FXX’s You’re the Worst just wrapped up it’s third season. But since I myself am the worst, I’m still only on episode nine out of 13. But even just half way through with season, I already think this is one of the best seasons, not just of YTW, but of any television. Ever. This show is so underrated it makes my blood boil. And you need, I repeat, NEED, to watch it. And here’s why.
1. The Wonderful Development of Side Characters
YTW mainly follows couple Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) as their blatant disregard for the people and world around them leads to entertaining and eye-opening situations. In the backseat is Gretchen’s equally selfish friend Lindsay (Kether Donohue), and the quiet war vet Edgar (Desmin Borges), all bets are off when the group enters the streets of LA together. But, some of the best episodes leave them out of the picture. The best ones are when we see how “the worst” people impact the decent people around them.
In one, we see Lindsay’s husband, Paul get lost with his brother-in-law in the woods, as he comes to terms with the fact that his wife has no respect for him. Throughout the episode, we never leave these two characters. The main players never take the stage. In doing this, it makes the show about life and its relationships in their full forms. It is not one sided, and takes the “beta” character types and gives them the spotlight they normally don’t get.
Even Edgar, the least prominent and nicest of the core four, gets his own episode, which he SHOULD GET AN EMMY FOR. On top of dealing with the constant self-serving attitudes of Jimmy and Gretchen, he also has a new battle to fight with PTSD. He evolves from this punching bag of the friend group to the most redeemable character in the show in his 22 minutes.
2. The Realistic Treatment of Mental Illness
The show dives into Edgar’s PTSD, and lets the audience inside his head as he fears for his life everywhere he goes. Whether it be a grocery store or highway, he can’t escape it, and medications are not doing their full job. We watch him fight for the right kind of medicine and therapy that he deserves, but often is not afforded from the limited and inaccessible veteran resources. We see him reach the lowest of lows, and then triumphantly fight back.
Gretchen also has her own experience with depression, most prominent in the second season. She doesn’t want to leave the couch, she doesn’t want to talk to anyone, and she has to fight herself to seek help. A major arc is Jimmy trying to fix her, thinking like a usual case of sadness, a joke or present can fix it. But it is hammered in that, no, Jimmy is not capable of curing Gretchen’s depression, because that is not how it works.
The show does a great job pulling from real instances and struggles people have with mental illness, and animating them in a way unlike any show on TV even tries to do.
3. Aya Cash
Cash, who plays the lead Gretchen, is the most dynamic part of the show. She does an incredible job playing Gretchen’s many faces. She masters Gretchen in all her forms, whether they be her classic outgoing, demanding, egotistical force of a personality, her mature facade she puts on for the outside world, or her moments of feeling totally broken, unable to talk or move.
Cash spends most of her time as the lead in scenes, but even when she is in the back she manages to steal the shot. She keeps Gretchen so alive in every moment. Her simple gestures or facial expressions make it impossible for you to take your eyes off of her. This show allows her to be both one of the best comedic and dramatic actresses on TV. Someone also please hand her an Emmy right now.
4. Addressing Modern Love
So many shows try so hard to relate to millennial’s tendency to be in low-commitment relationships. They try to address hook-up culture, friends with benefits, or the whole “not labeling it” scenarios young people end up in. But most of them either get it totally wrong, or try so hard it’s just embarrassing. In the early episodes of the show, YTW walked a little closely to that line, but then quickly saved itself.
Gretchen and Jimmy’s relationship is genuine and not forced, unlike the way many young relationships are portrayed. They establish their dedication, or lack thereof, to the relationship without ever having to say anything. It is organic and natural and progresses over time without it becoming a “thing.” It never talks down on the concept of this type of relationship, it just lets it exist and play out on its own.
So please stop reading this article and go watch You’re the Worst right now. Please. You will thank me later just do it.