Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trolling for Love in Fxx's 'Man Seeking Woman'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trolling for Love in Fxx's 'Man Seeking Woman'

Article excerpt

The opening scene of the new comedy "Man Seeking Woman" replicates the start of the classic TV version of "The Odd Couple": A man is sent packing by his partner who has clearly reached the end of her rope. From that point on, though, "Man" follows its own wacky and surreal course as Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel) walks down an otherwise sunny street getting drenched by his own personal overhead rain cloud, dodging a few pigeons plummeting to their deaths along the way.

Things get weirder from there in the half-hour sitcom premiering tonight on FXX, the edgier younger sibling of FX.

It's not just pigeons plummeting in "Man Seeking Woman": Josh's life spirals earthward as well after the breakup with Maggie (Maya Erskine). Months go by. His best friend, Mike Bunk (Eric Andre), tries to break him out of his lethargy and get him back into the dating world. His overachiever sister, Liz (Britt Lower) sets him up on a blind date with a troll. That isn't a nasty epithet. His date is a real, lives-under-a-bridge troll.

It doesn't go well.

Later Josh goes to Maggie's apartment for a party, foolishly believing that her invitation means they will get back together. He's dismayed to find that Maggie is already seeing someone - an older man, as it turns out - much, much older - and it's pretty serious. His name is Adolf Hitler (guest star Bill Hader) and he still likes Wagner. Jews like Josh? Not so much.

Briefly - or for a while, depending on how un-hip you are - you wait for the revelation that this is all some dream sequence, or for some other tenuous lifeline to the real world. Eventually, even the least cool among you have to throw in the towel - or the troll, as the case may be - and accept the skewed reality for what it is.

The show was created by Simon Rich, one of columnist Frank's wunderkind sons and a former writer for "Saturday Night Live" whose creator, Lorne Michaels, is "Man/Woman's" executive producer. You probably would have figured out the "SNL" connection anyway from the list of guest stars this season: Vanessa Bayer, Mr. Hader, Fred Armisen.

But even without that hint, there is an unmistakable "SNL" quality to "Man/Woman. …

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