Wednesday, January 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'You're the Worst' - A Love Story Marks a Surprising Connection to Jimmy and Gretchen in 'The Intransigence of Love'

FXX's You're the Worst - Episode 5.01 "The Intransigence of Love"

Jimmy and Gretchen tell the story of their love to a prospective wedding planner.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. Premieres and finales may feature longer reviews. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the final season premiere of FXX's You're the Worst.

"The Intransigence of Love" was written by Stephen Falk and directed by Stephen Falk

This is such an unusual and unexpected opening for the final season of You're the Worst. Thirteen minutes go by before any of the familiar character appears. That could potentially be alienating to the audience who is wondering if they are watching the right show at the right time. But this truly is the conceit for the premiere. Once the premise reveals itself, it works in a spectacular way as well. Before that reveal, the audience is left guessing as to how any of this connects to the story of Jimmy, Gretchen, Edgar and Lindsay. This premiere is essentially telling the love story of Jake and Gemma. In the late 1990s, he's the guy at the local video store who has a very specific and refined taste that no one appreciates. She is the first person to come into the store and actually buy something from his section. That sparks a connection of appreciation for cinema even though they mock the idea that they are both just copying what a French critic says is the best. Throughout all of this, the audience is more than likely guessing how this will be important to the overall narrative of the series. The timeline doesn't seem to line up for anything that could potentially hint at the lives that any of the main characters had before their journey together began. In fact, it's actually Jimmy and Gretchen having fun at the expense of wedding planners by telling their love story in such an absurd and over-the-top way. There were hints leading up to that reveal that the audience shouldn't trust what was happening in regards to it being real. That became clear the moment that Jake and his best friend Ziggy went into cyber space in order to steal an exclusive copy of the film "The Intransigence of Love" from the French film critic. Acquiring that film will ensure that Gemma will explore this relationship further. Of course, it's ultimately nothing more than one sexual encounter and a missed opportunity. They never sit down and watch the film together. That's tragic. In fact, all of this presents as a situation where the timing just isn't right for the two of them to be a couple. They keep yearning for each other. It's a parallel journey to Jimmy and Gretchen as well. The show even has fun with that idea by putting Chris Geere and Aya Cash into these situations too. They eventually take over the roles of Jake and Gemma. It's with that that things start happening much more quickly. Before then, it was a fundamentally tragic love story of two people who wanted to be together but could never make it work because of prior commitments. As soon as Jimmy and Gretchen are revealed to be narrating all of this, the show just has as much fun as possible by going to some extreme places. It suggests that Gemma went on to becoming a brilliant filmmaker already being granted a lifetime achievement award while Jake has become a passionate and eloquent critic in his own right. They reunite in the most magical and sweeping of circumstances. This is the version of the romantic comedy that is largely told to audiences. It's something that Jimmy and Gretchen know their relationship isn't. Theirs has been very messy and complicated. It's still profoundly beautiful though. And that's what makes this premiere such a success. It takes this bizarre premise and has it resonate with the central coupling. It may actually make the audience believe in their rushing to the altar. Sure, it will be fascinating to see if Jimmy and Gretchen ultimately get married. Right now at least, they seem on the same page by making fun of this profession that deals entirely with weddings.