You’re the Worst was one of the best shows of 2014, and I only realized this two episodes prior to the season finale while I binge watched the season and ate up all of Jimmy’s angry rants, Gretchen’s inability to live an adult life, Lindsay’s emotional spiral, and Edgar’s general ability of being a scene-stealer. The writing was biting, there was a determined and confident production level from the premiere and on-wards and very few episodes dragged along. It’s not the first time we’ve seen unlikable leads as our protagonists (the anti-hero has become a staple in primetime viewing, so much so that other shows try to tailor to that popularity), but it’s one of the few times that they’ve been presented as so unabashedly awful. There are few redeeming qualities about Gretchen (played by Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) asides from the plain and simple fact that we like them. Sure, they kind of suck and are generally mean-spirited, but they’re a lot of fun and we want to root for these two pitbulls.
Season one ended with Gretchen’s vibrator setting her house on fire after plugging it into her laptop to charge, forcing her and Jimmy to move in together. They both feigned excitement as the ending moments panned to their faces, clearly at a loss about how to handle this situation. We catch up to them in season two, still on the uncertain side, as they try to grapple with these new, accelerated developments.
We’re playing a bit of catch-up as we reunite with the gang, but it’s hard to complain about any dialogue leaning on the exposition when it’s as fun and naughty as “Sweater People” is. Jimmy and Gretchen are exhaustively worried that by moving in together as a couple because it means they’re now boring (or as Lindsay dubs it, “sweater people”). To counteract this fear, the two have been on a bit of a long-lasting rager. They’re drinking every night, heavily, they’re doing drugs that they grimace about, and having sex they don’t feel particularly up to. No, neither of them want to be going out to the bar again, but damn it, they will drag themselves through a drunken stupor if they must just to prove to themselves that they aren’t about to become domesticated.
This irrational fight against “typical couple relations” goes through a number of stages. They begin simply worn down and hungover, graduate to a blackout night where they wake up with a stolen DVD kiosk machine in their house, and then, my personal favorite, after getting high on a new market synthetic drug, find themselves passed out on top of a crashed Google Maps styled car.
They are trainwrecks, but at this point, they’re forcing themselves to be. Jimmy and Gretchen would rather be losing pockets of memory and peeing blood than actually admit defeat and stay in and read one night.
Chris Geere may be the the episode’s MVP, which is a happy surprise. Geere was always good, and he and Aya Cash had a wonderful dynamic (Same goes for Geere and Desmin Borges), but he never got to be the scene-stealer, and Cash got a lot of the meatier moments, both comedic and dramatic. His unconventional romantic lead status has helped his character in overcoming some of the more familiar tropes he’s been saddled with (angry, myopic, writer type), and there’s a jubilant self-awareness to his portrayal of Jimmy in the premiere episode. Sure, Jimmy is sometimes a schmuck, but his charm is endearing and has some of the best lines of the night.
The one that made me laugh the loudest however went to (little surprise here) Edgar, with his shell shocked and angry “I didn’t know it was a school” after Jimmy talks to him about what he typically hears him call out in his sleep.
It had me howling. The note-taking was on a forced pause for a good 30 seconds.
The remainder of the episode largely belongs to Lindsay as she tries to woo back her ex, Paul, even though she was never that fond of him to begin with. She just doesn’t like the idea of not being desirable to him. Edgar is pining after her after her drunken karaoke in the season one finale (a must-watch scene for the series) and the sweetest scene of the episode (in a series where “sweet” is typically on the sour side) is when Edgar fights Lindsay drunk in her garage, in her wedding gown and emotionally eating. He tries to lift her spirits and the two throw away Paul’s possessions, eliminating the reminders of him in Lindsay’s life. I’m not always a fan of when shows take their only main characters and pair them all up but sometimes it works, and Lindsay and Edgar have a sweet chemistry, less lethal than Jimmy and Gretchen’s, and I’m at least interested to see where and how they end up.
This crop of wildly messy characters are some of my favorites on television now, and the show hasn’t lost its edge in the space between two seasons. While episode two, “Crevices,” is a bit of a dip of the two episodes I’ve gotten to see, the season is starting out strong.
“Sprawling is the best.”
“But I don’t want to do butt stuff tonight.”
“‘Do it for the sweater people.'”
“Yeah, I’m peeing blood, and I recently forgot the word for telephone.”
“Has your hair always been so round?”
“You’re right, she’s going to hate me. I look like a young Roger Ebert.”