Last summer’s new FX comedy, You’re the Worst, is one of the bright spots of 2015. Although not original on its face (after all, there are plenty of examples of flirty singles sitcoms on television), the show feels fresh and different, perhaps because of the edgy material and the specific personalities of the characters. Its creators don’t seem afraid to change things up, wasting no time in doing so as the second season begins with “The Sweater People.”
When last we’d last seen Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash), they’d been forced to move into together because Gretchen’s apartment burned down. This goes pretty much how viewers expect it will. After all, the two people in this couple are afraid of settling down, both because of the commitment factor, and because they don’t want to turn into “sweater people”; they worry about losing themselves. Both of them are the type to put up a front, and because they now must do this every day, the new living arrangement soon wears thin.
I can’t say I was surprised by the Jimmy-Gretchen plot of the first two episodes, but a show doesn’t have to be surprising to be good. You’re the Worst retains is trademark humor, finding ways to delight, bolstered by the terrific performances of both Cash and Geere. I have no complaints about them whatsoever.
However, Jimmy and Gretchen are no longer the most interesting people in the cast (for now, anyway), a shift that started last year and has only magnified itself in the second season. The second fiddles, best friends to the central couple, step up in their own right for both solo stories and a shifting dynamic with the leads. Only a pair of episodes into this run, I think it’s safe to say that You’re the Worst is no longer The Jimmy & Gretchen Show, with sidekicks, but now a program about four people, all equally important.
Lindsay (Kether Donohue) is reeling from her divorce. She still loves Paul (Allan McLeod), but is that because she is fond of the man himself, or because she doesn’t like to let things go? She’s one who doesn’t like to be tossed out of her comfort zone, and while she flirts with going back to her old life, pre-marriage, she isn’t ready to chuck away her new existence, either. When Paul leaves her no choice in the matter, she’s cast adrift. It may result in hilarity, but Donohue reminds us there’s pain to be felt, too, her sad eyes as moving as they are laugh-inducing.
Lindsay does have another option in Edgar (Desmin Borges), but it is far too soon for her to consider that right now. He’s her friend helping her through it, and even when she thinks she’s ready to move on, she’s mostly looking for a hook up, not a husband, and thankfully she’s not self-destructive enough to screw him. While the show doesn’t explicitly reveal why she isn’t interested, it’s probably mostly because she’s blind to things not flashy, which Edgar is not. She’s on a drama trip and he’s too stable, her life raft, not the hunky lifeguard. They both want different things out of the relationship they are building, which threatens to remove even the tenuous hold on stability Lindsay has right now.
In the meantime, Edgar is really coming into his own. He has a job, he’s ready for love, and he’s starting to stand up for himself. He may still leave Jimmy and Gretchen the fixings for their Bloody Mary bar, but he no longer wants to wait around and fix it. That’s completely fair, but because his role has been that of a supporting player, it strands his nearly-helpless friends when he rejects his former role. It’s interesting, and makes the show dynamic.
For these, and a variety of other reasons, I highly recommend You’re the Worst. It’s quality entertainment with complex characters, and it never fails to elicit a chuckle or two in just about every scene. “The Sweater People” and the second episode, “Crevasses,” are both very enjoyable. You’re the Worst begins its second season Wednesday, September 9th at 10:30 p.m. ET on FXX (not FX).[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00QTEPPLU]