“You’re the Worst” is one of the most starkly original plays on televised romantic comedies in recent memory. The show balances psychological depth and pathos with farcical scenarios and plenty of humor.
It starts off, initially, not quite knowing what it is, but it gains traction quickly. By the end of
the first season it has established itself as one of the best shows on television.
Jimmy Shive-Overly (Chris Geere) is invited to his ex-girlfriend’s wedding; he thinks she’s rubbing the fact that she is getting married in his face because he proposed to her two years ago. He decides he’s going to heckle the wedding. After inevitably being thrown out he meets Gretchen (Aya Cash), and they have a one-night stand.
Gretchen has her own problems. She has a self-destructive dependence on alcohol and drugs. Neither are particularly fond of commitment. The first season follows them as they attempt a relationship. There are one or two filler episodes, and the pilot is slow going, but there are some strong parts of this first season. Most notably the last three episodes.
Episode 8: “Finish Your Milk.” This episode follows Gretchen as she has to visit her parents. She says she’s going for a longer time than she is, and when Jimmy finds out he is noticeably distraught. He finds her and notices that she is still being secretive. Most of the episode plays like a routine sitcom scenario, until “You’re the Worst” changes it up on the viewer in the last ten minutes or so. It turns into an analysis on the different personas people adopt, the relationship between more disciplined parents and a daughter who is more rebellious and the inevitability that humans will succumb to their need to be loved, and to love.
Episode 9: “Constant Horror and Deep-Back Satisfaction.” This episode operates primarily in flashbacks, offering insights into the character’s lives. We learn Gretchen has spent time in jail over drunk-driving charges, and that she is a recovering cocaine addict. We also learn that Jimmy has had some pretty white bread views towards love and romance, and that his getting turned down led to his book getting written and him doing a 360 degree turn in regards to relationships. The episode jumps around, but it never feels awkward or noticeable. At the end, the viewer feels like they’ve seen two psychological profiles, there’s a feeling of wholeness to how the episode develops Gretchen and Jimmy.
Episode 10: “Fists and Feet and Stuff.” This episode follows Jimmy and Gretchen, as they once again go to a party at Jimmy’s ex-girlfriends. They’re broken up, but there is slight interest in getting back together. Gretchen’s friend Lindsay is in the midst of a meltdown that the entire season has been building towards, and comes onto Jimmy. Eventually details are revealed, and there’s a fight with plenty of comedic payoffs. This is the one episode, of the whole first season, where it seems like “You’re the Worst” is at its most efficient at juggling different elements. That’s appropriate for a season finale.
Season 3 of “You’re the Worst” is airing currently Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FXX.