In the Season Two finale of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) is finally marrying the ex for which she once was/is currently crazy, Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III). So, of course, the first song of this touching chapter in the show’s ultimate love story is the weird-ass head-banger “What a Rush to Be a Bride.”
This nu metal-esque song about the joys of matrimony (metal genres are so endlessly varied and complex that it’s hard to box a parody into one of the many death/black/-core niches) unleashes all the pent up emotions threatening to burst open from the episode’s rambling narrative. Rebecca may not know how to text her dad about her excitement, but she certainly knows how to sing/scream it.
Rebecca’s wild-eyed shouts are the “harsh” vocals in this duet with Paula (Donna Lynne Champlin), who provides the Evanescence-like “clean” singing until a mid-song role reversal. Their delivery of lines about Bible verse selection and unity candles are clunky, strange and completely hilarious. It’s an aggressive way to open an episode, with your show’s protagonist bride chomping on her own flower arrangement, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend clearly isn’t here to make friends that aren’t down for its every bizarre quirk. Even when they’re influenced by Slipknot.
The tortured sepia coloring of the number helps play up the strange shadow combinations playing on the singers’ faces, making the whole thing an uncomfortable experience as well as a goofily surreal one. The accompanying spasmodic light show and epileptic early aughts camera movements create a mosh pit of the eyes, tumbling and zooming as if the viewer were caught in a whirlpool of wallet-chained metalheads. Rebecca and Paula just happen to be working through some serious opinions about veils. The immediate juxtaposition with increasingly falsetto cooing over lace closes the number with a nicely nuanced coda—emotions are high in these ladies and will come out however they can.
A dissociative episode (including a former adulterous affair with a law school teacher beau named Robert?) unveils—a wedding pun!—a new coping mechanism in Rebecca’s already stout repertoire and another long lost love that’s also an emotionally unavailable father figure to THAT already stout repertoire. Yay!
Ignoring this and a season full of other warnings, Rebecca’s insistence on the wedding as the ultimate life-changing event leads to a sadly optimistic reprise of “I’m the Villain in My Own Story” from the first season, this time with a heroic twist. She walks into an oceanside sunset recounting the ways love will fix her life (“My mommy will love me / My daddy will love me / Josh will love me / and I’ll never have problems again”) as a final delusion before taking the plunge into marriage.
A surprise priesthood and suicide threat (this finale got weird and dark, sort of like it wasn’t expecting to be renewed) lead to the revelation that the show’s very theme song comes from court-mandated mental health care and Rebecca’s institutionalization. She has no underlying issues to address, she pleads to the judge after torching her former lover’s home. Please, Your Honor, she’s just a girl in love. She can’t be held be responsible for her actions. Well, that flashback be damned, Rebecca looks to go back on the offensive next season with one goal in mind: destroy Josh Chan.
I’ve had a blast covering the show’s music for you this season, and I can only hope the songwriting continues to be of the same caliber in Season Three, somehow filtering all of the strange feminine rage into pure parody.
In other, spectacular news, the full version of “Period Sex” has been released on YouTube. It was too gross for TV, but it’s definitely gross enough for us fans. Enjoy!
Jacob Oller is a writer and film critic whose writing has appeared in The Guardian, Playboy, Roger Ebert, Film School Rejects, Chicagoist, Vague Visages, and other publications. He lives in Chicago, plays Dungeons and Dragons, and struggles not to kill his two cats daily. You can follow him on Twitter here: @jacoboller.