Required Listening – Crazy Ex Girlfriend

Antonia Talks about Let’s Generalize About Men from Season 3 of the musical TV show Crazy Ex Girlfriend (2017):

“There are so many songs from Crazy Ex Girlfriend that I could have chosen as my Song of the Week – the show has both brilliant musical theatre pastiches (like the Fred and Ginger inspired Settle For Me from season 1) and catchy pop parodies (like the ABBA inspired The First Penis from season 3) which get stuck in your brain for days on end. 

In the end, I settled for Let’s Generalize about Men, because I think it demonstrates one of the things the show does so well – using humour and music to tap into how we think and feel and to examine important issues (the show is doing so much to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health).

Structurally, the show really understands how to segue from dialogue to musical number, without it feeling jarring (unlike many modern film musicals, where songs don’t evolve out of emotional plot points or help to further character or story development). Crazy Ex Girlfriend also uses songs to depart from its premise for a moment, to make a comment or joke about something else – this is case with Let’s Generalise About Men, where Rebecca Bunch (played by Rachel Bloom, who is also one of the show’s creators) and her friends sing a catchy 80’s inspired power anthem about how terrible men are. 

Now before you write in, you should probably note that the song is very clearly satirical. It’s not a song about how terrible men are, it’s a song which pokes fun at how we make assumptions about the opposite sex and that even though its wrong, sometimes it can feel cathartic. 

This song, (and many songs from the show) also examines the stereotypes and tropes often found in the romantic comedy or musical theatre genre – For example, Rebecca and pals sing “Gay Men are all really great/every single one/they’re never mean, just sassy/they’re all completely adorable and fun”, thus calling out the ‘gay best friend’ stereotype which has been perpetuated by romantic comedies.

There is much for musical theatre fans to enjoy in this show and I highly recommend checking it out – Crazy Ex Girlfriend is aired on the CW in the US and Season 1 – 3 can be found on Netflix in the UK.”

What’s your favourite song from Crazy Ex Girlfriend? Let us know in the comments below: