“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” might be one of the more unusually named programs out there, but star Rachel Bloom says she and creator Aline Brosh McKenna never had any doubts about the title. “It was always ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.’ It was such a strong title,” Bloom says. “We knew it was a musical, and it was called ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ and then we worked back from there.”
The result is a show about the titular unbalanced Rebecca, who spontaneously quits her high-powered attorney job in New York after running into her high school boyfriend, who says he lives in West Covina, California. One short cross-country move later, she’s ready for them to fall back in love, and the show explores this concept with the addition of a few well-timed musical numbers that are Rebecca’s imagination of what the world around her should be.
“We’ve been tinkering with how much of a theater fan Rebecca is. But I definitely think theater is where her soul resides,” says Bloom. Rebecca isn’t exactly ready to admit that about herself, however. “I think she’s bottled it because she’s emotionally stifled. So it’s the type of thing where she has Broadway CDs, and when she’s alone she listens to them, but she wouldn’t tell anybody.”
Poor Josh, the guy who dumped her in high school, is in for some big surprises once Rebecca moves to town. “A lot of the tension in Season 1 is going to be why Rebecca tells herself she’s in West Covina versus why she’s really there,” Bloom says, “and those two things are going to start to knock heads more and more.” The “Crazy” in the title isn’t meant to be taken lightly. Says Bloom, “She’s someone who needs help. She absolutely does.” While the pilot sees her proudly ditching some meds, that won’t be the end of the issue: “We have a whole episode that we’re planning that we’re going to focus on her depression and her anxiety.”
Rebecca isn’t a total mess, though. Those attorney skills will still come in handy. “She never really got in touch with herself, but she’s really good at her job,” Bloom says. “When she goes to West Covina, she’s going to be good at her job — so much so that she doesn’t even think about it. She’s just like, oh, right, XYZ, I’m going to go stalk Josh now,” says Bloom.
Bonus question: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to attract someone’s attention?
“This is going to be a boring answer, but the craziest thing I’ve ever done is lie to myself. I’ve lied in my own diary, my own Internet journal, where it’s like, ‘Dear diary, I went to this restaurant tonight just because, like, I dunno, I was craving Thai food.’ Not even admitting to myself, ‘No, you went to this restaurant so you could see the guy who works at this restaurant, and you’re wearing your low-cut boobie top.’ I think the lying to myself is the most pathetic thing I’ve ever done.”