Picking the best songs from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet catered by a Michelin-star chef. Maybe some picks aren’t going to line up for your appetite, others might be too close to what you usually enjoy, and the best choices make you realize the things you never knew you liked before.
So as the series gears up for a third season in the greater reaches of West Covina, we thought it was time not to rank every song worst to best, but to pick out the musical apex for each character on the show. The bold, the silly, the poignant, all wrapped up in the best that each “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” character has to offer.
Rebecca — “West Covina”
If this song doesn’t hook you from the outset of the pilot, you either a) don’t have a heart or b) don’t enjoy good, pure things in this world. (Either way, it’s fine. We’re not here to judge.) As a thesis statement for the show, a proof-of-concept video for fans, and an Inland Empire regional anthem, there are few better ways to kick off a show. Yes, some other songs might be funnier, more visually challenging, and more emotionally devastating. But considering the sheer over-the-top bombast of a marching band, a small army of back-up dancers, and a giant six-foot pretzel, there’s no better way to let a brand new viewer know exactly what they’re getting into. It’s that trademark brand of misplaced optimism that runs throughout everything the show did afterwards, all wrapped up in a nice three-minute package.
Paula — “Maybe This Dream”
Sure, the Snow White outfit and the not-so-animated birds helped to give some Disney princess context in the framework of the show. But to get the full performance experience of what this song can be, look no further than Donna Lynne Champlin’s live version at the “Crazy Ex” FYC event earlier this year. Paula’s lofty hopes and stark realities, bottled up in literal high and low notes, with a special frisson on the word “pee” for good measure make for a marvelous showcase.
Josh – “Boy Band Made Up of Four Joshes”
Josh has been an object of desire on the show since he first appeared, and a majority of his songs give Vincent Rodriguez III a chance to play around with some wildly different personas. So why settle for just one, when you can have four? It’s also another example of the show squeezing in an unthinkable number of syllables into a quick window and getting a great joke out of it. Plus, the sync on that quad-split choreography is too impressive not to highlight. Hitting that last run on four different beats in four different outfits is a ridiculous achievement. And with a killer falsetto! Good work, team.
Darryl – “I Love My Daughter (But Not in a Creepy Way)”
“Gettin’ Bi” is definitely a more formative song in Darryl’s character, but for a blend of performance, lyrics, and accompanying stock footage, it’s hard to top this. Some of the best “Crazy Ex” songs bring in a healthy dose of non-singing parts. The frustration at the end and the misguided (but very genuine) reminder “Dads do that” help prove that these songs aren’t just about being able to sing — they’re true performance pieces. Also, “Havin’ a daughter is weeeeeeird!” is the best closing line to a song, on this show or otherwise, so it’s automatically the pick.
Heather – “Stuck in the Bathroom”
Not just a faithful recreation of the neverending bonkers R. Kelly saga “Trapped in the Closet” (They even got the font right!), it’s the kind of song you imagine Heather would be kinda into anyway. It’s a perfect chance to call out the absurdity of the situation, Karen and all, and for Vella Lovell to keep the character’s “none of this even really matters” attitude intact. Plus, it’s always fun to watch people lip-sync to a voice that’s not actually theirs.
Valencia – “Friendtopia”
Valencia’s had her share of solo songs, but she’s a vital piece to this Spice Girls squad statement. Not many performers can turn “Czar of Torture” into a friendly invitation, but somehow Gabriella Ruiz pulls it off. It’s also one of the first times that Valencia seems to be legitimately enjoying herself. Granted, it’s while making threatening throat-slashing moments, but far be it from us to judge her preferred happy place.