Best case Worst case scenario.

Chances are that you’re not watching You’re The Worst. It’s fair, the show hasn’t been heavily promoted and even mother channel FX shunted it down to its FXX line. As critical reception has shown though, this has no bearing on its quality, maybe more so that the show has enough of a youthful and racy appeal to grab a younger demographic than say Louie.

Here are some legitimate reasons not to watch the show:

  • You’re tired of Hollywood insider humour. There’s a ton in here and if that turns you off, here be dragons.
  • You can’t handle bad things happening to nice people. It’s a show centred around toxic characters. If your moral compass has trouble swivelling, steer clear.
  • If you’re afraid of “blue” material. This show oozes with sexuality, it’s likely half of its content at least.
  • If you prefer light entertainment. Things get dark and it’s not afraid of pushing buttons. There may well be stuff in here that’s considered triggering. I’m not particularly sensitive to that kind of thing. I feel like the show justifies its depictions of potentially problematic things without glorifying them, but yet again I’m not a tremendous barometer. Once again, if this is something you have trouble with your concerns are entirely legitimate.

I’m out. That’s all I’ve got. If none of the above stuff turns you off then you could have a great weekend binge on your hands. The show does a tremendous job of tackling a subject matter (two selfishly obnoxious people finding each other after being thrown out of a wedding, navigating what dating even looks like these days) that could be trite or lame in other hands. Creator Stephen Falk (of Weeds and Orange is the New Black) brings it to life with an ensemble cast of characters that feel so much more than that sum of their quirks. Leads Jimmy and Gretchen are captivating, but the show is far larger than a simple couple comedy. Everyone is a joy to see on-screen and bolsters their performance with layered acting. Great line reading really brings out the best in the writing. When one of the central characters is an acerbic, pretentious writer filled to the brim with his own self-importance, it’s a great conduit for Falk and company to have a go at the profession with pure malicious glee.

It’s raunchy and provocative in all the right ways (including surprising sex-positivity). It feels current and relevant unlike most relationship based sitcoms. There’s an element of caricature in the central characters, but they still somehow stand as unique. Whether it’s the ex-Iraq war vet with PTSD who just really happens to like heroin and Rachael Ray, or the ex-party girl trophy wife who sees no reason for marriage to dampen the fun of life with responsibility. The douchebag orthopedic surgeon brother in law and his “hashtagblessed” yoga wife or the working stiff husband with a love of recumbant bicycles, home brewing and remote control airplanes. I could go on, but I’d just be listing characters for half an hour. There’s a lot of drinking and drugs, easily enough to kill most humans. It all just adds to the wonderfully jaded milieu of the series.

In the end the thing that keeps me coming back isn’t necessarily the summation of everything I’ve listed above, but the underlying realness of the series. Difficult realisations arise every week and the hard conversations have to be held. Characters stick to their convictions, whether you want them to or not, and somehow the show keeps you rooting for things to work out for these morally reprehensible assholes. There are real problems afoot and it’d be so easy for everything to drown under its own weight, but heads stay above water even when things get torrential. I can’t vouch enough for the show, clearly, because people still haven’t picked up the pilot. It’s nearing the end of season 2 and important character development is afoot. Get on it now, so I can stop writing entry after entry about how you haven’t.

Otherwise the show’s not The Worst, you are.


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