Release Date(s)2015-2016 (September 13, 2016)
Studio(s)The CW (Warner Archive)
- Film/Program Grade: B
- Video Grade: A-
- Audio Grade: A-
- Extras Grade: F
Among the bevy of CW superhero and supernatural-type shows, occasionally something uncommon crops up from time to time... such is the case with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a show ripe for cult appeal but somehow quietly thriving (and by that, I mean managing to stay on the air). A blend of social anxiety, musical outbursts, and character-driven humor, it tells the story of Rebecca (Rachel Bloom), a neurotic and anxious young lawyer who suffers from depression brought on by a childhood complex from being dumped at summer camp by her ex-boyfriend Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III). Suddenly running into him later in life and realizing that he is the key to her happiness, she tosses her career at a New York law firm away and moves to West Covina, California in an attempt to reconnect with him, albeit in a humorously obsessive manner.
In the vein of shows like Jane the Virgin, Pushing Daisies, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is like the softball of whimsical, romantic comedy shows. It never quite achieves full-on greatness, but it does enough right to keep you interested in Rebecca’s plight. Both her adventures and misadventures as she connects with new people along her journey towards her singular goal of once again capturing Josh’s heart keeps the show lively, sometimes veering into outright sentimentality perhaps a little too often. Regardless, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has managed to gain enough popularity to reach a third season, which is no small feat. Bloom seems to have enough charisma to keep the show afloat amongst its many twists and turns through, not just this season, but the following two as well when things become more complex. A tale of an obsessed young woman and her newfound relationships, romantic or otherwise, may come across as too schmaltzy for some, but for others, lighthearted, funny, and engaging.
Warner Archive’s DVD release of The Complete First Season of the show comes equipped with all of its 18 episodes, including Josh Just Happens to Live Here!, Josh’s Girlfriend is Really Cool!, I Hope Josh Comes to My Party!, and I’m Going on a Date with Josh’s Friend on Disc One; Josh and I Are Good People!, My First Thanksgiving with Josh!, I’m So Happy that Josh is So Happy!, My Mom, Greg’s Mom and Josh’s Sweet Dance Moves!, and I’m Going to the Beach with Josh and His Friends! on Disc Two; I’m Back at Camp with Josh!, That Text Was Not Meant for Josh!, Josh and I Work on a Case!, Josh and I Go to Los Angeles!, and Josh is Going to Hawaii! on Disc Three; and Josh Has No Idea Where I Am!, Josh’s Sister is Getting Married!, Why is Josh in a Bad Mood?, and Paula Needs to Get Over Josh! on Disc Four.
The picture quality is excellent. As it’s HD-sourced, it features strong colors, some surprising depth, and high levels of detail. Blu-ray is obviously more ideal for this kind of material, but even in standard definition, it’s represented well. No complaints here, nor are there any for the audio track provided for each episode: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, which is good because this is a show that demands multiple channels of audio. Dialogue is perfectly clean and clear while the score and musical numbers have real depth and room to breathe in the surrounding speakers. It has an abundance of life to it and is quite satisfactory. Unfortunately, no subtitle options are available, and being that this is a bare bones release, there are no extras either (something that would be rectified with future season releases).
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is bound to appeal to certain demographics more than others, especially those with a particular romantic comedy bent (who are likely to get something out of it more than most). Thankfully, the show isn’t completely lost to the broadcast and streaming worlds only. Although Blu-ray is the clear choice, it’s good to have the show represented on disc in any capacity. Warner Archive’s presentation is commendable, and it only improves in The Complete Second Season.
- Tim Salmons