We're All Terrible People

You're the Worst: Season 4

I get annoyed with the FX/FXX networks. I really like their shows, like Archer and Legion (and I'll review those shows here once I get access to their most recent season). The problem is that I don't have cable -- I unplugged years ago, so the only way I can watch anything FX/FXX produces is through Hulu. I like Hulu, it's a great little program and a good way for me to keep up with most broadcast and cable TV. However, Hulu is at the whims of the various networks and can only put up new shows when the network releases them.

That's why, even though You're the Worst finished up its fourth season back in November, I only just now got to watch it when the whole batch of episodes was dumped into Hulu in the middle of July. Still, I'll take what I can get when it comes to good TV, and You're the Worst is among my favorites.

I will note, right up front, You're the Worst is not for everyone. This is a show about terrible people -- the four lead characters are all emotionally stunted man- and women-children who, up until the start of the series, haven't really thought much about people outside their bubbles. We start with Jimmy (Chris Geere), who we're introduced to giving an awful toast at his ex-girlfriend's wedding, starting a fight that gets him thrown out. Jimmy is a British writer living in L.A. just trying to come up with his next book. He's also just an awful, misanthropic human being but, due to his dry, British delivery, you can't help but like him and all the awful things he says. After getting kicked out of the wedding, he encounters Gretchen (Aya Cash), a boozy, shiftless P.R. rep who was at the wedding only because her best friend, Lindsay (Kether Donohue), is the sister of the bride.

Immediately the two, Jimmy and Gretchen, hook up. The next morning, Jimmy wakes up to find Gretch still in his bed. This goes against his rules as women don't sleep over -- in, out, and done. But Gretchen sticks around, and keeps coming back around simply because neither of them, Gretch or Jimmy, have anything better to do than each other. Over time we learn more about the two of them, as well as Lindsay and Edgar, Jimmy's roommate and live-in housekeeper (who also is a war vet with PTSD, so he's not so much a man-child as just damaged in different ways), and we slowly watch them grow, bond, and become slightly better (but still truly awful) adults.

Seriously, these people are terrible, saying and doing things for purely narcissistic reasons. They'll heckle movies, get drunk in public, and generally do anything other than work. I'd hate them except for the fact that they're all also charming and so damn funny. While the eventual love story of Jimmy and Gretchen is the focus of the series (and which, even four seasons in, is still trying to figure itself out because these people have problems with commitment), the true standout of the cast is Lindsay as played by Kether Donohue. Donohue has charisma in spades -- she can elevate a character that should not work (a spoiled, rich girl who cheats on her husband, has no job, and just drinks and does drugs all the time) into a character you actually care about, and she does it all with her smile and the twinkle of her eyes. Her performance is next-level, so it only makes sense that as the series goes on she gets more and more to do.

I will admit that the most recent season was also the roughest. After getting to a great place at the end of third season, Jimmy then immediately ruins in, and by the start of fourth season all the characters have essentially been split up for three months. Jimmy trying (and failing) to make it up to Gretchen and fix everything is the meat of the season, but there's a fair bit of wheel-spinning in the process as the show tries to take a plotline that probably could have resolved itself fairly quickly and drags it out over 13 episodes. Plus, some characters, such as Edgar, aren't given much to do while others, like Lindsay's awful (in all the wrong ways) sister, get much more screen time than they rightly deserve.

Still, when the show gets going it truly fires on all cylinders. There are stand-out moments throughout the season as the characters just bounce back and forth off each other. Plus, the final episode does a lot to repair the damage of the season leading up to it. Even when messy and broken, the series is still engaging.

If you like funny, at time dark, and always cynical humor, You're the Worst is a solid watch. You might not come away liking who the characters are, but you'll still end up enjoying the ride.