FX gets down and dirty with a pair of raunchy couplehood comedies
By Jessica Johnson|
Married premieres Thursday, July 17 at 9pm on FX.You're the Worst premieres Thursday, July 17 at 9:36pm on FX.
FX has become the home of seriously groundbreaking television—whether it's Louis C.K.'s art film approach to the sitcom in Louie or Noah Hawley's limited-series Coen brothers homage Fargo. But when it comes to comedy, the creativity well has been a bit dry lately. Since sheltering Charlie Sheen after his ouster from CBS's Two and Half Men with the drab, multi-cam Anger Management, the network's new comedy offerings suddenly seemed a lot less special (with the exception of Legit, which was bumped to FXX for its second season and then canceled). So it's refreshing to see FX presenting a pair of convention-bending sitcoms that feel much more in line with the spirit of their previous programming.
Married and You're the Worst both take on a common subject of comedy television: relationships. While Married explores the complications of a years-long coupling that's mired by the obligations of children, work and other external forces, You're the Worst tells the story of new romantic partners who are loathsome to rest of the world but attractive to one another. Both approaches subvert the common, network-friendly versions of these characters, allowing them to get a little more raunchy and realistic, while avoiding the frequently re-hashed plotlines of how the wife can't get her husband to go to the opera with him or the young couple being concerned with what their best friends will think of their new mate.
Of the two, Married fares a little better. This can largely be credited to its stellar cast, which includes Nat Faxon and Judy Greer as the husband and wife, with the very funny Jenny Slate and Brett Gelman bringing up the rear as friends of the couple. Creator Andrew Gurland, whose previous credits include the film The Last Exorcist and The Virginity Hit, isn't covering completely new territory here (This is 40 anyone?), but Faxon and Greer are witty without relying too much on the tired, snipey clichés that sitcom spouses frequently suffer through.
You're the Worst, meanwhile, is exactly the sort rom-com half-hour series you should expect from the network that brought you It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Greere) meet-cute in parking lot while she's attempting to steal a gift from the wedding he was just, literally, thrown out of. While Paddy's Pub crew would probably find their antics a little safe, Gretchen and Jimmy are fairly awful people who, at least for now, seems relieved to have found a partner with the same narcissistic tendencies. Its raunchiness is a little more on-the-nose than Married's—especially during the pilot's series of hard TV-MA sex scenes—but Cash and Greere have an curious chemistry that gives the series some added life.
If network TV's string of schlubby spouses and too-cute couples have you yawning, these comedies are a funny alternative and a refreshing return to form for FX's sitcom slate.