You're the Worst on FX is doing markedly worse than its companion show, Married, in the ratings. But it shouldn't be. Even though Married has gotten more press and boasts a more familiar, pedigreed cast — Oscar winner Nat Faxon, Judy Greer, and even Paul Reiser — You're the Worst is the better series. Starring Aya Cash as romance-averse music publicist Gretchen and Chris Geere as her bitter Brit-novelist love interest, it's really the only show of its kind on the air right now. Here are six reasons you need to start watching (besides the fact that I just really want it to get picked up for a second season):
6. It's from the same guy behind Weeds and Orange Is the New Black.
Stephen Falk, who is co-executive-producer on OITNB and previously held down the same job on Weeds, is also at the helm of this FX series. So if you expect the same acerbic wit, outlandish situations, and flawed-but-somehow-appealing characters he's had such success in dreaming up and writing for in the past, You're the Worst won't let you down.
5. Brandon Smith is a total breakout star.
The two leads of You're the Worst are so well written that the show gets away with focusing most of its action on them, but its supporting cast more than holds its own. My favorite character on the series, by far, is Gretchen's problem client, rapper Sam Dresden (played by former Disney child star Brandon Smith). His weird antics land somewhere between Tyler the Creator and Justin Bieber, and his unhinged one-liners have become the thing I most look forward to each week. In fact, I was really sad that he didn't pop up in the latest episode. Bring back Sam!
4. It's (finally!) the TV romantic comedy millennials deserve.
Relationship comedies about — and geared toward — millennials often ignore reality in favor of hyped-up camp (see Happy Endings, which we actually loved) or totally miss the mark with condescending, frankly gross portrayals of what some writers room, almost certainly led by middle-aged men, thinks accurately represents "hookup culture" (see Mixology). You're the Worst is refreshingly relatable in its portrayal of our generation's relationships, fears, and desires, all filtered through that heightened-reality lens that makes our own experiences more entertaining to watch. Yeah, we'd be exhausted if we had to keep up the pace of the witty banter Gretchen and Jimmy have perfected, but at least they're talking about the same stuff we are.
3. Aya Cash will remind you of your coolest friend.
As Gretchen, Aya will make you want to hang out with her. She's that cute, fun, and supportive friend with the cool job who still manages to be a kind of endearing disaster. Her apartment looks like something out of an episode of Hoarders, and she shows up to work hungover more often than she probably should, but when Gretchen's best friend or client really needs her, she's there — no questions asked.
2. . . . And Chris Geere is reminiscent of Hugh Grant at his peak.
With his sputtering, sarcastic delivery and floppy hair, Chris Geere is poised to be the next Brit rom-com staple. As the series goes on, Jimmy becomes softer and more nuanced, without sacrificing the barbed, morose rants about life that made him so weirdly appealing in the first place. Plus, he looks pretty good without a shirt on.
1. It's hilariously cynical . . . but secretly optimistic.
Married is kind of depressing. There's no way around it. Though it's clear there's real love and affection between its lead characters, Lina (Judy Greer) and Russ (Nat Faxon), their essentially sexless marriage, their endless financial problems, and the various misguided assholes who populate their world are downright repellant to watch at times. On the surface, You're the Worst seems like it would be the more jaded show, but that's just a trick. As the season goes on, Jimmy and Gretchen reveal more of themselves underneath their standoffish, self-centered personas. So while some critics dismissed the show out of hand as "the story of two awful sh*tb*gs who kind of fall in love," I'd respectfully disagree. As a viewer, I find myself rooting for Gretchen and Jimmy just as often as I find myself wishing that Lina and Russ on Married would call it quits and put us all out of our misery.
You're the Worst airs Thursday nights at 10:30 on FX.