We are in a golden age of television. We are also in an age of excess. As such, we often have to pick and choose what we watch, because we simply don’t have enough time to watch everything that is good. Unfortunately, that means that a lot of great shows slip through the cracks. As a fan of TV, who watches much more TV than the regular person, I am always sad to see some of the best TV shows slip so far beneath the radar that they become obscure and unknown. In an effort to improve the standing of some of these “lost” shows, I have decided to create Spotlight, a new Feature series at TVEnthusiast. Spotlight will be a regular article series that, with each iteration, pleads the case of a different series that has somehow slipped under the radar.
You’re the Worst
Created by Weeds and Orange is the New Black Writer Stephen Falk, You’re the Worst is an American dramatic comedy series which began on FX before moving to sister network FXX. Though initially receiving only moderate buzz and attention, You’re the Worst became a critical darling in its second season, when it began to tackle heavier issues, while still retaining its comedic edge. In tone, I would describe the show as falling somewhere between How I Met Your Mother, and Louis CK’s avant garde and autobiographical comedy series Louie. Like How I Met Your Mother, You’re the Worst is centered around the development of a relationship. Like Louie, You’re the Worst is a comedy series that is often times more serious than it is funny.
What is You’re the Worst?
Centering on 2 egotistical and largely unlikable characters, You’re the Worst is a show with a lot of heart about people with very little heart. Unlike other shows about unlikable characters, namely Entourage and Girls, You’re the Worst doesn’t stand in celebration of the selfish debauchery of its leads. Rather, Worst, tackles the issues at hand for such a lifestyle, with a modern approach to drug dependence, depression, and anxiety that makes its unlikable characters, likable. The 2 leads in question are Jimmy Shive-Overly (as portrayed by Chris Geere), an egotistical British Writer of moderate success, and Gretchen Cutler (as portrayed by Aya Cash), a self-destructive PR rep in the entertainment industry. Joining Jimmy and Gretchen are Jimmy’s PTSD ridden roommate and Iraq war Veteran Edgar (as portrayed by Desmin Borges), and Gretchen’s best friend Lindsay (as portrayed by Kether Donohue). Other characters include Jimmy’s Ex, who just happens to be Lindsay’s sister, her Husband Vernon, a brotastic manchild, and Lindsay’s Husband Paul, who Lindsay cannot connect to, because she married him for his money. The series takes place in Silver Lake, a gentrified, hipster filled, neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, California, and focuses on the bonds between its characters, both friendships and animosities.
What makes You’re the Worst good?
I stated above, that You’re the Worst is a series with heart about characters who lack heart. Initially, the lack of heart is a good source of comedy, that is leveled out by Desmin Borges’ excellent portrayal of Jimmy’s roommate Edgar who has so much heart that he makes up for any absence in others. In many ways I feel that the series is through the lens of Edgar, who understands the bitterness and strife around him, and answers it all with love and hope. Edgar is used as a tool of the writers to give you somebody to care about while the leads introduce themselves as funny, yet distinctly unlikable characters. As is the case in real life, nobody is really all bad, and through the course of the show we begin to grow attached to Jimmy and Gretchen, as the 2 become attached to one another. Like Edgar, we begin to see the good in the unlikable leads. For example, Edgar lives with Jimmy, and takes care of him, to some extent, but he is also entirely dependent on Jimmy, who owns the house they live in, and buys the food they eat. Much of Edgar’s social life is also tied directly to Jimmy, for better or worse.
Why is You’re the Worst Featured on Spotlight?
While You’re the Worst is beloved by notable Television Critics, and is often brought up and celebrated in those circles, it is not a particularly well known series for the masses. While network mate Louie gets a lot of notice, You’re the Worst is basically a non entity to most people, which makes it a perfect match for TVEnhtusiast’s Spotlight, and our mission to shine some extra light on shows that don’t achieve what they deserve. Another hurdle for the series is that its streaming rights are currently exclusive to Hulu. Though I love the service Hulu provides me, most people tend to only go there for larger network shows that they didn’t catch the night before. For discover-ability, Netflix is still the only real game in town. I feel that if You’re the Worst popped up on Netflix, people would find it, and enjoy it, where as those who watch it on Hulu, likely knew of the shows existence before hand.
Should I Watch You’re the Worst?
You’re the Worst ran its first season on FX and its second season on FXX, a 3rd season is debuting on FXX at the end of the month, August 31st. The first 2 seasons are available to stream on Hulu.
Have you seen You’re the Worst? Are you interested? Tell us in our comments, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more coverage of all of your favorite shows.