Friday, November 20, 2015

You're the Worst 2x11 "A Rapidly Mutating Virus" (With Great Conflict...) [Contributor: Laura Schinner]

"A Rapidly Mutating Virus"
Original Airdate: November 18, 2015

No good story works without conflict. As viewers, we need conflict to keep us interested and waiting to find out what happens next. Even comedies, whose primary focus is to make us laugh, need that element of drama. And for a comedy that goes so far as to call itself You’re the Worst, it would be nearly impossible to watch two characters with their lives figured out stay together in a completely functional relationship. Which is exactly why this show hasn’t tried to give us that. Instead, Jimmy and Gretchen have faced some very serious and very real issues in their relationship, all leading to a whole lot of conflict.

All season long, we’ve seen these two characters grow further apart as Gretchen has sunk deeper and deeper into depression. This is something that Jimmy obviously has no idea how to deal with, as up until this point their relationship had mostly been about having fun and avoiding any kind of real emotions. Neither character has ever been especially emotionally available, so throwing something that revolves solely around emotions, or lack thereof, into their dynamic has been quite a change this season. The humor, as a result, has gotten darker and the comedy itself seems to be taking a bit of a back seat, in favor of depicting the real struggles and conflicts that accompany depression.

Everything this season has led up to this week’s episode of You’re the Worst, when Gretchen finally has enough of Jimmy trying to "fix" her and decides to move in with Lindsay. When he confronts her about this, she finally breaks, yelling at him that she literally feels nothing. She feels nothing for him, their relationship, and — gasp — even puppies. Aya Cash has done a fantastic job of portraying the hopelessness that comes with depression, as Gretchen has sunken to the point that literally nothing matters to her. Even being attacked by a gang of angry women and having to pull out a gun to stop them from further mauling Lindsay and the boys evokes nothing in her but boredom. With Gretchen’s downward spiral continuing, the show really has gotten dark but in a very believable way. Gretchen ending things with Jimmy was the natural next step in this progression, as he doesn’t know how to be there for her in the way that she needs him to be.

At the same time, Jimmy himself has been growing more distant from Gretchen, seeking the company of someone who is willing to listen to him and be present in his life — something Gretchen just can’t do. While Gretchen has been completely unavailable to him, he has turned to Nina, connecting with her through similar interests. The past few episodes, Jimmy has really struggled to understand and accept Gretchen’s depression, having no idea what to do about it. Trying to make things better for her hasn’t worked and he doesn’t know what else to do. As much as he may want to help her and have his old, fun girlfriend back, in the end he really can’t "fix" her and needs to accept that. Instead, he turns to someone that he does understand and who understands him back, someone much easier to be with than Gretchen. And despite resisting her advances for most of the episode, in the end Jimmy finally gave into Nina. He is, after all, the worst.

Meanwhile, Edgar, who up until recently was the one who had his life the least together, has been providing most of the light and comedy in the show. For once, he’s the one who is happy in a relationship with someone who really cares about him. And deservedly so, as Edgar is a great guy. But he still struggles to fit in and often falls into the trap of listening to advice from Jimmy, who maybe isn’t the best mentor. For so long though, Edgar has seen Jimmy as more successful and better than him and now all of a sudden, that isn’t really true. Edgar has had most of the success in his relationship because he hasn’t listened to Jimmy so when he decides to take his advice when going to a gathering of Dorothy’s friends, it obviously backfires on him. Dorothy likes Edgar for who he is, something that he isn’t used to. In the end though, he was able to return to the honest and genuine guy he is, winning back Dorothy in the process.

What have you all thought about You're the Worst this season? Let us know in the comments below!


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