Though I’m awaiting the premieres of a few of my big time TV obsessions this spring (Bates Motel, Game of Thrones, and normally Hannibal, too, but that got pushed back to summer…*sob*) I’m all too happy to bide my time by discovering random little gems on channels I usually don’t explore—such as FXX! Honestly, I’m still adjusting to the fact that I even have this channel, so I tend to forget about it. But when I saw advertisements for what looked to be a delightfully quirky comedy starring none other than Mr. Jay Baruchel, I thought, “Hmm. I should really start paying attention to this channel.” And then I watched the pilot for Man Seeking Woman. Was it worth the view? Let’s discuss the particulars.
What I liked:
- Jay Baruchel. I love him in just about everything—including this show. As awkward, lovesick Josh, he’s pretty much playing the perfect character for him. Watching him struggle with a series of hilariously ridiculous situations is fun. Because let’s be real: if anyone’s a pro at being awkwardly charming in bizarre circumstances, it’s Baruchel.
- The black-and-white drawings for the opening credits. It’s not often I pay a great deal of attention to the opening credits beyond the first few episodes (the one exception being the crazy American Horror Story openings), but this one’s really cute and intricate. I think it’ll keep my interest for awhile.
- The completely zany humor. It’s one of the most off-the-wall shows I’ve ever seen, yet somehow it still works—and works pretty well at that. During the course of this episode, Josh is set up on a blind date with an actual troll (like, she lives under a bridge and has warts and everything), he finds out his ex is currently dating a 130-year-old Hitler (yes, that Hitler), and he’s constantly assaulted by his own personal raincloud (lightning and all). So, so wacky, but fun.
- The uplifting ending. After going through some trying stuff, Josh finally gets a good moment at the end of this episode, and it’s pretty adorable. Plus, pretty much everyone in the country is there to pat him on the back. Like, everyone.
What I didn’t like:
- I’m not totally convinced half an hour is the best amount of time for this show. Maybe it’s because I watch so few half-hour shows nowadays, but it’s like I blinked and this pilot was over without the chance for me to totally understand what this show is going for. Although that definitely has something to do with…
- The lack of cohesion. Really, this felt like a sketch show. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but I guess I just went into it thinking it would be something it was not. I still liked it, but I had to adjust to it as I watched.
- The humor might not be for everyone. I enjoyed it, but, as it said, it is totally bizarre. If you don’t appreciate those kinds of “so weird they’re funny” situations, you might want to steer clear.
- There’s a closing scene involving Hitler and a young lady that might turn some viewers off for good. I just kind of shook my head and said, “Wow. Really?” But I could see people having much stronger reactions.
The Potential: I think this show has it! I can honestly say that Man Seeking Woman is one of the strangest comedies I’ve seen in awhile, but it’s also memorable, creative, and funny to boot. And JAY BARUCHEL. I think I was always going to enjoy it simply because of him anyway. If you like your comedies peculiar and awkward yet charming (and you have access to FXX), I’d recommend giving this one a chance.
My Grade: B