You’re the Worst returns to FXX on August 31 for its third season, and it can’t come back soon enough. The Los Angeles-set anti-rom com follows novelist Jimmy Shive-Overly and publicist Gretchen Cutler as they navigate a relationship they entered reluctantly, despite being inexorably drawn to each other. Since both characters are, as the title suggests, “the worst,” You’re the Worst resuscitates the rom com genre by pairing two terrible people afraid of emotional intimacy. The result is a show that’s never sappy, full of jokes, and somehow also full of (very, very reluctant) heart.
Here’s why we’re looking forward to Season Three.
As the first two seasons have progressed, Gretchen and Jimmy have gotten closer, but it’s not just the guy in the relationship that feels reluctant about love. Amidst the societal trope that women are eager to capture a gent and get married immediately, Gretchen’s fear of commitment is refreshing (and worlds more nuanced). She insists on partying too hard, too long, even after most of her friends have settled down. She freaks out when she thinks Jimmy is about to propose, is completely self centered and, once she’s forced to move in with Jimmy and Edgar, can’t even bring herself to purchase the basic products necessary for everyday life. But it’s these qualities that make her watchable, even as she slowly succumbs to adulthood and finds all the things she fears (cohabiting, staying in at night) aren’t all that bad.
As Edgar put it to Lindsey, in a realization about his friendship with Jimmy toward the end of Season One, “We’re sidekicks.” Although the Iraq War and PTSD-suffering veteran may cook for and clean up after Jimmy, Edgar’s really the moral center of the show. He certainly has his problems, but ultimately he’s the angel on Jimmy’s shoulder, urging him to do the right thing when Jimmy himself would prefer to react to everything through his bruised ego. Edgar is YTW’s heart.
To shake up their storylines, many sitcoms employ bottle episodes with the entire cast stuck in one location, forcing them to interact with each other. YTW instead sends Gretch, Jimmy, Edgar, and Lindsay on a day long adventure in a Sunday Funday episode, which like any Sunday Funday, begins with brunch. It became a tradition in Season Two, with the hilarious holiday-themed episode, “Spooky Sunday Funday.” I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll keep the tradition alive—and, hopefully, reinvent it—this season.
While not big enough characters to get their own storylines very often, the hip hop trio for whom Gretchen serves as a publicist gets some of the best dialogue on the show. With a self described “annoying white skater kids from Venice at a rave,” style, Sam Dresden, Shit Stain, and Honey Nutz are forever breaking from the stereotypes that are more typically written for actors of color (i.e. Sam’s childish panic fort and Shit Stain’s love of Peaky Blinders). And YTW’s writers certainly get a lot of mileage from setting them up to speak to a rapper stereotype, only to brilliantly undercut it. Like that one time when Honey Nutz reminisced, “Remember when I got blown in that pool by a UCLA German professor?”
The Season Two episode “LCD Sound System,”—which began with a day in the life of two characters we’d never met—was proof that the series is unafraid to take experimental risks in storytelling. Everything else about YTW is bold and daring, and it’ll be great to see how they play around more with the traditional format of the half-hour comedy.
Erica Lies is a writer and comedian in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared in Splitsider, Bitch, Rookie Mag, and The Hairpin Follow her on Twitter.