Man Seeking Woman Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Man Seeking Woman

FXX, Wednesdays 10:30/9:30 Central

Jan 14, 2015 Web Exclusive
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Dating tragedies are hardly new fare for television audiences, but as times change and the culture evolves (or devolves, depending on your perspective) a timeless tale of heartbreak will always find new ways to stay relevant. Man Seeking Woman stars Jay Baruchel (This Is The End, Undeclared) as Josh, an unassuming 20-something shoved back into the dating pool when his girlfriend of five years abruptly dumps him. Supported by his best friend Mike (Eric André) and sister Liz (Britt Lower), Josh fumbles his way through singlehood. Within minutes, Man Seeking Woman steps confidently out of reality and exaggerates Josh’s otherwise mundane love adventures with bizarre sketches steeped in magic realism.

The show is based on writer Simon Rich’s novel The Last Girlfriend on Earth, and puts out an earnest attempt to match the absurdity of Josh’s fantasy encounters with the cold strangeness of swiping a handheld screen for potential mates. In this world, both realities are equally valid, and there’s little effort at exploring the nature of the comic imagery. On his first blind date, Josh’s sister sets him up with a real-life garbage eating troll. Later, Josh catches up with his ex, only to find she’s now dating Hitler; literally a 126-year old wheelchair bound Adolph Hitler. With these sorts of hallucinatory tricks, Man Seeking Woman will inevitably draw comparisons to Wilfred, a show about a man and a talking dog, but the key difference being that Wilfred‘s absurdity was drawn out to the center for dissection. Man Seeking Woman implements the absurd as a narrative device, which can unnerve an audience without careful preparation, but what we see onscreen is unquestionably accepted by the characters.

Luckily, Jay Baruchel takes the lead with neurotic charisma. Baruchel has always been good at playing the likeable straight man to bigger, brasher clowns, usually against a whole cast of aggressive attention seekers. In this case, he is playing against his whole environment, but manages to blend into the setting while also giving a sense of a man stuck in the wrong century. It’s not just the dating scene that’s alien to him, but the social structures that evolved out of technology and modernity.

There’s so much to like in the first few episodes, but Man Seeking Woman will have to maintain a sharp level of wit and surrealism if it is going to succeed in the long run. Man Seeking Woman is a rare and unique comedy, but raises the bar so high with its initial episodes that it will have to work extra hard to keep up this pace. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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July 11th 2018

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