You’re the Worst is one of the best shows currently on television.
Got that? Cool.
The show, created by Stephen Falk, manages to combine absurd comedy, mean-spirited lead characters, some subtle drama and wonderful characterization into one TV show. Despite the abundance of genre flow, never has the show seemed trite, the emotional beats never hackneyed and the laughs never created by shock value.
The premise is simple: Gretchen and Jimmy meet at a wedding and through their drunkenness or bitterness they sleep together and soon, despite their mutual disdain for monogamy or people for that matter, find themselves in a relationship that helps shape both of them for the better. Jimmy gives Gretchen someone to move forward to, someone who she can grow with. Gretchen is what brings Jimmy down to reality and makes him temper his own issues with the world. Sure, they’re still both pretty awful people by most of society’s standards, but together they’re less so.
Throughout the season there’ve been ups and downs, and with their recent break-up and last week’s revelations of who they were pre-sleeping together with, we have to see if the season finale will end with optimism or, more befitting the show, shades of gray.
This show has done a lot of things right as mentioned above, but there are a few key selling points.
One is, obviously, the talent they have on board and the rich talent of the two leads and the two main supporting characters. While they all start off somewhat one-note, they slowly and naturally grow into three dimensional characters in a very short period of time. Jimmy is an ass with a bone to pick with just about anyone in his range of view, but Chris Geere manages to express a number of bottled-up emotions in different instances throughout the season. Take, for instance, the episode where the gang partakes in “Sunday Funday,” and the half hour concludes with Jimmy asking Gretchen to stay with him instead of going off to New York with an old fling.
Aya Cash is phenomenal, and it’s fantastic to see another out-and-out female comedian on television that isn’t softened to appear more attainable. However, Cash allows Gretchen vulnerability, and you can almost constantly read the emotions all over her face. Cash and Geere also have a tangible chemistry that aids in our support of the pairing.
A show can’t simply live by its leads, and the writers do a lot of work in developing the supporting characters, Edgar and Lindsay, played by Desmin Borges and Kether Donohue. Edgar is a PTSD-riddled vet who lives with Jimmy, and Lindsay is Gretchen’s best friend who’s found herself in a marriage she doesn’t find herself wanting and envious of the life her friend gets to live. Edgar in particular is an outstanding showcase of handling PTSD in a comedic setting. He’s never looked down on for his plights or mocked, and even once in a while there’s a touching look at what this man’s gone through. We’re also given examples of why any of these people would be friends despite the need for the show to have more characters.
This show feels fresh and exciting when juxtaposed with current sitcom fare. It’s a show about a lot of damaged people who aren’t perfect – not even close – who mess up, screw people over and laugh about it afterwards, but they’re also people whom we care about. Sure, some shows have an abundance of sentiment and family- measured, emotionally manipulative moments, but You’re the Worst offers us imperfection, which will always be more interesting in the end.
So, who else is crossing their fingers for a season two?