Thursday, September 18, 2014

REVIEW: 'You're the Worst' - Jimmy and Gretchen Have a Major Confrontation at Becca's Party in 'Fists and Feet and Stuff'

FX's You're the Worst - Episode 1.10 "Fists and Feet and Stuff"

Jimmy and Gretchen take their relationship to the next level.

I've never been so happy to be wrong about a TV show then I was this summer by You're the Worst. I did not enjoy the first two episodes. I thought it was exploitative and risqué solely for the sake of being exploitative and risqué. Back in July, if you would have told me that You're the Worst would be on my list of the 10 best shows of 2014, I would have called you a crazy person. But now, that's extremely likely. The show has proven to be tragic, funny, heartfelt, uplifting, romantic, provocative, and honest. It is without a doubt unlike anything else on television - which is truly saying something with the glut of rom-com comedies on the air now. It wonderfully is able to take all those emotions and make you feel all of them in every single scene. That is highly impressive - especially in "Fists and Feet and Stuff" which could very well be the series' best episode.

This season took all four main characters on an emotional journey. They evolved over the course of this season. And yet, they are no where close to being the best versions of themselves. They are all broken people and that's one of the huge selling points of the show. People in life are broken and always trying to live up to another people's expectations. It seems like everyone else at the central party of the finale is sane and has their lives together. Jimmy is a mess. Gretchen is a mess. Edgar is a mess. Lindsay and Paul are a mess. Becca and Vernon are a mess. But that's also what makes the show fantastically funny. Everyone realizes that it may be time to start growing up in life. And yet, they have no clue how to do that. They know what the societal conventions are. Becca and Lindsay jump to having a baby as a sign of maturity. It's really not. They are doing it for other reasons. Not because they would cherish the creation of new life. Vernon is a college frat boy mess who all his friends just can't help but shake their heads at. He wants people to drink his "trash juice," visit his man cave and later he gets into a fist fight with Jimmy. He's not ready emotionally for a child. And yet, it's a circumstance that the two of them are now stuck in.

More importantly though, every single person wants to use this big event to make it all about them. Becca wants to control when and if people can leave. Lindsay can't let her sister steal her moment away from her after she literally just had the same idea. These people are trying to advance in life and yet they are so self-involved.

Once again, that makes Jimmy and Gretchen look like the best functioning relationship on the show because they are brutally honest in their expectations. They are emotionally open with one another that none of the other couples can compete with. Sure, it makes the pain even more apparent. But that's also exactly what they are signing up for. They want the pain that will come afterwards just to have all the good times while together. They both believe this will end tragically. But they are now fully committed to making it work even though that terrifies both of them so much. They are both willing to give the relationship another chance. Then, additional circumstances force all four characters into living at Jimmy's place. That could make for a hilarious season two with all of them stepping on each other's personal spaces. But that's for discussion later. Right now, it's the next big step in Jimmy and Gretchen's relationship. One that they weren't comfortable in making in this moment of time but one that they are forced into suddenly. It's a wonderful conclusion to the season. It promises both happiness and tragedy. And that's a feeling I've just come to love from this show. Bravo.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Fists and Feet and Stuff" was written by Stephen Falk and directed by Matt Shakman.
  • Kether Donohue was excellent in this finale but I also just wanna point out that she has a very lovely singing voice.
  • Although Edgar's sudden crush on Lindsay is somewhat awkwardly and suddenly introduced.
  • I don't think we needed the brief cutaway to the bookstore lady noticing that her cat is back. It showcases a change in Jimmy and Gretchen for sure. It was just a little unnecessary.
  • Loved that opening montage of everyone trying to do something better and different and just utterly failing at it.
  • Lindsay: "Are we feminists? Is this feminism?
  • Paul: "Lindsay, I wanna begin the process of consciously uncoupling with you. I wanna divorce."
  • Gretchen: "Oh shit, we're gonna do this."
  • So the ratings haven't been the best for You're the Worst. However, they haven't been screaming cancellation either. It would be one of the few shows that would piss me off if FX opted not to continue. And yet, it could also easily transition to FXX if the FX people like the show but don't love the numbers it does on the main channel. There are possibilities here - and I'm hoping one will win out and we get more episodes.