September 10, 2015

SHOWBUZZDAILY Season Premiere Review: “You’re The Worst”


YOU’RE THE WORST:  Wednesday 10:30PM on FXX

The secret shame of Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash), the protagonists of YOU’RE THE WORST, is that they’re far more conventional than they’re desperately trying to appear (to themselves, let alone anyone else), and that’s proven to be a rich source of comedy for Stephen Falk’s anti-but-also-not-so-anti-rom-com.  Last season, they reluctantly had to admit that they were actually dating, a horror that culminated (after Gretchen’s apartment met with fiery misadventure) in her moving into Jimmy’s house.

Any concern that cohabitation would take the edge off You’re The Worst was quickly disposed of by tonight’s Season 2 premiere, written by Falk and directed by Alex Hardcastle.  The couple, loath to resemble a, you know, “couple,” have been living like they’re on a continual one-night stand, indulging in booze, drugs and sleeplessness to an extent that it’s all but killing them.  The gags documenting their indulgence were underplayed, which made them funnier (we never found out how that DVD rental kiosk found its way into the house), and the war between Jimmy and Gretchen’s desire to have an adult romance and their need to be as cool as possible gave the comedy a human dimension.  Along the way, there was what may or may not have been a conscious dig at Mad Men, as a cell phone salesman delivered a Don Draper-esque discourse on the emotional appeal of being in a “family” plan, only to find that Gretchen and Jimmy had run for cover from the sentiment.

Geere and Cash’s chemistry, both comic and romantic, is still off the charts, but one of the strengths of Worst is that its B and C stories work too.  Here they were combined, because Jimmy’s best friend and housemate Edgar (Desmin Borges) has fallen for Gretchen’s best friend Lindsay (Kether Donohue), currently going to pieces because her nerdy husband Paul (Allan MacLeod) has left her.  Donohue is great at emotional ruin, which hit after she lured Paul into what she thought was make-up sex, but turned out to be a mere stumble on his part.  Edgar is the closest the series has to an adult, and he brings a sweetness to the proceedings that leavens the tartness of the others.

You’re The Worst, along with Amazon’s Catastrophe, was the brightest new comedy of last season (Amazon’s other half-hour Transparent, while superb, is much more of a dramedy), and FX’s decision to move it to the smaller, younger-skewing FXX suggests it’s in for the long haul, facing little in the way of ratings pressure.  It’s not clear how long Falk will be able to sustain his characters’ edge between self-destruction and true love, but for now the series is in great shape.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."