TCA 2015: “We’re all exorcising our demons,” series star says
FXX’s new quirky comedy, “Man Seeking Woman,” features some fantastical things such as Japanese penis monsters, and dating a 126-year-old Adolph Hitler. The show’s main character, Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel), is so pathetic, even his own hand breaks up with him.
But according to writer and creator Simon Rich, it’s more autobiographical than viewers might realize.
“A lot of the stuff on this show is based on real-life experiences,” Rich told the crowd at the 2105 Television Critics Association Winter press tour in Pasadena.
He continued, “The very first story that I wrote is called, ‘Is it Just Me?’ which was about me hanging out with my ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend at a party. I completely despised this guy, but all my friends thought he was completely cool. They didn’t understand my animosity towards him… So, the story ended up being that she was dating a 126-year-old Adolph Hitler.”
Based on Rich’s book “The Last Girlfriend on Earth,” the show, executive produced by Lorne Michaels, is described as a sweet and surreal look at the topsy-turvy New York City dating world.
In one of the scenes, Baruchel’s character’s hand pops right off after he tries to pleasure himself.
“Lately it’s becoming more mechanical,” his hand (complete with eerie-looking eyelashes) tells him. “We’re going through the motions.”
After his hand takes a hike, Baruchel looks at his other hand.
“Don’t even think about it,” his remaining hand quips.
Asked what his dad, former New York Times columnist Frank Rich, thought of his show, Rich said: “We do different sorts of writing. I’m more of Japanese penis monster… but hopefully he’s not to embarrassed by the path I’ve chosen.”
While the show mirrors his former romantic difficulties, Rich assured the audience he’s doing better in the dating department.
“My personal romantic life is pretty stable now,” said Rich. “But as you can tell by the show I created, it was rocky during my 20s.”
To his surprise, the show’s unconventional humor has been embraced by fans since it premiered on Jan. 14.
“We never know if it’s going to require a learning curve or not. When the pilot premiered last week, we thought it might take time for people to realize whats going on. But, they didn’t. They got it right away,” he said.
While viewers seem to get it, at least once cast member was a little slow to catch on.
“When I first got the script, I was baffled to be honest,” said actress Britt Lower, who plays Baruchel’s older sister, Liz. “I had to look at his book. But, then I laughed and decided this is a creative mind I want to work for.”
“Man Seeking Woman” airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on FXX.