What Characters! Part I

(Above: Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch in ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.’ Source: YouTube screenshot)

Idiosyncratic people run amok. And if we look inward, we may admit that perhaps we too are members of the weirdo club.

Thankfully, the vast TV universe provides a slew of kooky fictional characters for us to laugh at – and with.  (In fact, it requires two articles. Return tomorrow for Part II.)

Here are some of my favorite flakes from TV series – and where you can stream them.

Rebecca Bunch (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)

Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) is a woman of pedigree – Harvard degree, successful New York lawyer. While sauntering through the city streets on a lunch break, she bumps into Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) whom she dated oh-so-briefly as a teen.  Suddenly, Rebecca quits her job and follows Josh to California (without Josh knowing). We soon learn that Rebecca has deep-seated depression and anxiety. Thankfully, her mind tends to trail off into entertaining music videos.

Season four is scheduled to premiere on The CW this October. You can stream CW shows for free without a pay TV subscription at cwtv.com or via the CW app. In the meantime, you can stream the final five episodes from last season there, or catch up on earlier seasons via Netflix. You can also buy individual episodes starting at $1.99 from Google Play, Amazon or other providers.

Issa Dee (Insecure)

Issa Rae, the star of her own web series and author of The New York Times bestseller The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, co-created Insecure for HBO with Larry Wilmore, former host of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Real Issa plays fictional Issa, an awkward young woman navigating a culture of cool. She copes by rapping to her reflection in the mirror. Her journey of self-discovery in Los Angeles produces strange predicaments and some pretty witty one-liners.

Watch all three seasons (a fourth is scheduled for 2019) with a $14.99/month HBO Now subscription. You can also purchase individual episodes starting at $1.99 from Fandango Now or other sources.

Here’s episode one:

Deandra Reynolds (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson) is the definition of a hot mess: emotionally volatile, selfish and immensely self-destructive. Her history includes sucking bat venom out of Frank Reynold’s (Danny DeVito) head for $200. She also started using crack, thinking it would fast-track her to welfare. And she was a top contender for the lead in The Notebook, a role involving a raging alcoholic with low self-esteem.

The 13th season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is now airing Wednesdays on FXX, which can be streamed via Fubo TV, Hulu Live, YouTube TV, Playstation Vue, Sling TV and DirecTV Now. If you get FXX, you can also stream current episodes on FXNetworks.com and the FXX app.

You can stream previous seasons with a Hulu subscription. You can also buy individual episodes starting at $1.99 from Amazon or other providers.

Kelly Kapoor (The Office)

Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling), who is Dundler Mifflin’s customer service representative, lives for pop culture.  A typical reply to “What’s new, Kelly?” is something like “Brad and Angelina just gave birth to their child, Shiloh.” Attention-seeking Kelly also makes sexually suggestive comments, wears white to someone else’s wedding and has faked pregnancy. She also believes that she and co-worker Ryan (B.J. Novak) are deeply in love. Ryan makes it evident that he’s looking for the next opportunity to flee.

Although The Office (US version) stopped airing new episodes in 2013, it is still listed within the ‘Trending’ and ‘Most Popular’ sections on Netflix, where you can stream all nine seasons. You can also buy individual episodes from $1.99 on Vudu or other sources. The Office will also air free on over-the-air channel Cozi TV starting in January. (You can currently see it at various times during the week on Comedy Central, which can be streamed on Sling TV and DirecTV Now.)

(Tomorrow, The Savvy Screener will look at favorite female characters from Bob’s Burgers, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Parks and Recreation.)




About Elisa Greenberg

Elisa Greenberg is a casting agent and comedy writer based in New York.

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