Rom-com sticks to clichés, but still departs from formula
By Chandler Walter, Assistant Editor
What started out as a promising departure from the general “boy meets girl, girl bangs boy, love, sad, then love again” kind of show could not quite live up to the cliché defying promises that it’s pilot set it up for.
You’re the Worst finds a boy, Jimmy (Chris Geere), and girl, Gretchen (Aya Cash), unsurprisingly finding each other during the sloppy, formative years of their lives. The main departure from the general stew of relationship television comes in the form of both partner’s personalities, and as the title suggests, both these characters are “The Worst” in their very own, very special ways.
He’s a novelist, she’s a PR rep working in LA… could I make it any more obvious? It’s a show about hipsters that still manages to make fun of hipsters, and does its very best to be self-aware of the clichés it writes itself into by constantly making fun of the characters—via the other characters—about just what clichés they are.
The sarcasm and witty banter is as greatly enjoyable as watching both these characters be terrible to both friends and strangers alike, and what smidgen of a relationship the two have in the beginning is purely driven by sex at worst, and non-existent at best. Neither are looking for anything other than a roll in the hay, or three, per day.
Unfortunately, this beautiful segue away from the sappiness of your average vanilla-flavoured couple comedy turns against its own saving grace, and the characters begin to develop feelings. Maybe there should be a spoiler alert that these two characters—of opposite sex, existing in the first season of a romantic comedy—end up liking each other, but that is probably the least warning-worthy development that could have happened.
The show still redeems itself in the personalities of its leads, both being enjoyable characters to watch going about their days, navigating messy lives, and making circumstantial decisions that have slight repercussions on the story arc as a whole. When they’re together and keeping things light, they’re a pleasure to watch—whether they’re knocking one out, or stealing various cars, vending machines, or bottles of booze. It’s when the all too serious “I-like-you-do-you-like-me?”soggy tennis match starts happening that really slows the show down.
The drama of their relationship commands the entirety of the plot in the last few episodes, but there is a shining ray of hope in the way of season 2, where things are kind-of-but-not-really figured out enough emotionally to let the characters’ quirky personalities shine again.
You’re the Worst is a valiant effort to diverge from the road most travelled, but predictably sticks to what the plebs generally want—good old fashioned, vomit-inducing love. Worth a watch, regardless.