often accompanies life in a new city, interacting with new friends,
and employment in a new workplace environment.
Though Josh occupies the majority of Rebecca’s attention
and provides much of the plot content, it becomes quite apparent
that Rebecca’s desire for both a fresh start and a romantic
relationship are driven by other factors as well. NPR entertainment
critic Linda Holmes writes that the move to West Covina was less
about actually being obsessed or in love with Josh than about the
idea that “life with him was unbounded by reality by any reality
at all.” It is this sort of “adaptive foolishness” that allows Rebecca
to continue a relentless pursuit of happiness, and yet she never
seems to find it. Holmes suggests that perhaps Rebecca never
reaches happiness not because she doesn’t end up with Josh but
because she is so completely absorbed in happiness as an objective
that she fails to see the ways in which her new life in West Covina
is capable of providing sources of fulfillment outside of a
relationship. In other words, as Holmes writes, “she’s winning
where she’s not looking.” Rebecca seems to realize this eventually,
however, and at some point during the first season begins to realize
that her obsession with Josh as an Affective object is destined for
failure. In “That Text Was Not Meant for Josh,” which falls near
the middle of the season, Rebecca expresses her frustration with
herself (“You ruined everything/ You stupid bitch”) and sings: “I
was so close to paradise/ But now the only thing I’m close to is
defeat./ These shards are a metaphor for my soul/ Won’t stop the
self-pity ‘cause I’m on a roll,/ Yes Josh completes me, but how can
that be/ When there’s no me left to complete?”
Rebecca’s somewhat manic concentration on Josh as an
objective leads her to pull all kinds of over-the-top stunts in the
hopes of winning his attention and affection. Such a heightened
sense of focus significantly clouds her judgment and makes it
impossible for her to acknowledge that the new life she has created
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