Review: ‘Man Seeking Woman’ Keeps its Strange Bite with ‘Pitbull’

GameStop, Inc.

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In my review of the premiere of Man Seeking Woman I said, “I certainly hope that over the coming weeks that the show is able to gain its legs and build on this very promising debut.” I am happy to report back that with each successive episode, Man Seeking Woman has gotten funnier and more assured in its unique brand of comedy. At this point, I think it is safe to say that Man Seeking Woman is no longer a new comedy with great promise. In 3 episodes, creator Simon Rich and company have found their comedic sweet spot. This week’s episode, Pitbull, builds upon the first two episodes and delivers the funniest, most insightful episode of the series so far.

When we last saw Josh (Jay Baruchel), he was reeling from a disastrous date. When we first see Josh this week, he’s getting ready for another date, only this one is with his, uh, hand. Like the rest of Josh’s date, this doesn’t work out either. First he argues with his hand (voiced by Sarah Silverman), then the hand makes a clean break of it. During a subdued dinner with his sister Liz (Britt Lower), Josh is receiving texts from his horndog friend Mike (Eric Andre). Liz is trying to encourage Josh to follow the path of self-reflection and self-improvement while Mike is sending texts promising an evening of wild, guilt-free sex with numerous single ladies. It’s obvious which path Josh takes. Except Josh thought that Mike had a harem lined up, and Mike was merely planning on picking up women at the bar. Before the two guys can even enter the bar, Josh wants to have some beers, eat some Mexican food, and put together a jigsaw puzzle. Once those tasks are completed, Mike and Josh finally enter the bar. As expected, Mike is having no problem breaking the ice with various women while Josh experiences great difficulty in even being acknowledged. Things turn around for Josh when he suddenly bumps into a girl carrying shots. She demands he down one. They imbibe various substances before taking a taxi cab back to her place. Just as Josh looks like he’s about indulge in some drunken meaningless sex, he realizes he forgot something necessary to perform the act.

What this series, and Pitbull in particular, really understands is what it feels like to be an awkward guy who’s not too good at the dating scene. Unable to effectively break the ice with anyone, Josh asks Mike what his secret to picking up women is. Mike’s secret is “spiral eyes,” a hypnotic trick taught to him during puberty by a wizard. It’s the type of gag that best exemplifies this show’s surreal take on relatable dating scenarios. Even when the show is remaining grounded it is still presenting Josh’s exploits as nerve-racking and cringeworthy.

For all its absurd surrealism, Man Seeking Woman is remarkably realistic in its portrayal of the dating scene. The series is assured in its visual style as it is with its sense of humor. There’s still room for the series to grow, but it’s definitely off to a fascinating start. If you haven’t taken the plunge, Man Seeking Woman is definitely worth catching up with.

Man Seeking Woman is on FXX Wednesdays at 10:30pm and is streaming through the FX Now app.

 

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