[You Stupid Bitch tune] Well, Rebecca,
You’ve done it now;
You’ve gotten everything you said you wanted.
[updated version/different key; whimsical] So, take a moment and take a breath; After today, you’ll start fresh;
And finally I’ll be [pause; I’m The Villain In My Own Story tune in a major key] the hero of my own story.
The princess in the tale.
[updated version/different key] In an unexpected twist,
It turns out magic exists;
I’ll feel it in my dress and in my veil
[I Love My Daughter (But Not In A Creepy Way) tune] Daddy’s little girl,
Princess of his world
That was never something I knew before;
But now that I’m a bride,
He’ll look at me with pride;
[Poignantly different rhythm; also, more legato]‘Cause my daddy will love me,
And then, in a wonderful way,
Everything in the past will just fall away.
[new tune; more earnest/pleading] My daddy will love me,
And my mommy will love me,
And Josh will love me and then…
[We’ll Never Have Problems Again tune; song’s resolution] I’ll never have problems [pause] again.
– Rebecca’s Reprise from Crazy Ex Girlfriend
^Yea, I’m not doing this for every song or anything.
Full disclosure, I copy & pasted the lyrics from here, but ended up revising the punctuation based on my own interpretation/Rachel Bloom’s performance. The bold brackets  describe what is going on in the subsequent lyrics, according to me. Please let me know if I missed anything/got anything wrong!
Basically, I love breaking down discourse in order to explain it to others and/or add my own interpretation; whether it’s poetry (holla my “Picasso, Nietzsche and T.S. Eliot” Freshman Writing Seminar at the University of Michigan and my 11th grade poetry project on Theodore Roethke for AP English Lit), novels, dramatic writing or interview data from a semi-structured protocol. The process provides a structure through which, I can be creative and express my ideas.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” as a Whole
I’ve written about Aline Brosh McKenna and Rachel Bloom’ show previously (specifically, the Season 2 Finale), because the show means a lot to me and I can really relate to Rebecca (side note: I’m apparently very into semicolons, today).
Specifically, I grew up with songs in my head (Since I was 5, I’ve been in 4 musicals or plays a year, on average, until 6 years ago) and learned very early on that singing and acting could help me deal with emotional distress and psychological turmoil. While I still love to sing, dance and perform (and have managed to continue doing these things alongside a lot of academic training), creative, memoiristic, annotational and academic writing have recently joined the therapeutic-activities club! This is probably because I consider writing to be a kin to quietly talking to myself (and my audience), which helps me figure out my own thoughts and feelings on a subject (rather than just adopting those of loud, sometimes coercive, people). Acting, singing and performing play a very similar role in my life.
I’m not sure if what I’m about to write can be generalized to other people’s experiences, because I’m just me, but I find that creative, productive activities also help me heal from trauma in very specific ways. For example, all of the activities I mentioned require me to be emotionally buoyant and resilient. Thus, in addition to practicing adopting this healthy emotional framework, I also have the opportunity to work through, sometimes intense, feelings of frustration, jealousy, anger, love, joy, excitement etc.
In terms of how my ramblings relate back to CEG, the catharsis, emotional/cognitive empathy and giggles I experience from merely watching others (i.e., the CEG cast) sing on screen, is similarly very therapeutic for me.
The example of Rebecca’s Reprise
Rebecca’s Reprise is an excellent microcosm of the the entire series. For one thing, it includes excerpts from songs from the first two seasons sung by different characters. In addition, it illustrates key themes in the show:
Key theme 1: In the real world, Rebecca has yet to find her own, grounded voice (possibly because of low self-esteem). Instead, she latches onto “signs” the universe is “providing” her (my quotations indicate I think this is a bullshit notion; although, I must admit that when I haven’t been doing well, I’ve done the same), cultural standards (although her rational-self has admitted its not healthy to depend on relationships/others for your happiness) and the opinions of other important people in her life.
Key theme 1: Seeing the world in black and white, rather than shades of grey, is very easy to do. When Rebecca co-ops songs from earlier in the show’s lifetime, she either intensifies their message (e.g.,”Cause my daddy will love me […] Everything in the past will just fall away;” ending the reprise with a musically resolute, “I’ll never have problems again”) or uses them to express an opposite message (“You’ve gotten everything you said you wanted”). There’s no middle ground. The thing is, most people I know can’t identify the middle ground from one time or another.
For me, the weirdest thing about this song is that it reminds me of a very specific event from my childhood. I was around 7-years-old and recently admitted into my elementary school’s Gifted & Talented program. Awesomely, my peers and I were assigned to write an original play based on a fairytale. We chose Snow White, but decided there would be 7 Snow Whites and one dwarf. I was obviously the witch (I knew from a young age that the best part wasn’t always the ingenue). When I was finally defeated (I think I was pretending to be one of the Snow Whites?) and hurtling towards my demise, I rapidly went from one snow white personality to the next. It was a pretty epic emotional journey for a seven-year-old to convey, but whatevs…pretty sure I naaaaailed 😉
Anyway, I’ve read many a blog post about CEG proposing complex diagnoses for Rebecca Bunch. Whilst using the terms “depressed” and “anxious” doesn’t bother me so much, although us arm-chair clinicians cannot diagnose it…saying she’s bipolar or has a personality disorder is not helpful. Not because there is anything shameful or wrong about being diagnosed but that…it’s no-one’s right, except your psychiatrist’s or GP’s (but…the latter is a bit of a stretch), to do so. Also, as I’ve said before, from my experience, many people experience mental health issues that don’t amount to a formal diagnosis and don’t need to. Meds or no meds. Therapy or no therapy.
Ok! That’s it :0) Also…I’m a Doctor now! YAY! – Dr. Molly :0)