Thursday, September 4, 2014

REVIEW: 'You're the Worst' - Jimmy Has Some Brutal Honesty for Gretchen's Parents in 'Finish Your Milk'

FX's You're the Worst - Episode 1.08 "Finish Your Milk"

Jimmy meets Gretchen's parents.

Like I previously stated, it surprised me how genuinely great You're the Worst got over the course of this season. I disliked the first two episodes and gradually I've turned around on the show - though not to the extent that some people love it. And yet, "Finish Your Milk" is the first episode I unapologetically loved of You're the Worst. The basic premise of the show is can a relationship work between two people who don't believe in the concept and go in with the perception that it's destined to fail? Neither Jimmy nor Gretchen wanted a relationship. And yet, they have gotten so close over the past seven weeks. They made it official boyfriend/girlfriend and promised not to sleep with anyone else. Real human emotions freak both of them out but they were there for each other in the last episode. And now, the destruction of the relationship has finally occurred. Gretchen spots a ring in Jimmy's boxer drawer and she runs out of there as quickly as Jimmy lets her. For a relationship that neither wanted to work long-term, it's completely devastating watching it completely self-destruct.

The pinnacle of this split is Gretchen's parents coming to town to visit. Gretchen is incredibly self-conscience and an independent spirit. But when she's around her parents, she's a completely different person. She is never allowed to truly be her real self. Jimmy values honesty and exposes their daughter in front of them in a really funny way. And yet, that is completely Jimmy doing so because it's what he wants to do. Gretchen never asked him to do so and is rightfully very mad at him for doing so. They've been getting along so well lately. But this one event is a betrayal of sorts to her. Her finding the ring is just the cherry on top that pushes her out the door. I fully expect their relationship to continue - there's two more episodes this season. But this latest twist is a real challenge to the core foundation of the series. And I applaud the show for undertaking said challenge.

I even really enjoyed the two subplots centered around Edgar and Lindsay. The whole episode just had this really nice ebb and flow to it. So even though it had about three stories happening at the same time, they bounced off of and connected to each other very nicely. Lindsay has been perpetually unhappy with her marriage. And yet, when she actually makes the effort to be with her husband who is always happy, she actually kinda enjoys it. It makes the pain of telling him she cheated even more unpleasant. She delays it though because she'll always be there for Gretchen before she'll be there for her own husband. And that's something she'll have to address sooner rather than later.

Similarly, I've never really been on board with the show and the character's various treatment of Edgar. He has some real issues but everyone usually just blows it off in order to make a joke instead of digging deep into his psyche. I'm not saying that never happens. It does. Just in small doses. "Finish Your Milk" even has fun between Jimmy and the veterans affairs guy manipulating Edgar so he never gets his drugs. And yet, it all boils down to a point where Jimmy and Edgar are honestly the best of friends. It's a moment that is incredibly earned and meaningful. Jimmy is down and Edgar is there for him. But more importantly, Jimmy is sincere with Edgar and his issues. That was one of the greatest things this episode could have done.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Finish Your Milk" was written by Eva Anderson and directed by Matt Shakman.
  • Gretchen's fake parents arguing over which channel this pretend bit would air on was pretty great.
  • I really love the new running gag of Jimmy going undercover simply by wearing a comedically oversized mustache.
  • A movie version of Jimmy's book starring Zach Braff and Kerry Washington would be very interesting. Now, I kinda wanna see it.
  • Lastly, that split screen during the big breakup was genius! It perfectly fit into the style of the show while offering us both characters reactions to what was happening.