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Forward 50 2017

Rachel Bloom

Nothing Crazy About TV’s ‘Ex-Girlfriend’

If Disney princesses were historically accurate, they would be anti-Semites. If a Jewish girl sang a song to her boyfriend on Hanukkah, she most certainly would want him to “come kiss her mezuza tonight.” This is the world according to Rachel Bloom.

An actress, singer and songwriter, Bloom got her start producing YouTube videos about the quirky, all-consuming and totally alienating sexuality of being a teenager. Next she co-produced “Suck It, Christmas!!! (A Chanukah Album).” It was a radically new take on Jewish comedy, light years ahead of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

These days, Bloom, 30, writes, produces and stars in the CW series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” a musical comedy about love and mental illness. The show’s willingness to take on dark topics does nothing to ameliorate its pure exuberance.

Bloom received a Golden Globe for her performance in the first season, but the second season, this past year, was a revelation, winning unanimous critical acclaim. It also doubled down on the Jewishness, featuring a rabbi singing a paean to Jewish misery, called “Remember That We Suffered.”

“I gravitate towards the contrast between very light and very dark,” Bloom told the Forward in March.

The third season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” looks likely to be even darker — and funnier — next year. And there is no doubt that Bloom’s star will continue to rise.

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