You’re the Worst Ventures into Clinical Depression

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This article contains spoilers!

I’m a big fan of You’re the Worst, a comedic FX television series centered around the relationship of two incredibly cynical, pessimistic people who don’t believe in love or monogamy. In fact, one of the first articles I ever wrote for this site was “To Watch or Not: You’re the Worst”. (A month may not be a long time ago but it sure feels like it.)

After being a bit behind, I finally got to watch the latest episode of You’re the Worst and was shockingly surprised by its overall tone and subject matter.

A Little Back Story

Since the beginning of season two, Gretchen, the female lead played by Aya Cash, has been sneaking out at night much to the chagrin of Jimmy, the male lead played by Chris Geere. After assuming the worst – that she was cheating on him – and going through all sorts of hijinks to discover the truth, Jimmy finally tails her during a midnight rendezvous to find Gretchen parked out in the middle of nowhere crying her eyes out. She reassures Jimmy her crying has nothing to do with him and that their relationship is fine, in response to which he dons a satisfied smile and leaves her to sob in peace.

That’s where the episode prior to the most recent left off. Why was Gretchen crying alone in her car at 2am? We don’t know because Jimmy never asks.

A Realistic Modern Relationship

From Jimmy’s tirades on subjects as trite as the neighbors’ kid asking if he wants to play to Gretchen’s clients named Honey Nutz and Shitstain, the show certainly doesn’t lack in the outlandish. However, despite the larger-than-life characters and antics, the series does a fantastic job presenting one of the most realistic example of a modern adult relationship.

It’s easy to write off Jimmy’s reaction to finding Gretchen crying in her car as just another example of his selfish, asshole nature. While the big smile is a bit much, his ultimate decision to leave her alone and not press the issue is rather mature. She’s clearly upset and in a very emotional state, pushing the subject right then and there would likely only serve to make the situation worse. If she wanted to tell him what was wrong, she’d tell him. Clearly she doesn’t want to, so she’ll either work things out herself or talk to him when she feels more comfortable doing so.

Even the smile is justifiable. The guy thought his girlfriend was cheating on him and found out she wasn’t. Frankly I’m surprised he didn’t jump for joy, and it’s not like she could see his facial reaction at the time either.

Why Was Gretchen Crying?

Now we come to the latest episode. With everyone asking the obvious question it only made sense for the showrunners to answer it. Not only did they tell us why she was crying, they meaningfully developed the entire cast of primary characters while masterfully setting up the next few episodes – and they did it all in a nice little bottle episode.

Gretchen has clinical depression. Not the “oh I’m so depressed” kind, actual clinical depression. We know she’s battled with it for long bouts of time after her best friend asks her if it’s back before warning her to tell Jimmy.

Meanwhile, Jimmy finds out a mouse is loose in his house and makes it his top priority to rid his abode of infestation. This ultimately leads to an effort in futility as Jimmy sees the mouse he supposedly caught scurry into its hole after a perfectly timed reveal by Gretchen that ends with her asking Jimmy to be okay with “the fact that you can’t fix me”. Being the control freak that he is, just before the mouse makes its grand reappearance, Jimmy of course says, “Can’t I though?”

Moving Forward

Jimmy’s going to try to “fix” Gretchen. Everything about his character screams he won’t be able to avoid doing so, which will undoubtedly lead to an intense conflict between the show’s main characters.

For a show that thrives just outside reality, this is an incredibly realistic storyline to follow and one that hasn’t been maturely touched upon by any form of media to date.
It shows a very realistic portrayal of clinical depression and addresses the common issue of friends and loved ones trying to “fix” or cheer up those with such a serious mental illness. (How do I know this? I may or may not be three classes away from a degree in psychology and studied the topic to great extent.)

The latest episode wasn’t full of a bunch of laugh-out-loud moments but it was incredibly compelling, which I think every comedy needs in order to ensure its longevity. It keeps the audience tuning in, endearing them to the characters and the plot because that’s what’s ultimately going to keep them coming back.

You’re the Worst took one small step for the series and one giant leap for television in general. I’m looking forward to what happens next and highly recommend the series to anyone not already watching.

You’re the Worst airs Wednesdays at 10:30pm ET/PT on FXX. The entire first season and last six episodes of season two are currently available for streaming on Hulu.