Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Summer TV Rewind: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 2.02: "When Will Josh See How Cool I Am?"

“No, I don’t remember that at all, but I will take your French fry apology and apply it to other stuff.”

I am most definitely in a better place than I was last summer when I watched the first season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” but damn can this show get to me. I am so pissed at Rebecca right now for how she is treating Greg. She’s gone and decided she might want him back now just because he was willing to say he loved her when Josh wasn’t. Rebecca at one point tells Josh that she deserves someone who actually pays attention to her, but I think it’s Greg who actually deserves better. Especially after this episode, where he turned in a stellar performance, I am going to miss having Santino Fontana on the show dearly (yeah, I know what happens in episode four, and I’ve already preemptively been upset about it for months), but for the character of Greg, clearly getting away from West Covina, and away from Rebecca in particular, is the best thing for him. I’m hoping this shows personal growth on my part that I can recognize that. Last fall, I would have wanted them together at all costs, but now I can clearly see that Greg needs to be allowed to come into his own away from Rebecca’s toxic influence. Paula and Rebecca squealing made dog bark in apartment below.

Early in this episode, Greg and Rebecca both make commitments where they eventually end up letting people down. Greg tells his sponsor, “Guardrail,” that he’ll bring the doughnuts to the next meeting. One of the other guys seems skeptical, but Guardrail wants to give Greg this chance. Rebecca, meanwhile, is super psyched to hear about Paula’s plans to apply to law school. She’s so psyched that her and Paula’s squealing over it made the dog in the apartment below mine start barking. Seriously. I contemplated maybe watching the rest of the episode using headphones. Anyway, Paula asks Rebecca to write her a letter of recommendation, and Rebecca says she’d be happy to. Darryl, who hears about this, also decides to write a letter, since he considers himself Paula’s “best friend” and all. Paula, however, wants nothing to do with Darryl’s letter, because she thinks her “bestie” Rebecca can do a better job. We all know, of course, however, that Darryl is going to be the much more reliable letter writer/friend.

To demonstrate her excitement for this potential new chapter in her life, Paula sings a true (but raunchy in CXG style) Disney Princess-type song called “Maybe this Dream.” A couple of the Whitefeather attorneys even play birdie backup singers, too. Donna Lynne Champlin has a beautiful voice, so even though the whole thing was a little on-the-nose, it was enjoyable. Rebecca, as you’d expect, lets Paula down, though. She keeps forgetting about the letter of recommendation because of all the boy drama she has going on (more on that in a bit). Darryl, meanwhile, very earnestly keeps trying to get Paula to use his letter instead. Eventually, Paula has no choice, since Darryl actually turned his letter in on time, while Rebecca (who did eventually write a very nice letter), did not. Darryl I think struggles with the fact that while Paula is his best friend, it’s not mutual (which is something I’ve definitely experienced before), and when Rebecca tells him she has started watching “Game of Thrones,” he comes up with the best burn ever. He tells her that Ned dies, and she shouldn’t get too attached to Robb either. Since I also was told (by an internet commenter who was a holier than thou book reader) not to get too attached to Robb and thus had the Red Wedding spoiled for me, I couldn’t stop laughing at this. I didn’t laugh about it when I was first spoiled, but I have some distance from it now!

Meanwhile, Rebecca is obsessed with the fact that Josh isn’t paying enough attention to her. As we saw in the season premiere also, she’s desperate for any sign of affection or validation. Josh, for his part, can’t commit to making plans with Rebecca even though they de facto live together now. At one point, he tells Rebecca he can’t hang out with her on a particular night because he’s playing ping pong with the guys. This leads Rebecca to come up with a tall tale about how she was a ping pong champion back in the day. Josh says that if that’s the case, she can join them, so Rebecca has to get her ping pong skills up to speed quickly. She ends up hiring the kid from “Trophy Wife” (can’t remember the name of the character off the top of my head, but you remember the precocious son of Bradley Whitford’s character and his second, kinda hippie wife…that kid). Rebecca starts practicing her ping pong, and naturally, she’s not writing Paula’s letter.

This leads to my favorite song of the season thus far, and frankly, it will probably be my favorite song of the entire season. It’s called “Ping Pong Girl,” and it’s basically a beautifully rendered late 90s/ early 2000s pop rock pastiche. Think Blink 182 or Good Charlotte, or in other words, the sounds of my teen-hood. I am sure most of the credit for the catchiness goes to Adam Schlessinger, who I have no doubt can whip up a tune like this in his sleep, having been the frontman behind Fountains of Wayne and all. The lyrics of the song spoke to me, too. Josh is basically singing about how this aloof “ping pong girl” is so sexy and good at sports (but not uber-manly sports) that he wants to marry her and share a Costco card with her. I think all of us who have taken on a hobby in the hopes of impressing a guy can relate to this, even if we haven’t taken it to the extremes that Rebecca does.

Meanwhile, though, Greg runs into Josh and Father Brah at the boba stand. Josh and Father Brah had been discussing whether or not Josh should tell Greg that he’s been sleeping with Rebecca, and they had both come to the conclusion that in Greg’s current emotionally vulnerable state, it was probably best not to share. Admitting it would only make Josh feel better, not Greg. Josh, though, of course has to let it slip as soon as Greg approaches them. At first, Greg’s not terribly upset, thinking Josh was only talking about the night of the wedding. When Josh clarifies that it’s actually been ongoing, and he and Rebecca kind of live together now, Greg becomes a little more upset. He still tries to play it off as everything’s fine, though. Then he goes back to Home Base, and while singing a reprise of “I Could If I Wanted To,” he punches a wall in the stock room. Interestingly, we also see Greg try to apologize to Heather in this episode. It’s not for what you think, though (leading her on when he was actually in love with Rebecca). It’s for taking some of her French fires one time. Heather isn’t quite sure what to do with this apology. It’s also worth noting that Greg tells his buddies about his alcoholism in this episode, and they’re not really shocked, even when Greg illustrates how bad the problem is with the Irish-sounding “Greg’s Drinking Song.”

Most of the crew, including Rebecca, shows up to play ping pong. Greg, however, is noticeably absent. As soon as the other guys realize Greg knows about Josh and Rebecca, they immediately become worried. They’re pretty sure he’s fallen off the wagon again. He does, actually, miss a meeting, particularly the meeting where he was supposed to bring the doughnuts, but he tries to make up for that later with super fancy doughnuts. But anyway, I digress. Rebecca thinks she knows where to potentially find Greg, and she is successful, finding him camped out on a park bench, surprisingly sober. They have quite the heart to heart, where Greg admits that he got the DUI while driving to Rebecca’s to tell her he loves her. Rebecca’s love starved heart just eats this up, and when she goes home, she snuggles with Greg’s Emory sweatshirt. And this is when I fully started to support the idea of Greg moving on from Rebecca. She doesn’t love him for him. She loves him because he’ll freely give her attention.

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