Laughs were had. Truths were revealed. And a little ballet was performed.
At this weekend’s Vulture Festival, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator, writer, and star Rachel Bloom sat down with an intimate crowd (“this is such a small room,” she remarked more than once) to talk about the show’s final season and what to expect from the remaining episodes. She was joined by Cameron Esposito for a conversation that reached depths that truthfully surprised given the length and supposed scope of the session.
After a brief conversation about the speed at which Bloom managed to use the restroom in the moments before the panel started, she and Esposito talked about serving in multiple roles on a TV show; Esposito did something similar with Seeso’s Take My Wife. As moderator, Esposito chose to dive into the experience of dancing on the show, something Bloom does often. In her answer, Bloom revealed a vulnerability about her skill in dancing and how it’s used to cover up long-felt insecurities. “I exaggerate the things I do, so I can laugh before you do. I worry that I’ll be sincere [in “straighter” dance scenes], and that you’ll laugh at me.”
This vulnerability was a through line for the conversation, with Bloom and Esposito each sharing how being made fun of or being made to feel uncomfortable as children and teens has informed the way they do comedy today. Bloom struggled with undiagnosed depression and OCD, Esposito was challenged by her gender and sexual identity, as well as a confusing relationship with her perception by men. Each talked openly about how it’s informed their art, as well as their challenges to come to terms with themselves today. “We’re all the worst thing that was ever said about us as kids,” Esposito noted. In coming to terms with herself as someone who is talented and can be glamorous, Bloom shared, “The story that you tell yourself is the strongest narrative in your life. The only way to change your life is to change the story you’re telling yourself.”
As for the story she and series co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna have set out to tell over the past five seasons, Bloom admitted she hasn’t yet felt sentimental about the show’s nearing conclusion. “There’s too much left to do,” she admitted, as she revealed she should have been writing a song this weekend but instead did this panel and went to Disneyland. “Ask me again in February!” The show’s last season run was originally scheduled to go 13 episodes, but CBS then offered five more…which presented an interesting challenge. “We’re finishing up the second part now,” Bloom shared, and promised some really rewarding payoff on the stories. As previously announced, part of that later arc includes the “return” of Rebecca’s former suitor Greg, played by Pitch Perfect (and Bloom’s former classmate) Skylar Astin.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend currently airs Fridays at 9pm ET on the CW Network. Cameron Esposito’s latest one hour special Rape Jokes is currently available on her website in a pay-what-you-want format. All proceeds will go to RAINN.