What constitutes a healthy choice, and how does one make them? This concept is the thematic motif of episode 4, “I’m Going on a Date with Josh’s Friend!” In this episode, Rebecca aims to make healthier choices after almost following through on the impulsive decision to have a one-night stand with a Tinder date. While Rebecca has a solidly clear end-goal in mind – to feel less regret about the decisions and choices she makes – she has several ways to go about this that the episode demonstrates.
For most of the episode, Rebecca believes making healthy choices comes down to resisting her urges. It’s why she becomes vegan, despite expressing several times how much she misses meat; it’s why she becomes Buddhist; and it’s why she goes on a date with Greg, despite being in love with and wanting to wait for Josh.
Combined with resisting her urges, Rebecca’s approach to making healthier choices also includes being more practical and less idealistic, and the episode’s two songs, “Sex with a Stranger” and “Settle for Me,” both demonstrate this dilemma. “Sex with a Stranger” musically summarizes Rebecca’s sexual experience with the Tinder date, and there’s an intriguing dichotomy present in it: the visual presentation of the song is hypersexual and idealized, but the lyrics express a more realistic thought process, featuring thoughts like how stinky his genitals are and whether he’s been tested for STDs.
This same dichotomy is even more present in “Settle For Me,” the song summarizing Rebecca’s interpretation of Greg asking her out. The video and instrumentals depict an idealized version of romance and love, complete with a dance sequence, fancy outfits, and a black-and-white tint. And yet, Greg says several awkward things, and the lyrics are literally about how Rebecca should settle for him despite loving someone else.
Ultimately, Rebecca’s approach to making healthier choices leads to more regret as she ends up making a chain of impulsive decisions – namely, eating meat and then leaving her date with Greg early to hook up with the hipster taco vender she met during the date – and at the end of the episode, Rebecca’s moved away from such an approach, acknowledging its unhealthiness.
This theme of making healthy choices – and the associated, inherent dilemma of practicality versus idealism – is relevant to the show as a whole, especially in terms of how healthy Rebecca’s pursuit of Josh is and whether it’s actually worth it. This theme is also definitely relevant to society. There’s been a cultural shift in the last several years in favor of leading healthy lifestyles, which has led to more discussion of how exactly to live healthily; and the “practical versus dream” conflict is one that emerges frequently in people’s lives, from jobs to romance.