12:14pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
FXX's 'Man Seeking Woman' to Feature "Japanese Penis Monster"
FXX's newest comedy, Man Seeking Woman, may have the oddest cast of characters on television.
Produced by Lorne Michaels, Man Seeking Woman is based on Simon Rich's book The Last Girlfriend on Earth and stars Undeclared alum Jay Baruchel in his return to the small screen as Josh Greenberg, a naive romantic on a desperate quest for love. When his girlfriend dumps him, Josh enters the dating scene — a nightmarish hellscape of untold horror. Despite the agony, Josh continues his search in the hopes of finding someone who will make the misery worth it. Eric Andre (Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23), Britt Lower (Unforgettable) and Maya Erskine (Betas) co-star.
The pilot featured Josh meeting his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend — whom Josh saw as a 126-year-old Adolf Hitler — and the lovelorn character going on a date with a woman that was a real troll named Gorbachaka. Upcoming episodes will feature Josh having a heart-to-heart conversation with his hand — complete with eyes, eyelashes and a mouth and voiced by Sarah Silverman — before both of his hands literally pop off in protest.
"It's definitely a weird show," Rich told reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "There's time travel, there are various monsters, there are a bunch of decapitations and a Japanese penis monster named Tanaka. But at its core, it's a pretty simple show about a guy looking for love. In some ways, it's the simplest show on television, despite all this insanity."
Read more 'Man Seeking Woman': TV Review
Rich and Baruchel both noted that the series is autobiographical for all involved, with the latter going so far to express his disdain for being single and dating. While Man Seeking Woman features outlandish, surreal characters, Rich stressed that it's based on real experiences about the highs and lows of dating.
"On The Simpsons, Homer really does go to outer space, and on South Park, Kenny really does die all the time and Jesus lives there. I thought it would be creatively interesting to create a live-action sitcom that was as absurd and surreal as a town like Springfield and South Park," Rich said, noting that he was inspired by sketch comedy and series, including Kids in the Hall and Monty Python.
Baruchel stressed that the series has the "elasticity of a cartoon world" and was thrilled to see that it didn't require a learning curve for viewers to grasp onto the concept quickly after last week's series premiere. He and Rich revealed that everyone involved with the show had to fully commit in order for its outlandish concept to work — and resonate.
"We realized fairly early that we could only do the weird, crazy surreal stuff we do if we keep it super intimate and small and keep it incredibly real," he said. "The two forms mitigate and inform each other. It wouldn’t be half as good if it was just a bunch of crazy nonsense or a bunch of people complaining all the time. … The key is to play it like I'm talking to a person, not a hand."
Meanwhile, Baruchel also told THR after the panel that his follow-up to hockey drama Goon is in the works, with a script that has everyone really excited. As for its concept, he said if the first movie was about a guy (Seann William Scott) falling in love with a woman and a sport, the sequel, which takes place years later, is about a guy married to a woman and a sport.
Man Seeking Woman airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on FXX.