You’re the Worst is actually THE BEST series on TV at the moment, comedic or otherwise. A big part of why it works is the amazing talent they have in front of the camera bringing the brilliant words of the writers to life. Kether Donohue’s Lindsay has been my fave on You’re the Worst since the start, and this season has been a real shakeup for that character. I recently took part in a press call with Kether, and she talked very candidly about why this show works so well, and teased a bit of what’s coming up in Season 2.
Lindsay is a character that may have earned “The Worst” crown several times since the series began, but Kether approaches the role with a lot of empathy.
“Rule number one of acting, in my opinion, and this is what a lot of acting schools teach you, is never judge your character. From the moment I got the pilot script when I was first auditioning for the project, one of my audition scenes was Lindsay in Episode 1 telling Gretchen that she blew four guys at her high school reunion. Obviously, when I saw that, I was like, “Hey, don’t judge this character.” Every human being has reasons for doing what they do, and saying what they say. One of the honors and joys of playing Lindsey is that she does the most awful things. In Episode 204, she stuck a turkey baster up her vagina to artificially inseminate herself with her ex-husband’s sperm. I mean that’s pretty bad, but as an actor, you can’t approach playing a character like that by judging them.”
The relationships on this show aren’t pretty. They are gritty and rife with problems. Kether told us a bit about Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship in Season 2, and how they are tackling some darker subject matter (as we saw in last week’s powerhouse episode “There Is Not Currently a Problem”).
“It’s comforting when you watch Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship, especially with what’s going to unfold in Season 2. Nothing is sugar-coated. They go through some dark, dark, dark times. It’s done to [remind you] that true love, and when you find a true partner to love you unconditionally, that person will be there for you through thick and thin, even when you’re not at your best. We all have flaws and when you’re dating, you’re very scared that the person you may fall in love with is going to see those flaws and judge you for them. Watching Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship is inspiring to me.”
Lindsay may have started the season trying to find love but the more we learn about her, the more we see that it’s more that she just doesn’t know how to be alone. As this season progresses, Lindsay is learning how to be on her own and do things … and just might learn to love herself.
“Right now, Lindsay’s motivation is more driven by, “Oh shit, I’m alone, and this never happened before, and nothing is going my way.” When you’re in a position like that in your life, you just go to any lengths to try to get your life back to the way it is. Hence, why puts a turkey baster up her vagina. When something in your life happens that’s chaotic, you try to do whatever you can to tie things in a bow and get them back to normal. She’s not able to get things the way she wants. I can’t give anything away, but what I will say that Lindsay’s journey of learning how to be by herself is explored in detail, and in depth. There are hilarious moments in that, and also really sad moments. It’s sad that, at times, she can’t even do things that a five year old would know how to do. The hope is that she will be able to forgive herself and come to terms with the hurt that she’s caused people in her life, and be able to redeem her dignity in some way.”
Of course I had to get a fun question in, and it had to be about that post-turkey baster popsicle. Kether had a fun story to share.
“The funny thing was I went to one of my best friend’s houses to watch the episode. I don’t have a TV, so I go to other people’s houses to watch You’re the Worst. It was me and my girlfriend in our pajamas, sitting on the couch, watching Episode 4, and — I wasn’t planning this, and wasn’t even thinking of the coincidence — when that scene happened, I was actually eating a popsicle. When that scene came on, I was like, “Oh my god,” because I never eat popsicles. I don’t even know why I was eating a popsicle. I would definitely be able to eat a popsicle again, but I will never look at the popsicle in the same way, that’s for sure.
Despite her flaws and her questionable behavior, Lindsay does have some moments that surprise us. Her reaction to Paul’s new girlfriend was one of those moments.
“Even though Lindsay does awful things, it was really nice to read in the script in that moment in Episode 3 when Lindsay is self-aware — it’s you reap what you sow — she’s learning that she’s created this spider web for herself because of her behavior. She doesn’t really have anybody to blame but herself at the end of the day for Paul leaving her because she was not the best wife. The reality is setting in for her that Paul is choosing to be with a woman who treats him right and is actually a good person. I think Lindsay almost admires Amy in a way, and that’s really fresh, and it’s not something you see very often in storytelling.”
She also added that this approach to the situations and relationships on the show are what set it apart from other “romantic comedies” that people want to categorize this with.
“One of the questions that the cast gets is ‘How does You’re the Worst set itself apart from other romantic comedies?’ In a lot of comedies, and generic romantic comedies, if someone’s boyfriend cheats on them, or is with another girl, stereotypically, the two girls get in a cat fight, and the ex-girlfriend is mad at the new girlfriend. Because Stephan Falk is a feminist and he is so open-minded, it’s pretty cool that he chose to not make Lindsey and Amy enemies, but rather it’s the first time you see the compassion that Lindsay has.”
The Season 1 finale had a killer musical number from Lindsay, and Kether teased not one but two more to come in Season 2.
“Lindsey will be singing twice. There will be some rap music, and there will also be some really nice music along the lines of “This Woman’s Work.” I can’t say what context either of the songs will be, but both of Lindsay’s musical adventures are awesome. I know the audience will really enjoy both of them.”
Photo Courtesy of FXX