Thursday, September 11, 2014

REVIEW: 'You're the Worst' - Jimmy and Gretchen See If They Can Grow Up in 'Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction'

FX's You're the Worst - Episode 1.09 "Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction"

An episode spanning the course of nearly three years, we see the events that lead up to Gretchen and Jimmy meeting.

"Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction" is yet another strong episode of You're the Worst. There are many great things happening in this episode. And yet, the thing that needs to be applauded the most is the structure of creator Stephen Falk's script. It bounces around in time but there's a very important point. It showcases the elongation of these characters' journeys while still strongly informing on everything that has happened so far this season. Becca's wedding is revisited and that occurred at the start of the season when I wasn't so on board with the show. And yet, it returns to that locale to better inform us of crucial parts of these characters that may not have been important in the previous eight episodes but greatly enhance our understanding of them. It gives off the understanding that Falk has known all along how the arc of this season will go. Because it sticks the landing, I'm incredibly proud for the show to be able to play this card and make my love for it even stronger.

For better and worse, Jimmy and Gretchen slowly became better versions of themselves while they were dating. They made the other believe in the concept for the first time in their respective lives while also bringing them much closer to their respective best friends. Their breakup in last week's episode was so brutal because it was Gretchen backpedalling into her former state of mind out of fear. And now, they are not only single but alone. They revert into the exact same people they were before they met each other at the wedding. And yet, that is tragic regression that neither of them are better for. In fact, it only makes their lives worse. Jimmy is back to alienating Edgar and Gretchen is toying with Lindsay's emotions.

And yet, the brilliance comes as Gretchen has a huge moment of self-realization. She simply can't continue to act in the same way that she has always had. The people around her are growing up and that scares her because she doesn't want to abandon the ways of her youth. But looking around her life, it is so depressing. She has no major connections to the city but unlike previously she doesn't exactly what to leave. She's no longer up to the standards of Sam because he somehow is growing up while she is staying the same. His music is maturing alongside him and she's too busy taking drugs. Her apartment is a mess and it's unsettling. It's not played as comedic like the first time Jimmy saw the place. Now, it's just sad. Going out and buying a food processor is not going to solve all of her problems. And yet, it's symbolic of her growing up - something months prior she simply didn't understand. She recognizes she needs to change her ways and that is such an uplifting way to leave the character during the penultimate episode of the season.

Jimmy doesn't quite get as strong a moment of clarity as Gretchen. And yet, he has still matured in many ways too. He was confident and self-centered at Becca's wedding knowingly ruining her big day by saying they haven't slept together for the last time. That just makes his attempts to be with a few weeks ago have even more weight to them. And now, she shows up at his door and he refuses. He just casually plays it off simply because he doesn't want to be trapped by his kryptonite again. He wants his loneliness to fuel into writing another book. But when he sits down to put the words down on paper, they aren't there. He's different now. And yet, he's just as aimless.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction" was written by Stephen Falk and directed by Matt Shakman.
  • Jimmy having to write down his heckles is yet another wonderful recurring joke.
  • Edgar was crazy when he was homeless. And yet, it was really funny to see him like that as well as sitting at the kids table trying to make small talk.
  • Even though she's still married, Lindsay feels just as alone as the other three leads. She's high but she's committed to just leaving and cheating on him. That relationship needs fixing. I'm just not sure if it can.
  • Again, I could have done without the cut to the kid moving in across the street.