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1-20 of 39 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »


Rachel Bloom: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Creator/Star Lampoons Sexist Casting Calls Written from the Male Gaze

10 August 2016 3:06 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Rachel Bloom is best known for co-creating, writing and starring in The CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” but she might consider adding “casting director” to her list of titles soon. “Here’s a little taste of what it’s like to be an actress searching for your next job,” she captioned an Instagram screenshot of a casting call for three female characters whose defining traits revolve around their looks; she then took to Twitter to invert that dynamic, inventing a “casting breakdown for the male characters of #CrazyExGirlfriend written with a male gaze.”

Read More: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Star Rachel Bloom on the Unsung MVPs of Season 1 (Consider This)

Here’s one of them: “Greg Serrano (20’s) Hot but thinks he’s not hot. When he wants to, he has a smoldering gaze that can instantly make any pair of panties disintegrate. Think anyone from Dawson’s Creek, Mr. Darcy, or an Instagram worthy avocado toast. »

- Michael Nordine

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Rachel Bloom: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Creator/Star Lampoons Sexist Casting Calls Written from the Male Gaze

10 August 2016 3:06 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Rachel Bloom is best known for co-creating, writing and starring in The CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” but she might consider adding “casting director” to her list of titles soon. “Here’s a little taste of what it’s like to be an actress searching for your next job,” she captioned an Instagram screenshot of a casting call for three female characters whose defining traits revolve around their looks; she then took to Twitter to invert that dynamic, inventing a “casting breakdown for the male characters of #CrazyExGirlfriend written with a male gaze.”

Read More: ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Star Rachel Bloom on the Unsung MVPs of Season 1 (Consider This)

Here’s one of them: “Greg Serrano (20’s) Hot but thinks he’s not hot. When he wants to, he has a smoldering gaze that can instantly make any pair of panties disintegrate. Think anyone from Dawson’s Creek, Mr. Darcy, or an Instagram worthy avocado toast. »

- Michael Nordine

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From ‘Master of None’ to ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ First-Time Showrunners Make an Impact

2 August 2016 8:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

In the era of peak TV, there’s no single path to becoming a showrunner.

Writers used to work their way up through a system and patiently wait their turn to run their own show. But the proliferation of outlets, increasing demand for bold content, and opportunities to scale a show to specific creative needs have combined to open the door for showrunners of various backgrounds and experience levels.

Six freshman series from the past year made Variety’s TV Producers Impact List with first-time showrunners at the helm: Showtime’s “Billions,” NBC’s “The Carmichael Show,” The CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Netflix’s “Master of None,” Hulu’s “The Path,” and Wgn’s “Underground.” The only common link among the six is that they don’t conform to traditional notions of TV.

Take “Master of None,” a star vehicle for former “Parks and Recreation” cast member Aziz Ansari, that he created with “Parks” writer Alan Yang. While »

- Geoff Berkshire

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: a Netflix UK gem well worth your time

2 August 2016 3:51 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Rachel Meaden Aug 19, 2016

Don't let the pink hearts and rom-com title put you off; Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is inventive, nuanced, cleverly written comedy drama...

So, you’ve finished season 4 of Orange Is The New Black, you’re coming to the end of Stranger Things and you don’t fancy watching the whole of Community again for the tenth time. What should you binge next? Well ladies and gents, allow me to introduce you to the genius that is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend centres on the life of Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom, who also has creator and executive producer credits for the show). Rebecca is a high-flying lawyer, pegged for a partnership position in her firm but she’s also suffering from depression and after a chance meeting with Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III), Rebecca’s one time Summer Camp boyfriend, she makes a decision to follow him across the country to West Covina, »

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Cruella to start filming this year, new writer hired

1 August 2016 10:08 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Simon Brew Aug 2, 2016

The co-writer of Spectre and Edge Of Tomorrow gets to work on the script for Cruella, starring Emma Stone.

One of the many assorted live action fairy tales that Disney is working on is a new big screen Cruella De Vil movie. Based on the infamous villainous from 101 Dalmatians, the new film will go by the name of Cruella, and Emma Stone has been cast in the role (Glenn Close played Cruella De Vil in a pair of live action movies previously, of course, and she’s an executive producer on this movie).

We’re still none the wiser as to who will be directing the new Cruella, but we do know who’s set to write it. Jez Butterworth, who co-penned the last James Bond adventure, Spectre, has been hired to rewrite the Cruella script. His previous credits also include Black Mass and Edge Of Tomorrow. »

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Stream this in the summer: 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'

7 July 2016 7:09 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

In my early days on the beat, NBC had an ad campaign encouraging people to watch summer reruns, promising, "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you!" In the age of Peak TV, that slogan seems less cynical than accurate. The rise of streaming services have put the bulk of TV history only a click or two away, which means that people are constantly discovering The Wire, or Arrested Development, or Terriers (sigh) for the very first time. Since I'm not doing a summer rewind this year, I thought I would, from time to time, offer up a primer of a show you can stream, whether an older series available in full, or a new arrival to one or more of the services. And since the CW just made official its deal to move all its shows' streaming rights from Hulu to Netflix(*), I wanted to start with what's »

- Alan Sepinwall

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‘The Devil Wears Prada’ At 10: Meryl Streep and More on How Their Risky Project Became a Massive Hit

1 July 2016 1:43 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Ten years ago, “The Devil Wears Prada” surprised even the people that made it. The movie opened over the July 4th weekend in 2006 as a counter-programmer aimed primarily at women. But it played far broader than that, all over the world. Based on the bestseller written by Lauren Weisberger, the ex-Vogue assistant to editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, it was an anomaly that influenced movies to come but remained a rare bird, hard to categorize or imitate.

It wasn’t a standard-issue studio genre, neither a romantic comedy centered around a young woman’s choice of mate, a biopic, nor a revenge plot. Aspiring young assistant Andy (Anne Hathaway) and her powerful editrix boss Miranda (Meryl Streep) were dual protagonists in a coming-of-age workplace fairy tale about the trials of a first job and finding your identity.

The other players behind the $41-million film, which shot over 57 days in New York and »

- Anne Thompson

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‘The Devil Wears Prada’ At 10: Meryl Streep and More on How Their Risky Project Became a Massive Hit

1 July 2016 1:43 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Ten years ago, “The Devil Wears Prada” surprised even the people that made it. The movie opened over the July 4th weekend in 2006 as a counter-programmer aimed primarily at women. But it played far broader than that, all over the world. Based on the bestseller written by Lauren Weisberger, the ex-Vogue assistant to editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, it was an anomaly that influenced movies to come but remained a rare bird, hard to categorize or imitate.

It wasn’t a standard-issue studio genre, neither a romantic comedy centered around a young woman’s choice of mate, a biopic, nor a revenge plot. Aspiring young assistant Andy (Anne Hathaway) and her powerful editrix boss Miranda (Meryl Streep) were dual protagonists in a coming-of-age workplace fairy tale about the trials of a first job and finding your identity.

The other players behind the $41-million film, which shot over 57 days in New York and »

- Anne Thompson

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‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’: Crafting Those Wacky Songs (Emmy Watch)

27 June 2016 11:41 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” songs brilliantly serve as the emotional highs and lows for Rachel Bloom’s Rebecca in her pursuit of love for all the wrong reasons.  And the secret to their success is the great chemistry between co-creator-songwriter-star Bloom, co-creator Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada” scribe) and songwriters Jack Dolgen and Adam Schlesinger, who also serves as executive music producer.

“The Sexy Getting Ready Song” from the pilot became the staple for the series in upending a conventional ritual. “We’re looking at the contradictions and ridiculousness of what women have been told about what’s necessary to be acceptable,” explained McKenna, who recommended the song as a horrific event when Rebecca prepares for a party encounter with ex-boyfriend Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III).

“It’s like the musical genre is the straight man,” added Bloom. “And what we say within the genre is the joke. The contrast »

- Bill Desowitz

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‘The Devil Wears Prada’ Turns 10: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt Tell All

23 June 2016 1:07 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The moment Meryl Streep read the script for “The Devil Wears Prada,” she knew it would be—in her words—“Yuge.” But despite a truckload of awards and a reputation as the greatest actress on the planet, Streep had always been hesitant to negotiate for more pay. Maybe it was the character Miranda Priestly, a fashion magazine editor so powerful she could terrify underlings without even raising her voice, that pushed her to do it. But the Oscar-winning actress felt emboldened. “The offer was to my mind slightly, if not insulting, not perhaps reflective of my actual value to the project,” Streep tells Variety. “There was my ‘goodbye moment,’ and then they doubled the offer. I was 55, and I had just learned, at a very late date, how to deal on my own behalf.”

The Devil Wears Prada” showed Hollywood that it was never wise to underestimate a strong woman’s worth. »

- Ramin Setoodeh

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How Clothing Becomes a Weapon in ‘Billions’ Power Struggles (Emmy Watch)

20 June 2016 9:14 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

People are definitely not how they appear in Showtime’s “Billions,” and their wardrobes can be very disarming. Nouveau riche financial wiz Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) dresses casually, whereas ruthless U.S. attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti) flaunts his pedigree.

“Axe is not ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ he’s  more of a blue collar Yonkers guy and because of that he likes to be aggressively casual,” said costume designer Eric Daman. “He doesn’t get into the ’80s and ’90s iconography of what billionaires were supposed to be like. He’s made his own mark wearing T-shirts and jeans. And then when he does put on a suit, it’s like a punch to the face. Everything is calculated.”

But there’s a luxury to his casual look. They nip and tuck the T-shirts so they fit Axe in an elevated way. The tailor trimmed a quarter inch and »

- Bill Desowitz

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Showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna Brings Logic to ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ (Emmy Watch)

17 June 2016 3:48 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” is an odd TV series. A comedy with dramatic elements, it’s a musical that expresses the feelings of its lead character, Rebecca Bunch (YouTube star Rachel Bloom), via original songs. The ratings aren’t amazing and the show is an Emmy longshot, but people are finding it, and the fans are passionate. It’s unlike anything you’ve seen before; the question is, how many Emmy voters will see it.

At a recent Fyc Emmy event, Bloom bounded out in bra and Spanx to perform an opening number and then returned dressed for an informative Q & A panel. The audience, packed with fans, whooped and hollered; everyone on stage enjoyed playing to the room. That’s the feeling you get from the CW show itself: as hard as it is to pull off, everyone is having a blast.

So how did this crazy show come about? While »

- Anne Thompson

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Krysten Ritter on Loving Female Showrunners and the Challenge of ‘Marvel’s Jessica Jones’ (Consider This)

17 June 2016 12:57 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Krysten Ritter has played some tough characters, on shows from “Breaking Bad” to “Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23.” But then came the greatest challenge of her career: The title role of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones.”

The responsibility of taking on such a kick-ass heroine motivated Ritter to commit fully to Netflix’s super-powered private eye, she told IndieWire: “I put a lot of pressure on myself to do this character justice. I just thought she was so special and so rough around the edges and so human, and flawed and complex. When you get an opportunity like that, you’re going to make sure you deliver.”

Read More: ‘Jessica Jones’ Season 2: Krysten Ritter Says Netflix Drama’s Exploration of Ptsd Will Only Deepen

That meant tackling the challenge of stunt choreography — something she said she’d never really done before. “When I first saw the choreography all in front of me, »

- Liz Shannon Miller

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How Sound and Editing Build Tension During ‘House of Cards’ Season 4 Presidential Campaign (Emmy Watch)

17 June 2016 12:22 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The stakes couldn’t be higher for the Underwoods in Season 4 of “House of Cards”: Frank (Kevin Spacey) struggles to hold onto power with his Presidential re-election and Claire (Robin Wright) plots her own political path to the Presidency.

And editing and sound mixing play a significant role in conveying their tug-of-war.

“We try to keep it balanced and close to the world of believability,” said Lisa Bromwell, who edited the first two episodes and concentrated on the first half of the season. “It’s absolutely heightened in a fun way.”

From the very beginning, David Fincher wanted “House of Cards” to be cut more like a movie, according to Bromwell, which means focusing on the reactions of supporting characters. “You can always cut to Kevin Spacey at any moment. But he’s the one pulling the strings and often times it’s more interesting to see how other »

- Bill Desowitz

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Watch Hollywood Reporter's Full, Uncensored Comedy Showrunner Roundtable With the Bosses of 'Veep,' 'Master of None' and More

16 June 2016 11:10 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Six comedy series chiefs — Kenya Barris (Black-ish), Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat), Marta Kauffman (Grace and Frankie), Aline Brosh McKenna (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), David Mandel (Veep) and Alan Yang (Master of None) — let it rip on the sex acts they still can’t believe they got past Standards (yes, "chicken cooping" is a real thing), why they don’t like spinoffs (sorry, Friends fans!) and the challenges that come with trying to tell your story when you don’t look like everyone else in Hollywood: "Black people don’t get to write for white people." The roundtable discussion aired

read more

»

- THR Staff

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How Chris Cooper Became the Secret Weapon Of Hulu’s ‘11.22.63’ (Consider This)

16 June 2016 7:45 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Most actors, especially when pushed, will admit that one of the toughest parts of the job is delivering exposition. And this year, television’s Mvp of doling out key plot points to the audience is unquestionably Chris Cooper, the veteran character actor anchoring the narrative of Hulu’s “11.22.63.”

Read More: Review: Hulu’s ‘11.22.63’ Brings Us Some Great Grand Storytelling

As diner owner Al, Cooper only spent two weeks on the set of the limited series based on Stephen King’s 2011 novel. But those two weeks were exclusively devoted to filming an intensive series of scenes between him and James Franco. Franco plays Jake, the young man who Al tasks with the quest to save JFK via a mysterious time portal in the back of his diner — and over the course of the series, it’s Al’s advice to which Jake constantly returns.

Earlier this year, IndieWire sat down with »

- Liz Shannon Miller

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Talking the Modern Romantic Comedy at Variety’s Night in the Writers’ Room

14 June 2016 9:48 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Comedy scribes Aline Brosh McKenna, Mark Duplass, Stephen Falk, Zander Lehmann, and Darren Star talked about the modern romantic comedy at Variety’s Night in the Writers’ Room event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.

The showrunners behind “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Togetherness,” “You’re The Worst,” “Casual,” and “Younger” discussed how they ended up creating and shaping their innovative relationship comedies — from how to set up their writers’ rooms to when and how to showcase characters having sex.

Chief on the writers’ minds was how television afforded so many more opportunities for the types of relationships each writer wanted to explore. Television, Duplass said, “is better for living inside those interpersonal dynamics than movies are.”

“Movies aren’t interested in [romantic comedies] anymore,” McKenna said. She pointed out that the shows represented on the panel were all “high-concept shows that would have been high-concept movies.” But with film romcoms, “What was out there was so grindingly formulaic — so cookie-cutter. And they tanked.”

“Movies that are released on a bunch of screens — they lack curiosity and an adult point of view,” Lehmann said. Outside of independent film, “movies don’t really cater to that audience anymore.”

The scribes also shared observations on creating comedy in the era of Peak TV. There were more opportunities than ever, it was agreed. McKenna pointed out, “Every show on this panel would have been canceled halfway through the episode, just based on the ratings. TV shows can do more things now than just grab eyeballs.”

But the downside to great opportunities for television comedies with vision is that more and more great ideas are taken. Lehmann said he’s afraid to watch more than an episode or two of these comedies, because he’s afraid “It’ll come out in [my] show.”

Plus, Falk pointed out that in comparison with prestige dramas, comedies are still seen as less important, because they’re “half as long.” He joked: “I’m not saying drama’s easy, but… drama’s f**kin’ easy, you guys. You don’t have to put in any jokes!”

Each showrunner pointed out that their individual takes on the typical romance created a theme that made the show move forward. For Falk, it was about taking the bad behavior that he loved in villains from Falstaff to Al Swearengen and putting it in a romantic comedy. “I always like the bad guys.”

For Star, it was a different angle. “In TV, you have to have themes to explore, and in ‘Younger,’ that’s the generation gap. How does someone over 40 function in the world of social media?” Star said. “You can really reflect the world you’re living in, immediately, commenting on our times right now.”

Mckenna said that she and co-showrunner Rachel Bloom (who is also the star of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) don’t think of their show as a romcom. “We frame it as one person’s descent into her own personal issues,” she said, adding that AMC’s “Breaking Bad” is a big inspiration for the show, as unlikely as that seems. Star cited the same show as an influence, because both “Younger’s” protagonist and “Breaking Bad’s” are carrying a secret. “I’ve never seen it!” he confessed. But they’d discussed a great deal in the writers’ room. “I know it so well.”

Duplass said that after “Togetherness”’ first season aired, he was surprised to find that the relationship that struck viewers most was the romance between “the two boys” — best friends Brett and Alex, played by Duplass and Steve Zissis. And that led to another topic for the writers, about the difficulties of managing audience reaction in the age of social media.

“The audience wants the characters to be happy, which is the end of the story,” Star said. “You have to defy expectations while still being true to the characters…. The audience is so much savvier than they used to be.”

“The first season was agonizing,” Lehmann said. “It’s the first time you’re getting feedback. But now with the second season, the people who didn’t like it have just stopped watching, thankfully.”

He added: “Sorry audience, you’re not going to get everything you want. And sometimes you will! But we have feelings, too!”

Duplass said, “My stance is that you can’t look on Twitter and look at those things… and then I always go and read about my show.”

Star’s social media strategy is more strategic. “I have many pseudonyms with which I respond,” he said, to laughter from the crowd.

The writers also shared war stories on how to wrangle sex scenes through network standards and practices. Falk discovered that on Fxx, you can’t show pubic hair. McKenna learned they couldn’t use the word “crap.” And Duplass shared “Togetherness”’ self-imposed principle of “balls equality,” wherein if there was a scene with female nudity, the show had to respond with an equal amount of male nudity. “And of course I’m in the show, so, they’re mostly mine,” he said.

The overall feeling from this collection of showrunners, who came from backgrounds as diverse as independent film and TV recapping, is that this is a great time to be in TV. “All the filmmakers I loved as a child,” McKenna said, “I feel like they would be doing television now.”

»

- Sonia Saraiya

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‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Star Rachel Bloom on the Unsung MVPs of Season 1 (Consider This)

13 June 2016 2:51 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

It’s not often that a primetime network TV show devotes three minutes of airtime to a “Les Miserables” sendup featuring hyper-specific references to Inland Empire utility politics. But it helps when you have the right people to pull it off.

Such are the sheer, nothing-else-like-it delights of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the newest jewel in the CW crown. At the show’s center is Rachel Bloom, who in addition to being the show’s star and co-creator (alongside “The Devil Wears Prada” scribe Aline Brosh McKenna) is also one of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s” biggest fans.

When we spoke to Bloom, the talk kept turning toward the cast and crew that helps color this crazy, lovable slice of the TV landscape. From the writing staff to the songwriting team headlined by executive music producer Adam Schlesinger, she spoke about how it takes a village to raise a child (that occasionally sings therapeutic boy band parodies).

It seems like a nice added bonus that the people you’ve cast in these central roles get to have their featured moments. If you want them to grow, you can give them their own songs.

A lot of other people on our show, they’re Broadway people — they’re singers by trade. With the roles of Josh and Greg, we weren’t even necessarily looking for people who could sing. We were looking for the best actors. In the breakdowns, we were putting things like, “sing, rap, play guitar — we’ll write to your strengths.” Not in our wildest dreams could we have realized the kind of Renaissance men that we cast in both Santino and Vince — I mean, God, Vince has like three black belts.

Pete is a comedy/improv/sketch guy and would not consider himself a singer, but he has a really good voice. And he’s really in touch with his body. Vella is the same way. She’s a fantastic actress. She went to Juilliard, and I think with her training and with her natural abilities, she has the command over her voice. And so that was a really pleasant surprise for us when we realized, “Oh, we don’t have to Auto-Tune these people.”

It’s great that they’re all different kinds of voice types on this show, because you have Vince with more of a pop sound, you have Santino with the classic sound, you have Donna with the big Broadway belt, you have Pete with this twang, and then you have Vella with this like rock and roll thing that we’re so excited to write more for her. She sang at our cast party, we had a karaoke machine and she sang TLC’s “Waterfalls…”

Oh my God.

And it was so good! And Adam [Schlesinger] and I were watching her, and I was like, “We gotta write a ’90s song for Vella” and he was like, “Absolutely.” It was kind of like she was auditioning for us — except she was drunk and didn’t realize she was — and we never cease to be amazed and surprised with the talents of the actors we have on the show. It’s not what you hear about working with TV actors sometimes, where they’re afraid to be brave or they’re snobby or they’ll only film from 1 to 4:30 and then they’ll be in their trailer. We have such grateful theater people.

And people like Pete still get non-singing moments like “Having a Few People Over,” which probably wouldn’t exist if you were working with a shorter runtime.

Precisely. I really like that now, in any given episode, a lot of the time the second song is another character. And it’s about the B-story. That makes me really happy. I think that some of the most impactful storylines we’ve done come from exploring things like Darryl and [White] Josh. It’s funny because now they’re everyone else’s favorite couple, and I’m kind of like “They were my favorite couple first!” I was on set for their first kiss. I got to sit on set, and I was like, “Done! They’re my favorite couple, they’re the ones I root for. Don’t give a fuck about anyone else.” Next season we’re going to deal with them more.

One of my favorite moments was when you brought back the grocery clerk at the end of the season.

This is actually pretty great. We were writing the song “I Have Friends” and I had a rough draft written and I was brainstorming with Aline, our other executive producer, Erin Ehrlich, and our co-executive producer Michael Hitchcock. “I Have Friends” is all about those fun specifics, like “a janitor that lives in an Rv behind the school.” And Hitchcock just busted out “grocery clerk with half an eyelid,” and I was like, “Done. Yes.” There was something so B-52’s about it and when I think of B-52’s I think of this kind of like nasal voice, which made me think of my friend Ben, who I did stuff at Ucb with and was also on an improv team with our writer’s assistant Elisabeth [Kiernan Averick]. Before he even auditioned or knew we were thinking of him, we just started writing the lines in his voice. We had such a great deleted scene from Episode 3 of him and Pete just going on an improv run. It was one of the funniest things to watch all season, and hopefully we’ll release it on a DVD extra.

When you’re shooting scenes, it’s easy to toss lines in. Is there a lyric or musical moment that came kind of at the last minute?

For “Sexy Getting Ready Song,” the lyric “whisper your dick hard” originally was something else. We were in the recording studio, and Jack, who produced the song, was directing me and he was just like “Okay, this next take, I want you to whisper someone’s dick hard,” and I was like, “Jack! That’s a lyric!”

CBS hasn’t gotten into the live musical game yet. But if they do, is there a particular show that you’d like for them to do?

Well, I’m pretty indie musical theatre. So if they did anything Sondheim, if they did a live version of “Assassins” or “Company”? God, if you’re gonna do a live show, doing “Rent” would be just fun.

Would you want to be Maureen?

Oh, yeah. Yes, I’d want to be Maureen. [laughs]

I mean, anything Kander and Ebb. “Chicago,” “Cabaret.” For any Jewish comedian who can sing, I mean “Funny Girl” is kind of the ultimate, right?

As a big musical theater fan, do you have a go-to underrated show that, if someone was really digging deeper, you would point them toward?

For comedy, “Gutenberg! the Musical.” That soundtrack is amazing. It’s just such a great example of comedy musical theater that should be mentioned more. And “Light in the Piazza” is just brilliant. I love “Whatever I Dream” from “A New Brain.” Michael John Lachiusa’s “The Wild Party,” which I actually directed in college, is one of the most underrated musical theater scores. The way the genre changes as the show gets darker, it’s absolutely brilliant.

There’s another musical he wrote called “Hello Again.” The song “Tom” from Hello Again is just one of the greatest songs ever written in musical theater. “Tom,” “Safe,” and “Mistress of the Senator,” every song on “Hello Again” is a winner and I feel like no one ever talks about it.

Obviously, you have a deep love of musical theater and now have people asking for the sheet music to use for audition songs in the future. That has to be an exciting feeling.

Oh, it’s so exciting. If you could be in on all the emails! I am bugging people constantly because I want the musical theater kids out there to have sheet music and karaoke tracks! So everything that the fans ask, chances are I’ve already asked about 6,000 times. It’s really exciting for me to interact with fans because fans of the show are people that I would want to be friends with. This is a show that I would watch.

[Editor’s Note: IndieWire’s Consider This campaign is an ongoing series meant to raise awareness for Emmy contenders our editorial staff and readership find compelling, fascinating and deserving. Running throughout awards season, Consider This contenders may be underdogs, frontrunners or somewhere in between. More importantly, they’re making damn good television we all should be watching, whether they’re nominated or not.]

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- Steve Greene

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‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Star Rachel Bloom on the Unsung MVPs of Season 1 (Consider This)

13 June 2016 2:51 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

It’s not often that a primetime network TV show devotes three minutes of airtime to a “Les Miserables” sendup featuring hyper-specific references to Inland Empire utility politics. But it helps when you have the right people to pull it off.

Such are the sheer, nothing-else-like-it delights of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the newest jewel in the CW crown. At the show’s center is Rachel Bloom, who in addition to being the show’s star and co-creator (alongside “The Devil Wears Prada” scribe Aline Brosh McKenna) is also one of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s” biggest fans.

When we spoke to Bloom, the talk kept turning toward the cast and crew that helps color this crazy, lovable slice of the TV landscape. From the writing staff to the songwriting team headlined by executive music producer Adam Schlesinger, she spoke about how it takes a village to raise a child (that occasionally sings therapeutic boy band parodies).

It seems like a nice added bonus that the people you’ve cast in these central roles get to have their featured moments. If you want them to grow, you can give them their own songs.

A lot of other people on our show, they’re Broadway people — they’re singers by trade. With the roles of Josh and Greg, we weren’t even necessarily looking for people who could sing. We were looking for the best actors. In the breakdowns, we were putting things like, “sing, rap, play guitar — we’ll write to your strengths.” Not in our wildest dreams could we have realized the kind of Renaissance men that we cast in both Santino and Vince — I mean, God, Vince has like three black belts.

Pete is a comedy/improv/sketch guy and would not consider himself a singer, but he has a really good voice. And he’s really in touch with his body. Vella is the same way. She’s a fantastic actress. She went to Juilliard, and I think with her training and with her natural abilities, she has the command over her voice. And so that was a really pleasant surprise for us when we realized, “Oh, we don’t have to Auto-Tune these people.”

It’s great that they’re all different kinds of voice types on this show, because you have Vince with more of a pop sound, you have Santino with the classic sound, you have Donna with the big Broadway belt, you have Pete with this twang, and then you have Vella with this like rock and roll thing that we’re so excited to write more for her. She sang at our cast party, we had a karaoke machine and she sang TLC’s “Waterfalls…”

Oh my God.

And it was so good! And Adam [Schlesinger] and I were watching her, and I was like, “We gotta write a ’90s song for Vella” and he was like, “Absolutely.” It was kind of like she was auditioning for us — except she was drunk and didn’t realize she was — and we never cease to be amazed and surprised with the talents of the actors we have on the show. It’s not what you hear about working with TV actors sometimes, where they’re afraid to be brave or they’re snobby or they’ll only film from 1 to 4:30 and then they’ll be in their trailer. We have such grateful theater people.

And people like Pete still get non-singing moments like “Having a Few People Over,” which probably wouldn’t exist if you were working with a shorter runtime.

Precisely. I really like that now, in any given episode, a lot of the time the second song is another character. And it’s about the B-story. That makes me really happy. I think that some of the most impactful storylines we’ve done come from exploring things like Darryl and [White] Josh. It’s funny because now they’re everyone else’s favorite couple, and I’m kind of like “They were my favorite couple first!” I was on set for their first kiss. I got to sit on set, and I was like, “Done! They’re my favorite couple, they’re the ones I root for. Don’t give a fuck about anyone else.” Next season we’re going to deal with them more.

One of my favorite moments was when you brought back the grocery clerk at the end of the season.

This is actually pretty great. We were writing the song “I Have Friends” and I had a rough draft written and I was brainstorming with Aline, our other executive producer, Erin Ehrlich, and our co-executive producer Michael Hitchcock. “I Have Friends” is all about those fun specifics, like “a janitor that lives in an Rv behind the school.” And Hitchcock just busted out “grocery clerk with half an eyelid,” and I was like, “Done. Yes.” There was something so B-52’s about it and when I think of B-52’s I think of this kind of like nasal voice, which made me think of my friend Ben, who I did stuff at Ucb with and was also on an improv team with our writer’s assistant Elisabeth [Kiernan Averick]. Before he even auditioned or knew we were thinking of him, we just started writing the lines in his voice. We had such a great deleted scene from Episode 3 of him and Pete just going on an improv run. It was one of the funniest things to watch all season, and hopefully we’ll release it on a DVD extra.

When you’re shooting scenes, it’s easy to toss lines in. Is there a lyric or musical moment that came kind of at the last minute?

For “Sexy Getting Ready Song,” the lyric “whisper your dick hard” originally was something else. We were in the recording studio, and Jack, who produced the song, was directing me and he was just like “Okay, this next take, I want you to whisper someone’s dick hard,” and I was like, “Jack! That’s a lyric!”

CBS hasn’t gotten into the live musical game yet. But if they do, is there a particular show that you’d like for them to do?

Well, I’m pretty indie musical theatre. So if they did anything Sondheim, if they did a live version of “Assassins” or “Company”? God, if you’re gonna do a live show, doing “Rent” would be just fun.

Would you want to be Maureen?

Oh, yeah. Yes, I’d want to be Maureen. [laughs]

I mean, anything Kander and Ebb. “Chicago,” “Cabaret.” For any Jewish comedian who can sing, I mean “Funny Girl” is kind of the ultimate, right?

As a big musical theater fan, do you have a go-to underrated show that, if someone was really digging deeper, you would point them toward?

For comedy, “Gutenberg! the Musical.” That soundtrack is amazing. It’s just such a great example of comedy musical theater that should be mentioned more. And “Light in the Piazza” is just brilliant. I love “Whatever I Dream” from “A New Brain.” Michael John Lachiusa’s “The Wild Party,” which I actually directed in college, is one of the most underrated musical theater scores. The way the genre changes as the show gets darker, it’s absolutely brilliant.

There’s another musical he wrote called “Hello Again.” The song “Tom” from Hello Again is just one of the greatest songs ever written in musical theater. “Tom,” “Safe,” and “Mistress of the Senator,” every song on “Hello Again” is a winner and I feel like no one ever talks about it.

Obviously, you have a deep love of musical theater and now have people asking for the sheet music to use for audition songs in the future. That has to be an exciting feeling.

Oh, it’s so exciting. If you could be in on all the emails! I am bugging people constantly because I want the musical theater kids out there to have sheet music and karaoke tracks! So everything that the fans ask, chances are I’ve already asked about 6,000 times. It’s really exciting for me to interact with fans because fans of the show are people that I would want to be friends with. This is a show that I would watch.

[Editor’s Note: IndieWire’s Consider This campaign is an ongoing series meant to raise awareness for Emmy contenders our editorial staff and readership find compelling, fascinating and deserving. Running throughout awards season, Consider This contenders may be underdogs, frontrunners or somewhere in between. More importantly, they’re making damn good television we all should be watching, whether they’re nominated or not.]

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- Steve Greene

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Emmy Fyc: Supporting Actress in a Comedy - Donna Lynne Champlin in "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

11 June 2016 2:00 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Emmy nomination voting begins Monday. For the next week or two we'll be sharing FYCs of some kind. Here's Dancin Dan...

Let's get one thing out of the way first: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend deserves Emmy nominations for pretty much every category in which it's eligible. Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom gave the most fearless, consistently great performance on TV this year as Rebecca Bunch, an attorney from New York who had a nervous breakdown and moved to West Covina, CA to chase after her ex-boyfriend from summer camp (Vincent Rodriguez III, taking a bland character and shading him just enough to make him more and more worthy of Rebecca's obsession). Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna created the musical comedy that fans of the genre have been waiting for, cleverly challenging expectations at every turn while maintaining a consistent level of quality that has eluded TV's other attempts at the genre (sorry, Glee and Smash).

But if the show can only get one nomination, the one I'm hoping for most - aside from Bloom, who will get and deserve plenty of articles like this until the nominations are announced - is for Donna Lynne Champlin as Best Supporting Actress. Champlin plays Paula, the office manager Rebecca's new law firm. In the pilot episode, Paula becomes as obsessed with Rebecca as Rebecca is with Josh »

- Denny

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