There’s a great reason to tune in to TV tonight and it’s called, You’re the Worst. This hilarious comedy is back and to celebrate, we’re looking at some of the things you need to know about Season 2 as well as the cast and the show’s creator, Stephen Falk. We took part in a couple of conference calls and attended the recent Television Critics Association’s Summer Press tour to discover the necessary intel to enhance your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome in advance.
Warning: Spoilers ahead
The biggest difference about Season 2 is that the show moves to FXX.
Stephen Falk: I very simply got a call from a handful of FX executives including [FX Networks CEO] John Landgraf who told me were getting picked up for 13 but we’re moving to FXX, which to be honest, felt a little like a demotion.
But once things were explained, Falk felt much better about the situation.
Stephen: At that point I was only worried about how it would read to you guys, to the critics and to the audience. But in terms of how we watch television these days, I don’t think it really matters except that FXX is in less households…I’m not sure what the current count is. But there’s a good side to that, for me, is that it lowers our ratings threshold because we’re in less homes. We have to hit less eyeballs for them to be happy. At this point I don’t even, it’s not on my radar until I get asked that question. That’s as honest as I can be about it.
Creatively, the new season picks up with Jimmy and Gretchen moving in together. There is, of course, an adjustment period and the typical You’re the Worst twists we’ve come to love and expect.
Stephen: It’s really functioning more as a way to advance their relationship rather than let’s generate a lot of story out of it. Although we do deal with it in the first few episodes — what it means to live together — really what it does is it scares the s–t out of them. More than watching who’s going to do the laundry arguments, we really got to delve instead to see when you make Jimmy and Gretchen take a step towards each other, towards domesticity, what does that do to them? How does it scare them? And in what ways does their fear manifest into behavior? And that’s really where we were having the most fun this season.
Chris Geere: Jimmy’s such a selfish guy that this is doubly hard for him to find space for [Gretchen] in his life. We really explore that in the first couple of episodes and make a joke of it with trash bags in the corner and everything. How it works in the end with that compromise and everything is great. I’m really glad that they portrayed it that way.
However, this year will be about much more than their cohabitation.
Stephen: We didn’t want to dwell in that world too much and we kind of spun the season out in to a bigger storyline that doesn’t really have a lot to do with it though it’s connected to their cohabitation.
Aya Cash: There are going to be some reveals about our characters’ backstories and what they’ve dealt with before they were in a relationship. You’ll see Jimmy’s family and you’ll see a little of Gretchen’s past come back.
Chris: Stephen has apparently so much faith in us that he’s put us in darker territory as well. As actors and as characters, we’ve been put in positions that are even more uncomfortable than the first season. It’s been a wondrous experience.
Even though Jimmy and Gretchen are the show’s lead characters, You’re the Worst has evolved into more of an ensemble with Edgar and Lindsay’s stories being explored in a major way.
Stephen: It is a romantic comedy and I think we will always sort of have that relationship front and center, but it’s always been kind of my sneaky desire to do more of an ensemble show. Not only for the mere fact that I was sort of allergic to the rom-com sidekick thing where he’s always like, â€œHey, man, what’s up with you,â€ and â€œWhat’s her name?â€ Â And the girl’s always like, â€œOh, they’re suchâ€ — â€œmen are such,â€Â so I just really wanted to make them full human beings.
Aya: Both Lindsay and Edgar are very much supporters of Jimmy and Gretchen in terms of their relationship. But what makes them so wonderful is they really could be the stars of their own lives as well. They really aren’t just sidekicks and you’ll see their storylines played out in bigger ways this season.
That means Edgar gets to do more than react to Jimmy and Gretchen living together.
Desmin Borges: Edgar finds himself in the world of improv comedy and gets a few new friends through that, actually.
Stephen: I wanted to give Edgar a little more identity beyond just being a veteran because that’s one of the things I heard from talking to veterans and in particular one guy we had come in and talk to the room. So this season Edgar gets a hobby, gets an interest and has a love interest as well. But he’s always still dealing as, I think, veterans who saw a lot of combat are with the after effects of that and trying to re-engage in the normal world and bring him back into the fold of just being a normal dude with girl problems. So that’s what we’re trying to do this season. He has a lot of fun stuff.
As for Lindsay, she’s forced to deal with her sudden conscious uncoupling from her husband, Paul.
Stephen: We’ll see Lindsay floundering in the wake of having been abandoned by someone, yeah, who she didn’t really love that much. So we’ll watch her have to live on her own which is a challenge both on a rudimentary day-to-day level but also emotionally. And we’ll see her become aware of Edgar’s crush on her that we saw during that song [in the S1 finale] and she will decide how to behave with that. And, also, she’ll try to find her place. What will she do because she doesn’t really do anything? If she’s not a wife of a guy who has a bit of cash, what is she now?
Kether Donohue: I think it’s nice we get to see each character’s relationship with themselves, because you can’t really be in a relationship with someone else unless you are in a relationship with yourself. So I think the season does a nice job of showing when each character is by themselves, what does that relationship look like, and then how does that reflect into their relationship with their partner…
There will also be plenty of guest star appearances this season. Chris and Aya make sure the You’re the Worst set is a safe haven for these visiting actors.
Aya: We love the guest stars. When we shot the pilot Kether turned to me and said, ‘We have to promise to be nice to the guest stars.’ And I turned to her and said, ‘Of course because we’re not monsters.’ As people guest star on shows you sometimes get treated as bottom of the barrel. You don’t know the set. You don’t know the tone. You don’t know people’s relationships. And you come on and sometimes people don’t even introduce themselves to you. And we’re a very friendly cast. I remember hanging out with Tara [Summers] and Justin [Kirk] and they’re like, ‘You’re so friendly’ and I was like, ‘Oh and I’m the least friendly.’ And, of course, Chris walked on 20 minutes later and immediately bear hugs both of them. And they were like, ‘Wow you were right!’
Given the choice, Aya wants to guest star on everything
Aya: Rectify comes to mind immediately. Veep. I’d love to go play with the Broad City girls, I think that would be a blast and I think that would be great. I would love to do an Amy Schumer sketch. You’re going to have interrupt me. Humans. Oh my god. Mr. Robot.
Meanwhile, Chris’ dream role is out of this world…and timeâ€¦
Chris: I have always wanted since being a young boy then becoming an actor and even now would love to have a go at the Doctor in Doctor Who. That’s what my kind of dream role would be. To be James Bond and Doctor Who — no one’s done that before.
Fun Fact: One of Stephen Falk’s previous gigs was as a recapper for the now defunct website, Television Without Pity.
Stephen: I just watched TV and rewound it and paused it and wrote jokes. I recapped a lot of reality television, because I was just starting to write scripted. But I did a show called The Street, which was on Fox, which I actually liked. But then I did a lot of reality like [Newlyweds]:Â Nick & Jessica and Britney and Kevin: [Chaotic]Â and Temptation Island and Road Rules. It was a really talented group of recappers. A lot of them went on to work in TV or do other things.
The cast chemistry is one of the biggest assets of this show. That may be because the actors are all friends off the set.
Aya: When we don’t get to see each other or don’t get to connect it’s not fun. Many people have commented about all four of our chemistry and I don’t know if that is there if we’re not friends. You hear about people hating each other on shows and it still comes off okay but I don’t know how I would do that.
Chris: You have to respect and love each other. We come from the same place of feeling so fortunate to get this job in the first place. For it to continue and, in turn, for it to have any success let alone amazing support that we’ve had…We just feel so humble and grateful the whole time that we can share that with each other. When we get together out of work, it’s wonderful. Never for any other reason but that we enjoy each other’s company. Of course we want the show to work more than anything. But we don’t get together because we have to make the show work we get together because we choose to.
You’re the Worst Season 2 premieres tonight at 10:30 / 9:30c on FXX. Here’s a look at the new season:
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