Surprised by the first season of You’re the Worst, in which two unpleasant people – but still somehow, sometimes, likable in their vulnerability – fall in love, I looked forward to the second season. It began a few weeks ago, and at first, I was a bit disappointed. There were episodes that seemed to try too hard, in which things were neither funny nor thoughtful. The only thread that seemed to be woven, subtly, through the season was Gretchen’s increasingly irregular behavior. This is revealed to be a downward spiral into clinical depression, and this is where the story came together once again. Oddly, the seemingly disconnected nature of the story to the point that Gretchen’s behavior was explained all led somewhere – but so subtly.
The most recent week’s episode, in which Gretchen starts stalking a couple that looks perfect and idyllic to her from the outside, and insinuates herself into their life, only to discover that she’d bought into an illusion, was sublime. Gretchen is almost manic in her shift from elation at witnessing this couple and connecting with them (she seems to find a naive hope in what she perceives as their happiness) to being visibly crestfallen when the man in the couple (played by an always amazing Justin Kirk) starts confessing – spewing, even – his discontent. The look on Gretchen’s face, expressing this dawning and deepening disappointment, is bewitching in its reality and relatability. As Gretchen and Jimmy leave, Jimmy totally oblivious, rambling in his careless and carefree way, he does not even notice as Gretchen silently falls apart.
It was unbelievably touching in the sense that… well, I think we’ve all been there if we’ve ever found ourselves depressed on any level. And as much as I don’t like Gretchen most of the time, she made me feel for her.