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‘You’re the Worst’ Deserves a Resurgence

Stephen Falk’s FXX underrated comedy “You’re the Worst,” which ran from 2014 to 2019, is a rom-com at heart … and it’s also raunchy, mean, deeply strange, and even off-putting at times. It’s a show where the central couple, Gretchen Cutler and Jimmy Shive-Overly — Aya Cash and Chris Geere in roles they were seemingly born to play — first meet at a wedding where Jimmy just got kicked out and Gretchen is stealing a gift. Both of their characters are established in their very first interaction. Gretchen asks Jimmy for a cigarette, and he’s irritated because they’re “expensive.” The incredulous yet brazen way Cash looks at Geere in response is the blueprint for Gretchen and Jimmy’s dynamic going forward.

The two go on to hook up that night, establishing an embittered relationship around which the entire series orbits for the following five seasons until the show ended five years ago on April 3, 2019. Gretchen and Jimmy — surrounded by their respective best friends Lindsay Jillian (Kether Donohue) and Edgar Quintero (Desmin Borges), who are just as messy and intolerable as the central duo — break up, get back together, have an endless number of screaming fights, get engaged, get un-engaged, plan their wedding, and cancel their wedding.

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Even though “You’re the Worst” hits major rom-com milestones through its run, it also tackled genuinely tough topics such as abortion and mental health struggles, but it approached those taboos in refreshingly real, stunningly honest ways. The strongest episodes of the series (like Season 2’s “LCD Soundsystem”) meld dark humor and real empathy, even as viewers see the characters sometimes out of their depth in how to help.

If you’ve never watched, now is the time. “You’re the Worst” was universally adored by critics throughout its run — none of the five seasons’ Rotten Tomatoes scores dip below 90 percent, and it was named one of IndieWire’s best shows of the decade. Cash and Geere both got decent career bumps after it ended but it feels like the chatter has faded. Despite the occasional podcast mention, it feels like there’s a dearth of “You’re the Worst” reaction GIFs circulating on social media, and people don’t really discuss rewatching it … even though the entire series is readily available on Hulu just like many of its contemporaries.

YOU'RE THE WORST -- "Bachelor/Bacheloret te Party Sunday Funday" - Season 5, Episode 9 (Airs March 6, 10:00 pm e/p)  Pictured (l-r): Kether Donohue as Lindsay, Aya Cash as Gretchen, Desmin Borges as Edgar, Chris Geere as Jimmy. CR: Byron Cohen/FXX
‘You’re the Worst’Byron Cohen/FXX

It’s interesting that the show’s frank approach to mental health and realistic conversations about the very topic aren’t more relevant now, in an age where people are seemingly more open than ever about conditions like depression and PTSD. Will Gen Z, a generation that seems refreshingly honest about mental health, potentially revive “You’re the Worst” and spread clips of it across TikTok? Maybe back in 2014 — or even in 2019 — the show’s honest messaging about mental health was simply ahead of its time and perceived as “too dark,” but are we finally ready to have conversations about Gretchen’s depression and the way Jimmy simply tries to “fix” it without actually listening to her?

Maybe the tougher aspects of “You’re the Worst” have made potential viewers hesitant — since it’s sometimes hard to binge-watch when certain episodes or moments feel like a total gut punch. As excellent as the “LCD Soundsystem” episode is, you stop laughing as soon as the camera focuses on Gretchen’s agonized face before it fades to black, watching her burst into disappointed tears while Jimmy obliviously yammers away next to her.

It’s very possible you’ve never even heard of this show. While critics loved it, it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster; you try naming an FXX show not named “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” or “Archer.” No matter. Five years after its finale “Pancakes” aired, we can safely say the show is worth your time as a new binge. “You’re the Worst” richly deserves its moment in the sun after half a decade of being largely overlooked and forgotten. Pop culture typically comes full circle, so let’s bring Jimmy and Gretchen back around and bask in their worst impulses, grossest behavior, and surprisingly sympathetic moments. After all, aren’t we all sort of the worst?

All five seasons of “You’re the Worst” are available to stream on Hulu.

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