Every week, the cast and crew of FXX’s sharp, raunchy, cult comedy, You’re the Worst, is taking EW behind the scenes. For each episode, one member is recapping, sharing thoughts on what went down, and walking us through the ins-and-outs of the show. This week, writers Franklin Hardy and Shane Kosakowski bring us into the 11th episode of season three, “The Inherent, Unsullied Qualitative Value of Anything.”
Hey, it’s Franklin Hardy and Shane Kosakowski, the writers of tonight’s episode, “The Inherent Unsullied Qualitative Value of Everything.” This episode is special because it is a series of “oners” — long, continuous shots without any cuts in them. Oners have a long history from Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil, to Hitchcock’s Rope, and Iñárritu’s Birdman. But never before has it been done… with cocaine-snorting cater waiters. Until now, that is…
Gretchen wakes up to find Jimmy reevaluating his entire life and making a pros and cons list about everything in his room. To Gretchen’s dismay, that includes her. She tries to act like she doesn’t care, saying she needs to go and help set up for Sh–tstain and Jaclyn’s elopement party.
Later at the party, we meet a coke-snorting waiter. We thought he and his two buddies would make a fun conduit for the oner, leading us around the party to find our various characters. Gretchen tells Lindsay she needs to stop procrastinating and tell Paul that she is leaving him, but when Lindsay learns that a prenup isn’t what she thought it was, she realizes she needs to find a job to set herself up for single life.
Sh–stain is furious at Sam for showing up late, wearing the wrong suit and being, in general, the worst best man ever. He fires him and assigns the best man toast duties to a very nervous Honey Nutz, who says that public speaking is one of his greatest fears. Jimmy shows up looking like the Red Baron because he has thrown out most of his clothes. Gretchen demands to see the pros/cons list he is making about her, but Jimmy refuses. Edgar gets a text from Doug Benson asking him to come up with some sketch ideas by tomorrow. He’s excited, but Dorothy is miffed that Edgar is going to work and abandon her at a wedding where she doesn’t know anyone.
Lindsay meets Priscilla, a stylist, whom she impresses with her ridiculous fashion hacks. Sam tells Gretchen he’s upset that Sh–stain’s marriage will derail their careers, and Gretchen tells him he needs to not let his future be determined by someone else’s life changes — advice she decides to take herself. Gretchen finagles Jimmy’s coat from the coat check only to discover that he’s left a decoy pros/cons list in the pocket. She tells Jimmy that she is going to make her own list about him, much to Jimmy’s chagrin. Sam finds Jaclyn in the bathroom to confront her and when he learns that she and Sh–stain may have kids, he has a meltdown and tries to kiss her. Sh–stain and Honey Nutz arrive and Sam reveals his real fears to them: He doesn’t want to lose his best friends. Sh–stain assures him that will never happen, and Sam and Honey Nutz decide to make the best man toast together.
Dorothy finds Edgar talking shop with comedian Brian Posehn, whom she used to work with at UCB. Brian doesn’t seem to remember her or care about her life, and she storms off, feeling even worse about her lack of a career than ever before. Lindsay is really bonding with Priscilla, who offers her a job as an assistant stylist. Paul feels Lindsay ought to disclose her pregnancy before accepting, but when Lindsay refuses, he tells Priscilla himself. Lindsay blurts out to Paul that she had an abortion and is leaving him. Paul is floored and storms out. Jimmy and Gretchen decide to reveal one con from their list to each other, but when they do, the items are more real and hurtful than they ever expected. Sam and Honey Nutz make their best man toasts, and after some jokes that bomb, Honey Nutz overcomes his fear of public speaking and the three guys share a heartfelt hug. Jimmy and Gretchen leave in their separate cars, a palpable emotional distance between them.
Some additional thoughts:
- A special shout out goes to our cast, crew and director, Wendey Stanzler, for pulling off this incredibly difficult episode. We spent two days doing the oners over and over, and it was mind-blowing how good everyone was at executing it. And an extra-special shout-out goes to our steadicam operator, Thom Valko, who had maybe the hardest job of all and was an absolute badass.
- We (the writers) had wanted to do a oner since the first season of You’re the Worst. The first incarnation of the idea was to follow Jimmy and Gretchen as they finished a boozy brunch, got in their car and started driving, and then ran over Haley Joel Osment while he was on his bike. Two seasons later, we think we got a much better version of it, though running over Haley Joel Osment on a bike would have been a lot of fun.
- Jimmy creeping up on Gretchen in bed was inspired by the classic “Ninja Cat” viral video.
- Much like the belief that camel’s humps have water in them (episode 303), the writers’ room’s utter lack of animal knowledge is very real, as evidenced by the fact that none of us actually know whether or not ink comes from squids.
- No one in the party acknowledges Paul until the very end, a metaphor for Lindsay “disappearing” him from her life. It occurred to us that viewers might think he was dead and actually a ghost. He’s not. He’s alive.
- Jimmy is wearing Edgar’s bathing suit as underwear because Franklin once lent Shane a bathing suit, and later busted him for wearing it as underwear. Apparently, it was laundry day.
You’re the Worst airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FXX.