Why “You’re The Worst” Is Really The Best

In a television landscape where little stands out.

Created by Stephen Falk

FXX’s little-known, but critically-popular, romantic-dramedy “You’re The Worst” returned for its third season earlier this week with an episode, entitled “Try Real Hard”, that serves as a great example of what makes the show so great and why the show is so adored amongst its fans.

The show is very non-traditional in a genre where that is hard to find

Towards the end of this episode, Gretchen (Aya Cash) confronts Jimmy (Chris Geere) about his sudden obsession with asking her question after question about her. She mistakes this as Jimmy freaking out about the fallout of saying “I love you”, but quickly realizes that this is Jimmy’s way of showing he loves her, without having to say it.

The two of them then have a discussion of the verbal contract that is “I love you”, and Gretchen tells Jimmy that the promise is just a promise to “try real hard.” She then tells Jimmy that she’s only been able to stay so calm about being in a relationship with him because she has always had one foot out of the door. In any other rom-com, a character saying this would result in conflict or separation, but Gretchen saying this to Jimmy actually comforts him and brings them closer.

While the show is comedic, it spends a lot of time on serious topics

In this half-hour long episode, the show not only spends time on the topic of relationships and saying “I love you”, but also several other topics.

One of these topics is the societal concern of post-traumatic-stress-disorder, which we follow through Jimmy’s “sidekick”, Edgar (Desmin Borges), as he struggles to deal with the side effects of his PTSD medication and its effect on his relationship with the ever-sweet Dorothy (Collete Wolfe). Gretchen’s long-time “sidekick”, Lindsay (Kether Donohue), also has challenges of her own to face, as she struggles to deal with an uneventful night indoors cooking with her husband, Paul (Allan McLeod), and facing the reality that this could be what the rest of her life is like.

These subjects are continuations from the two previous seasons, including a second season with a story arc on depression that many have applauded for its brutally honest portrayal.

The show’s premise is the oft-heard saying that “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”

Gretchen and Jimmy, who were both self-proclaimed commitment-phobes, entered their relationship with an understanding that they were both equally horrible people. Because of this, the character flaws and baggage they carry do not become points of conflict that threaten to split them apart. Often, it actually brings them closer together, especially now that things are getting serious, as they’re both in it for better or worse.

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I strive towards a career that ends up leaving me somewhere between Howard Beck and Howard Beale.

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