‘You’re the Worst’ Took An Unusual Approach With Its Latest Episode

11.10.16 3 weeks ago
From our partner
BY: Alan Sepinwall

FX

A quick review of tonight’s You’re the Worst coming up just as soon as I like hard cider and losing myself in a graphic novel…

Even in our new age of presenting TV scenes as long unbroken takes (like the Vietnam massacre sequence from the Quarry finale), devoting the bulk of an episode to “oners” is still a relative novelty. (The “Triangle” episode of X-Files is the most famous of these.) And on the one hand, there were times throughout “The Inherent, Unsullied Qualitative Value of Anything” when the camerawork was very much calling attention to itself, particularly whenever the transition from one scene to another depended on the movements of one of the caterers. (Though even that began to have some comedic purpose through the subplots about the missing cocaine and the cereal-themed restaurant.)

On the other, though, presenting Shitstain and Jaclyn’s elopement party that way did a much better job of linking the different stories — Jimmy and Gretchen composing dueling pro/con lists about their relationship, Lindsay searching for a job and the right moment to tell Paul about the abortion (and the impending end of their marriage), Dorothy’s jealousy about Edgar’s success, and tension between Sam, Shitstain, and Honey Nutz — in a way where some of the show’s less successful ensemble episodes haven’t been able to. Of course, just putting all the characters at the same venue could have done the same thing, but the episode flowed nicely from one unraveling relationship to the next, until we saw so many examples of misery and confusion as Sam and Honey Nutz (aka Zachary from Reseda) concluded their toast to the only happy couple in the room. And it made the cut from the party to Gretchen and Jimmy standing outside it — and then the split screen of the two of them in their own cars, driving in the same direction but no longer as together as they used to be before they revealed the cruelest lines in their respective con lists — more effective than if they had come in a more traditionally shot and edited episode.

This was a particularly good outing for Aya Cash, who shines comically whenever Gretchen is at her most vulnerable and even childlike. I’m also relieved that Lindsay finally blurted out the truth to Paul, even under such public and mortifying circumstances, because that situation was always ugly and the show needs to move onto the next phase of things. Things are precarious all around — Sam has no idea that Jaclyn wants Shitstain to stop being friends with him after that kiss — and I suspect Paul and Lindsay’s breakup won’t be the only one before season’s end.

What did everybody else think? And what comic do you want to see playing themselves next, after Doug Benson and now coke-stealing Brian Posehn?

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