There’s a quote that’s ubiquitous in high schoolers’ Facebook profiles that goes, “A good friend will come and bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, ‘Damn... that was fun!’” When that quote stops being funny or inspirational and starts sounding like an immature definition of friendship (and a pretty crappy friendship to have), congratulations! You’ve reached adulthood. And, on FX’s new comedy, You’re the Worst, Gretchen Cutler is that friend who’s sitting next to you in jail. She’s also the reason you’re there, and you’re both well past the age when that quote is more aspirational than unfortunate.
Calling You’re the Worst a sitcom is a bold gambit. Not that overt promises of devilishly bad characters haven’t been floated in titles before — Men Behaving Badly and Bad Teacher immediately spring to mind, as does this fall’s Bad Judge. But, those shows aired on network television. By the end of each episode, the characters had to learn a lesson and see the error of their ways. Over time, their heralded badness morphed into the kind of generic blandness that only pearl-clutching church ladies would find contemptible, a formulaic snoozefest erring on the side of likeable — that all-consuming concept whose shackles network television just can’t figure out how to shake.