You’re the Worst established itself as must-watch television from the minute Aya Cash’s Gretchen stole a food processor from a wedding, only to learn it was a blender, and then immediately ditching it behind a bush. The anti-rom-com about two garbage people falling for each other has since established itself as utterly hilarious, completely touching, and a poignant insight on modern relationships.
Season two has continued the hot streak with more “Sunday Funday,” Lindsay hilariously (but sadly) reeling from her separation from husband Paul and Edgar doing the most LA thing he could to discover himself—improv. As for our titular couple, Jimmy and Gretchen, cohabitation has been anything but boring—drinking every night, sharing Jimmy’s erotic stories from his youth and in a surprise twist, dealing with Gretchen’s clinical depression, in one of the best and most realistic depictions of depression ever on television. Stephen Falk and co. swung for the fences with this season and hit it out of the park.
As OG fans of the show, Complex Pop Culture ghost, Frazier Tharpe and I had a quick email conversation about the highs of season two, tonight’s great finale and our hopes for season three.
Kerensa: So, I've spent pretty much every Saturday morning since September watching You're the Worst in bed and laughing and then sobbing, especially after last week's (I have a depressing set of tweets that back all this up) episode.
I don't know if I've ever really watched a show that changed its scope in such an unexpected way. I mean, I loved it off the bat for its whole non rom-com, rom-com premise, but it completely surprised me with Gretchen's arc this season.
Frazier: When Aya Cash hinted at the sharp left turn this season would make with her character, I really had no clue where the show was about to go. But now that we're at the end of it, it just reveals Stephen Falk's full ambition and overarching goal with this show. It isn't just about subverting the norm for rom-coms and delivering familiar tropes in unfamiliar ways—he's putting shit out there that you'd be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Anybody running this second season would've had Jimmy flirt with temptation. But to do so because he can't handle his girlfriend's clinical depression?! Wow.
Kerensa: I had heard about that turn too and really thought it was going to be something standard, like she was secretly still seeing that douchebag director bro from the first season. I didn't expect to get a nuanced and realistic portrayal of depression! That just crushed me. It was so well executed and great to watch, but also so painful at the same time, especially the scene when Gretchen's just calmly holding that gun with no emotional expression. My heart broke.
And Jimmy! For two people who are so adverse to relationships, I figured that some semblance of cheating or whatever would happen this season because that's what always happens on TV. I was pretty pissed at him for his flirtation with the hot bartender, being fully aware of how Gretchen was feeling, but in the same instance being the person on the other end of that is totally grueling as well. So, when Jimmy came back to Gretchen after the last episode and made her that blanket fort (romance goals?), I was pretty surprised. For a show that has acted blasé or downplayed the importance of relationships (a.k.a. echoing modern dating), to see the pair actually fight for and work for their relationship was so touching.
Frazier: The best part is that it managed to retain the winning, at times deeply dark humor—Lindsay's pregnant sister's recurring "I can have one!" yelp whenever someone caught her stress-guzzling wine comes to mind. Ironically enough, in terms of not just overall quality but laughs, the season didn't kick into high gear until the beginning of Gretchen's depression arc. The bottle episode at hers and Jimmy's house and the ensuing Halloween Sunday Funday are laugh-out-loud worthy while dealing with mental illness. Of course, things got a bit heavier but now here we are at the end of the season. Unlike last year, there's no hand-wringing hiatus anxiety: the critical darling beat the odds and it's already been renewed. So where does the show go from here?
Kerensa: Well, I mean we can't say too much, but I think tonight's finale "The Heart Is a Dumb Dumb" really puts everyone in a perfect place for what'll happen in season three. I'm hoping we'll see them continue to explore Gretchen's depression even after she's feeling better, Lindsay's pregnant sister will need all the stress wine for parenting and Lindsay...oh Lindsay.
And coupling the end of last week's episode with the end of the finale, I'm excited to see how Jimmy and Gretchen navigate this new chapter of their relationship because it's never going to be boring. Mild spoiler: being compared to a Sunday crossword is my new romantic goal. Do you have any hopes for season three?
Frazier: I'm just grateful there is one. Without saying too much, my favorite part about the finale is when Gretchen admits her own shortcomings—it's not fair to deal with her problems the same way she would back in her savage loner days. I'm excited to see these two narcissists keep stumbling as they learn to let other people in. The debut season is more polished, what with each episode taking on a different rom-com trope to subvert (and sometimes pervert) but in a follow-up year that packaged episodes like the emotionally-crushing "LCD Soundsystem" seamlessly alongside knee-slappers like "A Right Proper Story," a strong sense of trust is achieved. Aya Cash and Chris Geere just kill everything Stephen Falk gives them, my only hope is that they don't lose themselves in chasing uncharted territory and get too far away from what makes You're the Worst so fucking good. In the meantime I'll just be continuing to spread the word—renewal or not, this is still one of TV's best that's being criminally slept on.