“I’m just a girl in love / I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s new theme song, “I’m Just a Girl in Love,” lyrically sums up where things stand with West Covina’s chief resident-in-denial when the second season premieres on the CW on Friday. When viewers last saw Rebecca (Rachel Bloom), she and Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) had just had sex, prompting her to blurt out that she moved across the country for him. Now she thinks she’s ready for a relationship with a capital R, and she’s got a new theme song — released exclusively to Vulture — to mark her progression (digression?).
“Our first season was all about denial,” co-creator and showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna said. “She denied she was there for him, she was always saying she was there for the job. That’s what our first theme was about — her pretending that she just loved that place. She really didn’t admit it out loud until the very last second of the first season. So we needed a new song to address our new emotional thesis statement, which is that anything you do for love is justifiable.”
When the show’s producers and songwriters began brainstorming a follow-up to their Emmy-nominated theme song, McKenna dreamed up a ‘70s-style pastiche of other TV openings, something along the lines of the theme for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. But then Netflix’s comedy Lady Dynamite premiered with its own nostalgic opening and “we all kind of lost our boner for our idea,” said Bloom, who is also the show’s co-creator and executive producer. “We wanted to do something unique to our show and we realized we haven’t had a really big dance-y dance number since the pilot. We thought it would be fun to do a Busby Berkeley–type number, so we reworked the ’70s song into a ’20s, ’30s bouncy number.”
After McKenna and Bloom agreed on a contemporary showgirls concept, Bloom worked on it with songwriters Jack Dolgen and Adam Schlesinger, who were both nominated for Emmys for their work on the first season. “People who like the show like the different styles of music, so I think those fans will be psyched about the changeup,” Schlesinger said. “For people who don’t know the show, they don’t know it’s different, so who cares?”
The theme song, like Rebecca’s mental and emotional states, will change every season. “She’s using love to escape what’s going on here,” Bloom said. “Love is an external distraction.”
“What we tell people who are in love is that you should chase someone through an airport, you should show up outside their bedroom with a boom box, you should coat their bedroom with flowers,” McKenna added. “On one level it is a violation of people’s privacy and what they say they want. But it’s also very much how we frame courtship, so this season we’re dealing with the socially sanctioned way that courtship allows people to behave in ways that are crazy.”