Small Screen: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s issues rounded off

LOS ANGELES — The fourth and final season of the CW series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend will be R-rated. That doesn’t mean more sex, lies and the seedy side of West Covina, but Rebecca will be dealing with redemption, recovery, responsibility, rebirth, renewal and reality.

The critically acclaimed comedy features Rachel Bloom playing Rebecca Bunch, a successful, heartsick young woman who gives up everything in an attempt to find love and happiness in suburban California. In the third season finale, Bunch opted not to enter a plea of insanity for an attempted second-degree murder charge. The decision was a big step for Bloom.

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Most casts and crews would be lamenting the end of their series. But from the beginning, there had always been talk that the raucous story would be best told in four seasons. “I feel like it’s we always conceived of it as a beginning, middle and end,” says executive producer Aline Brosh McKenna. “It always had a shape to it. When I say that, it means we didn’t have every scene and every character turn mapped out, but we knew generally. And so, now, it feels like landing on the aircraft carrier, and that’s nice for us.

“We deal with sort of the recovery and the redemption aspects, but also, it is a romantic comedy. So, I think, one thing you can expect is, especially the back half of the season, deals a lot with her romantic life once we’ve kind of landed and settled in on more of the issues in her emotional life.”

Bloom adds that every season was put together using a different lens of what it meant to be a crazy ex-anything. Taking the approach made each episode feel like a new show for Bloom. The final season is where the recovery starts.

What they have been doing in the previous three seasons has worked. Bloom — born in Manhattan Beach, California — won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series — Musical or Comedy, Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a TV Comedy as well as a Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy.

The R-rating topic comes again as Bloom talks about how different the series would have been if it had been purchased by Showtime. Programming on the premium channel doesn’t have to deal with the same restrictions as network shows.

“I like that we have structure because it has reined us in a bit,” Bloom says. “The sex would have been dirtier. I do miss the ability to make sex funny because there’s only so much we can show on a network. I think sex is hilarious. We hold it on this pedestal, but, at the end of the day, it’s just kind of gross and awkward. So, it definitely would have been more awkward, graphic-ish sex.

“It is always a challenge because it pushes us in nice directions because I think sex can sometimes be an easy go-to for comedians — especially myself — so I think it sometimes makes us not go with the first idea and get a little more creative.”

Whether or not Bloom gets any rest is debatable. She can be heard and not seen in the animated film The Angry Birds Movie 2, slated to be released in 2019.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is wrapping up with its biggest production schedule to date with 18 episodes in the last season.

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