The characters on “You’re the Worst” have always been a bit troubled, but the show’s Season 3 ended with the kind of cliffhanger that blew everything up. Moments after alcoholic writer Jimmy proposed to his live-in signficant other Gretchen, he hopped in a car and sped off. Now, as Season 4 opens, it turns out three months have passed, and Jimmy has started a new life at a retirement RV village hundreds of miles away. Gretchen, who already struggles from depression, has become a shut-in. And their best friends, Edgar and Lindsay, have moved on and are weirdly thriving.
“I always believe in taking bold storytelling choices,” creator Stephen Falk told IndieWire’s TURN IT ON podcast. “They’re not always right, but sometimes it’s exactly what you need in the moment. We’re a heightened version of a romantic comedy. It felt in character for everything we built and good for the show.”
Falk discusses Season 4 at length on this edition of “Turn It On.” Listen below!
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Breaking up Jimmy and Gretchen opened up new doors for the show, but Falk warned against “the paradox of choice.” “Sometimes restraints are good,” he said. “We were constrained simply by the desire for having Jimmy and Gretchen forced to deal with each other. While the idea of exploring them back as single people did open up a lot of avenues, we wanted them to be forced to each other’s orbit.”
Season 4 becomes “the aftermath of a betrayal,” he said, “and the real theme of this season comes into play: As much as these characters think of themselves as an island, the theme is the people and experiences in your life affect you even if you don’t want them to.”
Meanwhile, Falk confirmed that there’s no “Sunday Funday” episode in Season 4, as he decided to end the show’s popular annual themed episode last season. But he admitted it’s hard to completely end something that both the press and fans enjoyed: “I wanted to make sure we weren’t ‘Slapsgiving’ it,” he said, making a sly “How I Met Your Mother” reference. “We were getting to the point where it felt a little stunty. We said we were going to make it the last one and we did. I think it’s easy money now that if we get a Season 5 that, like Freddy or Jason, there will be a new beginning.”
“You’re the Worst” does continue its trend of making hyper-local Los Angeles references in Season 4. “We live and breathe the city,” he said. “It’s not ‘Frasier’ with the Space Needle painted in the backdrop. If we’re going to live here we want to make it specific. This season we talk shit about Eagle Rock a lot. I lived there for seven and a half years, I love Eagle Rock. But ‘Togetherness’ had moved into Eagle Rock and talked a lot about Eagle Rock and didn’t feel like Eagle Rock to me. But I think it was, they were near Oinkster. We’re constantly aware of how the city is a character and how these characters would engage with their city.”
“You’re the Worst” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FXX.
IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now in TV – no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.