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About a thousand years ago (or literally 3 months), I watched a ton of clips from this show and wrote like six starter drafts but never had any time to post about it because I was working 24/7. Today I remembered I still hadn't gotten around to it, so today is where we record my Dive Into A Brand New Fandom, so that I may review it later, when I'm one year older and can't remember anything that happened in this era without it.


SUPER BACKSTORY
Reasons I did (do?) not think I'd like this show:

[they are all offensive so I will let you skip this if you like]1. I saw a gifset of the theme song where she responds to the title with "that's a sexist term." I have no interest in eradicating gender stereotypes or sexist insults, so if that's the way you're gonna be...
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2. Tumblr loves this show because it panders to everything they talk about on a constant basis. Shockingly, I have little to no patience for these discussions.
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3. Most of the people are not TV Pretty. If I wanted that I'd walk out in the world instead of watching TV.
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4. Very early on, I saw a gifset where Darryl is leaning over (Donna's Paula's?) desk asking something, and because I'd never seen those people before -- and he was wearing blue and she was wearing pink -- I suffered an AU identity crisis of "WHY DOES THIS LOOK LIKE 'THE OFFICE' BUT WRONG." And by wrong I meant "horrifying," like if someone tried to make a play based on Jim & Pam's relationship and wanted to cast Real People in that unpleasant "Real People don't look anything like movie stars" way.
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5. Darryl/White Josh also strikes me as super unappealing because both of their faces are just so...so not kissable. (Looks Like My Dad/Sexless Block of Clay strikes me as about right). I'm grateful it didn't trigger a rage switch by taking an attractive dude away from women in either case -- always helpful to sequester the superfluous cast in their own pairings where they can't drag down others -- but at the same time, n to the i to the z-z-y no.
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6. I was aware that many people thought Rachel Bloom was hilaaaarious because she was super vulgar and swore a lot in her songs.

All in all, seems like a pretty solid bunch of reasons to stay away from a thing.


RECENT BACKSTORY
There was my first song love, JAP Battle -- still my all time favorite; not even my numerous attempts to kill it through overplay have done it in.

Next came I'm Gettin' Bi -- someone on Tumblr posted it saying you HAD to listen to it, so I clicked just to prove them wrong, but HOLY HELL. Never in the history of ever has pop culture done on a lesson on representation in such a catchy way. I have zero qualms with this type of discussion. Maybe if y'all were more joyful and produced things with jazzy saxophone and silly leaping, I would pay attention to your rage that people don't recognize your Awesome Bisexuality and mistake you for some kind of gross straight.

(for the poor fools who started in this section, don't forget to open the second cut!)

So I was 2/2 on loving the songs I'd heard, but surely that was a coincidence. I could still fight it.

Then came Dollsome's giddy comments on the music post, linking me to a playlist of song clips the CW had on YouTube, and I started randomly clicking on titles and finding that, oh no, apparently I loved ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

THE MAIN EVENT
While I have yet to see a single episode proper, I have watched a loooot of music clips (while carefully and studiously avoiding anything labeled "explicit" after one mistake, because Gross and WHY and What A Horrifying Vision of how this joyous show would have been denied to me had it premiered on cable instead of the blessed CW). I've been somewhat analytical in what I click, evaluating titles and featured singers with my finely honed Glee instincts of what may/may not appeal to me, but I have had at least a 90% success rate on the first try.

And thus, I present to you a list of songs I love, in the order I fell for them, since I just realized I forgot to put any of these on The Music List in Q.2.

1. I Could If I Wanted To
This was presented to me as a "hilariously bitter lil' ditty" and that is extremely accurate. I described it to my mom as "the most passive-aggressive bitterness you've ever heard. It's also shot like some kind of drug commercial where people walk and talk at you, and the dialogue doesn't sound quite real." It is responsible for me adding "if I wanted toooo!" for the next month every time I ended a sentence with "I could," and using "whoop di frickin' do" as my regular curse word for work.

2. Heavy Boobs
Not bitchin' bout my boobies, they look super fly in shirts
But if I swung them in your face you'd be like "oh my god, that hurts"


I FEEL THIS SONG. Despite being initially grossed out by the "sacks of fat" imagery, I have watched it ten zillion times because it's really, really catchy. And the slo-mo cracks me up.

Also, her groan while illustrating why the tiny strapless dress does not fit in the chestular area pre-song is fantastic. See also: me the day I realized there is no such thing as a "camisole with built in bra" in my size.

3. I'm the Villain
I'm the villain in the doorway
Or the Kraken up in Norway
God, who is this song's composer?!
It's like, ridiculously sinister.
Like
ridonkulously sinister.

I love, love, LOVE everything about this. Her two completely different voices for witch vs. normal (she even LOOKS like a diferent person in her witch garb). Her expressions are absolutely priceless. I also love her super weird expression when it switches back to the hotel room for the 2nd verse. This is also the point at which I began to question if they were actually lip-syncing, because I've never seen it this perfect on Glee.

4. Put Yourself First
Push them boobs up just for yourself
Wear 6-inch heels just for yourself
("If it's just for myself shouldn't I be comfortable?")
"No! Put yourself first in a sexy way."


^ that last line is my all-time favorite on this series

I described it to my mom as "I don't even know how many things this is satirizing and I love them all." Tumblr mentioning that it was a Fifth Harmony parody before I even knew what Fifth Harmony looked like may have helped. Hysterical lyrics, the type of amazing sax hook that gets me into any song, fantastic dance steps, random humor (the Male Gaze photographer!), clothes that are somehow simultaneously super terrible fashion but also look great on these girls, and just super pretty girls with great screen presence, whether they have lines or not. Every actress caught my eye, but none more so than the utterly gorgeous brunette with long hair, whom I immediately tracked down and confirmed to be 18-year-old Marisa Davila. She has depressingly few screen credits, but I enjoyed the article I found and hope she improbably becomes the next breakout star, at least of TV.

I am really looking forward to finding out who these teens are in context and why they are giving her a makeover.

5. Dream Ghost
It'll never be clear if we're hallucinated
Or actually magic

Not the most exciting song, but somehow still weirdly addictive, and OH HEY THERE MISS AMBER RILEY.

6. I'm So Good At Yoga
Greet each day, namaste
Screeeeeww you, you're fat


It's got more than a few unnecessarily raunchy parts, but man, I don't think I'd change it if I could. (and I could, if I wanted toooo) Rebecca has such an Emma Stone Everywoman face in her frustration -- perfectly captures the feeling of comparing your average self with someone stupidly hot and talented and feeling personally mocked by her existence. (Literally. Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah!) I also may have a very specific Tumblr Sexuality that is "Straight + Super Fit Belly Dancers in Proper Belly Dancing Costumes."

The backup dancers are equally amazing, and I love that there's randomly a pregnant one.

7. Theme Song
In which I finally got a crash course in who everyone is, lost my annoyance at "that's a sexist term" when I realized how funny it was in context, and was otherwise generally 100% delighted by the cartoon sequence and how it sounds like a vintage TV theme song.

8. West Covina
Its Enchanted/Disney Princess styling splashed against the harsher reality of southern California does make me think that had I signed on to the pilot, I would have come out of it thinking, "I could get on board with this." It's not really something I would play on its own, as it veers too close to the Disney ballads that bored me and/or reminds me of when Glee insisted on having Rachel belt out Broadway tunes, but in context? Easily more listenable than most of Galavant.

9. There was one semi-failure early on in "The Sexy Getting Ready Song," which was on the CW channel (vs. Rachel Bloom channel) and not labeled explicit but APPARENTLY SECRETLY WAS, to my abject horror. I fled from it in distaste, but kept creeping back and just muting or looking away from the worst parts, because it gets into your head and one might find oneself humming it whenever one spends more than 5 minutes in a bathroom.

Even though I have never put much if any effort into makeup, a skincare routine or hair products, this is still not an inaccurate depicition of either how much effort I put into getting ready for non-walking dates, or how comparatively little my boyfriend does. Bonus points for struggling into a body shaper and then crying a little bit when her stomach pooches out anyway upon exhale.

Also: "I gotta go apologize to some bitches." Hee! If only all rapper intrusions were so swiftly cut short.

BREAK TO RE-EVALUATE CHARACTER IMPRESSIONS
-It's fascinating remembering my impressions of the characters from watching Jap Battle 200 times without knowing anything about them or their dynamics. When all I knew about Rebecca was that I wanted her to be brought down by New York Lady's awesomeness, and when her back-up dancers were just random cronies. (I mean, I knew who Josh was by name, but I was not clear if he worked there too or what the other people's jobs were). And now I think Rebecca is just the cutest thing and I want to protect her at all costs.

-Valencia is soooo pretty. Then I found out she was mean, and I loved her even more. Why is she with Josh? Is it for money while she hooks up with her hot poolboy lover on the side, plotting to kill Josh once they're married? I just don't get it.

-Also HEY STRAIGHT GUY WHO ISN'T JOSH. One thing that's been bugging me from the start is that Josh looks like he's 12. He is also generally square-shaped, kind of like a Lego man. I cannot understand why he is a love interest for TWO women. So after watching the end of "Don't Settle For Me*" (MALE PINING??), I went straight over the shipping cliff's edge for Rebecca/Mr. Not Josh. Then I found out he was the subject of the gif that said "Is he cute?" / "If you like angry." THAT I DO.

This opinion will be getting revisited in a little while, but I wanted you to know where I started from.

**Don't Settle For Me is not on this list yet as I have only heard it once, because I am not ready to handle how much I IMMEDIATELY ADORE her roommate. (At least, I think that's who Heather is)

-Gifset wise, Paula seems like a really nice character, which is a shame, because I have an aversion to that actress and I don't know if Paula can triumph out of that.

UP NEXT
I have been writing for a stupid number of hours at this point, and it only got me up to Day 2 of my fandom impressions. Stay tuned for Part II, which has already happened, just hasn't been processed. We will have twice as many song impressions! And probably nothing else.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
dollsome
Jul. 15th, 2016 03:50 am (UTC)
CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, HUZZAH!!! ♥ I just started watching from the beginning on Netflix, and I am in such a bubble of love. Parts of this post did make my sappy soul sad (PAULA, MY PAULA! MY #1 SHOW OTP DARRYL/WHIJO! SWEET, SUNSHINEY JOSH! ... I think it's hard for me to dislike things on shows I enjoy unless they're EXTREMELY egregious and by that I generally mean men acting possessive & angry & treating m'ladies poorly), but also I am so excited that you had so much to say about so many of the musical numbers and I look forward to anything else you ever write about this show!

Youuuuuuu shouldddddd waaaaaaaatch itttttttttt!
rainbowstevie
Jul. 18th, 2016 05:37 am (UTC)
I think it's hard for me to dislike things on shows I enjoy
Sorry! I think your way is the much better way to watch TV, but as a person who immediately identified Valencia and Greg (oh, and Audra!) as her kindred spirits out of everyone on this show, I've clearly got a ways to go. (also evidenced by my "WHERE SIGN ME UP" response to the phrase "men acting possessive & angry." In fiction. Outside of Gossip Girl.)

I feel like I've half-watched it through your reblogs of gifsets, but I do look forward to actually seeing it, probably in a mini-marathon now that I am well and truly out of other comedies to binge watch. Note to self: the faster I watch, the less opportunity I will have to focus on dislikes.

Genuine question on White Josh (for starters, is that his actual name he still actually goes by?). Based just on having seen him acting out something gross looking in "Group Hang" and vague impressions of gifsets I can't remember, he seems like the most stereotypical jock -- meathead, that's the word I was looking for earlier to explain his lack of appeal -- and the definition of Basic White Dude whom it seems like Tumblr would criticize and band against to the moon and back if he were straight. What is it people and/or you love about him?
dollsome
Jul. 18th, 2016 11:53 pm (UTC)
Re: men acting possessive & angry, I can think off the top of my head of these, my three 4ever nemesises (nemesi?) -- Jack from Lost, Dean from Gilmore Girls, and MUTHERFLIPPIN' DANNY CASTELLANO.

Re: White Josh (which is his name within the friend group because he looks like Josh but he's white, and also his name is Josh -- which, I think that was almost a verbatim quote from the show itself), I can't remember all the details about his character from the earlier episodes, but basically, he is just a very chill, sweet, supportive guy and it's always a delight to see him on the ol' screen. He and Darryl are both very sweet, but Josh is like laidback sweet, and Darryl is like SUPER EXCITED PUPPY sweet. It's so beautiful to behold!
janusfiles
Aug. 10th, 2016 11:37 pm (UTC)
I've only seen bits and pieces myself, because it was on at the same time as Supergirl this past season. Since that won't be the case in the new season, I'm definitely hoping to watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Because I've been a fan of Rachel Bloom's for several years -- ever since a certain video of hers went viral in 2010.
rainbowstevie
Aug. 14th, 2016 06:30 am (UTC)
You'll probably still see a full episode before I do!

I'm betting that's the same video that made me turn against her with no prior knowledge. A good thing I didn't remember that fact until I'd gotten hooked on the music videos.
janusfiles
Aug. 14th, 2016 06:48 pm (UTC)
The video was her tribute to Ray Bradbury on the occasion of his 90th birthday -- the one that got her a Hugo nomination.
rainbowstevie
Aug. 16th, 2016 04:14 pm (UTC)
Huh. This information makes me suspect the Hugo awards have no credibility.
janusfiles
Aug. 22nd, 2016 05:27 pm (UTC)
If you want an in-depth explanation on the Hugos, let me know, but here is qjuick version:

The Hugo Awards are voted on by the members of each year's World Science Fiction Convention (aka Worldcon). Anyone who wants to buy at least a supporting membership can nominate and/or vote. In contrast, the Nebula Awards are voted on by members of the Science Fiction Writers Of America (SFWA).

It is the fans who vote for the Hugos, and there is no telling what is going to appeal to the fans who nominate/vote. In the case of Rachel's video, I'm guessing that it was a combination of how well Ray Bradbury is regarded, and the sheer irreverance of the video.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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