Critical Tom

REPOST- Rachel Bloom and Song Mythology

I’ve been watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a show whose comedy hits me in exactly the right place. Of course, my last 2 favorite comedies were Happy Endings and Community, both of which met ignoble ends, so it’s not a great sign for the already-lowly-rated Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Apparently my fandom isn’t worth much. [EDIT: Well it got renewed, although the details have yet to emerge. Thankfully someone is championing it within CW...]

Interestingly, the women who plays the lead character made the Fuck Me Ray Bradbury video, which came out about a year after I started graduate school, lining up perfectly with an increase in lab work and a decrease in media consumption… so for me, it was a flash in the pan and I never bothered to follow up – but Rachel Bloom has been steadily working her way up from a single (brilliant) youtube video to a writing, acting, and everything-else career.

But don’t worry, she still finds time to make stuff that couldn’t possibly make her any money at all…

Witness this sketch: a Sugar Ray musical.

It’s great. Clearly Rachel Bloom has a knack for music-related comedy, even in this most general sense. More importantly, it makes me wonder if you could construct a coherent narrative using 4-5 songs from any band. The easiest way would be is if the songs themselves show a clear path – think Lily Allen, who wrote quite a few songs about her everyday life in a short period of time; also, Red Hot Chili Peppers and their heroin songs (Under the bridge, This velvet glove, Dosed, etc). In these cases, obviously, you’d want the band to write their own songs: ghost songwriters would ruin the narrative because they can’t write a truly personal song (that defeats the “ghost” part of ghostwriter). But I suspect most songs are so general that this isn’t even a requirement. Bob Dylan practically wrote short stories as songs for years, but you can still come up with a mythology where our narrator from Isis wrote Love Minus Zero while on his graverobbing sojourn – the deity-like imagery from LMZ just adding to what Dylan already effected by using Isis rather than another name.

It’s a fun thought experiment.

My only problem with the sketch is the “fuck Smash Mouth” running joke, who I remembered as a VERY competent band. I re-listened to them to check, but there must be something strange in the water – they do kinda suck now, but they definitely didn’t use to.