Jay Baruchel (above) stars as a Josh, a one-man dating disaster area. On the season finale, Josh finally gets his chance to be with work-mate Rosa (Rosa Salazar). Don’t expect his slick roommate-rival Mike (Eric Andre), however, to surrender her quietly.
I spoke with Baruchel, along with creator/executive producer Simon Rich, at the TCA press tour in Pasadena in January. Rich is a former Simpsons writer and sees Josh in ‘toon terms. Last season started fanciful, with Josh encountering a penis monster, dating a troll and being thrown over for 125-year-old Adolph Hitler. This season saw Jesus (Fred Armisen) dip into the dating pool, along with Santa. So, yes, it got crazier.
At one point Josh even had sex with a car. Worse, it was a Saturn! Ugh!
Another producer on the series is Jonathan Krisel, one of the people behind Portlandia. He was also at press tour promoting Baskets. That’s the new Zach Galifianakis comedy also executive produced by Louis C.K.
Krisel, who directs all three shows, describes some of the series he’s worked on as not sitcoms but “sketch-uational” comedies because they combine both sketch and narrative.
Man Seeking Women though is different, he says, attributing the crazy cartoon edge to both Rich and co-producer/writer Ian Maxtone-Graham, one of the most revered writers on The Simpsons.
Krisel gets why some people have a hard time reading the series. “Cartoons and live action have different timing,” he says. “Your brain just can’t believe that one man could go through all through those emotions.”
He marvels at how Baruchel can contort himself like a cartoon character: one minute, he’s bursting into flames, the next he’s out and there’s no consequences. “In an animated series, people get it,” says Krisel. Seeing those leaps in live action, “leaves a lot of people in the dust.”
Read more about Baruchel and Man Seeking Woman here at this feature I wrote for The Canadian Press.