Stephen Falk’s You’re The Worst has been one of the best romantic comedies ever made for television, if only because it’s cast of fucked up characters mostly do the exact opposite to what you find in your standard bland rom-com. Selfish, egotistical, and often with a lack of empathy or understanding for others, British author Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) have treated each other terribly, yet it’s always been captivating tv as it’s explored their lives and struggles with depression and seen them very slightly grow as people. Supporting characters Lindsey (Kether Donohue) and Edgar (Desmin Borges) have just been as fascinating as they’ve gone from one screwed up relationship to another without realising how good they’d be together.
In it’s study of why damaged people act in such ways it’s been incredibly insightful and it’s easily one of the smartest shows on television, and one of the best acted too. But now it’s coming to an end with this fifth and final season, and we’ll finally find out if Jimmy and Gretchen will get together or split for good, whether they’ll find happiness or devastation. Or even possibly a mix of both. It’d be nice if Edgar and Lindsey finally stopped toying with the affections of others and coupled up too, but maybe that’s asking for a little bit too much from the series which is best known for it’s caustic wit and lack of pat endings.
The first episode of season five is quite an unusual start for the series given that for the first half it doesn’t feature any of the regular cast and revolves around a romance between video store clerk Jake (Morgan Krantz) and Gemma (Caitlin McGee), the one customer who finds his choice of cult films interesting. Set in the 90s it plays up to various tropes (the internet being slow and clunky, references to Space Jam, Crystal Pepsi and Princess Diana dying) but after a dodgy VR sequence it becomes apparent that not everything is it seems, and shortly afterwards we find out that it’s Jimmy and Gretchen telling a fake story about how they got together to two wedding planners just so they can get free alcohol.
After this Jimmy and Gretchen replace the two leads but their story is still outlandish and becomes increasingly so as the couple meet again on New Years Eve in 1999 but fail to get together, and then in 2005 at a film festival which comes complete with a very funny cameo appearance from Princess Diana who it turns out was alive all along. Once they’re finished telling the story they decline to show any interest in hiring the wedding planners and leave with the champagne, which makes Gretchen suddenly insecure as she wonders why they always tell fake stories instead of their own, but Jimmy reassures her in a scene which suggests that he’s finally ready to commit to her and for once won’t be running off the moment things become serious.
Considering how bleak the show has been at times this was a surprisingly daft episode, with the fake story Jimmy and Gretchen take turns in telling becoming increasingly silly and reality breaking, but the coda at the end suggests that both characters are finally in a place where they can find happiness and that Jimmy finally has matured. But this is You’re The Worst and we’ve still got the rest of the season to get through so I’m not counting my chickens just yet that Jimmy won’t put Gretchen through more shit. I’d like to hope that he doesn’t though, despite how toxic these characters can sometimes be after everything they’ve been through it would be pleasing to see them have some kind of a vaguely happy ending.