You’re the Worst: Season 1 (DVD)

An epic story of romance between two terrible people.

From FX, a comedy that eschews nearly every touch-feely convention of the will-they/won’t-they approach to relationship-based sitcoms, mainly due to the fact that not ten minutes into the pilot episode, They Do–and it’s all downhill from there.

He’s Jimmy (Chris Geere), a British novelist carving out an okay living in America as a writer who’s alienated every woman he’s ever had a dalliance with; she’s Gretchen (Aya Cash), a publicist for a hip-hop label and someone who has no interest in transitioning into adulthood. The two meet at the wedding of Jimmy’s ex and immediately discover they have some something in common: neither have any interest in a proper relationship and even if they did, they suck so bad at it the outcome would almost certainly end in resentment and property damage.

Accepting these rules as is, the two kick off a purely carnal affair, an exercise in hooking up that has nothing to do with long-term monogamy. Quite the opposite actually, with Jimmy and Gretchen even going as far as concocting a point scheme for extra-curricular sexual encounters. But as this demented dynamic continues, something unexpected happens; Jimmy and Gretchen consider the inconceivable–maybe there’s a future in it?

First off: You’re The Worst is very smart and very funny, immediately elevating it into the atmosphere of watchable broadcast sitcoms. The writing crackles, the acting is punchy and the humor is strewn with laugh-out-loud moments. It’s definitely not for everybody and, truth be told, after the pilot I was set to give it a heave-ho.

The opening episode was actually fairly jarring. Thanks to creative, obstructive camera angles, the fornicating was kept to cable-levels of explicitness, but I was still caught off guard by how cold and methodical and loveless it all was. I know I sound like a Puritan, but this was a risky maneuver for the show, having its two leads start right out of the chute as emotionally detached as they were. And that resulted in my emotional detachment. Why in the God’s green earth would I want to root for these two Orcs? I said to myself.

I am glad I stuck with it. While Jimmy and Gretchen persisted to be trainwrecks, the momentum of the story ensured that cracks in their a-hole armor started to reveal a few rays of humanity. And by the end it dawned on me: You’re the Worst did indeed have heart and the core of the story was about two people growing up.

Still, none of this would really matter if the humor was flat and that’s one thing that never waned from Episode 1 to Episode 10. You’ll be hard-pressed to find something as biting, clever and well-delivered as the comedy in this series and even if you find the leads fairly detestable (to be fair, this was the point), I reckon you’ll be hard-pressed to sit through it stone-faced.

Fox’s DVD release does this noteworthy show a disservice, however. The tech specs are fine enough (1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital), but a complete lack of extras is mystifying.

verdict
The cost for entry might steep, but I appreciate this risky approach. If you can stick with Jimmy and Gretchen, you’ll be rewarded with bountiful laughs and–gasp–heart. Not Guilty.

 

Fox, 240 minutes, NR (2014)

A/V
1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

SUBTITLES
None

EXTRAS
None

ACCOMPLICES
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3228420

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Good

  • Laugh-out loud funny
  • Great characters, great acting
  • Far better than most sitcom crap on network TV

Bad

  • Hard-to-like protagonists will turn people off
  • The pilot's rough
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