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Top 10 Times Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Challenged Societal Norms

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox

The situation is a lot more nuanced than that. For this list we’ll be looking at groundbreaking moments from the series that shine a spotlight on subjects that usually don’t get a lot of screen time. Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Ways Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Challenged Societal Norms.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20ten%20times%20Crazy%20Ex%20Girlfriend%20challenged%20societal%20norms Special thanks to our users TalFox for suggesting this idea!

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Script written by Tal Fox

Top 10 Ways Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Challenged Societal Norms


The situation is a lot more nuanced than that. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 ways Crazy Ex-Girlfriend challenged societal norms.

For this list we’ll be looking at groundbreaking moments from the series that shine a spotlight on subjects that usually don’t get a lot of screen time. If you’re not up to date with the series, then consider this your spoiler alert.

#10: It Represents Bisexuals

Realizing that bisexuals are kind of invisible in TV world, the show’s writers created bi characters in collaboration with GLAAD, an organization that monitors representations of LGBT people in the media. The romantic storylines of bi characters Darryl and Valencia focus on how they explore their newly discovered sexuality, and how little their relationships differ from anyone else’s. When Darryl decides to come out to his colleagues - in song of course - the lyrics are used to dispel common misconceptions about what it means to be bisexual.

#9: It Empowers Women

This show has been praised for its feminist content, and boy does it ever do a lot to promote girl power. Some of the best and strongest relationships in the show are between the female characters, and it’s always great to see them have each other’s backs. The women are portrayed as strong, successful and, for the most part, independent, without it ever being mistaken for bossiness. And when Rebecca starts to lose herself, a group of teenagers reminds her that she must always put herself first.

#8: It Normalizes Periods

Despite being something that about half the world’s population experiences at some point in their lives, periods remain a taboo subject - and that’s something “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is trying to eliminate simply by… talking about it. For example, Rebecca tells Paula that the reason periods are ‘code blue’ is to perpetuate the patriarchal myth that women don’t bleed, as commonly seen in tampon commercials. In another great moment, Rebecca and Paula talk about the joy of syncing up with your best gals. However, the network drew the line at the song ‘Period Sex’, deciding that was going too far . . . Fortunately, that didn’t stop showrunner Rachel Bloom, who plays Rebecca, from uploading the full video onto her YouTube account.

#7: It Gives Men Emotions

While we’ve been focusing on its approach to female-centric issues, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” challenges stereotypes about men too, in particular the idea that emotions aren’t “manly”. This is best shown through the character Nathaniel, first introduced as the cold, uncaring boss too macho for naps. It doesn’t take long before Rebecca gets under his skin and he’s forced to acknowledge his emotions. The show addresses the trope even more explicitly with the song, ‘Fit Hot Guys Have Problems Too’ where Nathaniel, White Josh and Josh all sing about how being hot doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings and by the end of the song they’re all ugly crying - because even fit hot guys cry.

#6: It Destigmatizes Abortion

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” took a fantastic step forward in addressing the stigmatization of abortion in season two. When Paula realizes she’s pregnant just as she’s about to start law school, she has to weigh up whether now is a good time for her to have another baby and ultimately decides to have an abortion. At no point in the episode is her decision up for debate, nor is Paula judged for it. While it’s a minor storyline, viewers get to see what it’s actually like for a woman to be faced with this decision and she is celebrated for taking control over her own body.

#5: It Demystifies the Female Orgasm

We imagine a lot of women were grateful when the show broached this subject. Despite being clueless about the female anatomy, Tim believes he has a 100 percent success rate in getting women to orgasm. He can’t even bring himself to say ‘clitoris’ and tries to mansplain female pleasure to his female colleagues, but fortunately Paula doesn’t hesitate to shatter his illusion. Bloom had to convince the network to let them say clitoris on the show, which was the first live action network series to explain what the clitoris is.

#4: It Tackles Body Image

The show never fails to redefine beauty standards whether it’s ‘The Sexy Getting Ready Song’, or the desexualization of big breasts. It’s all too relatable to watch Rebecca as she waxes, tweezes and shapes every part of her body to a song that mocks the unsexy and even painful reality of societal beauty standards. Prior to production, Bloom planned on training to get a ‘TV body’ but decided against it, favoring instead to show audiences a more relatable body type. We love that there’s a TV show that promotes body positivity and will happily show body shamers the door.

#3: It Does Not Feature Token Characters

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” cheerfully celebrates diversity, but not in a way that feels forced. Whether the characters are black, Asian, Jewish, male, female, straight, gay, it’s an identity trait rather than a lazy stereotype used as plot point to drive the show. The characters are all different and flawed in their own ways which makes them realer and easier to relate to. The introduction of a second Josh, nicknamed ‘White Josh’ turns the concept of the token character on its head, and when Darryl suggests that ‘White Josh’ should be called ‘Gay Josh’, the response he receives is as hilarious as it is insightful.

#2: It Calls Out the Patriarchy

You don’t need to look much further than the show’s name to see this one. As well as reclaiming and redefining the ‘crazy’ in the expression “crazy ex-girlfriend”, the show works hard to disband patriarchal views on women, from ideas about their appearance to this nutty notion that women are too catty to be friends with each other. While there are so many great moments we could pinpoint to illustrate this point, nothing does it better than the season three song, ‘Let’s Generalize About Men.’ In this undeniably catchy number, the women turn the tables by making sweeping statements about men in a very self-aware and hilarious way.

#1: It Portrays Mental Health Issues Respectfully

It’s hard to come by a show that portrays mental illness in an honest and considerate manner. But from the first episode of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” onward, we see Rebecca grapple with anxiety and depression. It’s heartbreaking to watch Rebecca consider suicide but at no point is the incident glamorized or dramatized. Her road to recovery in season three begins with a new diagnosis, for which the writers actually consulted with psychiatrists. What’s more, there’s no facade that recovery is easy, but Rebecca’s song, ‘Diagnosis’ gives that glimmer of hope that things can get better.
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