Why am I writing this? I read discussions on this sub that suggested that Rachel Bloom is frustrated with the fandom's fixation on Greg, because for her this was a secondary story line and the important part is Rebecca's character arc and development. I don't know if that's really how she feels but it makes perfect sense to be upset about something like that, and I know for a fact that some fans think that way. I even relate to this idea, because I often get mad at how current media is obsessing on romantic relationships over any other subject. I care deeply about Rebecca herself because I identify with her on so many levels, but I also ship Rebecca and Greg pretty hard. I wrote this as an attempted explanation of the passion of Grebecca1 shippers, where our feelings about this relationship stem from and why we think it's important, even if not the most important part of the show. Despite how I phrased that, I didn't talk about this with a lot of fans, and the opinions are just my opinions. You'll see that on one hand I completely understand Rachel's supposed disapproval of the #teamgreg movement, and on the other hand, I think it's to be expected and is even somewhat encouraged by the show. However, I'd like to emphasize that despite everything I'm going to say I don't see a point in tweeting at Rachel and Aline with questions about Greg all the time. They already planned the next two seasons and I'm confident that whatever they had in mind, whether or not it includes Greg, will be good. But yeah, I would be happy if it includes Greg.
The reason why has two parts: 1. Why should we debate Rebecca's dating life at all, if it's secondary to her journey towards happiness. 2. If we do want to see Rebecca in a relationship, why Greg of all men?
So first of all, why should we ship Rebecca at all? The entire point of the show is that it pretends to be about relationships, but really isn't. The real goal is Rebecca's happiness. Josh is just the means to get that, even if Rebecca fails to make this distinction and mistakes him for the actual goal. We know that Josh in fact is neither, and Rebecca learns that too, very gradually. She thought they'd never have problems again, once she was with him, but it turns out to not be so. The truth is, no man can make Rebecca happy. Her problems go way beyond a man not returning her love. Her happiness needs to come from within first, and she needs to be alone for a while to get there. The show has been teasing this development all along, and Rebecca outright says it to Dr. Akopian before Josh proposes. All this build up made me think she will start that journey, as she calls it, at the end of season 2, but it seems to still be a bit farther down the road. What we know for sure is that it will happen, Rebecca will take some alone time to get over her own issues, her deep rooted problems that can't be done away with a boyfriend. So if that's Rebecca's real endgame, why are we still talking about who she should date? I saw people asking that here. Well, I'm talking about it because even if right now Rebecca isn't ready for a healthy relationship, that does not deny the existence of her sexual being, as she so cringingly named it. And it's not just sex, she also has romantic needs, and it seems that she is interested in starting a family and having kids. These aspirations and needs are all part of her identity. The fact that her mental health won't allow it right now, doesn't mean she doesn't deserve it some day. There's no shame in wanting a man, if that's something you need. Being dependant on a man may not be a good idea, but wanting a romantic relationship is just fine. Her problem isn't wanting a boyfriend, her problem is that she believes that a boyfriend will solve all of her problems. Saying that she must finish the show single can suggest that the desire for romance is one of the issues she should solve by the end of the show. Sure, I want to see Rebecca learn to make herself happy on her own, but I hope to see her get to the level of being able to maintain a healthy relationship. I think she should end up with a guy, but not in a delusional and needy way, but from a good place. That will show that she truly completed her journey.
So up to here I explained why I want to see Rebecca end the show in a relationship. Honestly, that's the important part. I wanted to make it clear that ending up with a guy won't mean that Rebecca didn't complete her healing process. But like I said, I'm going to continue to the second part: why I direct this "yes to Rebecca having a boyfriend" energy towards Greg specifically.
First of all, let's get it out of the way: Santino Fontana is super hot. It's my subjective opinion, but it is worth mentioning and I'm not gonna pretend it doesn't play a part in my hopes to see him back on the show. But it really isn't the entire reason I want it to happen, or even the majority of it.
Hey, you probably say now, did you forget that their relationship was a shitshow? Why would you want to see them back together after they themselves acknowledged they were bad for each other? Well, dear reader, I think the question is why was their relationship a shitshow. The thing is, I don't think they are inherently incompatible. I actually think they are fundamentally great for each other. They share a sense of humor, they share interests, they have great chemistry, they enjoy each other's company and they care for each other. What made their relationship a shitshow is all the other stuff - all of their underlying issues that they needed to address. For Greg it would be the alcoholism, the fear of commitment, the attempts to shield himself with cynicism and his insecurity. For Rebecca it would be her low self esteem, her belief that she cannot be loved, her self destructive tendencies and her delusional obsession with Josh and the happiness she thinks he will bring her. Their date to Beans' party was a mess because of Rebecca's obsession with Josh. Their date to the taco festival2 was ruined by Rebecca's inability to allow herself to advance towards happiness and health, and her attempt to sabotage herself. Their relationship in the last few episodes of season 1 concluded in the horrible wedding date by Greg's drunkenness and his fear of opening up and making himself vulnerable. And the reason Rebecca didn't confess her feelings before the wedding is, again, her delusions. All of their behaviors that cooked up that shitshow are not who they are. Those are the things that they're trying to shed to become happier. Greg already started doing it by going sober and pursuing his dreams. Rebecca is still struggling but like I mentioned earlier, we know she will heal eventually. Once they both will be healthier, I don't see why they couldn't work together.
Now, let's take a second to look at Rebecca's other options: Trent: not gonna happen, and we all know why. Josh: not only did they burn the bridges in the season 2 finale, it was clearly not going in a good direction before. The power balance in this relationship was all off and Josh was uninvolved and uncaring, just like he was with Valencia. And most importantly, he hasn't much in common with Rebecca. Half of what she says goes over his head, and they don't have anything working for them but raw passion, which obviously can't last long. Nathaniel: I object to this ship mainly because I don't think that a feminist show should sell us a relationship between a woman and her boss who harassed her as a healthy relationship. Even if he overcomes his daddy issues and toxic masculinity, their relationship started with sexual harassment, and I don't want the show to give people the idea that such behavior is redeemable. My reasoning here is political rather than plot related, but I think the show is responsible for the messages it sends out to the public. This is however not the only reason I don't think Nathaniel is the best pairing for Rebecca.
In addition to the flaws I mentioned, I see two main differences between Greg and those three other guys. The first being that Greg cares about Rebecca. He cares so much that it scares him, sometimes into somewhat shitty behavior, but still. He doesn't like being emotionally involved but he is. He likes her for her, and not for how she makes him feel about himself. In contrast: Trent's approach to Rebecca is a childish obsession, she's just the object of his infatuation, it's not at all about her. Josh only wants a pretty girl to adore him. Every step he takes in his relationship with Rebecca is because she made him feel important in some way: the camp letter, the court case, the chicken soup. He just wants whatever girl to pine over him, and he doesn't pay any attention to her3. Nathaniel started off completely selfish - he needs to have sex with Rebecca and that's all that matters. He seemed to have actually cared about Rebecca when he brought her dad over, but then his "hero" speech in the season 2 finale showed he's still all about himself. The other thing that separates Greg from the others is related to the fact that in order to have a healthy relationship Rebecca needs a healthy partner. Of course, every one of this guys can grow up and overcome his problems. I hope they all do it, at least for their own sake. At the moment, though, Greg is the only one who started to work on his problems so he has the greatest chance of being what Rebecca needs.
I said earlier that the show somehow encourages you to think of Greg as Rebecca's endgame, and that's the reason I'm baffled by the idea that Rachel may not be happy by all the #teamgreg comments. If you didn't want us to be so fixated on Rebecca's relationship with Greg, you didn't have to drop so many hints that this relationship is so important. First of all, the entire story arc of the first season is about Greg, and the season is bookended by two of their failed dates and by them letting each other down. The dream ghost session is extremely frustrating because it tries to grab the stick on both ends. Dr. Dream Ghost Akopian says that the vision was not supposed to be about the men in Rebecca's life, but in the meantime the episode makes it very clear that it is at least somewhat about Rebecca overlooking Greg. And while It Was a Shitshow could have served as a clear cut ending to the Rebecca and Greg story, it ended up insinuating the opposite by never finishing the last sentence in the song. I know this ending was probably forced on the song by the network only allowing two bleeps4, but it made the song - and through it Greg and Rebecca's entire love story - feel unresolved. Greg ascending into an obvious heaven imagery suggests fatality, but in the meantime the last word of the song is left hanging in the air, and it feels like he left some loose ends that he may have to come back and tie.
Now, if it turned out Greg's story is really over and the show introduced a new love interest for Rebecca, who has all of the necessary qualities I mentioned, I would be okay with it and approve of them being together. Any man who shares her interests, gets along with her, really cares about her and is capable of maintaining an adult relationship will do. Right now though, the only guy who has any potential of being good for Rebecca, is Greg. That's why I want him back, of course, only when he and Rebecca are both stable and fulfilled. It's still all about Rebecca for me. I want her to be happy, I want her to have a complete life, I want all the good in the world for her, because the show did a great job of making her raise our empathy and getting us invested in her life. The show is not about men. It's about Rebecca's happiness. I just think Greg can be part of that happiness.