Review: Does ‘You’re the Worst’ season 3 need to figure out a direction?

10.19.16 2 months ago 14 Comments

FXX

A review of tonight's You're the Worst coming up just as soon as I provide my female elephant with constant stimuli…

Late in “Genetically Inferior Beta Males,” Jimmy's appearance on Vernon and Becca's surprisingly slick and professional podcast sparks an epiphany in him about how he became a writer to rebel against his father, and perhaps can do something else with his life now that Ronny is deceased. By the end of the scene, he seems on the verge of knowing what to do next, but the conversation as a whole felt a bit like a commentary on You're the Worst season 3.

Season 1 was made as a commentary on romantic comedies, starring two selfish and immature people horrified to discover they had real feelings for one another. Season 2 then explored the specific emotional damage that made Gretchen who she is, and in the process briefly became a drama with occasional jokes. Having moved on from that mode – though Gretchen's depression is still a part of the show, as we see tonight when Dr. Jordan tries to get her to explore her feelings about her mother – season 3 has been struggling to find a new unifying idea. Jimmy dealing with his father's death could have been that, but it feels like Stephen Falk doesn't want to dive too deep into that, lest it feel like a rehash of last year's Gretchen arc. Edgar's PTSD has provided the season's strongest ongoing story – and its best overall episode – but because he's always going to be a supporting character to Jimmy and Gretchen, he can't provide a spine to a season the way they can.

So the season so far has been a mixed bag, with some great episodes (“Twenty-Two,” “The Last Sunday Funday”) and individual moments, but not coming together nearly as well, and with some stories that haven't really worked at all. Lindsay cuckolding Paul is an improvement over her Misery-ing him, but it's still pretty ugly.

Jimmy's lack of internet forcing him to experience the outside world was a good idea that went a bit too far: he may not know basketball, but has he genuinely never played fetch with a dog before, or even seen it done in a movie? Still, I enjoy seeing Chris Geere play Jimmy as an overgrown child still trying to understand life, and Jimmy was the most successful part of Gretchen's experiment, now that she's put Edgar in with the terrible weed people (“worse than people who study abroad!”) and put his VA benefits at risk.

It could be recency bias talking, since I've been underwhelmed by the two latest episodes. But we're getting pretty late into the season, and it feels like something's missing. Maybe Jimmy's new vision for his life will fix things for the show as well as himself?

What did everybody else think?

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