You’ve seen this before: Jay Baruchel is playing a loser looking for love. (In this case, even Hitler is more appealing than him.) But for FXX’s new comedy Man Seeking Woman, it’s a bit different.
This fantastical sitcom has the romance of Louie, the comedy of a great SNL sketch, the cinematic style of a ’90s MTV music video, and the absurdity of a Luis Buñuel film. Josh (Baruchel) is a romantic hero in a contemporary world where romance is no longer a thing. The timing of the show picks up fast, hitting the exposition swiftly and bursting into the comedy.
The pilot starts with Josh getting dumped by his long-time girlfriend, Maggie (Maya Erskine), as a rain cloud follows him, and just him, out of her apartment. He returns to his own apartment where friend Mike (The B in Apt. 23’s Eric André, who pitches the show in the video below) tries to inform him on the dating landscape. (André has an eerily similar voice to Seth Rogen—just close your eyes and it’s like a flashback to Undeclared.) Josh learns it’s bleak out there.
So his sister, Liz (Britt Lower), sets him up on a date, and Josh makes the huge mistake (according to Mike) of not asking what she looks like. Turns out, he goes on a date with a troll—yes, literally—Gorbitchka, who has the allure of an Orc from The Hobbit shoved into a Jessica Rabbit dress. The nice guy that he is, Josh continues on the date, until he makes an internet troll comment, infuriating Gorbitchka and setting off her violent, trollish ways.
It only gets worse from there. He later goes to a party at his ex’s house, only to learn she is dating a new guy: Hitler. The Hitler. Apparently he’s has been hiding out in Argentina and is looking worse than ever (he’s 126 after all), but he has developed a killer sense of humor. Maggie and all the other partygoers can’t get enough of him. On top of it, he’s a really great boyfriend to Maggie. The only one who has an issue with him is Josh—but everyone insists Josh’s problem has nothing to do with the Holocaust, but just because he’s jealous Maggie’s got a new guy.
After leaving the fail of a party, Josh meets Laura (Vanessa Bayer) while they both wait for the train; he takes the train the wrong way so he can continue chatting with her and finally—right before she gets off for her stop—he works up the nerve to ask her out the old-fashioned way. This brave action of his makes world headlines, even President Obama calls to congratulate him.
Excluding Josh, no one sees how ludicrous these situations are, making Josh the odd man out in more ways than just being a bit of a loser. But like Madeline Kahn in History of the World, Part I, he answers to the situations with “No, no, no, no, no, no,” then finally, “Yes.” The poor guys’ frustration and resistance only adds to the comedy.
The series is based on The Last Girlfriend on Earth, a book by creator/showrunner Simon Rich, who brings a high-pedigree comedy résumé (president of The Harvard Lampoon, SNL staff member) to the show; his intelligence, both intellectual and emotional, shines through. Of course Lorne Michaels as series EP and directing by Jonathan Krisel (SNL, Portlandia) in the pilot doesn’t hurt.
With the addition of Man Seeking Woman, FXX only continues to put forward great comedy with a really twisted touch.
Man Seeking Woman airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on FXX.