You're the Worst was not an obvious frontrunner for best new show of the summer right out of the gate, but it quickly became just that. The new FX comedy that wasn't Married, the one without all the recognizable stars, became a must-see show after only a few viewings. (And it's not just must-see for me: It's the only show that my sister, my best guy friend, and my mother-in-law can all agree is "hysterical.") If you've been watching, this is just preaching to the pessimistic choir, but if you've managed to miss the buzz, catch up — and expect to go through these inevitable five stages of falling deeply in love with these deeply emotionally-stunted characters.
Stage 1: Why Should I Care About These People?
You're the Worst kicked off by introducing us to Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere), two people who've been deemed "the worst," by friends and themselves, who are both completely relationship phobic. When they hooked up, it wasn't surprising — sometimes it takes a worst person to appreciate another worst person — but the way they dealt with the ensuing emotions made it one of TV's most watchable courtships, in all the best/worst ways.
Stage 2: Oh Wait, These People Are Weird/Quirky/Insanely Funny
Once you get past the pilot-ness of the pilot episode, you start to see that Gretchen, Jimmy, and their trusty sidekicks Lindsay (Kether Donohue) and Edgar (Desmin Borges) make for a fun and pretty familiar foursome. Yes, they are all dysfunctional in some way, but it's all very relatable. Who doesn't have those friends who are horrible at relationships? Or in a committed relationship begrudgingly? Or incapable of relationships altogether because they're dealing with other issues? (Hint: If you can't think of anyone in any of these categories in your life, sorry but it's probably you.)
Stage 3: I've Been in That Exact Position! (Or Know Someone Who Has)
And that's the common denominator here — even with unconventional tour guides, this comedy works because it's honest. They're not afraid to paint every single character as slightly broken, and as a viewer you end up liking them more because of that. They're the antiheroes of the comedy world. Bonus: That means they're not afraid to say horrible and hilarious things you might've always been thinking.
Stage 4: I'm Really Rooting for These People to Be Happy
While you kick off the show thinking "oh good, this won't be another happily ever after TV romance," watching Jimmy and Gretchen navigate their version of that will leave you wanting them to be happy — whatever that means to them.
Stage 5: I Need Another Five Seasons With My New TV BFFs, Please
What's going to happen with Lindsay and her husband? Will Edgar ever get the help he needs recovering from PTSD? And can Gretch and Jimmy maintain the balance between wanting to avoid "normalcy" and admitting that their love is turning into something resembling normal? Trust me, you will care about all of this after only a few episodes, and then you'll want to have Sunday Fundays with them.
A second season of Stephen Falk's twisted love letter to love isn't a recommendation — it's essential. Thanks in advance for making it happen and not being the worst, FX!
Watch a sneak peek of tonight's episode, titled "Finish Your Milk":
You're the Worst airs Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. on FX.