MAN SEEKING WOMAN: Jay Baruchel on Grounding the 'Cartoon Come to Life' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

MAN SEEKING WOMAN: Jay Baruchel on Grounding the ‘Cartoon Come to Life’

February 4, 2015 by  

MAN SEEKING WOMAN - Key ArtThe new FXX comedy MAN SEEKING WOMAN has put Jay Baruchel’s Josh through a lot in the first few episodes — an ex who went on to date Hitler, a lost penis, a government task force that assists in sending text messages to women — but for the actor, he had the luxury of knowing where his character was going from the start.

“[The writers] been really good enough to walk me through all of it,” Baruchel told reporters on the show’s Toronto set. “I knew when we started where [Josh is] going to end up at the end of the year, and where we have to go if we get to do more of them [in season 2].”

“Part of what makes the show so genius and why we can get away with the crazy stuff we do is it’s all grounded in experience we’ve all gone through at some point,” he continued. “For every episode, I have a very specific frame of reference: I haven’t been electrocuted or covered in semen in real-life, but I’ve certainly been through the minefield that is dating in your 20s. We always want to make sure the audience has something to connect to.”

And while the out-there circumstances of the show are grounded in realistic situations, Baruchel acknowledged that trying to explain what the comedy is doing can be quite difficult.

“I have a hell of a time trying to describe it, which is part of what makes it exciting — there’s no frame of reference,” he said. “It’s the one TV show you can say is unlike any other TV show. The closest I’ve been able to describe it is as a cartoon come to life.”

Or, in many ways, it’s a book come to life: MAN SEEKING WOMAN is based off of (series creator) Simon Rich’s book “The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories,” and Baruchel shared that reading the book (along with the FXX comedy’s pilot script) was enough to pull him out of semi-retirement.

“I was given the book, ‘Last Girlfriend on Earth,’ with the script. I inhaled that book — read it in like two days,” Baruchel recalled. “It’s one of the few books that actually makes me laugh out loud. I obviously knew who [Rich] was, and I was flattered that he thought I was good enough to be Josh. The older I get, the less and less acting I do; I’ve probably retired five times. You can think you’re done, and then you read a script like the first episode of this thing, and I was like, ‘Well, all right, that’s at least another year [of working].”

And more immediately, in tonight’s episode, Josh feels pressure from his family to settle down…though, as viewers have seen, his family isn’t always thrilled by his life choices.

“[They’re] incredibly precious and proud and overprotective, and very disappointed and underwhelmed by him, which is a very lethal cocktail,” Baruchel laughed. “I think a lot of kids have that dynamic with their folks: they’re super protective and precious, but at the same time, there is no pleasing them. And Josh, in his mother’s eyes, has basically royally fucked up everything consistently and is nothing to write home about at this point.”

MAN SEEKING WOMAN airs Wednesdays at 10:30 PM on FXX.


MAN SEEKING WOMAN: Simon Rich on Adapting ‘The Last Girlfriend on Earth’ For FXX

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