‘You’re the Worst’: Oh, Jimmy, This Is Not Going To End Well
You might remember a couple years back when Kristy was kind enough to use both math and science to determine who on You’re The Worst actually is the worst. And while it was close, the clear winner was Jimmy. Jimmy wins at being the worst human being on a show about terrible humans beings and Edgar. But here’s the other thing: Jimmy is clearly the most damaged person on the show, and that is going to lead to very, very bad things for him. Not to say that Jimmy has endured more hardship or tragedy than the others (Edgar, again, I’m not entirely sure what you’re doing with these people. You’ve had an excessively hard few years. You deserve something nice). But his way of dealing with his own hardships and his expectations from the world based on those hardships are wildly out of sync with what is actually going to happen to him. I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic when I say there’s a decent chance it could kill him. Which is to say, if You’re The Worst plans to continue being aggressively honest about mental illness, Jimmy Shive-Overly is probably going to make a suicide attempt.
Granted, suicide attempts are a difficult topic to cover on what is still presumably a comedy show, but it sure seems like the logical conclusion. As I’ve stated before, Jimmy’s big issue is that he believes he’s not getting the credit and recognition from the world for being the genius he believes himself to be. He’s so desperate for this recognition, he’s willing to allow his masterpiece The Width of a Peach (or Pretentious White Guy Bullshit 101) to be marketed as common, airport-bookshop erotica. He was even willing to show up at a reading, with audience members in full on orgy masks, in order to experience people appreciating his work and his brilliance. His struggle is that he’s too brilliant for the rest of the world; his pain is that no one else realizes it. Contrast that with Gretchen’s worldview (and Lindsay’s if Lindsay were insightful enough to have a worldview): everyone is a selfish asshole, and the survivors are those that take their shit before other assholes can. Gretchen doesn’t expect anything from the world. When the world doesn’t give her anything, she’s never disappointed.
And Jimmy always is. That’s why everything is going to be so much worse for him. Because he has a severe case of, what’s known in professional terms, little-bitch-itis. Sure, he abandoned his long-term, live-in girlfriend just after asking her to be his wife, but she did use the word «family.» And, further, sure, he did, in fact in this week’s episode say that natural instincts demand people have children, but that doesn’t mean he wants to, like, raise those children or anything. Let’s not get clingy, small children. And then, after Jimmy so carefully explained that there were bad people on both sides of the leaving-Gretchen-on-a-hillside thing, Gretchen had the fucking gall to intentionally drop his book. On the ground. There truly is no god.
All of which would be a bad thing were Gretchen employing these tactics only to hurt him. She knows where to stick the daggers. Jimmy is both a bottomless pit of need and cripplingly terrified of any form of attachment or commitment. So moving into his bedroom and force her existence on him while withholding the validation he so craves is a pretty good way to fuck up his month. What will eventually be the real kicker is when she stops trying to intentionally hurt him. When Jimmy comes to the horrific realization that Gretchen isn’t unimpressed by his genius because she’s a vindictive bitch, but because his genius truly isn’t that impressive. Because regardless of how impressed Gretchen actually is with Jimmy’s genius, it will never be as much as Jimmy thinks she should be.
So what do you do when you realize that maybe you aren’t actually as shit-stoppingly terrific as you believe yourself to be? Well in the case of sixty million or so Americans, you vote a white supremacist into office. But that doesn’t really seem to be Jimmy’s jam. He hates most people, but not for anything as crudely venal as their race or ethnicity. Hs’s goddamn sophisticated in his hatred, thank you. So he either has to have a world-shattering reckoning with himself about his actual importance and his abilities, his expectations of the world, his deep emotional/mental health issues, and his abhorrent treatment of the people closest to him, or he has to go out in a blaze of self-inflicted glory. Given what we know about some of the people Jimmy idolizes, I’m not going to start placing any bets on the former.