Sorry for the delay in getting a recap of this week’s Man Seeking Woman. I was tied up at the time (get it?). Anyways, the series continues its strong run of episodes with Sizzurp, which once again highlights the remarkable balance between the show’s emotional heart and its anything – and I mean anything – goes world. Man Seeking Woman is not just placing familiar situations in the realm of the absurd, it has something honest and genuine to say about the predicaments humans place themselves in while searching for love.
The episode opens on Mount Olympus. Led by Zeus (Oliver Becker), a collection of gods have decided to stage an intervention for Cupid (Jorma Taccone, director of MacGruber). Obsessed with dropping his mixtape and consuming large quantities of sizzurp, Cupid has been doing a poor job of guiding people towards love, mainly helping DJs and producers who haven’t produced anything. Before accepting his invitation to rehab, Cupid fires one arrow to help the world’s biggest loser. Cut to: Josh (Jay Baruchel) attempting to eat his sandwich in the park. In the park Josh meets Whitney (Minka Kelly), the beautiful woman struck by Cupid’s arrow. Before long Josh is presenting Whitney to people who’ve wronged him or underestimated him. The consensus is overwhelming – any guy with a girlfriend that hot can’t be a bad guy. But Josh’s insecurities catch up to him quickly. He goes from showing off Whitney to trying to shield her from the outside world, desperately afraid that something better will come along and poach her from his grasp. It gets even more difficult for Josh when Whitney’s friend from Tanaka (voiced by Fred Armisen), a Japanese penis monster, arrives. The combination of jealousy and his own insecurities undermine Josh’s fleeting moment of triumph.
Now this episode had already won me over with the “DJs and producers” line and only got better as it went along. The character of Whitney isn’t given much depth, and that’s a conscious decision by the writing team. Since the show is through Josh’s perspective, he doesn’t look further into Whitney beyond the superficial – nor does anyone else in the episode. He shows her off like a new toy in an attempt to make people jealous, but never takes the time to know her as a person. Basing everything off her looks leads Josh to worry about his own insecurity and the idea that she might leave him for anyone. Had Josh attempt to connect with Whitney beyond merely the physical, he might not have been threatened by Tanaka, his insecurities, or any other outsider.
Man Seeking Woman keeps chugging along and gaining steam with each successive episode. Even though this episode feature Japanese penis monsters and segments with Greek gods, there’s still this highly relatable touch given to all the absurdity. That combined with the show’s ability to convey a message without being overbearing or moralistic keeps Man Seeking Woman from just adding weird situations to generic stories of singlehood.
Man Seeking Woman is on FXX Wednesdays at 10:30pm and is streaming through the FX Now app.