Network: FX
Airdate: July 17, 2014 - September 18, 2014
Standout episodes: "Sunday Funday," "Equally Dead Inside," "Finish Your Milk"

Few series maximize their potential early in their run. But some come out the gate so sure and in command of their tone, themes, and voice that their first season ends up playing like a great debut album: a summation of a yearslong perfected perspective finally released, to a point where no other endeavor after the fact can realistically top this moment. You're the Worst Season 2 has a credible shot, thanks to a harrowingly real depiction of clinical depression. But for my money, nothing can touch Season 1, an airtight anti-romcom that piles everything we know and expect from the genre into a car then gleefully drives up the highway in reverse.

From the pilot it's clear our two fucked up leads Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (the magnetic Aya Cash) recognize a kindred brokenness in each other. But they're too damaged to be real about it, and too traumatized to think it'll end any way other than badly. Cue a season of mishaps that filter typical genre tropes through YTW's dysfunctional lens, which as it turns out, is closer to reality than any John Huges movie: the anxiety of a first real "date" after weeks of sex; exclusivity turning into a battle of the wills that actually involves sex with other people; Jimmy saying "see you in a few days then" with a straight face after Gretchen announces she's gotten her period. The whole season traces every logical beat of a new relationship up until the big moment, which lands perfectly. And none of it would work if the show wasn't also laugh-out-loud hilarious, helped by a cast of supporting characters who sketch in a narcissistic bubble of LA where seemingly no one makes it out truly happy. But as the show's theme says, tragedy is inevitable. (But for anyone hedging bets on binging, this year's series finale is pretty perfect!)—Frazier