Ben Folds will guest on the comedy “You’re the Worst” when it returns for its third season Aug. 31 on FXX.
Gretchen (Aya Cash) “is a music publicist and there are new clients to be had,” creator and executive producer Stephen Falk said Tuesday during the Television Critics Association press tour at the Beverly Hilton. “He did an episode and he was really, really funny. He plays kind of a twisted version of Ben Folds.”
In the new season, Gretchen will continue to deal with her depression, and will see a therapist played by “Orange Is the New Black’s” Samira Wiley. Her boyfriend, Jimmy (Chris Geere), will encounter his own set of new and serious challenges this season, but, as is often the case with the show’s characters, he will resist the urge to acquire self-awareness.
“They feel everything any other couple feels, just not necessarily in the right order,” Geere said. “They just take the hard route the whole time. I think that’s why people relate to them. It’s never as plain sailing as romantic comedies have brainwashed us into thinking it is.”
The season opens not long after the close of season two, which the couple’s friend Lindsay (Kether Donohue) ended in a panic about her pregnancy. Not all that surprisingly, she doesn’t deal with her frustrations well when the show returns.
“I think Lindsay has a lot of inner rage that is not properly placed,” Donahue said. “It comes out impulsively,” particularly with Paul (Allan McLeod), Lindsay’s husband, a sweet man she’s never been all that compatible with.
“It’s the dark side of trying to make a relationship work past its expiration date,” Falk said of that couple. “Often we end up circling back to the same person over and over again, even though no one likes us together and they’re bad for us. We fixate, for whatever reason.”
One fixture of the show that will return in season three is Sunday Funday, which the gang realizes has been commercialized in ways that irritate them. The title of the episode, Falk said, is “The Last Sunday Funday,” and it has a scavenger-hunt theme.
“They realize it’s been co-opted by the general public and everyone is doing it — there are signs and (Sunday Funday) mimosas and shirts,” Falk said.
In season three, Edgar (Desmin Borges) grapples with bigger problems than themed mimosas. He confronts his PTSD in a bigger way as he continues to negotiate his new relationship with Dorothy (Collette Wolfe).
“We got away from it a little bit last season, because I wanted him to have a life” in season two, Falk said. “But it was sort of nagging at me. Those kinds of things don’t just magically go away and I felt a responsibility that if we were going to bring up (a former soldier having) combat issues back home, we couldn’t just let it drop.”
“A lot of last season for Edgar was about him finally taking the plunge into actually attempting to transition to civilianhood,” Borges said. “This season is about taking ownership of who you are and how you want the next phase of your life to be, within the structural confines of where he finds himself. The (Veterans Administration) tells him what to do, his friends tell him what to do — they both kind of bully him. This season is him saying, ‘Stop that sh-t, I am a person and I need to find the best plan of action for me.’”
Season two’s biggest ongoing thread was about Gretchen’s clinical depression, something that Cash said she was nervous about — not when filming those scenes, but later.
“I was scared, not in the doing of it, but once it started airing — did we get it right? Are people going to respond well?” Cash said. But she said she’d gotten a lot of positive responses from people who felt moved by the storyline and who connected with her portrayal of Gretchen’s complex situation.
“I was at a Zumba class and the woman checking me in said, ‘I just want you to know that you really helped me through something,” Cash said. “That is incredibly moving.”