard and Yale and is successful, while Valencia…isn’t. It gets to the point where it’s kind of mean actually, with Josh’s mom specifically inviting Rebecca to church and telling Valencia she’s welcome to come along because it’s a public house of worship, after all. Rebecca does indeed plan to go to church with the Chans, but all that strange Filipino food eventually catches up to her, and she has to make a run for the bathroom. Just before she can really get some relief, though, she hears noise from the attached bedroom. Josh and Valencia are having a fight that, of course, ends in make-up sex. Once Rebecca can finally escape, she goes downstairs to hear Josh announcing to everyone that he and Valencia are going to move in together. Josh is thrilled in the moment, but he soon seems to have a bit of regret when Valencia starts going into exactly what she wants their place to look like.

Rebecca, naturally, is pretty devastated by this turn of events, and she also still really needs to use a toilet, so she takes a rain check on church and gets home just in time to avoid a really disgusting situation. A little later, when the worst has passed but she’s still having to make occasional trips to the bathroom, Greg shows up with tacos and tequila (he hadn’t realized Rebecca was sick). Rebecca, although she scolds Greg for not calling first, is hospitable and invites Greg to watch television with her on the couch. He explains what he has just been through that day, and Rebecca suggests the think about night school. It turns out Greg had already been having the same thought. They end up watching the dog show together and generally having a good time in each other’s company, much to Paula’s chagrin, of course.

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