You're the Worst might not be on your radar. But it should be. The twisted romantic comedy's second season debuts Wednesday night on FXX — moving over from sister network FX — and is really the only show of its kind on the air right now. Starring Aya Cash as romance-averse music publicist Gretchen and Chris Geere as her bitter Brit-novelist love interest, Jimmy, it's smart, entertaining, and yes, even heartfelt, even though Gretchen and Jimmy would hate to admit it. Here are six reasons you need to be watching:
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 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, although the sneak peek I've gotten at season two promises more from stellar, wildly talented supporting cast members like Kether Donohue (Lindsay) and Desmin Borges (Edgar). Still, my favorite character on the series, by far, is Gretchen's problem client, rapper Sam Dresden, who's 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.
4. It's (finally!) the TV romantic comedy that millennials deserve.
Relationship comedies about — and geared toward — millennials often ignore reality in favor of hyped-up camp (see Happy Endings, which I 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 different and 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, Cash 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, 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, which was the lead-in show to You're the Worst last season, 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 repellent 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 first 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*tbags 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 Wednesday nights at 10:30 p.m. on FXX.