Yes, Chris and I are back by popular demand (by which I mean one person asking us about it on Twitter every couple of months) to rank all of the songs from the second season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. We’ve been threatening to do it for ages, but we had other stuff to do. Can’t remember what exactly, but it was definitely important.
As before, we ranked all of the songs individually and then pooled our numbers to work out an overall ranking, and where there was a tie we debated it between ourselves until we came up with an order that we were both happy with. Interestingly (and as always, I use that word with the greatest of optimism), there were a lot more ties this time, including a four-way tie for 20th place, what a time to be alive. Oh, and just to make sure that nobody’s hopes are raised unnecessarily, I’d just like to take this opportunity to clarify that we aren’t including ‘Triceratops Ballet’ (because it’s not a song) or ‘This Song Goes In A Loop De Loop’ (although I can’t pretend we weren’t tempted).
Right, then, let’s get to it…
30. ‘George’s Turn’ (Steve – 30th place / Chris – 27th place)
(Sung by Danny Jolles in S02E09: ‘When Do I Get To Spend Time With Josh?’)
Steve: We begin, appropriately enough, with a song that’s so low-impact that The CW didn’t even bother to upload it to their YouTube channel. It’s the pay-off for a running gag about a character whose name everyone’s been forgetting all season, getting his own moment in the spotlight for all of 20 seconds. And it’s fine, but it’s extremely inconsequential, and I know I was definitely anticipating that final joke before it happened. Also, they’ve already done their own ‘Rose’s Turn’ last season – and with much more effort – with ‘After Everything I’ve Done For You (That You Didn’t Ask For)’, which robs this of its impact a little. Maybe they should have done a parody of ‘Mr Cellophane’ instead?
Chris: Yeah, the real weakness here is that ideally this should feel like there’s an entire two minutes of song here being cut short prematurely, and it doesn’t, because it’s just a throwaway gag so about a minute of thought is put into the pre-amble and it shows. I quite like the George joke though (certainly better than however they thought Maia’s mini-storyline was going to land) so it’s not dead last for me.
29. ‘Tell Me I’m Okay (Patrick)’ (Steve – 25th place / Chris – 30th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom in S02E12: ‘Is Josh Free In Two Weeks?’)
Chris: One of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s strengths regarding its more straight-forwardly parodic numbers has always been sailing close enough to the original that you can tell what song’s being lifting from, but it’s not so close that it feels redundant. ‘Feeling Kinda Naughty’ is clearly riffing on ‘I Kissed A Girl’, ‘Dream Ghosts’ is a take on ‘Dreamgirls’, and ‘Gettin Bi’ is a refinement of the entire output of Huey Lewis & The News, but they’re also songs in their own right. ‘Tell Me I’m Okay (Patrick)’ on the other hand is ‘Alfie’. In terms of the chorus line, note for note. There’s no distance at all, either in terms of the tune, or even really the basic concept, which means I’m singing the original over the top (because it’s BURT GODDAMN BACHARACH, SHOW SOME RESPECT) and not really listening at all. So it’s fortunate I’m not really missing much beyond a standard torch song ending with the writers scribbling a half-baked “IBBLE IBBLE PATRICK WHAT’S IN YOUR VAN PATRICK ARE YOU PART OF THE ILLUMINATI” in at the end because…this show is about mental illness, notionally, in parts so why not? IBBLE IBBLE!
Steve: I don’t have any particularly strong feelings about this number which is why it ended up fairly low in my countdown, but there was one moment that allowed me to position it above five other songs: the bit where the package takes over playing the piano. What can I say, I’m a sucker for an incredibly silly visual gag.
28. ‘Thought Bubbles’ (Steve – 26th place / Chris – 29th place)
(Sung by Vincent Rodriguez III in S02E05: ‘Why Is Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Eating Carbs?’)
Steve: When I watched this episode I really expected this song to end up much higher in my ranking – it was fun, it was catchy, it was a parody of a style of music that I quite enjoy (I’ve been to see Jason Mraz in concert and everything) and I liked that it was a musical number for Josh that actually allowed us to see inside his head, considering that most of his big numbers (‘A Boy Band Made Up Of Four Joshes’, ‘Ping Pong Girl’, ‘We Tapped That Ass’ etc) are performed by the version of Josh that lives inside Rebecca’s head, rather than the one who lives in West Covina. And yet…viewed in the context of the whole season, it wasn’t one of those songs that particularly lingered in my mind, either in terms of hummability or in terms of dramatic impact – and while it amused me the first time, that A-A-A-A-A rhyme scheme in the second half really starts to grate on repeated listens. Plus I really don’t like to think of the possibility that Josh might stop liking his mom, because what if Amy Hill never comes back? That would be awful. (And are OK Go videos really that complex? I mean they’re probably quite complex for OK Go, but not for the rest of us.)
Chris: I on the other hand am not at all fond of this sort of music, so we’re already several yards behind the starting line before we even get started. I appreciate the idea of the song in theory – Josh is addicted to being in a relationship because when he’s alone his thoughts go to dark places – but yes the repetitive rhyming gets annoying, and really…the leaps the lyrics make to get from the usual bubble-headed Joshery to being intense and panicky aren’t relatable enough to make logical sense or bizarre enough to be funny, so we end up with “if I don’t go to the gym how can I raise a child?”, “what if I stop liking my mother like I stopped liking this type of dip” and “what if I go to hell and it’s like when I hurt my leg”. Also, Steve’s not mentioned it above, and it doesn’t really factor into the ranking but when Brittany Snow wanders in singing it, but in a sexy way, that’s an active cringe.
27. ‘So Maternal’ (Steve – 23rd place / Chris – 28th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom and Jamie Denbo in S02E08: ‘Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy?’)
Chris: Comedy songs have a fairly bad reputation generally, within the world of comedy, and as much as there’s cute aspects to this (Rebecca’s truly hideous haircut being the obvious stand-out) concepts like “annoying single people who want to be the cool aunt to the tune of Uptown Funk” is why. It sounds like something you’d get shouted out by an audience member on Whose Line Is It Anyway? and it’s all being done in service to one of the more pointless b-plots in the show’s history (“Rebecca does some babysitting because we need her to tread water for one whole episode before she gets back with Josh”). The brutality of the first verse is fun, they probably could have stopped there.
Steve: Yeah, I quite liked this one – and as someone who is also frequently convinced that the next thing I try my hand at will definitely be that thing I’m supernaturally talented at that I’ve been searching for all my life, I can certainly relate to it. But I agree it outstays its welcome a little bit. It gets its point across by the end of the first verse, and aside from the “A real wholesome meal? Piece of cake / Here, have a piece of cake!” gag which I have a soft spot for, I think pretty much everything from the cutaway to the podcast recording halfway through could be excised without losing anything of import.
26. ‘We Should Definitely Not Have Sex Right Now’ (Steve – 28th place / Chris – 23rd place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom and Vincent Rodriguez III in S02E01: ‘Where Is Josh’s Friend?’)
Steve: I had quite a long gap between watching the season two premiere and the rest of it – possibly something to do with the fact that I watched it on the night before my wedding, and so I was quite preoccupied after that with getting married and going on honeymoon, that sort of thing. And in that time I did find myself feeling slightly concerned that, based on the two songs I’d heard so far, the musical numbers in season two might not be up to the standard of those in season one. (A fear that I’m pleased to say proved to be utterly unfounded.) ‘Love Kernels’ was fine enough even though it didn’t particularly excite me (and we’ll get to that in due course), but I found ‘We Should Definitely Not Have Sex Right Now’ kind of empty – it’s not particularly memorable melodically, and I didn’t feel like it told me about anything about Rebecca or Josh that the episode leading up to it hadn’t already made clear – it felt like it existed because they needed a song to go there, not because this song needed to exist. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but as a note to end the first episode of the season on, it felt quite deflating for me.
Chris: I feel like this kind of had to be an understated number, otherwise it undercuts the joke about how they spent their entire production budget for the season on ‘Love Kernels’ (although tonally them being so cute together is a little jarring after the whole point of ‘Love Kernels’ is that Rebecca is kidding herself that they have any sort of real connection – I think it would have worked better coming earlier in the episode). As a throwaway Sade parody I quite like it – it’s hummable, it mentions bonobos (the best of all the monkeys), the joke that they keep glitching in and out of having sex like a sequence from Mr Robot is quite funny…It’s total and utter filler, but I found it enjoyable enough.
25. ‘Who’s The New Guy?’ (Steve – 22nd place / Chris – 24th place)
(Sung by Donna Lynne Champlin, Michael McMillian, Esther Povitsky, Stephnie Weir and Danny Jolles in S02E09: ‘When Do I Get To Spend Time With Josh?’)
Chris: ‘Who’s The New Guy?’ is easily the most meta Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has got over the course of its first two seasons, and this is a show that at one point recreated the entire first season theme tune almost verbatim as in-show dialogue. It’s a song introducing a new character (Nathaniel Plimpton III) to the tv show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, all about how he’s a new starter at Whitefeather & Associates the fictional in-series law firm, which also makes more than passing reference to how the show gets low ratings, and also finds space (just about) to work in how casting another straight white male character as a main character is a bit regressive in and as of itself, with all four things constantly winking at one another like Anne Robinson with a trapped nerve. In short it’s a lot. Some of the jokes work in a straightforward fashion, some of them work because they’re such a stretch (and the show knows they are), some of them are everything to do with Weird Karen…I like it, I’d just like it more if it had either given itself more space to expand on its themes or tried to do less.
Steve: Yeah, I definitely find the absolute shamelessness of the meta-jokes in this one endearing (and “why should we root for someone male, straight and white?” deserves to become a Tumblr meme forever). I think the only reason I didn’t rank this higher, and perhaps I’m being over-sensitive here, is that I can’t help feeling that a show that most of the time works really hard to highlight mental health problems and the many ways they manifest is slightly cheapening itself by using “Karen’s having a manic episode lol” as a punchline repeatedly.
24. ‘You’re My Best Friend (And I Know I’m Not Yours)’ (Steve – 21st place / Chris – 25th place)
(Sung by Pete Gardner in S02E12: ‘Josh Is The Man Of My Dreams, Right?’)
Steve: It was quite a brave decision for season two to take Darryl, one of the show’s most inherently likeable characters, and lean heavily into the worst aspects of his personality. Most of this was tied into his neediness and insecurity: from deciding to assert his dominance in one tiny aspect of his life by making poor Maya as miserable as possible (not a high point for his character, it has to be said), to his worries that White Josh was only dating him because he’s majorly into daddies, to his slightly embarrassing determination to cast himself in the role of Paula’s best friend. This song was the payoff for that particular arc as Darryl finally becomes secure enough in himself to accept that Paula is more important to him than he is to her, and expresses it in a very sweet but also undeniably passive-aggressive way – quintessential Darryl Whitefeather, in other words. As is the case in pretty much 100 per cent of Darryl songs, it’s Pete Gardner’s charm and commitment that really sells it, although Donna Lynne Champlin’s reactions do a lot of fine work here too. I think its low placing overall is more an indictment of the plotlines it’s associated with than the song itself, but I’ll leave it to Chris to pass final judgement on that.
Chris: I feel like I actually have the opposite problem to you with this? I don’t think Darryl’s season 2 storylines were the best on the whole, but Darryl being more into Paula than she is into him as a friend was one of the better ones (mostly because it runs as a neat parallel to Paula’s relationship with Rebecca suffering as a result of the fact that Paula feels like she needs Rebecca more than Rebecca needs her) but the song itself leans a little too hard into Darryl’s cornball “aw shucks!” side. Even as a song that’s referencing Yanni kids singalong tapes (I think) it gets a bit much. Maybe it’s the ukulele?
23. ‘Stuck In The Bathroom’ (Steve – 16th place / Chris – 22nd place)
(Sung by Vella Lovell in S02E06: ‘Who Needs Josh When You Have A Girl Group?’)
Chris: Season 2 was trailed with the show’s writers saying repeatedly that they were going to give the supporting cast more songs this series, really sharing the wealth, with Heather getting particular focus. Because apparently Vella Lovell blew everyone away at karaoke one time, and inspired them all to write songs for her. And then season 2 actually airs, and we get…this. A rap parody of ‘Trapped In The Closet’, with intentionally (I think) strangulated warble-singing thrown in for the more rhythmic bits. It’s funny in just what a bait and switch it is, but I feel like if Vella Lovell CAN actually sing then she probably deserved better for her solo spot than this. On the other hand, whilst ‘Stuck In The Bathroom’ isn’t much as a song it is a great visual parody of the whole ‘Trapped In The Closet’ phenomenon, with the constant cutting between breaking and preserving the fourth wall being good for a few laughs. Also Weird Karen in a dominatrix outfit is the best Weird Karen.
Steve: I think one of the main joys of this show is that just about anything is considered ripe for parody, even something as decidedly as old-meme as ‘Trapped In The Closet’. This one I enjoyed just because it’s entirely unlike anything else Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has done, and also because it’s really funny to hear Heather’s voice coming out of Valencia’s mouth.
22. ‘It Was A Shit Show’ (Steve – 12th place / Chris – 26th place)
(Sung by Santino Fontana in S02E04: ‘When Will Josh And His Friend Leave Me Alone?’)
Steve: So, you’ve probably noticed at this point that this is the first (spoiler: but not the last!) song on the countdown where Chris and I were in considerable disagreement over where it belonged. So, first of all, let me mount the case for the defence: this is Greg’s big swansong on the show, his own personal eleven o’clock number. It’s a song that has to somehow encapsulate all of his divided loyalties: his feelings for Rebecca, his friendship with Josh, his understanding that his relationship with Rebecca was irretrievably toxic, his need to distance himself from the negative influences in his life, his desire to finally make something of himself, and not forgetting his very Greg-like tendency to know all of the above and still somehow make the wrong decision. And I gotta say, I think it pulls that off with aplomb. There are some lovely, deft lyrical reflections on what went wrong (“We can’t undo, can’t make amends … we can’t un-screw each other’s friends”), Santino Fontana sings the absolute hell out of it, and it hits all of the emotional targets that ‘Settle For Me’ failed to do in season one. As a coda to Greg’s story (assuming that the Greg in ‘We Tapped That Ass’ is “Greg” rather than Greg), I found it completely satisfying.
Chris: Or it’s ‘My Way’ with the phrase “A play about pieces of faeces is what we are together” slid up it. I dunno, Santino Fontana sells it, but for a song that’s supposedly Greg’s big moment of realisation, seizing his self-respect in both hands and transcending up the airport escalator to heaven a new life away from Rebecca’s excessive hyper-sexual attention (and mine)…it doesn’t actually end? On purpose? If this is definitely over why not have one climactic “SHITTTTTT SHOWWWWWWWWWWWWW”? Is he going to appear in the middle of Series 4 just shouting it randomly? And also it’s kind of confusing? Are they going to have sex in that hotel or not? Why has Greg suddenly decided this relationship was so bad? I dunno, Not Another Teen Movie did a better subversion of the last second airport dash than this, and that’s Not Another Teen Movie.
21. ‘Love Kernels’ (Steve – 27th place / Chris – 11th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom in S02E01: ‘Where Is Josh’s Friend?’)
Chris: In the run of Season 2, Rebecca and Josh’s arc has to do a lot in the span of 13 episodes. They have to get together, break up because Rebecca’s faked a pregnancy, date other people, get back together again, get engaged, and then (almost) get married. That took Ross and Rachel 121 episodes. Minus the faked pregnancy. I think. So the relationship songs between the two really have to zing to propel things along and also convey their emotions and feelings very clearly. And ‘Love Kernels’ does that all, with a big budget parody of Beyonce’s entire artistic aesthetic of the last decade (also featuring Rachel Bloom dressed as a sexy fashion cactus and a hamster that goes “slurp slurp”), all conveying that we’re only 15 minutes off Rebecca and Josh’s shag in the back of a car and already everything sucks. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been there, but Rebecca’s sheer neediness at the slightest sign of affection from Josh (seriously, that sadness right at the back of her voice when she’s trying to persuade herself she’s the most important person in his life “…next to his friend…”) gets me right in the pit of my stomach, and it’s a good hard slam of an immediate comedown after we spent the first season pondering dreamily how Rebecca and Josh might work together. Well it works like this, and it’s unpleasant. Also, DARRYL IS NOW PLAYED BY A BROOM ON A STAND! WITH GOOGLY EYES!
Steve: I’m going to hold my hands up and say that I’m pretty sure the main reason I ranked this so low is because I’m not that familiar with the visual side of Lemonade and so I think a lot of the nuances of this particular parody were lost on me? As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t particularly bowled over by either of the songs in the season premiere, and while this was definitely my preferred one of the two, I still found it kind of meandering and grating on first listen. Repeated listens have helped me come around to it a little, but sometimes first impressions are hard to shake. I do love Broom Darryl though – hands down, best joke of the entire season. (Also, I came across it too late to influence this ranking, but I did love reading an interview with Rachel Bloom where she admitted that they really did blow a major chunk of their production budget on making this, and that the last chorus is the most meta thing they’ve ever done.)
20. ‘Duh!’ (Steve – 18th place / Chris – 20th place)
(Sung by Vincent Rodriguez III in S02E08: ‘Who Is Josh’s Soup Fairy?’)
Steve: So, if ‘Thought Bubbles’ was the less successful attempt at a solo Josh number that allows us to peek inside his head, this is the one that they got right. Having struck out with one woman, Josh immediately latches on to the nearest available/interested woman because that’s what Josh does, and…that’s it. What I love about this track is the way it confirms what I think many of us had been suspecting for a while: that Josh is not a particularly emotionally-complex person. Given cause to reflect on why Rebecca is the one for him, he thinks of “that one time…and that other time”. And when he realises he needs to tell Rebecca how he feels: “all I know is I gotta do something now / Either do or say / Is it like a ‘do’, or is it like a ‘say’?”. Josh thinks a lot about the end goal, but not an awful lot about how to get there, or indeed what he’ll do once he’s achieved it – but he does do it in a ridiculously catchy Justin Bieber/Chainsmokers-style number, which is the main thing. Also, major props to Vincent Rodriguez III for doing the whole number in that truly hideous mall fashion show outfit with all the zippers. *shudders*
Chris: I like it because he says “duh!” a lot.
19. ‘Man Nap’ (Steve – 29th place / Chris – 7th place)
(Sung by Pete Gardner, Michael McMillian and Burl Moseley in S02E12: ‘Is Josh Free In Two Weeks?’)
Chris: I love that both of the songs in today’s update primarily hinge around guys being stupid and macho, gives me a lot to say… Anyway, I unapolagetically love ‘Man Nap’. I can see why you’d write it off as a throwaway tossed off poodle rock parody, and I’m not surprised it’s (SPOILERS) the biggest discrepancy between mine and Steve’s placements on this list, but I will always throw down for a parody of Axl Rose’s ridiculous nasal singing voice and nonsense lyrics, so every “MAYYYY-UN” here made me pump my fist, just a little. It totally redeems the (godawful) “Nathaniel walks around for an entire episode sharting himself” plot (WHY?) and it’s easily the song this series that I get the most use for in day to day life, and I don’t even use my suit jacket as a blanky that often. Compared to season one, I think this series felt the absence of “Pete Gardiner Just Being A Goofball” numbers, so I’m glad we got this one, towards the end, with some amazing cheap wigs and ugly outfits on top.
Steve: Whereas I felt this was a one-joke song where the joke wasn’t particularly funny. Oh well.
18. ‘What A Rush To Be A Bride’ (Steve – 13th place / Chris – 21st place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom and Donna Lynne Champlin in S02E13: ‘Can Josh Take A Leap Of Faith?’)
Steve: There was definitely an increased sense of confidence surrounding the musical numbers in season two, very much like “okay everyone, we managed 22 episodes last year, 13 is going to be an absolute walk in the park, so let’s really see where we can push it”. This led to a number of occasions where the show zigged where we expected them to zag, like having Rebecca and Paula expressing their emotions on the morning of Rebecca and Josh’s nuptials through the medium of heavy metal. This was a smart idea: not only is the resulting dissonance hilarious, but it also leaves them so much more emotional mileage for when ‘Rebecca’s Reprise’ comes around later in the episode to knee you square in the feels. And while we’ve criticised songs elsewhere in this write-up for being one joke drawn out over two minutes, the specificity of the lyrics here (particularly Rebecca and Paula growling their way through the minutiae of her Order of Service) lends that one joke a level of complexity that comfortably carries it through to the end.
Chris: This reads as death metal to me rather than heavy metal (I know, debate over the nuances of the different types of metal, and you thought you knew us) just because of the imagery and the sheer guttural growl both Donna Lynne Champlin and Rachel Bloom are putting on their vocals here. I do lean more to the view that this is a total one joke number, with no depth to it, but it is a funny joke so yay! It loses a little momentum somewhere around the part where Rebecca starts quoting Bible verse, but then it picks up again for the last verse, which is the funniest of the whole song. Who knew that “evil” was an anagram of “veil” as well as “vile”? You learn something new every day.
17. ‘Period Sex’ (Steve – 24th place / Chris – 10th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom in S02E03: ‘All Signs Point To Josh… Or Is It Josh’s Friend?’ and Tovah Feldshuh in S02E10: ‘Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?’)
Chris: I wasn’t really sure where to rank this one, because within the show itself it’s really one or two lines thrown in for a gross-out laugh, and if we were just ranking based on canon, it’d be lower in my list. BUT, I’m breaking the rules and taking into account two extra things – firstly the full online version, and the mystery surrounding it before it appeared fully formed, in all its Frankenstein glory, because it’s legitimately a funny song in its own right (and features one of the few instances where the lyric writers allowing themselves to run at the mouth outside of the rhythm of the song actually works!), and secondly when Tovah Feldshuh starts singing it in the episode where Rebecca and Josh go home, which made me SCREAM OUT LOUD the first time I saw it. And that’s not an easy thing to do. Honest.
Steve: Yeah, knowing exactly what criteria we were using to evaluate ‘Period Sex’ gave me some pause, but Chris is right: we have to loosen the rules a little here and go with the full too-hot-for-TV version because it’s too funny not to. And I’m pretty sure I screamed when Tovah Feldshuh started singing it too, when I watched it several months after you did. Our neighbours must be wondering what’s going on.
16. ‘Research Me Obsessively’ (Steve – 17th place / Chris – 16th place)
(Sung by Brittany Snow in S02E07: ‘Who’s The Cool Girl Josh Is Dating?’)
Steve: Poor Brittany Snow – Anna was kind of a thankless role whose main purpose was just to keep Rebecca and Josh apart for a few episodes (and also to give Rebecca and Valencia a shared enemy for once) and who was dispatched with fairly indecent haste the second she’d served her purpose, but at least she got one killer song out of it. Well, I say “killer song” – this is another one of those efforts where it feels like the melody and lyrics were written independently in soundproofed rooms with no means of each contacting the other, but despite the two conflicting rhythms, somehow the end result just works. There’s something wonderfully seductive in Brittany Snow’s delivery, which Rachel Bloom’s and Gabrielle Ruiz’s reactions play off beautifully, the increasingly insane mid-section (“is that my obituary, in which I’m survived by my loving husband Eddie of 50 years, children Susan and Matthew and grandchild Stephanie?”) makes me cackle every time, and despite the fact that I can never hold many of the lyrics in my head for more than about five minutes, the sheer earworminess of the melody makes this probably the most hummable song of the season.
Chris: Honestly I’m surprised it took Crazy Ex Girlfriend a full 25 episodes before they got to a song about facebook stalking, as you’d expect it to be a pretty significant part of Rebecca’s arsenal. I’m glad that they palmed off the actual singing to Brittany Snow here though, as the ridiculously oversexed vocal styling she uses on the song gives the lyrics about five extra layers of innuendo they don’t actually possess, and I’m always here for more innuendo. The laying out of the process of trawling through someone’s social media profiles probably leans too close to the blandly descriptive rather than being “ha ha” funny but the song makes it all sound very sexy regardless. Anna really worked a lot better as the unknowable Cool Girl cypher, as evidenced by what happened when they tried to give her a personality.
15. ‘Maybe This Dream’ (Steve – 20th place / Chris – 13th place)
(Sung by Donna Lynne Champlin, Michael McMillian and Burl Moseley in S02E02: ‘When Will Josh See How Cool I Am?’)
Chris: Donna Lynn Champlin’s one big vocal showcase of the series, and it’s a straight up Old Disney princess song parody, with jokes about pissing yourself and menstrual cramps on top. And why not? It’s a little try-hard, but on top of the fact that singing about pissing yourself in the street in the style of iconic kids movies is funny in and as of itself, the whole point is that Paula Proctor is a lot more earthy than your typical Disney princess, her dream is a career, not a handsome prince on a shining white horse, and also she’s quite happy to talk about her feminine bodily functions around the office and if you MEN don’t like it, then too bad. Also it features the Reverend Steve Newlin going “Tweedle Dweedle Dee” dressed as an adorable birdy, and who doesn’t love that? On top of the gags, Donna Lynn Champlin of course also sells really beautifully that Paula’s life is kind of depressing and that she’s slowly moving out of trying to add levity to that by meddling in other people’s lives and instead having ambitions of her own. It’s a song of personal growth, brilliantly (and bizarrely! – some of those notes should not be coming out of a person) sung, what’s not to like?
Steve: I do really like this song, it’s just that… I just really didn’t need to be that intimately acquainted with so many of Paula’s bodily functions in such a short space of time, and I can’t quite get past it. Sorry.
14. ‘Trent Is Getting Ready Song’ (Steve – 15th place / Chris – 17th place)
(Sung by Paul Welsh in S02E06: ‘Who Needs Josh When You Have A Girl Group?’)
Steve: The return of Trent was one of the most delightful surprises of season two, but this song was when it went from “cute continuity nod” to “absolute masterstroke”. Seeing Trent preparing for his upcoming evening of befriending (/absolutely terrifying) Rebecca’s male friends while reprising Rebecca’s own ode to grooming was magnificent, honed to perfection by Paul Welsh’s sociopathic delivery. And best of all, it only lasts 30 seconds – just enough time to get in, land the joke, and leave ’em wanting more. When Chris made the point during the write-up of ‘George’s Turn’ about how it needed to feel that there was a whole song’s worth of material that was cut short just as it was warming up, this should have been the model for it.
Chris: I just love Trent so much, such an irrelevant completely ineffectual background schemer whose plans always come to absolutely nothing, and this is the perfect amount of song for him to get. Also? One thicc bih.
13. ‘Rebecca’s Reprise’ (Steve – 11th place / Chris – 19th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom in S02E13: ‘Can Josh Take A Leap Of Faith?’)
Chris: One of the best things about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (as I’m fairly sure we covered in the rundown of the first series) is how the show is constantly reusing little bits of its score here and there to underline or subvert a point, and ‘Rebecca’s Reprise’ is probably the most ambitious example. Coming at the climax of Season 2, just as Rebecca is standing on the point of victory and marriage to her One True Destined Love (before oops it turns out he has commitment issues, who could have seen that coming?), ‘Rebecca’s Reprise’ pulls in bits and pieces of four songs used in earlier episodes (‘You Stupid Bitch’, I’m The Villain In My Own Story’, ‘I Love My Daughter (But Not In A Creepy Way)’, ‘We’ll Never Have Problems Again’), rewrites half the lyrics, and makes them a hopeful (yet clearly doomed) victory lap. It’s a nice note to end the part of the season where everything hasn’t yet turned to shit, but if I have one problem, it’s that it would have been stronger if they’d continued to subvert songs about Rebecca’s self-loathing into ones of (delusional) hope, rather than getting lost down a random Darryl song. Maybe ‘Settle For Me’ or ‘Sexy French Depression’ or ‘Love Kernels’ would have been harder to work in melodically, but thematically I think it would have landed better. Or maybe I’m just not really that interested in Rebecca’s daddy issues beyond the basic fact that she has them.
Steve: See, for me, the fact that this song goes beyond the predictable sources is what makes it. ‘You Stupid Bitch’ getting a hope-tinged reprise makes sense and is almost expected, whereas I don’t think anybody ever anticipated a callback to ‘I Love My Daughter (But Not In A Creepy Way)’, least of all from anyone other than Darryl. Also it’s a nice touch that making these song so incredibly optimistic is somehow even more depressing than they were originally, because it just makes you know that something extremely awful is about to happen.
12. ‘Makey Makeover’ (Steve – 19th place / Chris – 8th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom in S02E04: ‘When Will Josh And His Friend Leave Me Alone?’)
Steve: I can’t help but admire the ambition that goes into parodying Toni Basil’s ‘Mickey’ with the specific intention of making it even more irritatingly repetitive – it’s trolling made into an art form. Weirdly, it actually works out well – there’s always been something fairly juvenile about Rebecca’s approach to problem-solving, so this squeaky-voiced accompaniment to her plan to rebranding herself in the wake of her break-up with Josh by getting a makeover and becoming Miss Douche makes a lot of sense. In character development terms, I mean – the actual song itself makes no sense whatsoever and is all the better for it. “Old you in the garbage, new you in display case!” indeed. Also, I heard that at one point the plan was for the “I had a stroke” refrain at the end to be more…graphically rendered, and I’m very glad they decided not to go through with that.
Chris: I dunno, I’d kind of be into fading out with Rebecca on the floor with blood seeping from her nose. Probably too dark for the CW but there we are. Basically I love how aggressive and deranged this whole interlude is. From just how “nails on a blackboard” squeaky Rachel gets her voice, to how she earnestly pips “OLD YOU IN THE GARBAGE!”, to the randomness of “process, process, reveal, reveal!”. There’s no doubt from the opening that you’re supposed to be profoundly uneasy with the whole thing, and it works really well.
11. ‘You Go First’ (Steve – 9th place / Chris – 18th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom and Donna Lynne Champlin in S02E07: ‘Who’s The Cool Girl Josh Is Dating?’)
Chris: Just like I was surprised that it took a season and a half for the show to get round to referencing the concept of facebook stalking in song in a show about an obsessive ex, I also have to admit I thought it’d take fewer than 25 episodes and about 50-60 songs to get round to explicitly referencing Heart. Maybe I’ve seen Bridesmaids one too many times, but it feels like the sort of thing this show would be right on top of. Anyway, Rebecca and Paula contemplate ending their half-season long feud, but both are just too proud, there’s lots of big wigs and dry ice and it’s all very fist pumpy and lighters aloft but there’s no one joke or moment I can really pick out here as particularly memorable. Other than the wigs. Obviously. Now do Bonnie Tyler.
Steve: Yeah, I must admit my fond memories of this one are based mostly on the wigs in the video and maybe it loses something when you just have the audio to go on, but then I think I generally have a much more pronounced weakness for 80s power ballads than Chris does, and anything that explicitly references the co-dependent love story of Paula and Rebecca is kryptonite to me, so even taking the wigs out of the equation this was still going to be comfortably within my top 10.
10. ‘We’ll Never Have Problems Again’ (Steve – 10th place / Chris – 14th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom and Vincent Rodriguez III in S02E10: ‘Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?’)
Steve: Because I encountered so many of the season one songs on YouTube before I saw them on the show in their proper context, I was determined to be as song-spoiler-free as possible for season two – and a few lapses aside (look, ‘Friendtopia’ autoplayed one time and I was powerless to stop it, okay?) I pretty much managed it. It was, however, still pretty difficult to avoid at least seeing the titles of them, so sometimes I went into an episode with preconceptions based on those alone – and I’ll admit I wasn’t that enthused at the prospect of an extremely on-the-nose denial song from Rebecca and Josh about their relationship prospects. I now freely admit I was wrong – I mean, it is an extremely on-the-nose denial song from Rebecca and Josh about their relationship prospects, but it’s done with such verve that it’s completely charming. It’s hard to specify what I love most about it: Heather “Soul Train[ing] out of here” after her attempts to make them see sense fall on deaf ears, Josh’s adorable fluffy 1970s hair, Vincent Rodriguez III’s flawless delivery of “oh man, that was annoying”, the callback to the season one theme song, those absolutely hideous jumpsuits, the “Love = Yay!” sign in the background – it’s all gold, and it’s got probably one of the most effortlessly singalongable choruses of the entire season to boot. Live fadeout, live fadeout, live fadeout, live fadeout, live fadeout…
Chris: Yeah I like this a lot – the plot for the whole of the last third of the series has to slam hard on the accelerator, and this song definitely does that, with Josh and Rebecca going from 0 to 100 in the space of one performance. As much as it’s a really fun song in its own right, I think my favourite part is just how much better a dancer Vincent Rodriguez is than Rachel Bloom. I dunno, it’s just cute.
9. ‘Santa Ana Winds’ (Steve – 5th place / Chris – 15th place)
(Sung by Eric Michael Roy in S02E11: ‘Josh Is The Man Of My Dreams, Right?’)
Chris: Really ‘Santa Ana Winds’ is probably the song (/song suite) I have the most mixed feelings abouut of all the performances of season two. On the one hand I love the whole concept, the performance, and the lyrics. A supernatural, vaguely demonic, weirdly aggressive (seriously, not just reprising ‘You Stupid Bitch’ directly to Rebecca’s face, but also earlier on, singing about comitting suicide whilst miming slitting his wrists and then also miming the blood spurting out of his arteries, I mean, this seems a bit much, for the CW) antagonistic Frankie Valli/weather phenomenon rollerskating around the streets of West Covina, spreading catastrophe, mayhem, and lift-shagging around is a great idea for a single episode villain, up there with Audra Levine and Grocery Clerk With Half An Eyelid. And Eric Michael Roy performs it perfectly, right at the edge of parody, without winking at all to how dark his character actually is, a kind of Teen Angel Of PCP. My problem though, is how it’s used in the episode. For all the playing around with reprises and references, the songs in Crazy Ex Girlfriend are used in a fairly straightforward fashion…except ‘Santa Ana Winds’, which is used mostly as narration, and kind of indifferently at that, sprinkled about the episode at seemingly random intervals, for 10 second bursts, quite clunkily. The middle two inserts end up feeling like speed bumps, and whilt I can hear the masses who are allergic to male falsetto groaning and protesting here already, I think they needed more space to develop, because as it is, they feel really perfunctory. Couldn’t we have cut the Darryl Best Friend song, I think we could.
Steve: Wow, somehow I never even noticed him miming cutting his own wrists, you’re right, that is dark. (But then the CW’s censors aren’t really known for their attention to detail, ever since they let that “you got a trophy for a rimjob?” joke through on Veronica Mars.) I don’t really have a lot to add here – I agree that the middle instalments are pretty disposable, but I based my placing primarily on the first and last sections – the first being a divinely irritating explanation of a weather phenomenon I was previously unfamiliar with, and the last for the way it suddenly catapults the show back into a very dark place again. And honestly I just find the idea of the “devil winds” sounding like Frankie Valli unfailingly funny.
8. ‘Let’s Have Intercourse’ (Steve – 14th place / Chris – 6th place)
(Sung by Scott Michael Foster in S02E11: ‘Josh Is The Man Of My Dreams, Right?’)
Steve: As someone who finds the entire oeuvre of Ed Sheeran to mostly amount to gross, patronising songs that are oddly mistaken for being romantic, it’s delicious to me that the show’s resident chauvinist pig is the one who gets to do a parody – only here the lyrics actually have some semblance of wit and, unlike Ed Sheeran’s, Scott Michael Foster’s voice does not make my ears shrivel up and try to climb inside my head for safety. As the first song that Nathaniel gets to sing on the show, this is his big Establishing Character Moment and, while I’m not sure it necessarily tells us anything we didn’t already know about him, it’s definitely the right combination of charming and smarming that makes him a worthy romantic foil for Rebecca in the run-up to the wedding. Plus I really think the world would be a better place if more ballads contained the line “I won’t be back to normal till I see what your nipples look like”.
Chris: Nathaniel as a character could have gone very wrong – clearly created to fill the gap left by Santino Fontana as the (current) Plan B romantic interest, he has to be just different enough to Josh in the same ways that Greg was (intelligent, cynical, neurotic) as to serve as a similar sort of foil, whilst also being different enough that he stands out as a character in his own right. And his only solo number of the series sets him out as a character perfectly. It’s a brutal, dismissive ballad devoted to the idea of banging someone out of sheer physical curiosity, that also neatly skewers the negging of songs like ‘Little Things’ or ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ by taking it all the way to the next level by having the hero brag about being in much better physical weight than the chick he’s trying to sweet talk into bed. Only Crazy Ex-Girlfriend could give you a love song from someone we’re almost certainly going to have to take seriously as a love interest in season three (because…where else is Rebecca going to go from here? Hector?) that begins with the lyric “Unfortunately I want to have sex with you”.
7. ‘The Math Of Love Triangles’ (Steve – 7th place / Chris – 12th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom and chorus in S02E03: ‘All Signs Point To Josh…Or Is It Josh’s Friend?’)
Chris: Coming for Marilyn Monroe like a shark in a satin dress, ‘The Math Of Love Triangles’ parodies old style Hollywood heroines who play adorably dumb by applying the stylists of the genre to Rebecca deliberately playing dumb about the morality of just how much she’s enjoying simultaneously stringing Greg and Josh along. Also with (deliberately) creaking mathematical puns about triangles. It’s a straightforward fun romp that I think would benefit from a bit more focus on Rachel Bloom playing dumb and vamping it up and a bit less on the peanut gallery of lolgay trigonometrists providing back-up and doing their best to mug their way into focus (apart from the whole “Is this a triangle?” “No that’s a shoe” “Is this a triangle?” “No that’s you” “So I’m a triangle?” “What? No.” interlude, which is amazing). Still, a big swing, lots of silly fun coy sexuality, Rebecca acting like a knob…there’s a lot to enjoy here.
Steve: I think this is the song that I wavered on the most in terms of where exactly I was going to rank it. On one hand, I think it’s genuinely one of the funniest songs of the season (the “is this a triangle?” skit that Chris quoted above makes me cackle every single time) and it’s probably one of the best-constructed overall too, but there are two things in it that snap me out of my enjoyment almost every time: “Oh no professors, am I facing suspension? / WHEEE A SWING, it’s literal suspension!” (don’t! explain! the! joke!) and “lady we’re all gay, we get nothing out of this” (which is just too hackneyed and obvious a punchline). But ultimately what it comes down to is that this is a truly memorable set-piece, with an absolutely winning Marilyn Monroe impression from Rachel Bloom (having correctly identified that the secret is to play smart playing dumb) and an absurdly large bow. Plus I really fancy one of the trigonometrists, feel free to speculate among yourselves in the comments which one it might be.
6. ‘Greg’s Drinking Song’ (Steve – 8th place / Chris – 9th place)
(Sung by Santino Fontana, Vincent Rodriguez III, David Hull, Erick Lopez and Johnny Ray Meeks in S02E02: ‘When Will Josh See How Cool I Am?’)
Steve: As the show’s explored the nuances of anxiety and depression through the medium of song in season one, it’s only fair that Greg gets to kick off season two by crooning about life as a (barely) functional alcoholic. And while this song is pretty unflinching in its portrayal of drunk-driving, vomiting and enuresis, it’s interesting that it’s mostly played for laughs in a way that ‘Sexy French Depression’, ‘You Stupid Bitch’ or even ‘Tell Me I’m Okay (Patrick)’ aren’t. Not that I’m suggesting the show cares less about alcoholism than depression – if anything, it’s probably more that Greg as a character is far more likely to try to pass it all off as a comical personality quirk than actually face it head-on. I think what really sells this for me is Santino Fontana’s guileless delivery of Greg’s misadventures – lines like “I pee my pants!” or “I puke on my cat!” wouldn’t be nearly as funny if they weren’t accompanied by an enthusiastic grin or an air-punch, and even the mid-song revelation that he had sex with a bush doesn’t seem to dampen Greg’s spirits. Sure, the song has the occasional lapse of internal logic (White Josh was aware of Greg being drunk enough to trash his car, but is surprised that he’s drunk enough to piss himself?), but the funny background events (Heather not contributing to the song but just looking faintly alarmed by everything she’s hearing, White Josh singing everything out of the side of his mouth for some reason) are more than enough to paper over the cracks. The only real disappointment that I’m taking away from this is that we never got to meet Greg’s poor cat Bruno, hear his side of the story. Seriously, if that cat could talk…
Chris: David Hull does everything out of one side of his mouth, it’s very distracting, he’s a human Dreamworks smirk. And yes, this would be higher if we got to see a cute cat, I’m only human. ‘Sexy French Depression’ is definitely the best comparison point for this one, as it’s basically the same parody – where the former skews the indie movie image of the sexy French lady pouting around her boudoir being philosophical and melancholy with tampon smells and pointless online shopping, here the cheerful late 19th century Irish-American drinking nightly with his buddies and singing rousing songs of sozzled japes and antics is undercut with wanton pants-pissing, unglamorous vomit, and attempts to hijack an airplane. Where ‘Greg’s Drinking Song’ has the advantage over ‘Sexy French Depression’ is that it’s catchier, funnier, more developed, and also directly invites me to visualise Santino Fontana’s penis. WHAT?
5. ‘Remember That We Suffered’ (Steve – 6th place / Chris – 3rd place)
(Sung by Patti Lupone, Tovah Feldshuh and Zach Reino in S02E10: ‘Will Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?’)
Chris: Following on from ‘Where’s The Bathroom?’ and ‘JAP Battle’, ‘Remember That We Suffered’ is season two’s song built entirely on references to Rebecca’s Jewish heritage, as she returns home to show Josh off at her cousin’s bar mitzvah and of course runs slap bang into her mother and SPECIAL GUEST STAR PATTI LUPONE playing her mother’s rabbi. There’s a lot of elements working off one another here – Patti Lupone playing the song straight (except for her trade mark chewy consonants and that one brilliantly ostentatious gasp), Tovah Feldshuh very much not playing the song straight, demonically dancing around and bugging her eyes out at every Hitler reference, Rebecca exasperatedly and constantly playing the hen-pecked daughter, Josh’s cheerfully gormless Joshy obliviousness that he’s dancing around enthusiastically to a bunch of people singing about the Holocaust (and also Haim), and finally the shudderingly deadpan DJ himself. Oh and Audra Levine and her tiny-dicked husband are in there somewhere if you care to look. Personally I have a never-ending weakness for Jewish humour, so whilst there’s pretty much no reason for this number to exist other than that Patti Lupone was right there and they wanted to make better use of her than Girls did, I could listen to it over and over again. Let’s just pretend that it fleshes out Rebecca’s relationship with her mother or something (it doesn’t).
Steve: Honestly, I think that massive gulp of air that Patti Lupone takes in the middle of her big note is reason enough for the song to exist all by itself. There’s so much to love here: the meta-reference to the song being in a minor key, Josh enthusiastically joining in despite having no frame of reference for literally anything that they’re singing about, the rhyming of “Hitler” with “Hitler” – plus also this song was how I realised I’d been mispronouncing “Haim” all these years, so it’s educational too.
4. ‘Ping Pong Girl’ (Steve – 4th place / Chris – 5th place)
(Sung by Vincent Rodriguez III in S02E02: ‘When Will Josh See How Cool I Am?’)
Steve: At this point, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has done so many songs about how the way Rebecca sees the world isn’t necessarily the way that the rest of us would recognise it that I’m starting to think they count as a separate genre in their own right, but in terms of the sheer number of brilliant gags landed in under three minutes, I think this one is the best. ‘Ping Pong Girl’ actually allows us to pinpoint the exact moment that Rebecca’s development when it came to men and relationships became arrested (well, it allows us to narrow it down to a time when guys still said they were going to go and “play Sega”, anyway), and it helps us see why her attempts at winning Josh over have been only been moderately successful at best: for starters, she thinks he has any idea what a “messy bun” is, and she doesn’t really understand or register his interests beyond “bros”, “beer” and “sports”. (Come on, Rebecca, he likes tech as well! You helped him get the job at Aloha Tech Center just last season!) Fortunately, Rebecca’s vague grasp of who Josh Chan is beneath the surface of “her ideal man” makes for rich comic fodder, particularly when it gives Vincent Rodriguez III the chance to really relish saying “penis” on network television twice. Speaking of Rodriguez, I don’t think any style of music on this show so far has suited him as well as skater-pop does, and he has that whiny/nasal delivery absolutely nailed. Everything in this track just works, and is raised up a level beyond that by Rachel Bloom’s continued willingness to wear ridiculous outfits for a laugh.
Chris: What I love about ‘Ping Pong Girl’ is not just that it shows that Rebecca really doesn’t understand Josh, or herself (you think in any universe you’re capable of coming across as aloof and reserved? Really?), but also that she doesn’t understand any men at all. Or possibly humans in general. It’s just one giant Jenga tower of escalating layers of unsuitable sexual/romantic fantasy. First of all basing it around ping pong of all sports. Then on top of that all the little ways, subtle and more straightforward, that it’s obvious that Rebecca doesn’t know the first thing about ping pong. “Pong that ping”? “Ping pong hall?” “She scored 1000 points”? The brilliantly timed “ping pong……….court?”. A lot of the Josh humour in season two revolves around him being dumb (eg his obliviousness in ‘Remember That We Suffered’, the stunted emotional awareness shown by ‘Thought Bubbles’ the entire song ‘Duh!’) so it’s nice to see Rebecca use his voice as a vessel to make an idiot of herself. Never mind all the tortured girl-logic of how seeing her in control and dominant will make him to settle down and get a mortgage! Sure! Why not? Also – catchy as hell.
3. ‘Friendtopia’ (Steve – 2nd place / Chris – 4th place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom, Vella Lovell and Gabrielle Ruiz in S02E06: ‘Who Needs Josh When You Have A Girl Group?’)
Chris: If there’s anything that’s the subject of undeserving scorn in pop culture it’s bad accents. People might claim that Keanu Reeves “ruined” Dracula with his bizarre attempt at posh, or sigh and roll their eyes at Brad Pitt going Oirish in Snatch, but there’s no greater guilty pleasure in all of the dramatic arts than a good bad accent. Let’s face it, would you watch Mary Poppins as an adult if it weren’t for Dick Van Dyke’s marblemouth “cockney”? Really? As an adult? I think not. And so we come to ‘Friendtopia’, a ‘Spice Up Your Life’ parody, that leans heavily on references to the song’s futuristic fascist video to create a hummable girlgroup banger about female friendships becoming so intense that they create their own totalitarian state, the CLEAR highlight of which is the truly dreadful accents on display. Clear highlights include “nostarlgic”, “squord”, “unstorpable”, “larn”, “stoorruh”, “becarms”, and…well everything that comes out of Vella Lovell’s mouth to be honest. There’s enough there that even if you’re not enough into the Spice Girls to get a kick out of the Wannabe video references or the 90s Italo-house piano, you can just sit back and enjoy all three performers desperately trying to escape the pull of a Don-Cheadle-In-Oceans-Eleven wormhole. It’s fun enough that you can almost get so into it that you don’t even question how Rebecca and Heather supposedly suddenly became BFFs with Valencia, it’s that strong.
Steve: Putting the accents to one side (just for a moment, I swear), my favourite thing about ‘Friendtopia’ is the self-doubt that comes creeping in during the second verse. I love that in their totalitarian state where they control all the crops and are capable of brainwashing, they still routinely get dumped or find themselves turned away from a trendy restaurant. So relatable! Also, I said a few times during the season one write-up that Gabrielle Ruiz was this show’s secret MVP of comedy, and I’m not sure she’s ever been funnier than she is in this video. That look on her face as she declares herself “tsar of torture”: superb. (Plus, I know it’s not at all canon, but I may have given this a few extra points purely for the live version where Vella Lovell was otherwise engaged so they recruited the most obvious understudy to play Heather for one night only: David Hull.)
2. ‘I’m Just A Girl In Love’ (Steve – 3rd place / Chris – 1st place)
(Sung by Rachel Bloom and chorus in every episode)
Steve: I freely admit that I came into season two with mixed feelings about a completely new theme song: I loved the old one like a firstborn child, but at the same time I understood the need for a new one because, mostly thanks to the season one finale, the plot had moved on so far as to render it redundant. And season two’s theme is jarringly different: instead of jaunty ’90s sitcom, it’s old Hollywood (complete with occasionally iffy lip-synching), and instead of being avoidant, it’s almost aggressive. Where season one’s theme song was all about Rebecca pretending that Josh Chan was the last thing on her mind, season two’s is Rebecca unashamedly admitting that Josh is her number one priority, but with the same total absence of self-awareness she showed when she tried to convince us that that wasn’t why she was heeeeeeeeere. It’s interesting that this is pretty much the same length as the season one theme, give or take a couple of seconds, but it just feels so much lighter and swifter because it’s not trying to drown us in backstory – it feels like a show that’s much more confident in its purpose at this point and is demonstrating that by showing us where Rebecca is right now rather than where she’s been (and that confidence is reinforced by the way the song underplays “she’s an ingénue!”, one of its best lines). And ending with Rebecca’s face BURSTING through the screen shouting “BLAM!” would’ve been perfect in its own right, but the decision to hold it juuuust long enough until it becomes genuinely uncomfortable before playing the final sting and showing the title card, that’s what propelled it right into the upper echelons of this countdown.
Chris: Long term the first three seasons of Crazy Ex Girlfriend follow a fairly straightforward arc – Rebecca pursues Josh Chan in Series 1; Rebecca dates and almost marries Josh Chan in Series 2; Rebecca gets over Josh Chan in Series 3. Which means in terms of the whole Josh Chan thing, Series 2 is the peak of the rollercoaster, and fortunately that’s exactly what its theme song sounds like. It’s feverish and frenetic and unreal and all just on the verge of toppling over the edge, as Rebecca loons around chewing on her vowels like Al Jolson, backed up by a retinue of backing dancers doing twitchy mad-eye and cocking their heads cynically at the camera with giant red hearts duct-taped to their butts, all culminating with gleefully Rebecca SMASHING HER FACE through a giant Josh Chan screaming BLAM! And of course its all played off in the final episode, as it’s revealed to be a cock-eyed distorted optimistic refraction of her own mothers courtroom defence of her for…well burning a lot of things down as a college student. In a straightforward sort of way, ‘I’m Just A Girl In Love’ is the most crazed song that Crazy Ex Girlfriend has ever done, funny and uncomfortable, straight-forwardly catchy and deceptively complicated, deeply silly and also really dark.
1. ‘We Tapped That Ass’ (Steve – 1st place / Chris – 2nd place)
(Sung by Vincent Rodriguez and Santino Fontana in S02E04: ‘When Will Josh And His Friend Leave Me Alone?’)
Chris: If ‘It Was A Shit Show’ was a slightly underwhelming goodbye for Greg Serrano, then don’t worry, a much better one was along only a few minutes later, as he (and Josh) meld the goofy energy of ‘I Gave You A UTI’ and the old-school Hollywood chauvinism of ‘Settle For Me’, with a final Gene Kelly & Donald O’Connor celebration of the fact that Greg and Josh (and the Vegan Taco Guy) had a lot of sex, all over Rebecca’s apartment. ‘We Tapped That Ass’ is just good solid fun, with both Santino Fontano and Vincent Rodriguez firing on all cylinders and tap-dancing up a storm all over the soft furnishings, with a whole lot of double entendres in tow. And I do like double entendres.
Steve: I love that this genesis of this song was apparently “Vincent Rodriguez III and Santino Fontana are both accomplished tap dancers and had been begging for an opportunity to show off”. I love that it made me mourn for the fact that we never really got any proper Greg/Josh duets until it was too late. I love that they brought Vegan Taco Guy back just for one line. I love that they clearly had to bring in an actual chest for Josh and Greg to dance on when Standards and Practices caught the “please, not on my chest” line. I love Greg’s inexplicable old-lady voice that he does when he’s impersonating Rebecca. I love that despite this being a song of Rebecca being haunted by her recent sexual history, it’s clear that she primarily regrets the break-ups rather than the sex itself. I love the line “on the ottoman you took a lotta man”. I love that it’s yet another Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song that I have learned not to sing out loud in public. I just love this song, you guys. Hands down, best song of the season.