Wednesday, August 2, 2017

MTVP So Cal Summer 2016: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 1.17: "Why is Josh in a Bad Mood?"

“Because he’s always buzzing around you. He’s like this sexy Italian fly, and you’re like this old meatball in an alley.”

I’ll admit, I’m quite conflicted about this particular episode of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” I’ve been a pretty consistent fan of Greg and Rebecca, to the point where knowing what is going to happen early in season 2 has made me nervous to keep watching my favorite show (no worries, once I’m done with these catch-up recaps, my reviews of all season 2 episodes will be coming at you in late summer). I also especially love two of the songs in this episode because they are adorable but edgy at the same time and kind of fit my overall “cutesy sadistic” or “candy coated macabre” sensibility. The episode also, however, highlights how dysfunctional Greg and Rebecca truly are. I would have loved to have seen them grow and work on their issues together (and when I first watched the show last summer I insisted they absolutely needed to), but rewatching it now, I see that they behave so immaturely in this episode (and in the next, come to think of it), that I totally get why it didn’t ultimately work out. Personal growth, yay!

Greg and Rebecca are finally sleeping together (a lot), and it has numerous implications for them and their circle of friends and acquaintances. As Greg said they would, they have spent three days doing pretty much nothing but have sex with occasional breaks for Chinese food. Eventually, it’s time to break out of the “Sex Cocoon” as Rebecca calls it and try to get back to real life. They both have to go to work, and that’s when the problems start. For Rebecca, the main problem is Paula. Paula, of course, is overly invested in Rebecca’s love life. We learn that without Josh or a similar love interest to obsess over, Paula is terrified that they won’t have anything in common and Rebecca won’t want to be her friend anymore. Rebecca is determined to disabuse Paula of this notion, so when she learns that Paula is going to be participating in a pie baking contest, she goes all-out trying to help her, including trying to incorporate a caper like they used to get into when Rebecca was pursuing Josh.

Paula also guesses that Rebecca is sleeping with someone, and throughout the episode, she keeps grilling Rebecca about who it might be. She compiles a list of possibilities and everything. She assures Rebecca that she’s fine with her sleeping with anyone but Greg. Since Greg is the person Rebecca is sleeping with, this is obviously a problem. While I have serious problems with Paula’s Josh-love and the beyond stalker-ish lengths she’s gone to try and bring him and Rebecca together, she does have a sensible list of reasons why dating Greg isn’t a good idea. She points out that he’s a boozehound and that he’s self-loathing, among other things. When I first watched “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” I was so enchanted by Santino Fontana (pun not really intended, even if he did play the role of the Prince in Roger and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” on Broadway, that I was completely willing to overlook Greg’s less than stellar qualities. He’s adorable, but he’s still rather immature, and that’s not going to help Rebecca grow.

Greg is generally happy to be having so much sex with Rebecca, but he’s clearly still rather unsure in the relationship. He wants to keep things casual for a while, and Hector encourages him in this. Hector encourages Greg that Women have the power in a relationship before sex, and men have the power after sex. He wants Greg to take advantage of that power. Specifically, he really wants Greg to go on a double date with him, because the girl he’s seeing has a cousin coming in from out of town. When Rebecca tries to schedule a legit date with Greg, he mentions he already has plans. This throws Rebecca for a loop, and she makes up a lie that she has multiple dates in the next week, too. They’re both desperately trying to play it cool, even though they don’t want to. Although I never take my own advice on this. Like Rebecca and Greg, I play it seriously cool to my own detriment.

Josh learns about Rebecca and Greg’s new relationship (or whatever) when he sees them flirting at Home Base. It’s Heather who has to connect the dots for him. Josh finds himself uncharacteristically upset by this turn of events. He needs to go to the dojo to blow off some steam, and he starts ignoring Valencia even more than usual. Valencia, for her part, is really angling for a proposal. Helping Josh’s sister with her wedding really has her wanting one of her own. We see her putting together gift bags and roping Josh into helping, too. This sub-plot makes me thing there are two things going on regarding Josh’s interest in Rebecca. First, as has always been the case, Josh has been enjoying the attention Rebecca provided. Rebecca would compliment him and build him up, while Valencia usually just has criticism. Second, Valencia clearly wants to up the commitment factor, and Josh is scared. If Valencia wasn’t so obviously angling for marriage, I wonder if Josh might have been content with her for a while longer.

There are three songs in this episode, and each are great in their own way. First, there’s “I Gave You a UTI.” Before this song, I wouldn’t have thought that a song about a UTI could be charming, but Santino Fontana manages it. Rebecca gets a UTI, and Greg decides this means he’s great at sex (even though Rebecca patiently tries to explain that quantity more than quality of sex is what causes a UTI), so he joyfully sings about it. Rebecca’s reaction is part of what makes it work, too. She thinks it’s weird, but with her smile, you can see she finds it at least a bit charming. Then, there’s Josh’s “Angry Mad” song while he works out at the dojo. This is mostly notable for Vincent Rodriguez’s impressive marital arts work (it’s all him – no stuntperson). Finally, we get my favorite song of the second half of the season “Oh my God I think I Like You.” It perfectly captures that moment when you realize you might actually have real feelings for someone (and it’s sung by Rebecca, in reference to Greg).

Anyway, everything comes to a head at the pie contest. Rebecca helped Paula sneak into her rival’s kitchen, but they discover that her “secret ingredient” is just unsalted butter. Paula makes her best pecan pie, and Rebecca helps her present it to the judges. Darryl, who is a judge at the contest, loves the pie, but before the competition ends, Rebecca passes out. She hadn’t gone to the doctor for her UTI (she was determined to handle it with just cranberry pills and painkillers), and the infection spread to her kidneys. Rebecca ends up in the hospital, and both Greg and Josh rush to her bedside. Notably, Greg is there because Rebecca texted him, and Josh is there because Paula called him. Of course, it comes out that Rebecca and Greg have been sleeping together. In the hospital is not the best time for a truth bomb, but Rebecca has no choice, unfortunately.

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