Review: ‘You’re the Worst’ heads in a lighter direction to start season 3

You're the Worst is back for a third season, and I have a few thoughts on the premiere coming up just as soon as you tell me where Bradley Cooper is…

“The unknowable is terrifying, Gretchen.” -Jimmy

“Try Real Hard” opens with You're the Worst's most explicit sex scene since the series premiere (if you saw a lot of TV critics tweeting in late July and early August about a screener that was particularly NSFW, this was it). And, like Gretchen and Jimmy's post-wedding hook-up, this sequence is less there for titilation than to establish the current state of their relationship: Gretchen's latest depressive episode is more under control thanks to her medication, and she and Jimmy are for the most part back to their old patterns, which includes both enthusiastic sex and frequent mockery – sometimes at the same time.

But things can't be exactly the same after all they went through, and much of the premiere involves Jimmy sprinting as fast as he can away from his drunken declaration of love in the season finale, while Gretchen struggles to get her work with Sam back on track now that  she's more herself again. Jimmy's panic at realizing how little he actually knows is a delight, and gives Chris Geere an opportunity to display a wide and hilarious range of dismayed reactions at each new discovery, from Gretchen's non-washing of her legs to her description of herself as “generally spiritual.” And in the end, after insisting that he will demonstrate his feelings for her through actions rather than words, Jimmy comes right out and says them again anyway.

Things are less healthy over in sidecar land, with Edgar discovering that his own medication has rendered him impotent, and though Dorothy offers to be supportive and try some non-traditional methods of sex(*), Edgar's low self-esteem and fear of screwing things up with her again leads him to flush all his pills down the toilet. No good will come of that, I fear.

(*) Among the items on Jimmy's list of ways Edgar could kink up their sex life in an attempt to jumpstart his penis: medical play, funneling, clit negging, and ladyboy.

Still, Edgar's in a better position than Lindsay, who finds herself trapped by the series of terrible choices she made at the end of last season, and whose response isn't to admit she's made a mistake, but to let her frustration build and build until she stabs Paul in the side. Of the four main characters, Lindsay has perhaps the greatest capacity for actually being the worst, and this is a particularly dire moment from her, and one that has the potential to take us down a path at least as dark as Gretchen's story last year, but without a clinical diagnosis to mitigate her actions. We'll see.

But on the whole, “Try Real Hard” did an excellent job of moving the show out of the heaviness of season 2 without ever ignoring what everyone went through, and it's great to have the show back.

What did everybody else think?