I Want To Be Where The Normal People Are (2020)
Words by Zoe Goetzmann
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I Want To Be Where The Normal People Are (2020)

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I Want To Be Where The Normal People Are (2020) is a love letter to the modern woman: perfectly flawed, devilishly designed and fully-proportioned to take up space…with an added dose of humour, song and dance.
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As a girl who has spent what feels like three whole lifetimes in a tug-of-war of How To Be, I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of the celebrity autobiography and memoir. Teetering towards my twenties, I grew up on the stories told by funny women: Dorothy Parker, Nora Ephron, Carrie Fisher, Sarah Silverman, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Mindy Kaling among other female actresses, comediennes, television showrunners and writers who were never afraid to fall – loudly, publicly, so that they could impart their wisdom to the next generation of women, tripping over unfamiliar ground. In short: you could say that I am the by-product of this unique circle of women; I am the so-called prodigal daughter inherently descended from this group of female role models.


I Want To Be Where the Normal People Are is the latest memoir by the multi-talented and multi-hyphenated actress, writer, showrunner and producer of the hit CW show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015), Rachel Bloom. An homage to the song ‘Part of Your World’ from the classic Disney film, The Little Mermaid (1989) and an ode to anyone who has ever considered themselves a misfit, outcast or weirdo, Bloom’s memoir follows a similar whimsical narrative.


In her own quasi-Hans Christian Anderson retelling (as well as her own retelling of this classic Disney film), Bloom reframes her life through the guise of self-penned fairytale, in which she alludes to a magic witch, a damning curse, and a princess seeking her prince charming in the twenty-first century: a string of doomed-to-be-horrible relationships.


In traditional autobiographical fashion, Bloom’s memoir delves into a range of topics, from overcoming childhood bullies, coping with her mental health and OCD, dating, sex, terrible roommates, to her love of musical theatre. She reminisces on old flames, ruminates on how she discovered her true passion for comedy and established success in the television industry, and talks tips on how the modern woman copes with body image issues: the real magic of spanx, and how much is appropriate to wear to any award show.


If Bloom were a classic 80s starlet, she’d be actress Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink (1986) or Sixteen Candles (1984). In each of these films, I admired how Molly’s character (a ‘Zoid’ as Hughes referred to this particular High School archetype and social group) always managed to derive a subtle sense of confidence and power amongst her other popular ‘Richie’ classmates and cohorts - conveying this influence through her snarky, sarcastic attitude as well as her eccentric yet fabulous fashion sense.


Bloom’s voice was (and still is) her ultimate weapon. It affords her the ability to create and run her own television show, to supersede television network executives and their attempts to censor the sexy musical lyrics she uses in her television series, as well as to live out her ultimate television, musical and comedy dreams on a daily basis.