Don’t ask “You’re the Worst” creator Stephen Falk if he’s going to “stick the landing” for his FXX comedy.
During the summer TCA press tour, Falk shared his distaste for that phrase and how he’s “upset” with “Breaking Bad” for even making it a thing with its widely-celebrated series finale. Ahead of the fifth and final season of “You’re the Worst,” which debuts Wednesday night, The Wrap asked Falk just why he hates the phrase so much.
“I probably dislike it because it’s so accurate,” he said, likening running a TV show to performing a gymnastics act. “You’re always one misstep away from falling and hitting the ground and getting a really low score.”
But just because it’s accurate, that doesn’t mean Falk appreciates how that phrase has been applied when rating the value of how a TV series chooses to end its story. After all, there were more-celebrated series — “The Sopranos” and “Seinfeld” to name a couple — that many viewers would argue stumbled across the finish line. Does that mean those unsatisfying finales un-do everything that came before it?
“It’s just sort of a term that’s been taken by TV journalists and by fans and turned into a sort of binary thing,” Falk explains. “What’s sort of really reductive about stuff like Rotten Tomatoes, is it’s this very binary response: It’s ‘Yes this is worth your time or no it’s not.’ I don’t necessarily think that’s how we should be interacting with art.”
Either way, Falk himself is satisfied with how he and the writers wrapped up his “funhouse mirror” version of a romantic comedy, which tells the story of two self-described “worst” people, Jimmy Shive-Overly (Chris Geere) and Gretchen Cutler (Aya Cash). Over the course of its first four seasons, “You’re the Worst” has straddled the line between making fun of rom-coms while at the same time being an homage to the genre (Wednesday’s season premiere does perhaps its biggest send-up). But Falk argues it all came from a good place, because he’s really a huge a fan of the genre.
“The only ways in which I was being aggressively snarky or rebelling against tropes of the genre were just that: the tropes,” he explained, pointing out that they’re only making fun of what he believes are very lazy storytelling tricks that films and TV shows began to rely on too heavily. “I believe in the genre. At the same time, I can kind of critique it and see where things have gotten a little musty.”
And for the final season, Falk is taking aim at one of the biggest tropes that every romantic comedy inevitably ends with: the wedding between Jimmy and Gretchen. But Falk promises this story won’t end in the conventional “happy-ever-after,” but something more befitting of two terrible people whose biggest fear is seeing their relationship become the very cliche they’re making fun of.
“At the end of the day, we’re emotional manipulators,” he said. “I wanted it to feel like it could be an ending that they would come to and one that would also be a bit shocking, but really kind of satisfying.”
“You’re the Worst” premieres its fifth and final season on FXX Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.