Tuesday, April 26, 2016

7 Posts: The Best Friend Problem in "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

One of the things I adored about the pilot episode of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" was Paula's initial suspicion of Rebecca.  Because it makes sense that Darryl, who suddenly got an experienced law firm person volunteering to come work for his boutique firm in the suburbs didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth.  But from Paula's perspective, this is her turf and she wants to make sure this person hasn't left their higher paying job for a silly reason that might have her running back to a big firm leaving them in the lurch with cases, or stealing the cases.  And then once Paula understands that Rebecca is there for a guy, this makes sense, because like Rebecca, Paula is willing to jump on board with this fantasy that Rebecca running into an old boyfriend is clearly the beginning of an epic love story and that any things or people in the way are just the obstacles that prove you deserve the happiness at the end. 
But it also looks at some other things that happen in friendships.  Your friends often hear you pour out your plans, your hopes, your fears, and they want them for you because in the moment you are very convincing about what you need.  Let's face it, you also tell the friends who you know are going to be the most supportive.  Then if there's a shift or a moment where you wonder if maybe you were wrong about what you needed, or you're down, your friends are there to keep you going.  And that is great.  Right up until it isn't. 
And so - and now's where we get a little spoilery about the last few episodes - when Rebecca realized that maybe Greg was a good choice for her, she didn't tell Paula.  Because she knew Paula would try to talk her out of it.  And then, of course, Paula was still trying to intervene and push her toward Josh, and when Rebecca tried to stop her, Paula got all Mama Rose, and here's the thing, Paula was right.  Not about Josh.  (More on that later.) But she is right that when Paula's pushiness, and interfering was in service of Rebecca's plans, Rebecca not only didn't stop her, she often reached out to her to help her solve things.  So, it is a shift to suddenly change the terms of their relationship and say you can't butt into my love life.  It's a shift that I think is important and necessary to a healthy friendship but from Paula's side everything was Josh, Josh, Josh, and she got very little warning that it wasn't.  To us with access to Rebecca's head, and honestly, to us with healthy distance from all the machinations, it was a revelation past due, but Paula had been fully on board, and to her it was a jerky stop.  As the show has hinted, Paula could probably use a hobby.  As the show stated outright, Rebecca and Paula built their relationship over the pursuit of Josh, so figuring out how to be friends who go to movies together or talk about books, is something that they will need to work on.