There’s a graceful beauty to how Rebecca Bunch steers herself calmly off the sides of cliffs on a regular basis on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – or more specifically, how Crazy Ex-Girlfriend brings beauty to the clumsy, reductive moments in Rebecca’s life. Even more remarkable is how it does so without judgment of her, or anyone else screwing up their own life by refusing to mature. That’s a rare thing to find on television, which is prone to establishing what is “good” and “bad” by the end of its first episode; Crazy never stops fumbling blind in the caves of human morality, and never blames anyone else for doing the same, one of a dozen reasons why “I’m Back At Camp With Josh!” is such a fantastic episode of television.
Paired with last week’s disaster of a beach trip, “I’m Back At Camp With Josh!” is Crazy forcing everyone to open their eyes a bit about their lives; Josh about his position in his relationship, Rebecca with her pursuit of Josh (though once again, she’s foiled by his eternal charm) – and most impressively, Greg and his inability to commit to anyone. Greg’s is particularly surprising; the episode sets up – and executes – a fantastic arc with Rebecca “empowering” Josh after a miserable day at camp, all while cooking up this fantastic Greg subplot, where he makes out with an old high school crush and realizes he needs to grow up.
It doesn’t sound so great on paper; a plot where Greg breaks up with Heather at the beginning, only to be dating her by the end, seems goofy and superficial in a way most of Crazy‘s stories or jokes aren’t. But it’s really an important step in building Greg as a character, rather than an amusing, cynical caricature of the unsatisfied thirty year old; until he became a person who pushed forward in life, he was going to be a person who fell into a cycle of failure, which isn’t exactly engaging to watch long-term. But Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is committed to real growth, and turning perceived failures – Greg running from Heather, Josh laughing at Rachel and hurting her feelings – into something meaningful and positive.
Little touches like that go a long way; giving dimensions to all of its characters – including Hector, who is awake this week!- is key to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s lasting power as a show. Not only does it directly affect the emotional impact of its larger, Rebecca-focused stories; it also gives audiences a break from them on a regular basis, redialing Rebecca’s usage rate back a bit in order to let the secondary cast balance out the world of West Covina a little more. This may lead to some awkward editing choices between scenes of “I’m Back At Camp With Josh!” cutting back and forth between Darryl’s desperate party and Rebecca’s horrible, no good day at camp – but it allows Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to operate on so many different narrative and thematic levels, finding harmony between its earnest portrayal of the human desire to love, and its undeniably realistic portrayal of the struggles of true emotional maturity.
- The path from happy barista to dead barista is a dark and strange one… it even involves being a space barista at some point apparently.
- I could write a thousand words each about the individual mastery of “Having a Few People Over” and “Put Yourself First” – and “Dear Joshua Felix Chan” ain’t bad, either.
- Snail-iana Grande… ha!
- There’s something to be said for how Crazy’s been able to define Josh’s naivety towards Rebecca’s feelings as part of his character, without making him a complete idiot. Sure, he’s dumb, but the early recognition of his own feelings for her, along with his integrity as a (newly empowered) partner in a relationship, make him such an earnest, honest character, and arguably the best “already have a girlfriend” male protagonist of a romantic comedy in ages.
- “They used an algorithm.” “Oh no!” Oh, Josh, you poor boy.
- White Josh got a little… odder this week, along with being arguably the most endearing character of the whole hour.
- “She has this theory that ‘time is money’ or something.”
- Shots fired at Terry Richardson.
- Those high school girls were so perfectly cast. “That b*tch is thirsty” had me rolling.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 1 Episode 10 Review: "I'm Back At Camp With Josh!"
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend continues to fire on all cylinders with another fantastic episode.