But the wide, outrageous, I have-some-suits-in-the-barn (show) crowds – these characters always experience emotions that are so high that they are forced to jump into a song – hiding the fact that in the center of the show something softer, sadder and darker. Yes, people at this show, especially Rebecca, behave impulsively and selfishly. Yes, it's funny.
But the show has always bothered to show that every self-destructive choice has consequences. Last season was so because of almost Rebecca's literal self-destruction: she tried to commit suicide. The run-up to that distressing moment and its ramifications were handled meticulously and portrayed in a responsible manner. It was not a plot point. It was not sensational or, worse, romanticized. It was a harsh, cold, ugly look in the darkness that lay in wait Crazy ex-girlfriend; in a very real sense, under the hands of jazz, is that uncomfortable darkness that the show is always about.
Rebecca is now working on herself, in the way that real characters from non-musical comedy & # 39; s do. And it goes as it happens, in the real world. That is to say: not perfect. She swings, she wallows, she falls back and she grabs easy answers (as in the "A Diagnosis" issue of Season 3, in which she tried to convince herself that only learning the medical name for her condition would repair, and do not just take the first step in a long and difficult process).
She does the work she has to do to herself – but the show is still funny, sometimes even light, because it knows something important. Rebecca can growing – she can start making mistakes, claiming her emotional baggage, questioning her choices and practicing mindfulness. And she can do it also be a selfish jerk, just like always.
Because that? Is still funny.
The producers have said in interviews that this season will be in the form of a salvation arch for Rebecca – that they will focus on a place that, for this dark performance, could at least resemble a happy ending. In this first episode, Rebecca embraces the idea of redemption too tightly, insisting on serving the prison sentence for the crime of stalker-throwing, despite mitigating and reasonably relieving conditions, because & # 39; This is what I earn & # 39 ;.
She is right in that. She is also, as evidenced by the laugh-through-cracked-tooth reactions of friends Paula (Donna Lynn Champlin) and Heather (Vella Lovell), very wrong about this – at least, in how she chooses to tackle it.
The script deftly confirms that a Rebecca who recognizes her mental illness can be just as funny as the Rebecca who denied her mental illness, because one thing about her – her being unaware of others' experiences – is so cunning and resilient. She is still looking for easy solutions, hilarious, in the musical song & # 39; What & # 39; s Your Story? & # 39; in which she demands, beyond the annoyed restraint of her fellow prisoners, that they empower themselves through the power of … musical autobiography?
But it is in the second issue of the episode "No one else is singing my song", where the show affects an essential truth of mental illness. The joke of the song is that three of the characters offer an exciting, melodic lament about their unique sense of complete isolation, without one of them realizing that they are all singing exactly the same song, in perfect three-part harmony with each other.
Finally, when the number reaches its peak, two of the three become aware of each other.
But not Rebecca.
The power of her depression simply means that she realizes that the other two have been with her and that they have been singing with their voices all this time. It is something that the viewer only gradually realizes, and in the beginning it is funny – there is again Rebecca's characteristic self-obsession at work, ha ha.
But then the meaning from that moment, from the chilling nature of Rebecca's isolation, finally records. It is so small and perfect, and powerful and typical Crazy ex-girlfriend.