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The Final Season of 'You're the Worst' is One of the Best
January 9, 2019  | By David Hinckley

You’re The Worst has been a wonderful show, but it’s also been full of cautionary tales and if you’re planning to watch the first episode of its final season, here’s one more.

Unless you’ve followed the show all along, or have speed-binged the first four seasons, what you see will make little or no sense.

The fifth and last season of You’re the Worst premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on FXX, picking up the saga of a couple that on the surface might be the most dysfunctional on television and yet deep down inside might ultimately prove shockingly traditional.

Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) met as random guests at a wedding; two selfish, heedless hedonists proudly unconcerned about any needs except their own.

That made it a no-brainer for them to hook up, figuring it was one more meaningless one-night stand in a life full of meaningless one-night stands.

Because they were the anchors of a TV show, though, we sensed something would keep drawing them together, and sure enough, over the next couple of seasons they spent more and more time together.

Ordinarily, by TV tradition, this would mean they’d eventually live happier ever after. Given the premise of this show and the erratic nature of these characters, however, in this case that’s never been a given, and as we open the fifth season it still isn’t. Or doesn’t seem to be.

Actually, it’s hard to tell. Wednesday’s episode is framed as a movie that sort of tells their story, and while it teases the possibility of a happy ending, we’re not seeing the whole movie yet. Many episodes remain, which provides plenty of time for unpredictable people to go who knows where. 

A big part of the appeal of You’re the Worst, over the years, has been the slow-burn way the show has peeled back the layers of Gretchen and Jimmy.

Jimmy started as a neurotic aspiring writer. Gretchen started as a neurotic employed publicist who was interested in the arts, but seemed reluctant to dip her own hand in.

As time passed, they both gradually moved toward different paths, occasionally even becoming a little more sensitive and sympathetic in the process.

Perhaps the boldest move was outing Gretchen’s psychological disorder. After we’d seen her reckless and narcissistic behavior long enough to think maybe she was just thoughtless, we saw that she was in fact a victim of clinical depression.

Cash’s portrayal of that condition was hardly what anyone would expect in a comedy, and it helped solidify the show as a strange and deftly executed hybrid, where some of the best laughs came from some of the worst situations.

It’s not a big spoiler to say Gretchen and Jimmy both seem in a happier mood as we head toward the final laps, and it’s no spoiler at all to say we don’t know where the race will wind up.

If you haven’t watched the show until now, it’s worth a binge. Without it, you’ll start the final season with a giant question mark over your head. With it, you’ll get one of TV’s best rides.

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