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“You’re the Worst” season two premiere promises continued success of the show

Photo by http://www.monstersandcritics.com

Photo by http://www.monstersandcritics.com

Lily Stanicek

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If you missed the first season of the FXX show (previously on FX) “You’re the Worst”, you only missed one of the best comedies currently on television. Don’t worry, Hulu’s got you covered with the catch-up. But act fast because the season two premiere episode was just confirmation of the show’s continuation of quality, character-driven comedy.

Created by Stephen Falk (“Weeds”), the show rings true to its name. At its most base level, it’s about a group of terrible people doing terrible things. It’s something we see pretty exclusively in prestigious anti-hero dramas. But “You’re the Worst” is a comedy, and a hilarious one at that.

The first season of the show gave us a good idea of who these characters are. Jimmy (Chris Geere), a writer holding on to the last measly vestiges of royalty checks from his failed novel, is self-centered (to the point where he doesn’t feel the need to remember people’s names), and afraid of any type of commitment. He has that in common with Gretchen (Aya Cash), a music publicist who drinks too much, sometimes does cocaine, steals other people’s wedding gifts, and has one-night stands with a Hollywood director. When the two of them meet at a wedding in the first episode of season one, and immediately sleep together, you get the twisted feeling that, in their awfulness, they are perfect for each other.

However, as the show moved into its second season Wednesday night, it’s clear that both of them being “the worst” isn’t enough to make this relationship last. What this show is great at is balancing character progression and growth with the comedic moments. The frequent hilarious situations and one liners aren’t played simply for laughs, they continue the story about the character, and show how they see the world. And while it might sometimes be slow and arduous (both for the character and the audience), there is progress for these characters. Sometimes it’s just a tiny step forward after several steps back, but it’s the reason Gretchen, Jimmy, and the rest are endearing, despite their repeated unpleasantness.

Gretchen and Jimmy are now cohabitating. But throughout the first episode of season two, both characters are repulsed by any indication that they are “boring,” “normal,” or, God forbid, a “family.”

Edgar (Desmin Borges) and Lindsay (Kether Donohue), Gretchen and Jimmy’s best friends, are on opposite sides of the line here. Edgar slyly suggests a family phone plan to save some cash. But Lindsay, who is dealing with her failed marriage, has to literally smack Gretchen into the realization that being “sweater people” (boring normals) is the last thing she wants. Both Gretchen and Jimmy are tired of the constant partying they need to do to keep the “sweaters” at bay.

It’s a fascinating problem. Even when the two try to sit in bed and have a normal night, they find themselves back at the bar ordering shots of vodka. I suspect that this season will continue to look at the progression of this idea of family, both from Gretchen and Jimmy as well as Edgar and Lindsay. This will include their adamant resistance to anything “normal.” It’s an interesting impulse, childish and yet surprisingly compelling. There may be a balance between the two’s partying ways and their life as responsible adults, but they certainly haven’t found it yet (or even really decided if that’s the kind of life they really want). Ironically, Jimmy and Gretchen finding each other and being together might just be what each of them needs to move forward from, but not completely past, their irresponsible, impulsive youth. As Jimmy said in the episode, no matter what they do, they could wear 10 cardigans each and they’ll never really be “sweater people.” Perhaps they will find out that “family” isn’t something they need to shy away from.

“You’re the Worst” airs on FXX, Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m CT.

 

 

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