September 1, 2016

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


YOU’RE THE WORST:  Wednesday 10PM on FXX

Acrid TV comedy is no longer a surprise–in fact, on cable and streaming services, it’s more the rule than the exception.  What makes Stephen Falk’s YOU’RE THE WORST distinctive among shows like Netflix’s Love and HBO’s Girls is how cheerful, romantic and often just plain hilarious its darkness is.  Falk’s world is awful but not grim; happiness remains a real possibility for his characters, whether they deserve it or not.

Tonight’s season 3 premiere, written by Falk and directed by Wendey Stanzler, found all of its protagonists as screwed up as ever.  Our putative heroes, Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash), are for the moment at least past the low ebb of Gretchen’s clinical depression, and while their relationship continues to deepen (the season is kicked off with a sex scene that pushes the basic cable boundaries even by FX/FXX standards), Jimmy in particular is trying to recover from his impulsive “I love you” at the end of Season 2, and coping with the very notion of being a part of another human being’s life.  This being You’re the Worst, that came out through a continuing series of revelations of things he didn’t know about Gretchen:  she speaks Spanish!  She doesn’t wash her legs!  In the odd logic of the show, Jimmy was only able to get comfortable with his feelings when assured that Gretchen might dump him at any moment, and there was no reason to think their love would be permanent.

Things were worse among the side-kicks.  Edgar (Desmin Borges) is in a healthy relationship with Dorothy (Colette Wolfe), a woman who truly cares for him, but his meds are interfering with his libido, so by the end of the episode he’s trashed them, a move that can’t end well.  That’s healthy, though, compared to pregnant Lindsay (Kether Donohue), who ended the episode with one of Falk’s more shocking twists, as she casually but intentionally (although probably not fatally) stabbed her unbearable husband Paul (Allan McLeod), even as he listened to a birding podcast while engaging in a couple’s cooking evening.

You’re the Worst manages to be lovably madcap even as it peels back the layers of its characters’ dysfunction, aided by a spectacular ensemble and the clarity with which those characters are drawn.  No matter how crazy the show’s events are, it never goes out of control.  Its strange vibes may never allow it to achieve breakout success–it’s one of those shows that seems to be more talked about than watched–but it’s one of TV’s gems, and that seems likely to continue in the new season.

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."