By Jim Harper (Pixel23) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

TV SHOW REVIEW: YOU'RE THE WORST. Matt has mentioned this show in several previous episodes so on this one we take a look at FX's new romantic comedy sitcom, You're The Worst. What does this new show have to say about life and love in the 21st Century? Tune in and find out. Recorded 1/25/2015.

 

You can download the episode here.

 

Mike & Matt's Recommended Reading:

You're The Worst on FXNetworks.com

You're The Worst on IMDB

You're The Worst Red Band Trailer

You're The Worst on Wikipedia

You're The Worst on Twitter

You're The Worst on Facebook

 

Transcript:

Alpha: Welcome to another episode of Robot Overlordz, episode #143. On the show, we take a look at how society is changing, everything from pop culture reviews to political commentary, technology trends to social norms, all in under 30 minutes, every Tuesday and Thursday.

Mike Johnston: I’m Mike Johnston.

Matt Bolton: And I’m Matt Bolton, and tonight we wanted to talk about a TV show on the FX network called You’re The Worst. It’s kind of an under-the-radar show, I think a lot of people kind of missed it. Even though there were a lot of articles and reviews that really praised the show, it’s a little bit different from your typical show. I really, really like the show, which is kind of why we’re doing the podcast--I kind of forced you into watching it Mike, just to hear your thoughts on the whole thing.

MJ: I liked it as well, I guess I should say right out. I did like it. But the thing about it that got me a little is that it somewhat starts out with this premise that relationships don’t work and that the typical Hollywood happy ending bullshit that they have pushed on us in the media is BS, and yet it kind of heads a little bit in that direction anyway. It’s so “anti” that it is the thing that it’s talking about somewhat. Don’t get me wrong, I like stories like that, and like I said, I really enjoyed this series, but I almost enjoyed it more for the characters than that because, to me, it was almost going off premise a little bit by still having the romance angle.

MB: I think part of it was the fact that both of these people didn’t even want to be in the relationship, that they were almost too perfect for each other, so they were almost forced into it against their own wills is the way I kind of took it. So yeah, the premise is a guy who meets a girl at a wedding and they have a lot of mutual friends, including his ex-girlfriend--and if you watch the show, they’re really almost terrible people, which to me, in comedy, is really hard to pull off. But if you can pull it off, it makes it a lot funnier. They’re terrible people but you still want to spend time with them, I think is what I’m trying to get at. If you knew them in real life, I’m not sure you’d want to be friends with them, but they’re people you want to spend time with on the show.

MJ: I would agree with you on that. I have to say, I actually really like the characters. What I liked about it is you say they’re kind of bad people, but at the same time, they’re honest. I think that’s somewhat where they were going with the theme, that they’re trying to be honest and there’s so much BS that society sometimes puts on us or that is in these Hollywood stories. That really did resonate, and it’s maybe why I was a little bit disappointed that it does still have the romance angle to it because, hell, I’m a bit on the cynical side lately. But I did really like the characters, particularly the friends, like her friend and his recovering vet roommate--that guy is hilarious. I’ve never seen that actor before, but man I thought he was funny as heck.

MB: Yeah, he’s fantastic. Probably my favorite character on the show is the female friend, who’s played by Kether Donohue, who I wasn’t familiar with before this show either and to me she kind of steals most of the scenes that she’s in, and I thought they gave her a pretty good storyline with the dorky husband and everything.

MJ: Oh my God, that was hilarious. I guess my only comment on her would be that she’s supposed to be the kind of fat friend, or the not-so-attractive friend, but I think she is attractive. They appear to use tricks to make her look bulkier than the main female character, Gretchen, but I thought she was perfectly attractive.

MB: What’s funny is if you go to her IMDb page, she really doesn’t look that much like she does on the show. Also on the show, they kind of make her look like a stepford wife--the goofy outfits. I think that plays perfectly into the way her character is supposed to be, with this uptight husband who’s dorky and she just doesn’t understand him. So yeah, I think they really did a great job of casting all the people on the show.

MJ: I think it gives them a lot of different directions they can go in. Like you said, they have sort of the unhappy marriage or the not understanding marriage, where Kether’s character, Lindsay, they just don’t connect and I think a lot of people are in relationships like that. That storyline was really interesting to me, and also I said the recovering PTSD vet roommate, some of his storylines. And I have to say, I actually thought that the kid who has nothing to do basically and is hanging out with these terrible, irresponsible adults who haven’t figured out their lives, that kid was hilarious, although I think that would totally get those people arrested if it happened in real life.

MB: Probably, especially just leaving the kid at a bookstore miles from his house. For season two, I’m almost looking forward to them exploring Edgar and Lindsay, which are the roommate and the best friend. You can almost see at the end of season one where there was almost a spark between those two, and we’ll see where that will go, if Lindsay’s going to go through with the divorce and where that whole storyline is going to go, if it’s going to go anywhere in the second season.

MJ: I would definitely agree with you, there was chemistry there. I think that nowadays relationships come with so much pressure and expectations that it is a refreshing look--it’s still a romantic comedy, but it’s not quite the standard mold. Like I said, it’s good to get out of that mold but at the same time I’ll be interested to see where they go with it in the second season. Like you said, I’m interested to see the chemistry between Lindsay and Edgar and also, as they kind of escalate the non-relationship relationship, where that goes. I don’t know about you, but personally I think in general there’s a ton of expectations and pressures around relationships nowadays; I don’t know where I’m going with this, but it seems like it’s gotten way more difficult in modern life.

MB: Yeah, well, I think it’s become more difficult because people don’t really interact like they used to, so it makes it more difficult. If you want to meet somebody, a significant other, you pretty much have two choices: either a bar or online dating. So, I think it’s become more difficult to meet people and sometimes when you do, you may not even be ready for a relationship or looking for one and it just kind of happens.

MJ: I think, historically, those aren’t even the best--it seems like a lot of the time people meet their significant others a lot of the time through friends. I don’t know about you, and this is not a comment on you, but I have had, literally in my entire life, just no luck meeting people through friends. It just has not worked in any way, shape or form for me. Maybe that says something about the quality of my friends--once again, that’s not a comment on you--but…

MB: I’m right there with you. If I look back, most of the people that I’ve dated I’ve actually met through work because you’re forced to spend time with people at work all day long. So yeah, in this show they meet at a wedding, which I could see, except I’ve gotten to the age now where most of my friends, thank God, are all married so I don’t have to go to weddings anymore because I hate them. This is a note to all of you people out there who are thinking about getting married: that’s fine, but have a fun wedding, go on a boat or something. Don’t invite me to your boring church and make me sit there for my entire saturday. It’s not a good time for anybody.

MJ: And that’s exactly what I mean, is that weddings nowadays are so expensive and out of hand. I have a big chip on my shoulder, I’ll be the first to admit, about engagement rings and you know why. But the fact that it’s pure marketing that has put that in place pretty much, that everybody just now assumes that that’s the way it is because the damn De Beers company advertises that. It infuriates me, especially because obviously I have a chip on my shoulder, like I said.

MB: The whole wedding thing has gotten completely out of hand. What’s stupid is you spend $15,000 or $20,000 for one afternoon, but every wedding that I’ve ever been to is always exactly the same. They’re identical, with the exception of one friend we have who got married on a boat on Lake Michigan, and to me, that was the most fun wedding I’ve been to just because it was something different, it didn’t take all day, and we ended up ordering off of the kid’s menu because the other food looked disgusting, so.

MJ: Yeah, that was epically awesome. I have to say, I totally agree with you about that wedding. I thought it was phenomenal from a time commitment standpoint, from a cost commitment standpoint--it was just considerate. That, to me, seemed like if you’re going to do that thing without all of the expectations and baggage, that would be the way to do it. I would expect something like that out of a show like You’re The Worst; if those two people do “go the distance” and end up together, even though that they hint off and on about will they/won’t they, it would be something like that. Depending on how many seasons they expect to go, I would think that’s down the road a bit.

MB: I’m actually hoping they don’t because once you’ve watched a show like You’re The Worst, I think the only way you could do the wedding is if it was on the very last episode of the very last season, because once you have them get married and go that way, you’re going to lose the edge that the show has, that it’d almost be like jumping the shark. I think you have to keep a tension of “Will they stay together or won’t they?” but I think if you bring in the whole marriage thing, that would kind of ruin the show.

MJ: I have to say, you can do that to an extent, but after a while then it becomes “Oh come on, I’m watching a tease basically.” That’s a very fine line to walk. I don’t know if you used to watch it, but one of the shows I used to watch was How I Met Your Mother and I really liked that show during its first season and, you know, the followup seasons sometimes more, sometimes less. But I have to say, the last episode of that, where they finally revealed the mother, I felt jipped the way that they ended that because--and here’s a huge spoiler alert--the fact that he ended up with the girl from the very first episode that they told you wasn’t going to be the mother. The whole thing was basically a big fake out for “Oh, he ended up with that girl…” They had built up that character of the mother, I was actually enjoying that last season reveal of who she was, and then they kind of yanked the rug out from under you, “Oh, now he’s back with that chick that they did the whole will they/won’t they thing through like eight seasons”--eight seasons because the ninth season was where they had basically determined “No, he didn’t end up with her.” It was a tease and it was not a pleasant tease, and I hope that You’re The Worst learns from that mistake. I think a lot of shows make that mistake.

MB: The other thing that may help the show avoid some of that is because it’s not a really highly rated show as far as viewers go, it’s always going to be on the cusp of getting canceled, I don’t want to sound mean about it but it’s true, and I think that will keep them from doing anything too weird like that. At the end of the first season, it had a kind of a finite ending really because they weren’t sure that it would get picked up again--luckily it did for thirteen more episodes for next year.

MJ: I like that the episode count is small, the fact that it was ten episodes this year and it’s going to be thirteen next year. That makes me a little nervous because I remember us talking about The Walking Dead and how much we love the first season and then you hit the second season, which was thirteen episodes, and it was like “Ugh…” Jesus, that frickin’ show. Don’t even get me started on it. Obviously both of us have quit that show, but I remember us talking about it in the second season and I don’t know about you, but I was trying to convince myself that I was going to stick with it and I gave up on the third season.

MB: I’m right there with you. Still, to this day, season one of The Walking Dead is one of the best seasons of any TV show that I’ve ever seen, it was fantastic. Then it just hit the skids on season two and holy cow. I think it was just one of those things where all the problems of the show just started compounding. I used to just watch the show on fast forward to see a zombie; it becomes a bad show when the only people you’re rooting for are the zombies because you want them to kill all of the humans so they’ll shut up.

MJ: Yeah. Well, I think the lower episode count keeps them more focused, and I’ve noticed that in a number of shows that I like, that they tend to be the lower episode counts that are way more focused. I just really enjoy that. To me, a lesson for the entertainment industry is keep your episode counts low. To have it like a mini series, it results in much tighter writing. 

MB: It does. There was a show that I really enjoyed on TBS called Rules of Engagement and it was always one of those shows where it was always just about to be canceled. There was only one season where they had more than twelve episodes, so it was real short like that. I think when you have something like that, instead of the writers having to stretch stuff out over a longer period of time, they can concentrate a lot more humor into a shorter amount of time. The only drawback is I have to wait another year before more episodes come out.

MJ: Definitely. It will be interesting to see where it goes in the second season.

MB: I think it’s a great show. If you’re looking for something to just sit down and have a few laughs with, it ‘s definitely a show worth finding I think.

MJ: And for basic cable, man, risque!

MB: Yeah, it’s not a show you want to sit down with your kids and watch, or your parents for that matter. It is a fairly risque show. You could almost say that it’s borderline pushing HBO.

MJ: It’s certainly close; it’s not quite “It’s not porn, it’s HBO,” but it’s about as close as you can get to that with basic cable.

A: That’s all for this episode of Robot Overlordz. You can find our show notes, including links from this episode, on our website at RobotOverlordz.FM. That’s it for this radio broadcasting. We would love to hear your thoughts on this episode in our forum, or you can review us on iTunes. We’re Robot Overlordz with a Z.

MJ: Thanks everyone for listening.

MB: Thanks.

 

Image Credit: By Jim Harper (Pixel23) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons