“Oooh, fancy!” That’s Aya Cash’s only slightly faux-impressed reaction when I casually mention that, although we’re meeting in L.A., I don’t actually live here. Work flew me out, across the country, just to hang with her, because she's a big deal—the charming, fast-rising female lead on one of the best, most critically acclaimed comedies on TV. Sooner rather than later, that prospect won’t be cause for pseudo-incredulity. If you know Aya Cash—congratulations on having good taste in television. If not, don’t worry, you will soon.

To clarify, that good taste in television applies to the sitcom (for lack of a better term to describe a funny show with a half-hour running time) she currently co-leads in, FXX’s You’re the Worst. On the series she plays Gretchen Cutler, one half of the reluctant couple which the show revolves around, alongside Chris Geere’s Jimmy Shive-Overly. Both characters are “the worst,” but Gretchen especially is unlike any female foil you’ve really seen in a romantic comedy, especially on TV—vivid, magnetic, and complex. Series creator Stephen Falk is a self-described pushover for rom-coms, but with You're the Worst—and with Cash's help—he wanted to present something more believable than what the genre usually offers. Something with vulnerability that “embodies all of our fears, and feelings of contempt and self-loathing. The desire to not be hurt, and the parts of us we think are so bad that we don’t deserve love.” 

In the span of just a 10-episode debut season, the show accrued a small but ever growing and increasingly rabid fanbase, off the strength of not just being great TV—critical acclaim was definitely a huge factor in its eventual renewal—but off of being relatable on a revelatory level. Now after a hiatus in which the show’s future was anxiously 50-50, it's returning for a second season of pure romantic dysfunction. Where other romantic comedies create an embarrassingly dated take on courtship, You’re the Worst is refreshingly modern. The lust comes before any notions of love, the hookup before the dates—the Meet-Cute sees Jimmy thrown out of his ex’s wedding, where Gretchen just tried to make off with a food processor, a score from the newlyweds’ gift table. They glance each other up and down—and cut to one of the most delightfully graphic sex montages ever seen on television, between two characters who we’ll come to learn have no reservations about physical intimacy, despite being deathly afraid of anything approaching the emotional variety. From there, the series is a rickety rollercoaster of all the typical relationship hallmarks, but through You’re the Worst’s dysfunctional lens: the selfish insensitivity of instituting a pause until a period is over; the first actual “date” after already hooking up; going “exclusive.” It’s a perspective very familiar to many, especially in 2015.