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FX's You're The Worst plays much better than its title


Two cynics find each other engaging in You’re The Worst. FX photo

Premiering: Thursday, July 17th at 9:30 p.m. (central) on FX
Starring: Chris Geere, Aya Cash, Desmin Borges, Kether Donohue
Produced by: Stephen Falk

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There are worse titles. To name just a few: We Can’t Wait to Be Canceled. Unthinkably Bad. Honk If You Find This Show Funny.

Still, FX’s You’re The Worst invites sucker punches from those who find it to be just that. Only a few jabs are necessary, though. This “dark twist on the romantic comedy genre” is far preferable to Married, which will be its “miserably in love” running mate on Thursday nights. The two principals in You’re The Worst at least are vigorously and often amusingly cynical. And over the course of the first two episodes sent for review, it even becomes possible to empathize with them -- if only just a little.

Chris Geere plays Jimmy Shive-Overly, a Brit with a very bad disposition. He’s first seen at a wedding reception, pointedly insulting the bride and groom. “Enjoy your sham of a marriage,” he says while getting tossed.

Gretchen Cutler (Aya Cash) also is leaving the reception -- but under her own power. She thinks she’s stolen a food processor from among the wrapped wedding gifts. But Jimmy tells her it’s just a blender. So she tosses it in disgust before they wind up in bed for what he hopes and expects will be another of his one-night stands. After all, he has sleep apnea and must wear an oxygen mask.

The sex talk can be blunt in You’re The Worst. But not as blunt as Gretchen is with Jimmy after he later treats her like garbage. Even he’s a bit aghast after she dresses him down. So they later agree to meet again.

“If We both know that it can’t work, then there’s no harm. Right?” she asks.

“Right,” he agrees.

Episode 2 begins back in his bed, with Gretchen telling Jimmy, “You’re losing your hair.” This of course sets him off, but not enough to end matters. In fact, Jimmy is more offended by his roommate Edgar’s (Desmin Borges) favorable view of the character Cameron Frye in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Meanwhile, Gretchen’s best pal, Lindsay (Kether Donohue), is warning her, “Be careful, Gretch. Jimmy is a soul vampire.”

He’s also the author of “Congratulations, You’re Dying,” which lately has yielded a royalty check of $17.43. This leads to an attempt to place it among the “Staff Picks” at a Los Angeles book store.

Jimmy and Gretchen also have their first official date in Episode 2. It’s at a pricey, pretentious restaurant called Insouciance, where he’s enraged by their placement at a privacy-invading “communal table.”

You’re The Worst is perfectly willing to let its sparks fly while also managing to warm viewers to the overall premise of two flammable, relationship-phobic humans finding each other in fits and spurts. For now it seems to be worth making a commitment to this fairly unique series while Jimmy and Gretchen continue to parry and thrust.


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