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The first season of You're the Worst is a perfect season of television. I know this because I did the unthinkable in this age of streaming subscriptions and on-demand cable: I bought it. I bought every single episode. I have, in turn, watched the entirety of the season probably five (six? seven?) times. This is how I can definitively proclaim that it is perfect. I'd go so far as to say that YTW is the best comedy on TV right now.
You're the Worst is a show about being sort of young and sort of terrible and sort of in love in Los Angeles. It follows Gretchen and Jimmy, self-destructive would-be soul mates who fall for one another after a post-wedding one-night stand that is equal parts sexy and sweet and funny and real. Last year, TV networks decided to hedge their bets on the half-hour rom-com (see: Selfie, Manhattan Love Story, A to Z, Marry Me), and FX's You're the Worst was the only new show that actually delivered (not to mention, got renewed). It was the most under-the-radar of its class and also the most out-of-the-box.
Though there is plenty of chemistry between Gretchen and Jimmy (played by the exceedingly charming Aya Cash and Chris Geere), the show doesn't rely on it to carry the whole series. Instead, creator Stephen Falk fills out the cast with secondary characters so fully realized they hardly read as secondary. There's Gretchen's best friend Lindsay, an erstwhile party girl coming to terms with her boring marriage to a nice guy, and Jimmy's roommate Edgar, a formerly homeless Iraq war veteran. There's awful Becca, sister to Lindsay, ex-girlfriend to Jimmy, and lynchpin of the whole motley crew; it's at her wedding to the even more awful Vernon where our protagonists first meet.
These are not sidekicks or cartoons (though, fun fact: Kether Donahue, who plays Lindsay, got her start as an anime voice actor), these are people you know. In fact, when my friends and I started tweeting about just how much we loved the show last fall, the cast actually jumped in our Twitter canoe. We invited them to a birthday party in Silver Lake — where Jimmy resides, naturally — because what else would we do.
The genius of You're the Worst lies in its realism, from its portrayal of LA to the way its characters interact. Plus, it's darkly funny, without being actually dark. There's incisive commentary on gentrification (as per Edgar, "Fun hipster shit is just poor Latino shit from 10 years ago"), PTSD (again Edgar, "The nightmares, and the crying, and how I want to do heroin all the time"), race (courtesy of the delightful Odd Future-esque rap group that Gretchen represents), and sexuality (rapper Sam is refreshingly fluid).
Oh, and the music. The soundtrack is perfect. Of course it is. Grantland's Andy Greenwald made a playlist for it, which I send to various friends via Gchat at least once a week. There is nothing about this show that's not the best.
And now you really have no excuse not to watch it because as of today, all 10 episodes of the first season are finally available to stream on Hulu. You don't even have to buy it like I did (though you should, so you can watch it in perpetuity). Go on, get all caught up by the time season two premieres on FXX September 9th — you might even have time to enjoy it five (or six or seven) times before then.