"Greg's Drinking Song" On 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Mixes Humor & Truth, Which Is Important To Aline Brosh McKenna
If, like Rebecca, you were frantic to see Greg in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, then rejoice in knowing that this cynical character will be reuniting with his West Covina pals in the Friday, Oct. 28 episode, "When Will Josh Notice How Cool I Am?" Yet, with his reappearance comes a confession since Greg must tell his friends that he is a recovering alcoholic. Not only can you watch an exclusive clip of this personal proclamation below (which is done the only way the series knows how — through song), but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator and showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna tells Bustle what to expect from Greg's recovery in Season 2.
In the new counterintutively-named song, "Greg's Drinking Song," Greg finally emerges from his month-long withdrawal from his friends and tells them how his court-mandated time in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings made him realize he actually has a drinking problem. "Our aim with that song was to have him explain to his friends why he won't be able to interact with them in the same way that he has before," Brosh McKenna says. "And that he's not judging their drinking, that he has a specific problem and it's just about him."
Besides it being oh-so good to hear Santino Fontana's singing voice again, "Greg's Drinking Song" features a litany of scenarios where Greg's drinking got out of hand in typical Crazy Ex-Girlfriend fashion. (Poor Bruno!)
The song channels the style of an Irish drinking song, which might seem odd, but is actually a tactic that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has used before. "The humor of the songs often lie in the tension and the irony between what's being sung and the genre in which it's being sung. So you have a very fun, sexy hip-hop song that is about how heavy boobs are and how uncomfortable that is," Brosh McKenna says, referencing Season 1's "Heavy Boobs." She continues, "And so for this, a song about how you can't drink, it struck the songwriters as funny pretty quickly that a drinking song about how 'I can't drink anymore' was a fun way to go."
While this musical choice is certainly funny, the song also tackles the very real issue of alcoholism, which Brosh McKenna says she and fellow creator (and star) Rachel Bloom took seriously. She references how, when Pete Gardner's character Darryl came out as bisexual in Season 1, they had reached out to GLAAD to get some accruate perspectives. The creators did similar research when it came to Greg's alcoholism by speaking to mental health experts and having people who have been in recovery come speak to the writers' room.
"Rachel and I both like things to be really specific and take place in the real world as much as possible, so we'll always try and reach out and try and make our depictions of really specific stuff as real and grounded as we can. Especially because it is kind of a silly show in a lot of ways," Brosh McKenna says. "There are lots of flights of fancy and so for us, it seems even more important that the stuff that is real seem really real."
These specific details that the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend writers learned about alcoholism will help influence what happens to Greg in Season 2. "Someone told us that one of the things that happens is you have a lot more time and a lot more money when you stop drinking," Brosh McKenna says. "So, we also explore that with Greg — like what does it mean now that he has time and money in a different way than he has before? That's such a practical repercussion of getting sober that we wouldn't have thought of otherwise."
Besides getting some extra cash, Greg's road to recovery will impact his relationship with Rebecca, as Brosh McKenna explains that his recovery will be one of "the unintended consequences of Rebecca Bunch's behavior."
"Him getting sober is one of the many unintended consequences of her arrival in town because if she hadn't shown up and activated his self-loathing and caused him to realize how little respect he treats himself with, he might never have bottomed out," Brosh McKenna says. "She tortured this poor guy and I think she didn't cause his alcoholism, but she probably hastened him to discovering his bottom."
Because of that, the love triangle between Rebecca, Greg, and Josh is another aspect of the series that will obviously be affected by Greg's revelation — whether or not Rebecca will realize it immediately or not. "Her pursuit of Josh has always been, in her mind, kind of inextricably linked with Greg," Brosh McKenna says. "And he has been a willing participant in a very unhealthy dynamic. And so now that he's getting healthy in certain aspects of his life, what does that mean for her? And, in her life, what does that mean for the story she's telling herself about this triangle?"
While Rebecca's world might be rocked by the fact that Greg is trying to become a healthier version of himself, that doesn't mean the lovable grump is going to be changing who he is as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend continues to air on Fridays at 9 p.m. on The CW. "He's not a different person," Brosh McKenna says. "But he has a different perspective."
Images: The CW, Scott Everett White (2), Lisa Rose/The CW