EW’s (& Metawitches) Best TV Songs of 2018

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EW.com is posting their series of end of the year articles with their picks for best of everything in the entertainment world for 2018. I usually don’t get involved in those judgments, because I’m never able to pick favorites or list them in top to bottom order without long-winded explanations full of exceptions to my choices. Sort of like what’s happening with this explanation.

BUT- over the weekend, EW posted their picks for the 5 best songs of 2018 which originated on TV shows, and I have to hand it to them, as these are all great songs. I only knew of about half of them before. I have a song that I think should be added to the list, from back when Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was still putting effort into more of its songs.

I may add to this list if I remember more songs from 2018 over the next week/ish.

EW Picks, My Commentary:

“This One’s for You” sung by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, from the 2018 Tony Awards

How is it that these two beloved, multi-talented performers, who’ve both been around for decades, have never won anything? Well, for example, Sara Bareilles’ Broadway show, Waitress, was shut out of a Tony win the year Hamilton swept the awards. Great for Hamilton, not so great for all of the other deserving shows and artists.

This song uses humor and a great melody to emphasize their camaraderie with the losers of the night, which, inevitably, was most of the audience, and to highlight the unsung heroes of Broadway, the ensemble players, who don’t win awards but form the backbone of every show. It was ironic but classy and good-natured, setting the tone for the night.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 13: Nathaniel Is Irrelevant./Season Finale Review

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This is a photo of Paula, played by the incomparable Donna Lynne Champlin, as she sings a song from the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend season 3 finale about the glorious and joyful process of giving birth, to help Heather feel better about what she’s gotten herself into. The song sounds pretty, everything looks beautiful, and there are even laughs to be had. Champlin sounds like the talented, amazing diva that she is. But as the song continues the lyrics go off the rails, making birth sound more and more like an apocalypse on your genitals. It ends with Heather holding a fake, gray, dead-looking placenta in her arms instead of a baby.

That’s this season, and this episode, of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in a nutshell. To write the song, Miracle of Birth, songwriter Jack Dolgen had the show’s female writers tell him their labor and delivery horror stories, then he and his cowriter Adam Schlesinger wrote the song in the studio in two hours, based on those notes. So, it’s a simplified, biased part of the experience, filtered 2nd and 3rd hand through the male point of view, turned into a rushed product. That’s season 3 of this show.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 12: Trent?! Recap

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Creepy stalker Adorable male ingenue Trent Maddock returns for a one episode blackmail plot love story this week. He forces Rebecca to blackmail Paula into helping her escape him reinvigorates Rebecca and Paula’s friendship. Josh’s one night stand with his karaoke machine back before the time jump has inspired him to turn it into a long term relationship. He wants to turn that into a business foursome with Beth and Valencia, but Valencia is going through the townie inferiority complex that she would have gone through when she was ten years younger if she was a real, live person. Nathaniel finally makes some decisions about his love life. Heather is still pregnant. WhiJo still has a dog and scraggly facial hair, causing me to fear for his overall health.

Rebecca meets with the girls at the Sugar Shack, where she crochets an afghan and decides to get a “buttload” of cats, now that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. Because in Rebecca’s world, if you go more than 3 days without thinking someone is the love of your life, then you must not be capable of loving another human being and are doomed to be alone forever.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 11: Nathaniel and I Are Just Friends!

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Same, Dr Akopian, same.

When episode 11 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend opened with Dr Akopian in her bedroom, I had this joyous flashback to the early days of the show, when Rebecca and Heather broke into her house through the doggie door. My hopes were raised that the whiny, misogynist slog toward the finale would be interrupted by a fun, creative episode like the ones I fell in love with. But, no. That was not the case.

Instead, we got more of the pointless, endless “will they or won’t they” from Bex and Nathaniel, a huge amount of time spent on Heather realizing that being 8 months pregnant is no fun (solved by her taking a bath 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️), and another Paula is a b*tch story, with a side of betrayal from former bestie Sunil, to teach her a lesson. We also had an 8 month time jump, to move the story and characters along. Except almost everyone was stuck in exactly the same place.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 10: Oh Nathaniel, It’s On!

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This week, Rebecca is determined to save the little guy, with a little help from her friends and acquaintances. In Rebecca’s mind, saving the little guy means taking the law firm back from Nathaniel after he refuses to let her have her job back. She’s also going forward with her plan to donate an egg to Darryl. Meanwhile, Heather has new career opportunities with Home Base corporate, and new life opportunities with Hector. She also volunteers to do a surprising favor for her friends.

Heather is still trying to figure out who she is, and what she wants to do with her life. She appears on Hector’s podcast, and says that she’s many things, including a chewer of gum, but none of these things define her. Hector would like to define them more clearly as a couple and take their relationship to the next level. Heather isn’t sure she can do that until she figures out who she is.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 9: Nathaniel Gets the Message!

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This week, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend continues its sob fest over men’s problems, and I mean that literally. After Dr Shin encourages her to spend her free time helping others, Rebecca decides to save an engaged man from a bad marriage, no matter the cost. Darryl continues to struggle with the ramifications of deciding to have a baby alone. Nathaniel and White Josh bond over their romantic break ups, because no one understands the problems of hot, sensitive guys. Josh joins the party for a while, because he has problems, too. Rebecca stays away from the ex-boyfriends, for now, but she does decide to rescue Darryl. I don’t think she’s quite gotten the message about this whole “Stop obsessing about men” thing.

The episode picks up with Rebecca and Nathaniel’s break up scene. Except Rebecca explains that it’s not a break up. She just needs to avoid falling into old obsessive patterns again, so she can’t see him any more.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 8: Nathaniel Needs My Help!

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This week, the women of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are all about keeping the men happy. Rebecca is trying to make up for Nathaniel’s sad childhood and to prove that she’s still an A+ therapy student. Paula takes on Darryl’s babymaking decisions, because these things are just too complicated for a single dad to figure out on his own. Lourdes is kicking Josh out of her house, but she’s also making him grow up and stop being so lame. The mixed message here is that it’s the job of strong, independent, modern women to take care of men’s emotional and caretaking needs, at every stage of life, whether the men think they want it or not. Even if the men resent it at first, they’ll thank you for it later. Since empowering women through enforcing gender stereotypes doesn’t do it for me, this was another disappointing episode.

Lourdes is just about perfect in my opinion, so I don’t have much to complain about there. She’s starting up a home daycare business, and needs Josh’s bedroom for the toddlers. She has a muralist coming on Monday to paint dolphins on the walls, so Josh needs to clean out his closet and move in with Hector and his mom by Monday. Josh gets off to a slow start, fondling every memento and getting lost in memories. When he gets to his old Karaoke machine, it’s all over. He stays up all night singing every song.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 7: Getting Over Jeff Recap

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This week’s episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a mixed bag, continuing the trend we’ve seen all season. Paula takes center stage with the A storyline and, for the first time ever, the title, which refers to Paula’s lost high school love, Jeff Channington, rather than Josh Chan.

Donna Lynne Champlin and Paula are deserving leading ladies, and the show reminds us that they are both the types that Hollywood normally forgets can be more than best friends. By giving Paula her own hot ex-boyfriend, and letting her live that fantasy out, they acknowledge once again that romance isn’t limited to certain ages or body types. That message never gets old.

None of the other storylines can live up to the glory of Paula singing about Jeff’s penis in the grocery store aisles complete with back up singers and suggestive vegetables. Josh is still trying to grow up, Rebecca is still trying to please her doctor, and Darryl and White Josh are still at a crossroads that they can’t navigate through. Stuff happens during the episode, but, other than Paula, I didn’t feel like any of them had made any tangible progress by the end.

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 6: Josh Is Irrelevant Recap

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Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen! Rebecca was given a “definitive” “diagnosis” in this episode. If you know anything about the diagnosis, and if you’ve read anything written by me before, you might be able to guess how I feel about borderline personality disorder.

Let’s get on with the recap, while I try to hold Metamaiden back from turning this post into one long rant about the horrors of the borderline personality disorder diagnosis and the ways it’s overdiagnosed in women, and used to control us, especially when you disagree with your elderly psychiatrist, who probably shouldn’t even be practicing anymore, as evidenced by the fact that he prescribes one medication after another that’s contraindicated for your serious chronic illness and gets defensive when you refuse to take those medications**; or your middle-aged male psychologist who decides that your near death experiences due to your illness aren’t trauma, they’re just white girl problems, while being completely sympathetic to your brother’s trauma from watching you suffer; or your middle-aged female counselor who tries to diagnose you when you’re a teenager despite that being expressly excluded in the definitions of the diagnosis.

There was a very good reason why Rebecca didn’t like what she found on the internet when she looked up her diagnosis. It’s the “my doctor doesn’t like me and thinks I’m difficult to work with because I’m a woman who questions them” diagnosis.*

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 3 Episode 5: I Never Want to See Josh Again Recap

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After the last two tumultuous episodes, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend settles down a bit this episode. That’s not to say that Rebecca’s life settles down, though not for lack of trying by her mom, Naomi. Despite Rebecca’s severely depressed state of mind, this episode felt more like the show I love to watch. The end of the episode reached the conclusion that, if we’re honest, we all know we’ve been heading toward since the pilot.

Rebecca has been staying on her mom’s pull out couch since last weekend. Naomi, played by the ever glorious Tovah Feldshuh, has had enough of Rebecca’s lying around. She attempts to get Rebecca to go back to her life by using all of the usual methods, including shaming, hovering and controlling.

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