Coming in the wake of movie-to-TV adaptations nobody wanted, needlessly twisty thrillers nobody understands and even a few time-period-boosted successes nobody's excited about, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is something fresh, unfamiliar and original.
"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" is an American musical comedy co-created by Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna. It was originally pitched to the Showtime cable service but was ultimately picked up by The CW. The show was retooled for network broadcast and expanded from thirty minutes to an hour. It premiered on October 12, 2015 and was eventually renewed three times for a total of four seasons. The show garnered critical acclaim and earned several awards over that time. Its last official episode aired on April 5, 2019, followed by a live one hour concert featuring the cast.
Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna had a movie idea about a crazy ex-girlfriend she had been developing for awhile. While on researching on the Internet she came across several of Rachel Bloom's online YouTube videos which had a similar theme. McKenna brought Bloom's talents onboard to help turn her movie concept into a musical television show. They met in May 2013 and began a collaboration eventually pitching an idea for the project in September of that same year. It was green lighted by The Showtime Network and together McKenna and Bloom wrote a script for the pilot between December and March of the following year. Director Marc Webb, who had done the romantic comedy/drama "500 Days of Summer", was tapped to direct the pilot. When Showtime ultimately passed on the project McKenna and Bloom shopped it around to various networks until The CW picked up the show in May 2015. Originally conceived as a thirty minute sitcom, it was changed to a longer forty minute format and additionally a lot of the more racier aspects of the show had to be toned down. After a few cast changes/additions and reshooting several scenes in the pilot the show premiered on the CW network on October 12, 2015.
Rebecca Bunch gives up her successful legal career in New York and moves to West Covina, California to pursue her ex-boyfriend Josh Chan. As she settles in she meets Darryl Whitefeather who gave her a job at his law firm, her co-worker Paula Proctor who becomes an ally on her romantic quest, and a neighbor named Heather Davis who she goes to for sage advice. Over the year Rebecca not only tries to win Josh's heart but also has to deal with Josh's girlfriend Valencia, her confusing relationship with Josh's best friend Greg, her mother's disapproval of her actions, and a water conspiracy which brings her face-to-face with an old rival. More complications ensue as Rebecca seemingly gets over her obsession with her ex-boyfriend and falls for Greg. However, she winds up sleeping with Josh and unsettles him when she confesses he was the reason she to West Covina.
Rebecca’s tryst with Josh leads to a short cohabitation and friends-with-benefits arrangement which doesn’t last due to her admition that she moved to West Covina for him. Her ex-boyfriend Greg Serrano deals with his alchoholsm before leaving her as well to attend Emory University. Paula decides to pursue her own ambition of becoming a lawyer which, along with family issues, drives a wedge in her friendship with Rebecca. To cope with all these changes Rebecca forms a new bond with Valencia and Heather Davis. Meanwhile Josh briefly dates a new girlfriend only to be unceremoniously dumped. Once Rebecca reconciled with Paula she also starts dating Josh again. Desperate to make this relationship work he proposes to Rebecca and a wedding is quickly arranged. However, lingering doubts about Rebecca coupled with learning about a scandal from her past causes Josh to leave her at the altar to become a priest.
Rebecca emerged from a bout of depression over Josh leaving her at the altar to get revenge. She recruited her friends along with Nathaniel to help but their efforts didn’t satisfy her. Instead Rebecca confronted Josh personally and inadvertently revealed all her schemes to win his love. She estranged herself from her friends and went home to her mother Naomi. She left when she learned her mom was manipulating her and on the plane ride back to California overdosed on pills. As she recovered and apologized to her friends she was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Rebecca began to date Nathaniel but broke up with him as she wasn’t ready for another relationship. Despite this, she and Nathaniel started sleeping together for months even though he was dating Mona until she again ended things. Trent returned and vowed revenge after Rebecca rejected him once more. When Trent threatened Nathaniel’s life Rebecca intervened almost killing him in the process. She pleaded guilty on charges of attempted murder to atone for all of the horrible things she did since moving to West Covina.
Rebecca insists she is guilty and is sent by the judge to prison to rethink her plea. Her time in jail makes Rebecca aware of those less fortunate than her. Once she is acquitted of all charges she opens a free legal clinic in prison. She also decides to stop seeing Nathaniel and quit her job to open a Bagel shop. Her friends in the Gurl Group also made similar life changing decisions: Heather married Hector and moved to El Segundo, Valencia and her girlfriend Beth joined a New York party planning company and Paula accepted a job as an attorney at a prestigious law firm. Meanwhile, Nathaniel got demoted as his father installed Bert as the head of the firm while Josh went to therapy to help find a new purpose. A now sober Greg returned to town and he and Rebecca started dated again. However, it ended so she could deal with her BPD issues. Rebecca also struggled to find a more fulfilling direction in life just as Josh, Nathaniel and Greg hoped to get back together romantically with her. With Paulas help Rebecca decided to become a musician and told her suitors she couldn’t choose any of them as she needed time to work on her new career. A year later she invited her friends to a club to hear the songs she composed.