The second season of FXX’s You’re the Worst has tackled an issue that many television shows, let alone comedies, dare to take on: depression. Aya Cash’s Gretchen recently revealed to her boyfriend Jimmy (Chris Geere) that she suffers from the mental illness and Jimmy has been struggling with how to help his girlfriend. He’s beginning to see that the fix is not an easy one, and You’re the Worst has been gaining praise from critics and fans alike for the frank and realistic take on the issue.
Geere recently joined reporters on a conference call to discuss a variety of topics including his reaction to the depression story, the difficulty he has had playing the story arc out from Jimmy’s perspective and what realizations Jimmy may come to by the end of the season. Geere also gives a look into Jimmy’s family since his dad and three sisters come to visit during Wednesday’s episode, “A Right Proper Story,” airing at 10:30 p.m. on FXX.
Jimmy’s Reaction to Gretchen Was Difficult
Initially it was very difficult for Geere to play Jimmy’s somewhat cold reaction to Gretchen’s revelation about her depression. “Instinctively, my instincts are to be there more for her. I remember being on set and Stephen [Falk] saying ‘No, you have to hold back. You have to be Jimmy here and Jimmy doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t think to give her a hug at the right moment. He doesn’t think he needs to give her space or talk to her,” Geere recalled. “With depression, people don’t understand it. Jimmy doesn’t understand it, so he doesn’t know the steps in order to take to handle it,” Geere further explained. He also noted that he fully understands if fans get angry with Jimmy’s behaviors, noting that “you begin to hate him and I think that’s important that people do dislike him for a little bit, so they can realize later on that he’s just lost and doesn’t know what to do.”
How the Cast Reacted to the Depression Storyline
“We didn’t hear until the second block, at the beginning of the depression storyline, that was going to happen,” Geere said. He went on to describe the difficult effect the story had on the cast saying “it was hard. It was definitely a tricky season for everyone. We call the depression the fifth character. So there was the four of us, then the depression and the effects that it had on everyone.”
Jimmy Takes A New Approach
“No one has an answer. No one is perfect enough to respond to that kind of news in the best way,” Geere said of Jimmy’s response to Gretchen’s news, before noting that “you just do the best that you can. This is very typical of a lot of people out there which is A) to try and fix it and B) if you can’t fix it and are pushed away you just walk away, as hard as that is, until you realize that you love them too much and you have to go back.” Despite Jimmy having “tried everything he can keeping true to himself,” Geere noted that “for a very intelligent guy he’s quite limited emotionally,” something that will have to change in the future. “This is something where he’s really going to have to change for the relationship to progress,” explained Geere.
Does that mean we’ll see Jimmy take a new course of action in helping Gretchen heal? “He mans up eventually and that’s one of my favorite scenes that we did, where he realizes that ‘Hang on, she is worth everything.’ He’s about to make a huge mistake and he doesn’t do it because of her. That’s love,” said Geere.
Jimmy’s Family Visit
Jimmy’s dad and three sisters come to visit this Wednesday, adding a whole new level of chaos to Jimmy’s world and Geere previewed that Jimmy’s “family are terrible, terrible people and it was a nice tonal change from the week before.” He also noted that while “all families are tricky, all families are hard, but I think the point of this episode is that it explains a little bit why Jimmy is so twisted and why he has these issues.” Geere said that for Jimmy, there’s always been one thing he’s missing. “The only thing he ever wanted was his father’s approval, so he’s been seeking approval from anyone, anywhere ever since. He goes about that in a very arrogant, narcissistic way, but at the end of the day we all just want to be loved and we show it in different ways.”
Stephen Falk told him it’s not a popularity contest
“I just loved the fact that as soon as you see both of us [Jimmy and Gretchen] we’re doing horrible things,” Geere recalled for the show’s pilot episode. “It’s funny but it’s different because we’re not necessarily likable straight away,” which is something he admittedly was very concerned about. “I was worried and said ‘am I going to come across as completely unlikable?’ and he [Stephen Falk] said ‘you shouldn’t care. Don’t care about it because in the end if they are rooting for the character they are rooting for the character.’ From there anything that we did, whether it seemed nice or not, if it was critical to the character then we’re doing a good job,” Geere recalled. “Of all the horrible things that Jimmy, Gretchen, Lindsay and Edgar have done over the course of these two seasons, people are still with us, they are still rooting for us. We must’ve done something right,” he said.
Characters that Evolve
After almost two seasons the core group of four characters on You’re the Worst have definitely changed said Geere. “Everyone has progressed and that’s the point, we’re still inherently not nice people, but they are learning and trying to be better. I think in many, many ways we have progressed,” he said. For Jimmy in particular, Geere noted that the “he realizes that he needs Gretchen more than he’s ever admitted. They need each other. They are better off with each other. Emotionally, I would say he’s better at explaining how he feels.”
Hopes for Season 3
“This season is very much Jimmy vs. Gretchen and for next year I’d love for it to be Jimmy and Gretchen vs. the world,” Geere said. “I think the two of them together could be an unstoppable force. The admission of their feelings over the course of this season has been enough progression for this season, but they’ll never be happy with themselves. Deep down they have some serious issues,” he noted.
Would Season 3 include Jimmy finding some professional success as well? Could we finally see a follow up novel to Congratulations, You’re Dying? By Season 3 Geere is hoping that “he’s already written it so he doesn’t have to procrastinate about writing about it for the whole third season as well.” Geere did note that “his struggle professionally this year has been so much fun to play because he really thinks he’s great, but deep down knows that he’s probably not very good. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave up altogether and did something completely different.”
Is A Happy Ending Possible?
Geere said that creator Stephen Falk already has an ending for the series in mind, but he’s not quite sure that a normal, rom-com type happy ending could ever work on You’re the Worst. Geere said that’s because “you’ve got four people with some serious issues and hopefully one by one we can work it out. I don’t think they are going to walk off into the sunset together, but they might walk away from a burning car and be equally as happy.”
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.