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Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2045-5852
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5860


In just four seasons, Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna’s musical dramedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015–2019) has established itself as an important space for contemporary explorations of gender and genre on US television. In this article, we examine how the musical numbers operate as a feminist intervention into a postfeminist diegesis. The musical numbers in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend often parody different popular music genres by simultaneously drawing attention to and subverting their conventions. In doing so, the series critiques the gender norms of traditionally patriarchal and heteronormative Hollywood musicals and misogynistic music videos. The Hollywood film musical genre is typically framed by a tension between the narrative and the numbers. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend exploits this tension to offer a feminist critique of how patriarchal neo-liberal culture encourages women to invest in romantic love and postfeminist forms of appearance-based empowerment. This article argues that the musical numbers in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are a feminist space where the series critiques the postfeminist reality of its diegesis.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): feminism; gender; music video; parody; television; the musical genre
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