Tom Bunting ’19/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Despite what the title implies, the characters of You’re The Worst aren’t actually the worst. They’re just really unhappy, incredibly scared people, and the show works best when it’s exploring them beyond the horrible ways they interact with the world around them—to be fair, those moments are often pretty hilarious too.
Season one started with the endlessly abrasive Jimmy Shive-Overly (Chris Geere) meeting Gretchen Cutler (Aya Cash) right after being kicked out of his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. It wasn’t an original premise—the opposite, actually!—but the show has done a really phenomenal job subverting expectations. It would’ve been easy to make Cutler another Manic Pixie Dream Girl who rescues the emotionally reclusive man from his sadness, but the show decided to make Cutler just as sad and broken as Shive-Overly, just in different, less apparent ways. From there, the show could’ve become a horrible-person love story, and it kind of is, but it’s also grown into more than that. Their relationship has moved beyond insulting people together, and the show has done a really good job digging into their respective histories. There is a strong supporting cast, with Shive-Overly’s PTSD-afflicted roommate, Edgar Quintero (Desmin Borges), and Cutler’s ex-partier friend, Lindsay Jillian (Kether Donohue), who have evolved far beyond the sidekick trope. Through sheer force of fantastic writing and acting, You’re The Worst has evolved from a cliché into one of the best, most earnest shows on television. You should really watch it, and then come back and read the rest of this episode review.
“Crevasses” was a solid-but-unremarkable episode of the show, one that both touched on familiar ground and blazed some new paths, to mixed results all around. Shive-Overly and Cutler’s cohabitation continues to be rocky, Shive-Overly uncomfortable sharing his life and Cutler becoming increasingly frustrated with living out of “Gretchen’s Corner” (three trash bags in the living room). Meanwhile, Jillian’s relationship with her husband is basically over, which would be a good thing, but now Quintero is in love with her and she is pretty oblivious despite the fact he keeps getting her things. Shive-Overly is also having trouble writing his second novel and starts seeking inspiration. The three storylines converge at the local mall, where Cutler tries to buy new life supplies from the department store, Shive-Overly does the pretentious writer thing of observing the “normals”, and Jillian attempt to find rebound partners at the sports bar with Quintero’s reluctant help.
Everything pans out with varying levels of success, with Cutler’s story emerging as the highlight by far. You’re The Worst is best when it takes a character’s ridiculous refusal to cater to basic societal norms and justify it with character building, and Cutler’s absolute refusal to buy a toothbrush ends up saying a lot about how she feels about her relationship with Shive-Overly and adulthood in general. Cash has done some really good work on the show in the past, and she does a really great job carrying these scenes single-handedly. Quintero and Jillian’s storyline was less gripping. Quintero’s character is so sympathetic, and it’s hard not to be angry at Jillian for knowingly treating him so poorly. Beyond giving Jillian a weird mean-streak, the storyline also doesn’t go anywhere, half-climaxing in a very amusing You’re The Worst kind of way, but still feeling relatively wasted. The relationship between Quintero and Jillian, and the way she’s handling her divorce were handled in a much more interesting way in the previous episode.
As for Shive-Overly, he’s just kind of there. Watching him attempt to find inspiration out of the relatively normal mall patrons was fun, as was the return of “Strangely-Content-With-Bad-Jobs Guy” from Season One. Pretentious Writer Shive-Overly is one of the more amusing “Jimmys” the show uses, but, like Quintero and Jillian’s plot, it doesn’t really go anywhere. Cutler and Shive-Overly agree to share the space in his house more effectively, and edge ever closer to sacrificing their own feelings for the other, but that’s more of a Cutler story beat than a Shive-Overly one.
Even when there isn’t a lot going on, You’re The Worst is still undeniably entertaining. There were a lot of smart jokes, really great acting all around, and the montage of Shive-Overly and Cutler being horrible to the mall patrons cements You’re The Worst as—strangely enough—one of the best shot and edited shows on air. After the really phenomenal season premiere last week, it’s hard not to feel a little disappointed about the lack of forward movement on the character development side, outside of Cutler’s story, but even an episode of You’re The Worst where everyone just hangs out in a mall is still better than most shows out there.
Episode Rating: B