You’re the Worst has had a fascinating second season. It has been less funny than the inaugural campaign, but that’s partly by design. The sophomore effort has dug even deeper into the darkness of love and relationships, and instead of spinning every moment to find the humor in the situation, it has allowed many scenes this year to breathe and simply exist, whether they are dramatic or comedic.
This is not to say that all the humor has been removed from YTW. The show is still very much a comedy, and focused on producing laughs throughout its half-hour. The season’s sixth episode, “Side Bitch” built on last week’s effort, finding an even better balance between comedy and drama. This week we followed Jimmy as he investigated Gretchen’s mysterious midnight field trips (he hypothesized that Gretchen was cheating on him), Edgar as he found some courage and opened his heart to love (this time with the far more suitable Dorothy, his improv teacher) and Lindsay as she learned to be a big girl.
There was no real standout story this time around, though I’d give highest marks to Jimmy and Edgar, the former for delivering the most satisfying laughs (thanks in large part, once again, to Sam and the rest of the rap crew, whose real-turned-fake feud has swung back to real) and the latter being the most genuine. Edgar’s courting of Dorothy has been a relief. When he began the season with his eye on Lindsay, it seemed as though nothing good would come from Season Two for Edgar. Luckily, he got out of the fiasco quickly and found himself a far more worthwhile companion. He even found a way to help his new love interest.
The whole Dorothy plot has been another sly inclusion of the troubles for the modern woman, particularly in a town like LA, within the show. You’re the Worst has already done incredibly smart work with its female characters, presenting two women in Gretchen and Lindsay that are completely different from just about anything on television, and Dorothy is another great step. My only wish is that the comedy troupe not have broken so quickly, so we could have seen even more of the hardships that Dorothy has had to endure. But, the show doesn’t exactly have time for an extended searing of modern sexism, and thus it had to be quick. Nonetheless, it was effective and I am thoroughly excited to see what will come of Edgar and Dorothy’s blossoming relationship.
“Side Bitch” also finally gave us an answer regarding Gretchen’s nightly excursions. It turns out she’s been leaving the house to cry in her car, not hook up with a sidepiece as Jimmy suspected. Jimmy’s whole investigation and subsequent elation once he found out that Gretchen was merely having an emotional breakdown, rather than going down on someone else, is further proof that this relationship is bound to implode. Jimmy has always been emotionally stunted, but he had made legitimate strides this year when it came to being more emotionally mature with Gretchen. This week, however, he was as dense and inconsiderate as he’s ever been, and I can’t imagine Gretchen will let it slide easily.
Finally, we got to see Lindsay take on the world, and it went just as poorly as you’d expect. Much of Lindsay’s storyline has felt stuck in neutral this season, but “Side Bitch” did introduce one intriguing possibility. Once again, we were subjected to Lindsay attempting to maneuver life without Paul, this time focusing on all the adult things (bills, bills and more bills) that Paul used to take care of. At first despondent, Lindsay quickly picked herself back up, stole a bike and got herself on the right path to becoming an (admittedly shitty) adult. But, as quickly as she picked herself up, she fell back down, and ran to her sister Becca’s house for comfort. It was here that things got interesting. After breaking her way into Vernon’s safe and indulging in some narcotics, Lindsay was left loopy in the man cave when Vernon returned home. Only Lindsay was hallucinating and believed he was Paul, and thus made a move. Surprisingly faithful to his pregnant wife, Vernon refused, but did relent (and cop a feel) when Lindsay asked him to hold her. The idea of Vernon and Lindsay hooking up feels just the right level of crazy to actually happen. Without Paul and Edgar, Lindsay is officially on her own, and flailing. Add in her hatred for Becca, her predilection for being a terrible human being, and an affair could be brewing.
?Now officially in the second half of the season, it’s time for fireworks to start popping on You’re the Worst. It has mostly been a subdued season, despite venturing into darker territory as was promised before the premiere. With Jimmy’s poor response to Gretchen’s cryscapes and the potential of a Lindsay/Vernon disaster, there is certainly kindling ready to burn. Hopefully a fire will light soon because, though the episodes are still enjoyable, the series is lacking its signature crackle.
Eric Walters is the Assistant Tech Editor for Paste and a regular contributor to the TV section. For more of his thoughts on comic book television, listen to his podcast.