10 Wild Facts About Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The CW
The CW

In 2015, a little show called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend premiered on The CW and quickly captured the attention—and adoration—of viewers and critics alike, establishing co-creator and star Rachel Bloom as one of the freshest voices on TV. The series is unique to network television: It's an original musical TV show with a diverse cast that tackles the "crazy ex-girlfriend" stereotype and broaches a range of topics, from body image to mental illness, every week.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend follows Rebecca Bunch (Bloom), a successful but unhappy New York City lawyer who has a chance encounter with an ex-boyfriend, Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III), and promptly drops everything to move to West Covina, California to find him and make him fall in love with her again.

Bloom herself is spectacular talent: She can act, sing, dance, and write. Before Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, she was blowing up the internet with hilarious musical sketches like "F*** Me, Ray Bradbury" and "Historically Accurate Disney Princess Song." She captured the attention of screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada), and together they created the boundary-pushing series, which just confirmed that its upcoming fourth season will be its last. Here are 10 things you might not know about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

1. WEST COVINA IS A REAL CITY, AND IT HAS EMBRACED CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND.

A show set in the Southern California suburb of West Covina stands out among the myriad shows set in New York City and Los Angeles. The city is pretty ordinary and nondescript: Until Crazy Ex-Girlfriend chose it as a setting, it was largely unknown to non-locals. "Aline and I liked the idea of West Covina being a symbol for what America now is: a diverse group from all walks of life going to the same chain stores and restaurants," Bloom told the Los Angeles Times, which noted that "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has been welcomed by some West Covinans, who say it portrays the cheery banality and casual diversity of life in Southern California's suburbs."

In 2015, the year the it premiered, Covina's City Council presented the cast and producers with the key to the city. The next year, the Council named October 21 "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Day," in honor of the second season's premiere.

2. BASICALLY EVERYONE IN THE CAST HAS BEEN ON BROADWAY.

Rachel Bloom stars in 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'
The CW

When you're making an original TV musical, you need actors who can sing and dance. Where do you find them? Broadway, of course. Before coming to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Santino Fontana—who plays Greg Serrano, Josh's best friend—was an up-and-comer on the New York theater scene. He scored a Tony nomination for his role as the prince in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella and starred in plays like Act One and The Importance of Being Earnest. Off-Broadway, he played Matt in the original revival cast of The Fantasticks.

Fontana's big break came in 2013 when he portrayed a prince again, voicing Prince Hans in the enormously popular Disney film Frozen. After leaving Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, he's been tapped to star in a new Broadway-bound musical adaptation of Tootsie.

Donna Lynne Champlin played Pirelli alongside Patti LuPone's Mrs. Lovett in the 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd, which was memorable because all the actors played their own instruments. Vincent Rodriguez III and Gabrielle Ruiz both cut their teeth in the choruses of musicals, he in the national tours of Anything Goes and Pippin and she in Evita and In the Heights.

3. THERE HAVE BEEN A FEW NOTABLE DIRECTORS.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has had as much talent behind the camera as it has in front of it. The pilot was helmed by Marc Webb, the director of The Amazing Spider-Man and (500) Days of Summer (the latter of which is notable for its musical sequence shot to Hall & Oates's "You Make My Dreams"). He also executive produces the show, and returned to direct and co-write the season two premiere. Webb calls himself "a total fanboy" when it comes to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He told Variety that although he does the bulk of his producing work at the top of each season and then departs, "I talk to [Bloom and McKenna]—basically texting them how much I love them and how impressed I am with everything they do."

There have been other directors of note as well: Kenny Ortega, the director (and choreographer) of the High School Musical franchise, was behind the camera for the season one episode "I'm Going to the Beach with Josh and His Friends!," and Bloom's husband, comedian Dan Gregor, helmed two episodes.

4. THE SERIES WAS ORIGINALLY SUPPOSED TO BE ON SHOWTIME.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend never would have been made if it weren't for Aline Brosh McKenna. In an interview with ThinkProgress, McKenna told the story of how she first came across Rachel Bloom's viral comedy videos while procrastinating. After that, McKenna had to meet Bloom and find some way to work with her. Soon, they came up with the idea for the show. "At first, we were going to write it for a broadcast network, but there was no way for us to ensure that Rachel would be in it," McKenna said. "They probably would have wanted to use a bigger star. And I said, 'I don’t want to do this unless Rachel is the star of the show.' By necessity, and because it was dirty, we had to do cable."

Initially, Showtime appeared to be very interested, and had seen all of Bloom's videos. In fact, it was Showtime's suggestion that Marc Webb direct the pilot. But after the pilot was done, they passed on it, a move that surprised McKenna. At the same time, McKenna had just binged and fell in love with Jane the Virgin and thought The CW might be interested. To everyone's delight, the broadcast network loved it—dirty jokes and all.

5. EXECUTIVE MUSIC PRODUCER AND SONGWRITER ADAM SCHLESINGER WAS IN FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE.

Adam Schlesinger, one of the three songwriters on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, was the bassist for '00s rock band Fountains of Wayne, which achieved fame with the 2003 single "Stacy's Mom." He's actually been making a name for himself as a Hollywood songwriter for years, winning Emmy and Grammy Awards and picking up Oscar, Tony, and Golden Globe nods. Schlesinger penned the title song for That Thing You Do!, and wrote tracks for the 2007 rom-com Music and Lyrics, starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, and the underrated 2001 film Josie and the Pussycats. He also wrote the music for a short-lived Broadway musical adaptation of the John Waters film Cry-Baby.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend songwriting team Bloom, Schlesinger, and Jack Dolgen share two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. Bloom is the one who concentrates on lyrics and rhythm. "I can do those on set," she told Billboard. "For me to write music, I have to be at the piano and an hour of time to think about it, which I don't have," she says. "Adam takes the music that I send and changes it for the better."

6. WEST COVINA IS ACTUALLY LESS THAN TWO HOURS FROM THE BEACH

There's a recurring joke in the series that encapsulates how West Covina can seem both heavenly and lackluster: It's oft-parroted by the locals that their hometown is only two hours from the beach, but four in traffic. Well, the residents of the real West Covina will have you know that their city is actually less than two hours from the beach, thank you very much. One viewer even took to Google Maps to prove that, in fact, the city is 46 minutes from Huntington Beach and 47 minutes from Redondo Beach.

7. RACHEL BLOOM AUDITIONED FOR SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

In 2012, an internet-famous comedian named Rachel Bloom sent in an audition tape for SNL. Four years later, with a hit show and and a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical under her belt, Bloom shared the video on Twitter, to the delight of fans. As we know, she never made it into the cast, despite her excellent impression of Katharine Hepburn auditioning for Space Jam. No hard feelings, though.

8. BLOOM WORKED AS SETH MEYERS'S INTERN.

Though she may not have succeeded in making it onto Saturday Night Live, Bloom did get to work on the show—as an intern. In 2016, Bloom appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers and talked about her experience at SNL … including the time Meyers got mad at another intern over a salad. "Someone went down to Hale and Hearty to get you a salad, and they came back and it was the wrong salad," she recounted. "They gave you the salad and they were like 'Oh my god, I'm so sorry, it's the wrong salad. Do you want me to get another one?' You went 'No, I guess we can work with this.' And you slammed the door." Bloom presumably never messed up Meyers's salad order.

9. BLOOM AND DANNY JOLLES ARE OLD FRIENDS.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend fans know actor Danny Jolles as George, Rebecca Bunch's oft-mistreated colleague who has been fired and rehired countless times. He finally got his moment in season two. Well, sort of. He got to belt out his own number, "George's Turn," but in classic sad-sack fashion, the camera cut away from him just as he was resolving to no longer let himself be interrupted. But fans may not know that Jolles and Bloom have been friends since long before the show started. The two have a history of performing together in online sketches and at Upright Citizens Brigade and the People's Improv Theater in New York City. The night that the "George's Turn" episode aired, Bloom tweeted about their friendship:

10. FATHER BRAH IS ALSO A WRITER ON THE SHOW

Rene Gube, who plays Josh's friend and advisor Father Brah, is also one of the show's writers. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has garnered praise for its realistic representation of a Filipino-American family, and a lot of that is thanks to Gube, who brings his experience as a Filipino-American to Josh Chan, the Chan family, and his own character Father Brah. He penned the episode "My First Thanksgiving with Josh!," in which Rebecca comes to Josh's house for a traditional Filipino-American Thanksgiving and strives to impress his mom. Gube told Vulture that he was excited to be able to write for a show in which his own identity was represented: "To have an opportunity to create a fully developed Filipino character, a male romantic lead, I’ve never seen that before, and I was super excited about that. It is a great opportunity to show a Filipino family on network television, and show how American that Filipino family truly is.”

Of the Thanksgiving episode, Rodriguez told Vulture, “We’re really focused on the family values and the environment Filipino families create at Thanksgiving. Rene is a great resource in terms of what we’re trying to accomplish with a Filipino family on television and the kinds of things that need to be in place.”

6 Times There Were Ties at the Oscars

getty images (March and Beery)/ istock (oscar)
getty images (March and Beery)/ istock (oscar)

Only six ties have ever occurred during the Academy Awards's more than 90-year history. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) members vote for nominees in their corresponding categories; here are the six times they have come to a split decision.

1. Best Actor // 1932

Back in 1932, at the fifth annual Oscars ceremony, the voting rules were different than they are today. If a nominee received an achievement that came within three votes of the winner, then that achievement (or person) would also receive an award. Actor Fredric March had one more vote than competitor Wallace Beery, but because the votes were so close, the Academy honored both of them. (They beat the category’s only other nominee, Alfred Lunt.) March won for his performance in horror film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Beery won for The Champ (writer Frances Marion won Best Screenplay for the film), which was remade in 1979 with Ricky Schroder and Jon Voight. Both Beery and March were previous nominees: Beery was nominated for The Big House and March for The Royal Family of Broadway. March won another Oscar in 1947 for The Best Years of Our Lives, also a Best Picture winner. Fun fact: March was the first actor to win an Oscar for a horror film.

2. Best Documentary Short Subject // 1950

By 1950, the above rule had been changed, but there was still a tie at that year's Oscars. A Chance to Live, an 18-minute movie directed by James L. Shute, tied with animated film So Much for So Little. Shute’s film was a part of Time Inc.’s "The March of Time" newsreel series and chronicles Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing putting together a Boys’ Home in Italy. Directed by Bugs Bunny’s Chuck Jones, So Much for So Little was a 10-minute animated film about America’s troubling healthcare situation. The films were up against two other movies: a French film named 1848—about the French Revolution of 1848—and a Canadian film entitled The Rising Tide.

3. Best Actress // 1969

Probably the best-known Oscars tie, this was the second and last time an acting award was split. When presenter Ingrid Bergman opened up the envelope, she discovered a tie between newcomer Barbra Streisand and two-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn—both received 3030 votes. Streisand, who was 26 years old, tied with the 61-year-old The Lion in Winter star, who had already been nominated 10 times in her lengthy career, and won the Best Actress Oscar the previous year for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Hepburn was not in attendance, so all eyes fell on Funny Girl winner Streisand, who wore a revealing, sequined bell-bottomed-pantsuit and gave an inspired speech. “Hello, gorgeous,” she famously said to the statuette, echoing her first line in Funny Girl.

A few years earlier, Babs had received a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Fanny Brice in the Broadway musical Funny Girl, but didn’t win. At this point in her career, she was a Grammy-winning singer, but Funny Girl was her movie debut (and what a debut it was). In 1974, Streisand was nominated again for The Way We Were, and won again in 1977 for her and Paul Williams’s song “Evergreen,” from A Star is Born. Four-time Oscar winner Hepburn won her final Oscar in 1982 for On Golden Pond.

4. Best Documentary Feature // 1987

The March 30, 1987 telecast made history with yet another documentary tie, this time for Documentary Feature. Oprah presented the awards to Brigitte Berman’s film about clarinetist Artie Shaw, Artie Shaw: Time is All You’ve Got, and to Down and Out in America, a film about widespread American poverty in the ‘80s. Former Oscar winner Lee Grant (who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1976 for Shampoo) directed Down and Out and won the award for producers Joseph Feury and Milton Justice. “This is for the people who are still down and out in America,” Grant said in her acceptance speech.

5. Best Short Film (Live Action) // 1995

More than 20 years ago—the same year Tom Hanks won for Forrest Gump—the Short Film (Live Action) category saw a tie between two disparate films: the 23-minute British comedy Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and the LGBTQ youth film Trevor. Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi wrote and directed the former, which stars current Oscar nominee Richard E. Grant as Kafka. The BBC Scotland film envisions Kafka stumbling through writing The Metamorphosis.

Trevor is a dramatic film about a gay 13-year-old boy who attempts suicide. Written by James Lecesne and directed by Peggy Rajski, the film inspired the creation of The Trevor Project to help gay youths in crisis. “We made our film for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider,” Rajski said in her acceptance speech, which came after Capaldi's. “It celebrates all those who make it through difficult times and mourns those who didn’t.” It was yet another short film ahead of its time.

6. Best Sound Editing // 2013

The latest Oscar tie happened in 2013, when Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall beat Argo, Django Unchained, and Life of Pi in sound editing. Mark Wahlberg and his animated co-star Ted presented the award to Zero Dark Thirty’s Paul N.J. Ottosson and Skyfall’s Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers. “No B.S., we have a tie,” Wahlberg told the crowd, assuring them he wasn’t kidding. Ottosson was announced first and gave his speech before Hallberg and Baker Landers found out that they were the other victors.

It wasn’t any of the winners' first trip to the rodeo: Ottosson won two in 2010 for his previous collaboration with Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker (Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Sound Mixing); Hallberg previously won an Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing for Braveheart in 1996, and in 2008 both Hallberg and Baker Landers won Best Achievement in Sound Editing for The Bourne Ultimatum.

Ottosson told The Hollywood Reporter he possibly predicted his win: “Just before our category came up another fellow nominee sat next to me and I said, ‘What if there’s a tie, what would they do?’ and then we got a tie,” Ottosson said. Hallberg also commented to the Reporter on his win. “Any time that you get involved in some kind of history making, that would be good.”

10 Game of Thrones Fan Theories About How the Series Will End

HBO
HBO

Our faces are longer than Jon Snow’s right now. It's been more than a year since the last season of Game of Thrones ended, but season 8—the series's final one—is coming back on April 14, 2019. To tide you over until then, we’ve collected some of the most plausible as well as the most bonkers fan theories about what could go down in the final episodes. They predict everything from a new contender for the Iron Throne to a new species classification for a major character. On the bright side, we'll all have plenty of time to debate these before the first episode airs.

1. Jon Snow will kill Daenerys.

Almost since the series began, fans have been predicting that Jon Snow is the Prince Who Was Promised—a reincarnation of the legendary hero Azor Ahai. But most predictions have overlooked a central piece of the Azor Ahai legend, which may spell doom for Daenerys: Azor Ahai, a lousy metallurgist, had a tough time forging his fabled flaming sword Lightbringer. Then he realized he needed to temper the blade by plunging it into the heart of his wife, Nissa Nissa, to imbue it with her power. (Because in the logic of this legend, killing a powerful woman turns a mediocre man into a hero.) If Jon Snow is Azor Ahai, the theory goes, then Daenerys will be his Nissa Nissa—the one true love he must kill in order to save the realm.

2. The Lannisters' repaid debt will be their downfall.

Lena Headey in 'Game of Thrones'
HBO

You know the family creed: A Lannister always pays his debts. In season 7, Cersei stayed true to her family name when she paid off a large debt to the Iron Bank. Most viewers read this as a play to buy the loyalty of the bank and its mercenary soldiers, but one Machiavellian Redditor has predicted that paying off the debt will have the opposite effect. "While the Lannisters were in debt to the Bank, the Bank had a vested interest in their success," one Redditor wrote. Now that the debt is paid, the Iron Bank will invest in the side that seems to have the best chance of winning—and right now, that doesn't look like Cersei's.

3. Euron Greyjoy is the father of Cersei's child.

Somehow this seems more disturbing than Jaime being the baby's incestuous father. PopSugar rolled out this hot take based on some circumstantial evidence. First, Euron and Cersei cooked up a plan to betray Jon and Daenerys without telling Jaime, which "raises the question about what else Cersei was doing with Euron behind Jaime's back." Then there's the fact that Cersei just let Jaime ride north to fight the White Walkers, which doesn't seem like a risk you'd want your unborn child's father to take. She has no idea when or if he'll be back. But on the other hand, she knows exactly where Euron will be. Perhaps she's keeping an eye on her baby's true father.

4. Daenerys will die beyond the wall.

Redditor Try_Another_NO reached all the way back to season 2 to substantiate this theory about Daenerys's demise. While Daenerys is in the House of the Undying, she has a series of possibly prophetic visions. She walks through the throne room in Kings Landing, which is damaged and filled with snow. Before she can touch the Iron Throne, she's called away by a sound and suddenly finds herself walking beyond the wall. There she meets Khal Drogo who says he has resisted death to wait for her. According to the theory, these were clues about the series's end: The White Walkers will threaten Kings Landing. Daenerys will turn away from the throne to fight the White Walkers. Death awaits her beyond the wall.

5. Cleganebowl will finally happen.

For years fans have eagerly awaited a fight between Sandor and Gregor Clegane, which has been affectionately dubbed "Cleganebowl." In the season 7 finale, the Hound hinted that the much-hyped fight is coming when he told his brother, "You know who's coming for you." The cryptic message also spawned a fan theory about the real origin of the Clegane brothers' beef. Our only version of the tale comes from noted liar/sleazebag Littlefinger, who claimed Ser Gregor burned his brother's face over a stolen toy. But Redditor 440k11 thinks the Hound has always had a talent for reading the future in the flames. In fact, the theory goes, the Hound saw his brother's death foretold in a fire and told him about it. Enraged, young Gregor pushed his brother's face into the fire he was reading, burning Sandor and cementing their lifelong enmity.

6. Varys is actually a merman.

The case for this one is watertight. The books make several mentions of merlings living alongside dragons, giants, and White Walkers—mythical creatures we know exist in Essos. Varys, meanwhile, constantly covers his lower body in long robes. What is he hiding? According to Redditor nightflyer, it's his freaky fish body. In the books, it would explain his cryptic response when Tyrion threatened to have him thrown off a ship: "You might be disappointed by the result." In the show, it might explain how Varys traveled from Dorne to Daenerys's ship in Mereen seemingly overnight in the middle of season 7. (It wasn't lazy writing—he swam there!) In general, it might explain why he's such a slimy weirdo.

7. The maesters are colluding with Cersei to beat Daenerys.

Finally, a fan theory fit for our political age! According to this theory, the maesters are natural enemies of magic. The strange forces that bring the dead back to life, reveal the future in fire, and allow Arya to wear many faces are beyond the maesters' powers of rational explanation. But if magic were eliminated, the maesters' monopoly on knowledge would continue unchallenged. It follows, then, that the maesters would feel comfortable with Cersei's cruel reign but threatened by Daenerys's magical dragons. Maybe that explains why a former maester built Cersei a weapon meant to kill dragons. And maybe the maesters will intervene in the conflict more directly in the next season.

8. Arya will kill Cersei ... wearing Jaime's face.

Maisie Williams in 'Game of Thrones'
HBO

Predicting that Jaime will kill Cersei is so mainstream. Seeing Jaime kill Cersei for the good of the realm would reprise his role as the Kingslayer (or Queenslayer). It would neatly fulfill the Volanqar prophecy—the prediction a witch made to a young Cersei, that she would be killed by a volanqar (which translates to "younger sibling" in High Valyrian). And it would be so easy. Reasoning that George R.R. Martin would never do something so obvious, and that Arya's assassin character arc has to led to a more consequential target than Walder Frey, Redditor greypiano predicts that Arya will be Cersei's killer. If she first kills Jaime and uses his face to catch Cersei unaware, then the volanqar prophecy will be confirmed (even if it's on a technicality).

9. Viserion will come back to life.

Here's a fan theory for moms, from a mom. Redditor Cornholio_the_white wrote that after the season 7 finale, their mom called to say she was sad about Viserion's death. But she had a prediction: "I think it's going to remember its mother." She explained that Daenerys's love would free Viserion from the Night King's spell. Cornholio_the_white scoffed. That wasn't possible. The dragon was dead. But then Mom dropped a compelling counterargument: "Not if the Red Woman brings it back. They're keeping her around for something."

10. Gendry is the legitimate child of Cersei and Robert Baratheon.

This theory throws another contender for the Iron Throne into the mix. It maintains that Gendry was not Robert Barathean's bastard son—in fact, he was the only legitimate child of the king. We know that Cersei and Robert had a child—a "black-haired beauty"—who supposedly died shortly after birth. Curiously, Cersei says she never visited her firstborn child in the crypt, even though we know she is a fiercely devoted mother. Perhaps that's because she knew her son was actually in Fleabottom as a blacksmith's apprentice. And perhaps it was Cersei all along who was looking out for Gendry, securing his apprenticeship and protecting him from Joffrey's purge of Robert’s bastards. Gendry, for his part, remembers only that his mother had yellow hair. If that yellow-haired woman was Cersei, Gendry would have the most legitimate claim to the Iron Throne of anyone in Westeros.

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