Terrible people make good TV in “You’re the Worst”



Aya Cash and Chris Geere star in “You’re the Worst.”

Despite being buried under FX’s impressive slate of original series including “Louie” and “Archer,” “You’re the Worst” quickly made itself known as a refreshingly crass take on the already overdone romantic comedy genre. Not only this, but it also quietly established itself as one of the best sitcoms on television.

“You’re the Worst,” which airs Wednesdays on FX’s comedy counterpart FXX, centers around Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash), two cynical commitment-phobes who reluctantly decide to try their hand at an actual adult relationship.

In the show’s second season, Jimmy and Gretchen are now living together while trying to maintain their hard-partying lifestyle in the face of impending domesticity. At one point during the season premiere, Gretchen, exhausted after several all-nighters the two have spent together, comes home with the insistence that they “do butt stuff,” to which Jimmy, similarly drained, answers by pulling out a messy pile of cocaine.

This scene is the perfect representation of “You’re the Worst’s” appeal. It’s vulgar, unexpected, tacky and very funny. Creator Stephen Falk fills his show with a certain self-aware energy that makes it so easily watchable. It’s a type of lowbrow intelligence that would fail spectacularly on most shows, but works effortlessly under Falk’s control.

Most of “You’re the Worst’s” charm, however, can be accredited to its two leads. Jimmy and Gretchen could easily have been caricatures, truly terrible people who are just far too unlikeable to ever care about. With Geere and Cash inhabiting these roles, however, these characters are flawed, spacey narcissists that are nonetheless entirely irresistible.

The show also has a keen sense of how to perfectly utilize its ensemble.

Rounding out the main cast is Kether Donohue as Lindsay and Desmin Borges as Edgar, Jimmy and Gretchen’s best friends. Though they could easily become side characters, their storylines are engaging and complicated and merge perfectly with the show’s distinctly offbeat tone. In one episode, Lindsay and Edgar bond over a shared panic resulting from a daunting realization that they are both sidekicks.

“You’re the Worst,” at its core, is an unexceptionally conventional show. It follows the relationship between two people who may or may not be ready to commit to one another, which is a story that’s been told a million times before. However, the show differentiates itself from all those that came before it by injecting an acidic tone and a voice so singular that the audience has no choice but to pay attention.