for herself in West Covina actually has more potential to inform
her happiness than any kind of relationship with Josh might. She’s
arguably the most accomplished and talented attorney at her
second-tier law firm, she’s forged new and meaningful
relationships with multiple characters (most prominently co-
worker Paula, played by Donna Lynne Champlin), and she seems
to be spending more time engaged in meaningful activities than she
ever did in New York City. And yet, happiness continues to elude
her. Josh is not quite yet a permanent romantic fixture in her life
and, as a consequence, Rebecca continues to find herself unable to
determine “the last time [she was] truly happy” as prompted by the
butter commercial that seems to appear at the most opportune
times. Halfway through the season, though, Rebecca appears to
give up hope on Josh and, ironically, it is during this time that she
appears to be the most content with her life. With Josh on the
backburner, Rebecca develops a greater appreciation of the new
life and the relationships she has built in West Covina. Whether or
not she acknowledges it (or even recognizes it), this is where
Rebecca is most likely to find true happiness.
Soon after sound came to the movies (1927) and long
before television arrived on the scene, musicals emerged as a
favorite form of escapist entertain during the Great Depression.
Elaborate musical numbers took center stage in these early films,
and people fell in love in formulaic backstage dramas. Musicals
became more complex over the years, but most of the conventions
of the genre have remained familiar if not predictable. Born in the
Great Depression, the genre has been inverted in this series to deal
with lowercase depression and other significant issues long
marginalized while also creating a hybrid form in the musical-
sitcom expanded to fit an hour-long television format. The
surprise is not that someone decided to go bold and experiment
with content and form this way but that it works so well. The show
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