'Man Seeking Woman' navigates 'minefield' of Millennial dating

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 14, 2015 3:32 PM

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Getting dumped by his long-term girlfriend is not the worst of Josh Greenberg's problems. Now he has to enter the highly complex, rule-filled dating world, and things are about to get really ugly.

"Man Seeking Woman," a new FXX comedy series premiering Wednesday and starring Jay Baruchel as the hapless Josh, spins a twist on how Millennials find love in today's tech-infiltrated world.

"Being single in your 20s, it's a minefield, it's a circus, it's degrading, it's exhilarating, it's beautiful and ugly," said Baruchel. "It's all these wonderful contradictions, but it's nothing if not ridiculous."

In the first episode, Josh finds himself set up on a blind date by his sister with a troll in a dress who attacks him, and yet he's forced to apologize to her.

Later, Josh gets his hopes up of reuniting with his ex-girlfriend when she asks him to a party, only to find she has a new boyfriend, and it's none other than an aged, wheelchair-bound Adolf Hitler who's the life of the party.

"Josh makes me laugh," said Baruchel. "He has very poor decision-making skills and he just has a very strange, desperate sense of himself."

"Man Seeking Woman" was created by humorist Simon Rich and inspired by his novel "The Last Girlfriend on Earth." He said his goal was to find extramundane metaphors to depict the emotional roller coaster involved in 21st century dating.

"It is supernatural and absurd, but I like to think that when it comes to the character's emotional journey, it's very honest," Rich said.

From dating apps to the blurred lines of defining a relationship, "Man Seeking Woman" uses farce to sometimes parody and sometimes heighten the intricacies of modern-day dating.

"My job as a showrunner was to figure out new ways to torture Jay every week," Rich said. "We set him on fire, we cut off his limbs, we poisoned him repeatedly, we electrocuted genitals - we're constantly subjecting him to tortures but he never once complained."

The show is made by 21st Century Fox's FX Productions, which has developed a slate of edgy and often dark comedy such as "Louie" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

"I've been amazed at the network's bravery and the amount of creative freedom they give their showrunners," Rich said. "I had a chance to make the show that I wanted and they have never once censored a single premise."

(Edited by Mary Milliken and Christian Plumb)