“Have you tried You’re the Worst? It’s surprisingly great,” is a sentence you should have heard at this point in your life. With two season behind it, and the Season Three premiere ahead, we’re here to drive the point home. Yes, You’re the Worst, created by Stephen Falk, really is a great show.
What makes it so enjoyable is that it’s the antithesis to a romantic comedy, even though it’s a comedy about romance. And so, let’s not call it romance—let’s call it love. That latter of the two words encompasses the ugly, uncomfortable, painful side of partaking in a partnership involving sexual relations. The show centers on Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) who are both “the worst”—they drink too much, smoke too much and don’t seem to care for anyone’s feelings but their own. After meeting at a wedding and participating in a surprisingly hot one-night-stand, they fall for each other—never mind their “I don’t really do relationships” mantra.
The series unfolds into an honest look at what it means to be in a modern relationship and marriage. It’s refreshing to see characters breaking down societal expectations in a way that feels relatable. Everyone is selfish—and it’s hard not to be when the next hook up is a swipe away and you’re thirty-something and don’t really know what you’re doing with your life. The show finds both humor and poignancy in its bold take on the disintegration of romance and the rise of reality. And sure, there are romantic moments—but that’s not really what we’re here for.
So, in celebration of Season Three, airing on FXX on August 31st, here are the 5 best anti- Rom Com moments—consider it a hot shot of whiskey to cleanse your pallet of all things warm and fuzzy.
1. I have sleep apnea! (Episode 1.01, “Pilot”)
What a way to end a successful one-night stand: a CPAP machine. After Jimmy and Gretchen meet at a wedding—the bride being Jimmy’s ex girlfriend—they unexpectedly go home together. Gretchen goes so far as to admit that she’s not attracted to Jimmy while they’re in bed. Jimmy doesn’t seem to think it matters. And clearly it doesn’t because the two spend the entire night together talking and laughing… amongst other things. As they lay in bed, Jimmy reaches out to put his hand to Gretchen’s face—it’s sweet. But as she rolls over to sleep, Jimmy interrupts, “No! There are no sleepovers!” To make the whole ordeal even less sexy, Jimmy admits to having sleep apnea and puts his CPAP machine on. It looks like a gas mask. Did we even know this was a thing?
When the two fall asleep—on opposite sides of the bed—it offers a realistic look at sleeping habits. Not everyone has to fall asleep spooning, to show they care.
2. We’re not a Couple (Episode 1.06, “PTSD”)
Jimmy scores an interview with Hollywood “it girl” Megan Thomas, and when Gretchen asks him to send her pics, Jimmy quips, “Nudes?” Gretchen challenges him, “If you think you can get Megan Thomas naked, more power to ya.” Jimmy, indeed, is able to get Megan in bed, which launches Gretchen into a race to sleep with someone else, too. What we expect to be an episode about jealousy in relationships, leads to a sex Olympics of sorts. Gretchen hooks up with a barista, which makes Jimmy believe he needs to bed an ex to get even. It’s not romantic, it’s not passionate; it’s purely competitive. It could be cheating—but it’s not. To quote Gretchen, “It was totally legal for you to do that. We’re just two chill people… being totally cool about stuff.” Their relationship however unromantic is unique. By the end of the episode, the two do choose exclusivity, but not because of jealousy—because they realize, out of all the people they’re sleeping with, they like each other best.
3. Busy Turkey Basting (Episode 2.04, “All About That Paper”)
Lindsay (Kether Donohue), who is Gretchen’s reigning bestie, has just been served divorced papers. Even though she’s been miserable in her marriage to her pudgy, boring and hashtag basic husband, Paul (Allan McLeod), she’s still heart broken. One night, sitting on the couch watching old romantic videos from Paul, she goes to the freezer to numb her sorrows with a Popsicle. Then, she notices one of his condoms (used) she threw in the freezer weeks back—for safekeeping?
Bright idea: microwave it! Just as Lindsay pops the rubber in for some warming up—can we even believe this is happening—Edgar knocks on the kitchen door. Edgar is Jimmy’s reigning bestie, who’s falling for Lindsay. She answers the door, “I’m sort of busy right now,” and just as she turns to go, the condom bursts in the microwave. She—yes, this really happened—scrubs it off with a spatula and then takes a turkey baster and shoots the scalding …stuff… up her crotch. Maybe Lindsay really does want a family with Paul—maybe he’s not the worst—and this is her way of, um, winning him back. [Spoiler] Everybody loves a baby!
4. Fetishes and Finances (Episode 2.13, “The Heart is a Dumb Dumb”)
It’s the big party unveiling the sex of Jimmy’s ex, Becca (Janet Varney), and her husband Vernon’s (Todd Robert Anderson) first baby. The couple loves throwing parties, if just to show all their “friends” how “perfect” their marriage is. Well, it turns out Vernon has a fetish for giving away his finances. After getting involved with a woman named Kasia in Novokuznetsk who went overboard on the spending, he’s got to find a way to tell Becca that they may be bringing a child into the world with far less security than they thought. At the big backyard unveiling, Becca dressed in a gown and Vernon drunk on his special punch, he steals her microphone and proclaims his fetish. He also tacks on, “I regret not being ready to be a father,” just for good measure.
Becca and Vernon’s circus of a relationship consistently experiences mishaps throughout the show. The writers of the series are bold in their cynicism towards the institution of marriage and they love using these two as their ambassadors.
5. You stayed. (Episode 2.12, “Other Things You Could Be Doing”)
In Season Two, Gretchen begins sneaking out in the middle of the night. Jimmy tries to get to the bottom of her disappearing, but it turns out that Gretchen suffers from severe depression. There’s nothing sexy about curling up in a ball in your PJs and staying that way for weeks on end. Gretchen urges Jimmy not to try and “fix” her, and during this time, he begins to crush on a bartender—one we suspect might end Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship all together.
In a final attempt to wake Gretchen up out of her despondent state, Jimmy invites all of her friends over to cheer her up. Naturally, most all of them just end up using her listless body and unengaged demeanor to talk about their own issues. In the end, Jimmy has to make a choice between going on a weekend romp with the hot bartender, or returning to Gretchen.
He decides to build a fort in their living room around her and, when Gretchen rolls over to see him next to her, she sobs, “You stayed.” To be clear, there’s nothing romantic about this. It’s painful, it’s sad and it sums up all the other guys Gretchen has seen leave. It showcases depression in a very real way—how often those suffering with it are misunderstood and left behind by those without the will to try. So although the moment isn’t romantic, it definitely exemplifies what true love could and should be. The series may be about all the ways that relationships suck, but going into Season Three, we can’t help but think, that maybe these guys aren’t the absolute worst.
You’re the Worst premieres on August 31, 2016 on FXX.