These days it's impossible to throw a rock without hitting a series depicting — or attempting to depict — the brutally honest and complicated nature of modern relationships (bonus points if you hit one set in L.A.). But of all the shows competing for viewers' short attention spans, FXX's caustic comedy You're the Worst is not only the most successful in capturing the familiar feeling of falling in love with someone without losing one's sense of self, it's also the most emotionally engaging on a consistent basis.
Fiercely funny and surprisingly moving, the Stephen Falk-created comedy regularly covers the entire spectrum of human emotion, and it's known as much for its on-point portrayal of self-involved and emotionally stunted 20-somethings as it is for its extended trips to explore real issues, like one character's clinical depression and another's PTSD.
Although it's been frequently championed by critics, the general public has yet to jump on You're the Worst's bandwagon, but there's still time! The series returns for its third season Wednesday, Aug. 31, and the first two seasons are currently available on Hulu.
In order to raise awareness for this very important cause, we've curated a beginner's Guide to You're the Worst. Here's everything you need to know about the show before jumping in, including a cheat sheet to the show's best and most important episodes.
Gretchen Cutler (Aya Cash): A lazy and irresponsible music publicist who's pretty terrible at her job, Gretchen comes from a privileged upbringing, but you'd never know it. Not because she hides it from her friends (though she definitely does) but because she is often rude and selfish, as well as confrontational. To say she has commitment issues would be putting it lightly, however, she has found a similarly screwed-up kindred spirit in Jimmy.
Jimmy Shive-Overly (Chris Geere): A narcissistic Brit living in Los Angeles, Jimmy is an author with one moderately successful book to his name (and another potentially coming in Season 3). He's blissfully unaware of everyone and everything around him and has little regard for most other people's thoughts and feelings because he genuinely doesn't care. He embarks on a relationship with Gretchen without fully understanding his own feelings for her.
Lindsay Jillian (Kether Donohue): Gretchen's best friend, Lindsay is a party girl-turned-worst housewife ever, and not just because she cheats on her husband. The opposite of self-sufficient, she's relied on her family and wealthy husband Paul (Allan McLeod) to take care of her and do everything for her. Her idea of love amounts to "hey, I love you, smooch smooch, now go make me some Bagel Bites," which is definitely one of the reasons Paul eventually tries to leave her.
Edgar Quintero (Desmin Borges): The lone good person in a band of self-obsessed misfits, Edgar is an Iraq War veteran plagued by PTSD who's trying to adapt to life back home. He lives with Jimmy and Gretchen, and is probably Jimmy's best friend, though Jimmy would never admit it. A skilled cook, Edgar has recently found pleasure in improv and has started dating his improv instructor, Dorothy (Collette Wolfe).
Becca Barbara (Janet Varney): Lindsay's older sister and Jimmy's ex-girlfriend, Becca is married to the immature Vernon (Todd Robert Anderson), an orthopedic surgeon obsessed with trying to appear cool enough to be friends with Jimmy. Becca and Vernon are expecting a baby.
Sam Dresden (Brandon Mychal Smith): A rapper known for the popular song "New Phone, Who Dis?", Sam is Gretchen's main (only?) client who keeps her on her toes and eventually engages in a fake-turned-real feud with his friends and fellow members of his rap trio, affectionately known as Sh*tstain (Darrell Britt-Gibson) and Honeynutz (Allen Maldonado).
EPISODES TO WATCH
Though we highly recommend binge watching both seasons in their entirety, if that's not possible, we've also created a cheat sheet of must-watch episodes for you.
Season 1: "Pilot," "Keys Open Doors," "What Normal People Do," "Sunday Funday," "Finish Your Milk," "Constant Horror and Bone-Deep Dissatisfaction," "Fists and Feet and Stuff"
Season 2: "The Sweater People," "All About That Paper," "We Can Do Better Than This," "Side Bitch," "There Is Not Currently a Problem," "Spooky Sunday Funday," "A Right Proper Story," "A Rapidly Mutating Virus," "Other Things You Could Be Doing," and "The Heart Is a Dumb Dumb."
You're the Worst has also created its own lexicon and references. Here's a quick glossary to keep you in the loop.
Sunday Funday: Relatively self-explanatory and a fairly prominent event in the real world, Sunday Funday is the best day of the week. The goal is to get drunk and have as much fun as possible with your best friends before returning to the awful world of the work week. It even has its own theme song!
Sweater People: The worst people imaginable by Gretchen and Lindsay standards, sweater people are boring and complacent in their boringness.
Trash Juice: Vernon's vodka-based party concoction that stains a drinker's mouth red is literally made in a trash can and may or may not taste like garbage. Thankfully, we now know the recipe, and according to the show, it will get you pretty wasted. We've yet to test it out, though.
Breakfast Nachos: Exactly what you think it is. And it's delicious.
"New Phone, Who Dis?": Sam's hot new single dissing Sh*tstain and Honeynutz, notable for its backing vocals provided by Lindsay.
NCIS: LA: The greatest TV show in You're the Worst's universe, apparently.
Congratulations, You're Dying: Jimmy's first and only book, which was remaindered.
Buckle Your Shoes: Jimmy's favorite show, this is a fictional British comedy about "an assistant deacon who sleeps with the constable's daughter and is forced to hide out as a lady shoe salesman" because that makes a lot of sense.
You're the Worst returns for Season 3 Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 10/9c on FXX.