yet again.
Rebecca’s convoluted belief in love’s ability to cure
unhappiness becomes increasingly clearer as the series unfolds. In
episode 14 of first season, after multiple attempts to win his favor
and attention, Rebecca experiences a small victory in her discovery
that Josh actually has mixed feelings about her. This may be where
Rebecca comes closest to recognizing her delusions about
happiness, the havoc these delusions have wreaked upon her live
and the lives of others, and some of the consequences of her
misguided thinking. Above all, she begins to recognize that her
efforts to win Josh’s love have been, quite frankly, manipulative
and inappropriately desperate. The sinister number “I’m the Villain
in My Own Story,” which is found in the episode “Josh is Going
to Hawaii,” channels a stereotypical Disney villain aesthetic and
narrates Rebecca’s realization that she has rendered herself the
antagonist of her own story, a narrative in which she previously
perceived herself to be the victim. In the musical number, Rebecca
is depicted as an insanely unattractive witch who holds Josh’s
girlfriend Valencia Perez (Gabrielle Ruiz) hostage, revealing “I’m
jealous of you and your life!/ You’re so skinny and Josh is so
perfect/ And I want to take it all for myself!”
Affect Theory is a helpful theoretical framework for
exploring the motivations behind Rebecca’s unrelenting efforts to
win Josh’s love despite her consistent lack of success. The founder
of Affect Theory, Silvan Tomkins, introduces the idea of Affect as
that which motivates with a sense of urgency unlike anything else
within the human condition and considers it to be “the primary
innate biological motivating mechanism, more urgent than drive
deprivation and pleasure, and more urgent than even physical
pain” (Tomkins 163). Under the directions of Affect, little else has
the capacity to matter. The theory is particularly relevant to
Rebecca’s decisions because the theory quite literally emerged from
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