You have seen this show before: Boy meets girl. Girl doesn't care much for boy, but boy doesn't claim to be all that much into girl either. But, they totally are into each other and so they hook up (and again and again). Neither one wants a relationship. Except they are more than happy to fall into a relationship.
It sounds like every romantic comedy you've seen from the last 30 years. Except, you haven't really seen this show before. Caustic, witty, and wonderfully relatable, this is the rom com that has been described as Bojack Horseman meets Fleabag.
What has You're The Worst feeling distinct from every other relationship comedy on TV is that the characters on the show are nuanced people who are dealing with actual life issues that aren't resolved at the end of every episode.
First of all, the two leads, Jimmy and Gretchen, are thoroughly unpleasant, unlikable people who aren't much in the business of making friends. For Jimmy, this is the result of his chronic narcissism, while Gretchen acts out as a result of her clinical depression. Jimmy's wacky best friend Edgar isn't all that wacky - also, he's a homeless, unemployed veteran who is dealing with some PTSD issues. And then Gretchen's best friend Lindsay seems at first like the wild and confident best friend character straight out of central casting, but the deeper you get with her, the more you realise how desperately sad she is while living in a relationship with a man who is practically a stranger to her.
These are characters with real, relatable problems who are each facing a whole bunch of issues.
Oh, and we very quickly find out that Jimmy REALLY likes feet. You don't see that sort of honesty much on TV.
The series has won plaudits from viewers and TV critics alike for its sensitivity surrounding storylines about mental illness. In a piece for The New Republic, writer Rachel Syme astutely noted that, "Together, the gang feels like X-Men of modern mental illness. They all function well enough to drink mimosas and quip over brunch, but they each struggle to thrive as day-to-day as humans in the wider world."
The people who make the show are geniuses
Aya Cash, who stars as Gretchen, is a familiar face to TV viewers after memorable appearances on The Newsroom, The Good Wife, and Easy. She has also made appearances as different characters on Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
Meanwhile, Chris Geere, who plays Jimmy, is a British actor who has appeared in a whole lot of ongoing UK dramas including Casualty, The Bill, Holby City, Hollyoaks, and, of course, Eastenders.
The real creative mind behind the series, however, is its creator Stephen Falk, who writes the majority of the episodes. Falk was a writer on Weeds and is also a producer on Orange Is The New Black. The savage comedy of both shows is on full-display in You're The Worst.
The critics love it
This is one of those shows that has made almost every critics Best Of list with the comment that "more people need to be watching this show".
Among some of the best things said by critics for You're The Worst's first season:
"There’s wisdom submerged in its odd premise: as admirable as it might be to date a good person, there’s a case to be made for the lover who sees and accepts your darkest side, the one person for whom you never have to fake it."
- Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker
"Though relatively unknown, Geere and (especially) Cash are sharp and winning; they don’t trade banter as much as they hot box it. The terrible things they say to one another — about back fat, hipster restaurants, and periods (“the Red Wings are in town for a five-game series”) — would be shocking if they weren’t so consistently funny. But here’s the dirtiest secret of You’re the Worst: It’s not nearly as naughty as it appears to be."
- Andy Greenwald, Grantland
"At Jimmy’s apartment, he and Gretchen engage in an enthusiastic bout of misplaced-grudge sex, each taking pains to remind the other of his or her repulsiveness. I keep imagining what it would be like to travel back in time just 25 years or so to explain to people how accustomed our culture has become to meaningless and even vindictive acts of sex on TV, and how it’s regarded as sophisticated comedy. Fully acquainted with the dissociative satisfaction of the hookup, both genders are liberated, as the show’s title promises, to be the worst they can be."
- Hank Stuever, The Washington Post
'"If you try a few episodes, don't be surprised if you find yourself deeply committed to the story of a commitment-phobic pair negotiating the minefield of grown-up intimacy."
- Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post
Where to watch 'You're The Worst'
The first season will air on SBS VICELAND every Monday night at 10pm from 5 November, straight after The Orville. Once you get hooked on the show, you won't have to wait each week for episodes, because SBS On Demand is dropping a massive four season box set of You're The Worst, which you can stream at SBS On Demand from 5 November.
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