Full disclosure: I’ve never watched 13 Reasons Why, but I’m aware of the criticism it received concerning its depiction of mental illness and suicide. So, for anyone who is looking for a show that deals with mental health issues in a more nuanced fashion, I encourage you to check out Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. For anyone is who looking for a quick-witted female-led comedy, I recommend Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. For anyone who likes a little musical flair with their mental health female-led comedies, you definitely need to watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. And if you think this isn’t for you based on the off-putting title, get thee to a Netflix subscription—this show is definitely for you.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend centers around Rebecca Bunch, a twenty-something high-powered lawyer living in New York City who, after a chance encounter with her ex-boyfriend that she dated ten years previously at summer camp, drops everything and moves to his hometown of West Covina, California. Which some might say is a crazy thing to do, but the situation is a lot more nuanced than that.
While I could go on and on about the show’s merits, my favorite things are 1) the musical numbers (there are a couple in each forty-minute episode) and 2) how relatable it is. So my 13 reasons why you should watch this show are 13 songs that you might relate to, in order of when they’re performed in the series. I tried to pick ones that don’t rely too heavily on plot details, but obviously some of those will slip through. If you find a song or two that speaks to you, you can check out seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix (the Season 3 finale airs this week, so those episodes will join the Netflix universe soon as well).
Face Your Fears – Season 1, Episode 3
When you listen to one of those 90s motivational speaker cassette tapes and all you can think is “this is terrible advice”
Settle for Me – Season 1, Episode 4
When you’re desperate, but in a practical way
Where’s the Bathroom? – Season 1, Episode 8
When your judgmental relatives come to visit
Heavy Boobs – Season 1, Episode 16
When you’re a well-endowed woman who’s tired of people saying “You’re so lucky, I wish I had big boobs”
Love Kernels – Season 2, Episode 1
When That One Person probably doesn’t like you but they are vaguely nice to you so you convince yourself that That One Person is secretly in love with you too
Friendtopia – Season 2, Episode 6
When you think your friendship is awesome but everyone else sees it for what it is: an oppressive dystopian regime
Research Me Obsessively – Season 2, Episode 7
When you casually look someone up on Instagram and thirteen hours later you accidentally know their whole life story
You Go First – Season 2, Episode 7
When you’re in a fight with your best friend and are ready to apologize but are holding out to see if they crack before you do
So Maternal – Season 2, Episode 8
When you take care of other people’s children for an extremely limited period of time and they don’t die and you think, “Wow, I would be an amazing parent”
Let’s Generalize About Men – Season 3, Episode 1
When you get super lit and and don’t admit this is some kind of primal ritual you need now and then
The End of the Movie – Season 3, Episode 4
When you imagine that your life is a movie and Josh Groban is an extra
Fit Hot Guys Have Problems Too – Season 3, Episode 9
When you have a six-pack but you still have relationship problems, much like people who do not have six-packs
Buttload of Cats – Season 3, Episode 12
When the cat lady stereotype seems inevitable so you really lean into it
Catherine Kramer (’14) has a degree in English and works in publishing. Her continued existence is made possible by grace, warm hugs, and iced chai lattes.