October 30, 2015
It’s an unwritten rule of storytelling that an unlikely scenario becomes instantly more believable when you either animate it or set it to music. Proof of the former: “The Simpsons.” Proof of the later is “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the new musical comedy on the CW. Rachel Bloom plays Rebecca Bunch, a woman so obsessed with her ex-boyfriend that she abandons her lucrative legal career in New York and moves to West Covina, Calif., to be near her unrequited love, Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III).
Making Rebecca’s twisted thinking make sense to viewers requires such helpful narrative devices as flashbacks and musical sequences, all of which give Costume Designer Melina Root room to go a little crazy, too.
In a recent episode, Rebecca meets Josh’s gorgeous new girlfriend, Valencia. Rebecca quickly becomes obsessed with the hot girl.
“Valencia is an incredibly gorgeous yoga teacher. So Rebecca decides to go to her yoga class. And the yoga class turns into a musical fantasy, Bollywood number where Valencia tells her she’s too fat to do the moves. Valencia details all the ways that Rebecca is awful, but really, it’s Rebecca’s insecurities speaking,” explains Root.
Given the story’s location in suburban West Covina, Root dressed the class members in basic active wear from Target and Macy’s.
To exaggerate the contrast between the rivals, Root dressed Valencia’s hot bod in a sexy, abs-baring embroidered midriff top and sari cut into a thigh-baring skirt. As Valencia transforms, the students around her become her back-up dancers.
“You still see that they are West Covina people who have added a couple of things to amp up the color,” Root said. She gave them scarves, sashes and cutup saris to wrap around their bodies. Rebecca, meanwhile, is the only class member wearing a baggy, sweaty gray t-shirt and frumpy leggings–which is consistent with the character.
“When she’s in West Covina, she’s probably working for $50,000 a year. She’s not stylish. She is always a little bit off…and doesn’t have a natural sense of style,” Root said. “She shops late online and buys 12 pairs of the same shoe. Her greatest form of expression is in the fantasies.”
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” airs on The CW Mondays at 8 p.m. / 7 Central.