I’m sure you heard the news that Fountains of Wayne frontman Adam Schlesinger passed away at 52 of COVID-19 complications. Schlesinger was also an adept composer for film and TV, creating “That Thing You Do!” half the songs from Music and Lyrics, and the tunes from Josie and the Pussycats.
And of course, Adam, on the left, worked with Rachel Bloom and her team to craft the brilliant catalog of musical numbers that gave Crazy Ex-Girlfriend its special spice. Herein I embedded a bunch of our favorites, but honestly, every single song that one of you mentions in the comments will make me go, “Oh, DAMN, I should have included that one.” Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was audacious and clever in the ways it allowed us to laugh with or even at its characters while also loving them, and feeling deeply for them. It fearlessly let them lean into the messiness that lives in all our psyches — sometimes, yes, you don’t like Rebecca! — while maintaining real belief in humanity’s better nature and innate strength. Its musicality was the great equalizer for its characters, where they poked fun at themselves and vented and hugged and learned. I clearly loved it, occasional warts and all, and thought it always deserved more credit for what it was doing. I’m telling you, The CW has always been unsung for the chances it takes, and the creative freedom and affection it affords its properties.
Anyway, this is long, but: Here are some embedded videos that I HIGHLY recommend you indulge in, even if you didn’t watch the show. If you can’t right now, or you’re just flatly not interested, click here to jump straight to the bottom of the post, where you can navigate to the next or previous one. (If the videos aren’t showing up, a quick refresh will fix you.)
“Let’s Have Intercourse”:
This is one of my forever earworms. Seriously, I sing it to myself all the time, meaninglessly, which now that my entire family is at home 24/7 is kind of weird? I also put other words in for “intercourse,” like, “Let’s have dinner now,” or, “Let’s play Mario Kart.”
“Don’t Be A Lawyer”:
The dancing and costuming in that one are perfect.
When this first aired, Jessica was like, “Please hurry up and watch so we can talk about this one song.” Also, it’s clearly “textmergency” and not “textastrophe,” right? [I am obsessed with Textmergency and watch this clip all the time. Something about the fact that the entire song is a digression about semantics really delights me – J]
“Settle For Me”:
I loved Santino Fontana on this show.
“Real Life Fighting Is Awkward”:
This could’ve been a throwaway number, but it’s a perfect mix of staging and lyrics.
“The First Penis I Saw”:
You may not think you want to watch that one, but Donna Lynne Champlin can do anything. I miss her and I kind of wish The CW would just broadcast her once a week for an hour doing… anything.
“The Buzzing From The Bathroom”:
This was a great “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” parody for Tertiary Tim, and a delicious payoff for a light running gag in the hour. You might also recognize Tim from a handful of commercials (he played a quiz show contestant in a Progressive ad and I often think to myself, “The Colossus of Rhooooooodes,” in his cadence).
I also miss Darryl so much. He can jump in on some of Donna Lynne’s air time. They can Zoom duet.
A super big-band parody.
“Let’s Generalize About Men”:
“Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal,” which won the Emmy:
“I Go To The Zoo”:
This is not the censored version, btw. Also not censored:
This was from the pilot, I think as a way of demonstrating the range of things they were willing to parody.
“JAP Battle”: This is also the explicit version because Rachel Bloom doesn’t censor her own YouTube Channel!
“Stuck In The Bathroom”:
R.Kelly is gross, but this is a worthy parody of “Trapped In The Closet” and if you don’t know what that is, don’t look it up, because of the aforementioned about R. Kelly’s grossness. Basically, he sings everyone’s lines just as Vella Lovell does here.
“The End of the Movie – feat Josh Groban”:
This is brilliant on multiple levels — and painfully bittersweet — but also Josh Groban’s appearance in it is hilarious.
“I Could If I Wanted To”:
I love when he announces, “this song SUCKS” in the middle of it.
But, of course, it didn’t.