Pamela Adlon as Pam in episode 101 of "Better Things." (Colleen Hayes/FX/TNS)

TV’s ‘You’re the Worst’ and ‘Better Things’ Offer Up Better Roles For Women

By Neal Justin
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl:dr) Neal Justin, TV critic for the Minneapolis Star Tribune takes a look at how TV continues to do a better job than film in delivering multilayered roles for women.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Women on TV are finally having it all, including a prescription for Zoloft.

Take Gretchen Cutler of “You’re the Worst,” returning Wednesday for a third bold season on FXX, and Sam Fox in FX’s upcoming “Better Things,” the latest gobstopper from the Louis C.K. candy factory.

“Worst” debuted as a two-hander featuring a pair of selfish slackers who somehow manage to share a bed without hogging the sheets. But creator Stephen Falk realized he had something special in his leading lady, Aya Cash, an actress who can signal callousness and vulnerability in one heart-piercing glance, and he turned over nearly the entire second season to her character’s battle with clinical depression. That focus has come at the expense at the rest of the cast, most notably Chris Geere, who is saddled with playing yet another incarnation of the hard-drinking novelist battling writer’s block.

The war between Cutler’s dark and good angels continues in Wednesday’s episode as she challenges her therapist to a fist fight while trying to muster the energy to wash her legs. While she’s finally able to mutter the “L word” to her boyfriend, she’s also realistic about her limitations as a steadfast companion.

“The only way I can stomach this is knowing I can bail at any time,” she says in what constitutes a romantic moment.

Cutler won’t be the cover story for Psychology Today anytime soon, but she is getting better. The scene in which she tries to salvage her job as a music promoter by luring a Spanish church congregation to a gig with free shrimp is comedy gold in any language.

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