The golden age for women in com­edy

Golden Globe win­ner Rachel Bloom is a star on the rise, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Tina Fey and Lena Dun­ham, writes CLARE RIG­DEN

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - News -

TWO years ago, if you’d told Rachel Bloom that, while get­ting ready for this year’s Golden Globes, she’d be up­load­ing a song she recorded in her un­der­wear to so­cial me­dia and that tens of thou­sands of peo­ple would “like” it, she’d have laughed in your face.

If you’d also told her that af­ter record­ing the song she’d go on to walk the red car­pet and win an award, she’d have be­lieved it even less. Yet that’s ex­actly what hap­pened.

The 28-year-old’s self-penned se­ries Crazy-Ex-Girl­friend, screen­ing now on Eleven, won her a Globe for Best Com­edy Ac­tress – and her “Sexy Golden Globey Song” video, which she recorded in her Spanx, scored her a le­gion of new fans. “Oh my gosh, it’s been un­be­liev­able,” Bloom says over the phone from her base in LA. “I never thought any­thing like this would hap­pen. And I cer­tainly didn’t think it would hap­pen rel­a­tively soon.”

So how did a drama grad­u­ate, who just a few years ago was best known for up­load­ing a se­ries of spoof songs to YouTube, go on to be­come one of the hottest prop­er­ties in Hol­ly­wood?

And how on Earth did she suc­cess­fully pitch a com­edy that’s at once sub­ver­sive, sub­tly fem­i­nist – and fea­tures singing and danc­ing num­bers in ev­ery episode?

“It’s all down to my co-cre­ator, Aline Brosh McKenna,” Bloom says.

“When you go into a room with some­one like her, peo­ple just want to work with her.”

An es­tab­lished screen­writer in Hol­ly­wood, Brosh McKenna was trawl­ing YouTube when she stum­bled across Bloom’s work. In­trigued, she con­tacted her about a pro­ject she’d been want­ing to make, and they went on to col­lab­o­rate.

“If I’d just gone into a room alone, with some­thing like this, peo­ple would have said, ‘ What the f--- are you talk­ing about?’,” Bloom says. The show was a very spe­cific sell. “We knew we wanted it to be dark, and we knew we wanted it to have curs­ing and stuff. And also, I wanted to play the lead, which with a net­work, there is no way they would have been au­to­mat­i­cally on board with. And the idea of au­di­tion­ing for my own TV show was just nox­ious to me.”

You’ve got to hand it to Bloom – she’s got chutz­pah. But, as she ex­plains, pitch­ing a show as spe­cific as Crazy-Ex-Girl­friend, which is about a young lawyer who gives up her high-pow­ered job in New York to re­lo­cate to a tiny South­ern Cal­i­for­nian town to fol­low an ex from her teen years, wasn’t as dif­fi­cult as it would have been if she was do­ing it even two years ago. She cred­its the likes of Lena Dun­ham and Tina Fey for paving the way.

“I’m con­stantly in­spired by my con­tem­po­raries, like Abbi and Ilana in Broad City, and Jess St Claire ( Play­ing House and Best Friends For­ever) and Lena Dun­ham ( Girls) … it’s a time where I am in­spired by the peo­ple around me writ­ing and per­form­ing their own ma­te­rial.

“I think this is a golden age of com­edy, and women in com­edy, and peo­ple per­form­ing their own stuff.”



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