Friday, November 13, 2015

You're the Worst 2x10 "A Right Proper Story" (The Actual Worst) [Contributor: Rae Nudson]

"A Right Proper Story"
Original Airdate: November 11, 2015

Well, the show can end now. We’ve found out who’s the worst: it’s Jimmy’s family. After Gretchen didn’t listen to Jimmy as explained his foolproof plan of meeting deadlines by mailing something that he definitely didn’t want to get mailed if he didn’t make his page count, Gretchen mailed his family an all expenses paid trip to the U.S. They show up and make themselves at home, which means pulling chairs up to the telly and tuning in to the Eurotune song contest for four days straight and being mean to Jimmy.

Jimmy’s family had all Jimmy’s crassness but none of his charm — “like Alabama English people.” Edgar, Lindsay, and Gretchen all introduced themselves to his family and came away insulted, propositioned, or yelled at. I can definitely see why Jimmy didn’t want them to come visit. Ever.

I can’t believe it took Jimmy four days before he tried to kick his family out of his house. His eldest sister has no redeeming qualities that I could see. Lily was sweet, Fiona at least cared about her job, and Jimmy’s dad finally showed some emotion when he took Jimmy out for a drink and told him he was proud of him. But he also had some pretty bad advice when it came to Gretchen. Granted, Jimmy’s dad is coming off of a divorce he didn’t inform Jimmy about, but still — telling his son that relationship rough patches never get better is not very useful.

And it’s also not true. Not being compatible in your relationship is quite different from loving someone who is dealing with depression, or an illness, or some other circumstance that is personally difficult. On the other hand, Gretchen’s depression will never totally go away. So it is important that Jimmy consider it not just as a phase that she will get over, but as part of — though not the whole of — what being in a relationship with Gretchen means.

There are no easy answers here. Yes, Jimmy likes Gretchen a lot and may even love her, and yes, depression is not something that Gretchen is choosing to have in order to hurt Jimmy in any way. But that doesn’t mean they will be able to make their relationship work. Jimmy still has needs for a relationship that Gretchen may not be able to fill, and he may not be the best partner for her, especially if he doesn’t understand what she’s going through and doesn’t have the necessary patience. One of the reasons I’m loving You’re the Worst this season is because it isn’t shying away from showing certain realities of living with depression, and how it might affect those around you, especially when you love the person who is struggling.

Every time Gretchen pulled the blanket over her head, it made me laugh and made my heart hurt in equal measure. Aya Cash is so sharp, funny, and heartbreaking, and it’s just amazing how many layers she gives Gretchen while still being so hilarious. I have been that girl who hides under blankets when life gets to be too much, and I totally get her inclination. But I also get that Jimmy would be upset if his girlfriend didn’t listen to him and sent mail that led to a family visit he didn’t want, and then wasn’t able to help him with the visit or interact with him in a positive way. That’s understandably frustrating, and it’s easy to see why he was relieved to have someone to talk to when he ran into that girl in the bar. This is why it’s important for Jimmy to have his own network and support system outside of Gretchen — so he can be better to himself and better for her. Hopefully, though, his support system isn’t a cute blond stranger who said she would snog him.

Meanwhile, Lindsay got out of awkward family time by going to help Gretchen’s client Sam with a wardrobe crisis. Her storyline was quick but cute as she helped Sam come up with a diss track. In my opinion, the more Kether Donohue sings the better, and it was a nice bit of light silliness to balance the sadness and meanness of Jimmy’s family visit and Gretchen barely hanging on.

I like Gretchen a lot. So, like Jimmy, I want her to feel better soon. But that’s not how depression works, and I love that this show is pushing through and continuing to show her pain, long after it is interesting or comfortable for viewers. That mirrors what depression is like in real life, and there is a lot of great storytelling there, if the show is brave enough to tackle it.

Other notes:
  • Hello hello! I’m filling in for Anne this week. Happy to be here.
  • “Fancy Dames, the strip club? Last time I saw you, you were reading Harry Potter.” “I did get a tattoo of Dobby the house elf on my —”
  • “She’s got no arms, that’s why we call her Carrie. Her real name is Beth.”
  • “Alright English people. Cover your skin. We’re going outside.”
  • Locally sourced flamingo eggs made me laugh so much. 
  • Who among us hasn’t had an existential crisis at a grocery store? Fiona’s realization that she has given so much to her grocery store while other, better grocery stores she couldn’t even imagine existed across the pond had her collapsing in the aisles. 
  • Gretchen’s reaction to finding out Fiona was only 36 was one of the best parts of the episode.
  • Chris Geere was also really great this episode. His delivery was on point and so funny while still displaying the emotion and pain he was feeling about his family and Gretchen. Jimmy yelling at his family was cathartic, funny, and sad all at the same time. When he paused in telling his father that he desperately wanted his approval, what was left of my heart crashed onto the floor. 
  • “The last horse in our town was used to make Jell-o for the lunatic asylum.”


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