Man Seeking Woman

Jay Baruchel and Eric Andre in FXX's Man Seeking Woman
Man Seeking Woman (Photo: FOX)

Reviewer seeking clever allusion to feelings about show here.

Show

Man Seeking Woman, probably Wednesdays at 10:30/9:30c on FXX.

The website isn’t particularly clear on an upcoming schedule.

Premise

The ups and downs of an average guy’s love life, but you get to see his overactive imagination during it all. It’s not a modern day Dream On. It’s… have you seen Jay Baruchel in anything else? It’s him, but with a troll and Hitler (not at the same time).

This entire review is going to continually try and often fail to explain anything about this show, I can tell.

Lineage

Based, in some manner, on showrunner Simon Rich’s collection of short story musings on love, romance, and God’s girlfriend. Produced by Lorne Michaels, who has produced other things, many of them funny. Starring Jay Baruchel who is becoming his generation’s Lena Dunham. Also involved is Eric Andre, who I think is one of the funniest human beings ever, but that’s just one guy’s opinion.

Who is Man Seeking Woman For?

Ehhhhhhhhhh… comedy fans? This is a weird, weird, little show with a short season contract, stuck on a network many people think is a typo, and promoted… oddly? Barely? That last word is unfair – I don’t think Fox wants to bury Man Seeking Woman but I don’t think they really knew what to do with it, either.

Searching for another way to describe this show… errrrrm… check out their interesting little tie-in: http://avgmale.com/ The show sort of has a sensibility like that. Deceptively honest with little pretense and not much decoration. That helped you not at all.

What Works

This cast, Baruchel and Andre particularly, are the absolute masters of normal, of deadpan. I lost count of the number of lines in the pilot that could so easily have been tipped, hit too hard, overemphasized, made to stand out weirdly – no, none of that happened. Everyone, down to the extras, invests in the reality of whatever ridiculous scenario comes spinning out with nary a moment’s pause. Whoever wrote this really trusts the performers, and the performers know they have such reliable voices written for them. It’s a show with a real style, or maybe vision. Which I will not try to describe again because man this is not working.

What Doesn’t Work

Despite its surreal, and therefore fairly distinct, tone, the pilot episode meandered itself into feeling very piloty. A few running gags tied things together, but the episode is primarily built around three flights of fancy taken by Baruchel’s character. It didn’t feel like vignettes, but something felt like it was missing.

Maybe it was because this show is pretty low key. Don’t confuse that for boring or unfunny. Do yourself a favor, though, and watch it when you’re not sleepy. 10:30pm midweek? Who do you think is watching the show then, FXX? Guys with no apparent job who recently got dumped? If yes, why would you market to that demographic? I am just typing nearly random things here at this point. Stream of consciousness, wheeeeeeee!

Does This Pass the Bechdel Test?1

No.

Verdict

I’m picking apart Man Seeks Woman way more than I picked apart Benched or Marry Me, two shows with more traditional – and maybe more compelling – senses of humor, but two shows that undercut the legit comedic genius of their casts with their lack of originality. Man Seeks Woman is original. It’s strangely genuine at all times, despite being a subtly stylized version of reality, to say nothing of the surreality that touches every other moment.

Will watch again.

Neeblesneebles.

  1. 1. Two named female characters 2. have a conversation 3. about something other than a man.  

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About Aaron Mucciolo 206 Articles
He does things. That's all we can say at this time. E-mail: mooch@whatelseison.tv